Ramsay to interview with Winnipeg

Craig Ramsay will interview for his job. The Thrashers coach said he was contacted by Winnipeg general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff Sunday night and told he will be a candidate for the position when the team relocates to Manitoba for next season.

Ramsay said he expected the interview to be this week.

“We are going to talk,” Ramsay told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday. “It’s weird, but it is what it is. This whole situation is a bit awkward. Kevin was good to talk to and we’ll see what we can get done.”

Ramsay has one year remaining on the contract he signed to coach the Thrashers before last season. The positions of those on Ramsay’s staff – associate coach John Torchetti, assistant Mike Stothers, video coach Tony Borgford and goaltending consultant Clint Malarchuk – are also undetermined.

The Winnipeg franchise has informed much of the Thrashers support staff that they will not be retained. Dan Marr, the Thrashers director of amateur scouting and player development, was informed Sunday that he will not be a part of the organization. Many of the positions are being filled by the staff of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, which is also owned by buyer True North Sports and Entertainment. Moose coach Claude Noel is also considered a candidate.

The Thrashers sale and relocation becomes official with the approval of the NHL’s Board of Governors meeting on June 21 in New York City.

On another note: Spent some time with Thrashers equipment manager Bobby Stewart on Monday for an upcoming story. Stewart, who spent all 12 years with the Atlanta Thrashers and 26 with the Flames in Atlanta and Calgary, would have worked his 3,000th NHL game next season. Look for the story in Sunday’s paper.

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[...] Journal Constitution:  Craig Ramsay will interview with Winnipeg.   Should be an interesting story on Thrashers equipment manager Bobby [...]

Over it all

June 13th, 2011
3:05 pm

Lame! I wish Coach Ramsey the very best. I hope he ends up in a better situation with better ownership.

whaler8888

June 13th, 2011
3:11 pm

Really hope they keep Ramsay in place. I enjoyed his “teaching” not only the players but the fans as well. I think the Winnipeg fans would enjoy having a coach that doesn’t speak only in cliches and they certainly would enjoy the upbeat style of play Ramsay coaches. Maybe he can at least come out of this OK unlike the rest of us.

PoweRForgeD

June 13th, 2011
3:14 pm

Anyone who is offered a job with this new team and refuses will be missing out on a very exciting positive experience

Tom

June 13th, 2011
3:16 pm

It is interesting how Winnipeg is removing every remnant of the Thrashers from the map. It almost resembles the actions of the old Soviet Union… Soon the Winnipeg Jets will never have left and the Thrashers never will have existed.

Matt from MN

June 13th, 2011
3:28 pm

Damn…this stuff just makes me depressed all over again. I’m gonna go sit in a dark closet for a while now.

the third

June 13th, 2011
3:40 pm

real hockey fans would have kept DW and filled the arena for another 11 losing years. real hockey fans dont need their team to try and win.

Brendan

June 13th, 2011
4:03 pm

so does this mean the wolves will lose their NHL affiliate???

Affirmative-Action Jackson

June 13th, 2011
4:10 pm

Craig Ramsay = Token Winnipeg Interview

R. Stroz

June 13th, 2011
4:15 pm

Brendan – The Wolves have already been “dismissed.”

Time Out

June 13th, 2011
4:21 pm

I hope the Winnipeg Whatever never make the playoffs in the next 20 years. I want to see how their fan base responds.

I.C. Wiener

June 13th, 2011
4:29 pm

What happens to this blog next Tuesday, after the BoG blocks relocation?

Hey, it could happen!

Reality

June 13th, 2011
4:30 pm

Everytime one company takes over another, and this is basically what’s happening, it common to have to re-interview for your job, not weird. You have new management that Ramsay has to sell himself to, to show he’s the kind of coach they want.

Drock20j

June 13th, 2011
4:32 pm

I am just saddend thatwe in Atlanta will never have the joy of seeing #13 retired and Slava Kozlov applauded for all he did for the team.

Next Season TV

June 13th, 2011
4:54 pm

Since we will no longer have the Thrashers on FoxSports and SportsSouth, can and will FOX and the NHL allow for Preditor or Hurricane games to be broadcast in the Atlanta area?
I know Buttman is a total jerk for taking our team, but will he leave us high and dry without even a few games a year.

I do not get VS TV.

Anybody have a thought?

Buttman Returns

June 13th, 2011
4:58 pm

Who wants to watch hockey after this atrocity? Hopefully, they won’t show hockey in this market again, not even on NBC, until Bettman chokes on a hockey puck.

ATL Observer

June 13th, 2011
5:01 pm

@Next Season TV, there’s no definites, but there’s been rumors that the Preds are hoping to get FSS to broadcast some of their games in the Atlanta market. Given the proximity of that team compared to any others, that would be the most logical fit for GA hockey fans.

Time Out

June 13th, 2011
5:02 pm

If I were Ramer, I would go back to Boston. This franchise has a black cloud over it.

Time Out

June 13th, 2011
5:04 pm

Next Season TV: I am with Buttman Returns, time to bag the NHL. Screw the whole league and ASG too.

East Point Bob

June 13th, 2011
5:16 pm

Phoenix is sold next season, It comes here, Problem solved !

Bettman the Moron

June 13th, 2011
5:21 pm

Tom…so true….despite all the “poor little Winnipeg” garbage, they have been very quick to wipe out any remnant of OUR team…the Thrashers. Dear Winnipegers…news flash….the Jets now play in Phoenix.
Time Out – Amen…..their little market lost a team once, won’t take long to happen again, especially once Bettman the Moron figures out that TV revenue from 750,000 people won’t pay for his kid’s college educations.
Buttman Returns – LOL….I’m with ya…screw the NHL and Bettman the Moron. This is why the NHL will always be a fringe league, promoting unknown outposts like Winnipeg while ignoring major markets like Atlanta….the NHL could have worked here if the NHL had even spent five minutes trying to make it work. This market was ignored, Bettman the Moron spent all his time clamoring in Phoenix, and this is what we get.

sisu

June 13th, 2011
5:27 pm

so the vote seems to be a formality…I think it is really arrogant of the new possible owners to act like the whole thing has been decided. I would not expect much from group that was willing to cheat or steal to get a team in their minor league arena.

Hope Ramsey decides to go elsewhere, but then again he could just retire?

Mr. Vivlamore, no interviews or stories from the ASG? Or did AJC back off after they had their witch hunt went sour? http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2009/05/20090518/Opinion/In-Rush-To-The-Web-Newspapers-Must-Not-Forsake-Standards.aspx

whatsthat

June 13th, 2011
5:37 pm

You mean Atlanta had a hockey team. See Ya

Buzzeng

June 13th, 2011
5:40 pm

Time Out made the right call – let’s see how the all the Winnipeg fans are in 11 years with one playoff series and no wins. Then we can talk.

Tom Lysiak

June 13th, 2011
5:45 pm

Yeah, I wonder who will get the job, Rammer or Noel? Guess we’ll see if the owner or the new GM is really running things…..

HotRod Hockey

June 13th, 2011
6:15 pm

No one from the staff got offered a job. The coach is the only one to get a interview. Whoever is coach, I do not care. If this team does well up there it will make ASG wonder what could have been. With no basketball or hockey that arena will be empty. ASG is going to wonder around with a thumb up there rear wishing they should have keep hockey here. Good luck in Canada and to whoever coaches the team, I wish you the best of luck.

Brendan

June 13th, 2011
6:23 pm

R.Stroz, that was a different Brendan than me. I knew, eventually, there’d be another to come to these boards.

My comment is … why should Ramsay, who is under contract, have to interview for the job to which he has been appointed? I mean, they eithe retain him, as the contract stipulates, or they fire him, and hire someone else. I think it’s a bit funny that Kevin Chevaldayoff was in the Wolves, (Thrashers affiliate,) but was not given a chance to be GM of the Thrashers. Bygones, as we say.

Brendan

June 13th, 2011
6:24 pm

Hallelujah! Dan Marr is finally out of a job. He and Waddell will probably find a home somewhere in the AHL.

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Atlanta Flames Fan

June 13th, 2011
7:04 pm

The NHL is dead to me. For the first time in over 40 years, I am not watching the Stanley Cup Finals.

Time Out

June 13th, 2011
8:27 pm

One good thing…I won’t have to watch that piece of crap flower play of the Thrashers.

Calgary Flames Fan from Calgary

June 13th, 2011
9:10 pm

I know you hockey fans in Atlanta are not happy about losing the Thrashers but you had a chance to pony up and buy tickets when the team was in dire straits. Don’t whine you lost the team fair and square.

Michael

June 13th, 2011
9:50 pm

Yeah, no we had plenty of time. yep because it’s our job to put something worth seeing on the ice. It’s our job to make trades,draft picks, and hire and fire the staff when need be.

It ALL boils down to ownership and marketing that’s it. The die hard fans will go until ownership burns them like they did and with what little marketing we had its amazing people still came. who wants to see a team lose? certainly not someone who’s being introduced to the sport and never seen an NHL game before.

Curly

June 13th, 2011
10:10 pm

Ramsay has no choice. He is under contract for one more year. He can’t choose to go elsewhere until he has been released.

No matter. I won’t be watching next year. Time to move on.

Jason

June 13th, 2011
10:53 pm

Did always find it interesting that there have been other markets (Nashville comes to mind specifically) where a team was possibly going to move but ownership/NHL came in and said “If we sell 12,000 season tickets for next year” then the team will stay here. Heck, even in Winnipeg, the mandate came down, “We need to sell 13,000 season tickets.”

That statement was never made in public by anyone in Atlanta, whether ownership, Bettman, Daly, etc. Hmm….

jeddiel

June 14th, 2011
12:39 am

@Jason – Your fanbase wasn’t the issue in Atlanta, it was the indifferent ownership in ASG. A season ticket march wasn’t going to solve the long term problems existing with the team. Been there, done that!

Cornbread

June 14th, 2011
12:47 am

Imagine if all this was happening right now in Atlanta. It is all we fans have asked for over the past 12 years, new committed owner, new managers, new players, new hope…

Never ever got close to that chance. To Hell with the NHL.

Acerman

June 14th, 2011
3:03 am

It takes 28 posts until somebody expressed his appreciation for the dismissal of Marr? Of course, it comes from one of the better posters here. Getting rid of Marr is a HUGE step in the right direction.

So far, Chipman and Thomson are practicing what I preached since 2004.

Acerman

June 14th, 2011
3:40 am

One week until the vote. It’s gonna end three years of pain & misery for me. Oh joy!

Responsible Journalist

June 14th, 2011
6:21 am

ah here we go again, canadians telling us to spend money on an inferior product. Okay, I am selling a car that doesn’t run, I want you to purchase it for the price of a brand new one. Does that make sense? Use that canadian education and some sort of logic before you lose this argument. Enjoy your expensive ticket prices, especially when you find out how bad the team is. Pay to watch the great Tim Stapleton, because once the honeymoon period is over, you’ll complain also if your “team” was run the way ours was. It’s asinine to blame fans who didn’t support a losing team under putrid ownership. Like I said, go buy a car that doesn’t run if you manage to disagree and then come back here and explain your logic.

I wouldn’t put a dime in the pocket of the ASG and those that did were fools. The NHL doesn’t get a pass either, it’s difficult to support them, I haven’t watched a minute of the Cup Final.

As for the firings, they were expected and some of them should have been made by the Thrashers. Big mistake in firing Dudley however, they seem to be softly trying to let Rammer go, the players love Rammer, that firing won’t go over well. I’ll be glad when every good “Thrasher” player is off Winnipeg’s roster. They don’t deserve them.

Dwayne

June 14th, 2011
8:06 am

Tiny Tim will thrive in the new coaches system, NHL will have to un-retire number 99.

Time Out

June 14th, 2011
9:55 am

No way these clowns in Winnipeg would support a loser over 11 years. They don’t have the money for it. In hindsight we will be thanking the NHL for moving this loser of a franchise out of Atlanta. They needed to take ASG with them. Tiny Tim and A Stew to the rescue.

Cartman

June 14th, 2011
10:21 am

LOL. You guys have been watching South Park too much… “Blame Canada” LOL

It is not Winnipeg’s fault you lost your team. Winnipeg didn’t approach the NHL and say ” We want the Thrashers!”. No! It was the NHL that approached Winnipeg to see if TNSE would take a team off the hands of ASG ( because they never wanted to own a team ) and the NHL ( because they didn’t want to be stuck owning another team while they still own the Coyotes ).

It doesn’t matter if it an NHL team or a MCDonalds….. if NOBODY wants to own it, it either moves or folds. How hard is this for you rednecks to understand? The NHL doesn’t really want to go to Winnipeg, but right now, its the only city that could take a team on this short notice and have it up and running for next season. Yup, Canada stole your team.. LOLOLOLOL

wpg fan

June 14th, 2011
1:26 pm

To “Time Out” and the rest of you negative posters who are ragging on Wpg, I would love for you to come and see what a hockey market actually looks like. I think then you would have a better appreciation for the difference in markets. True North has already proven to be a credible ownership group that has the long-term feasibility figured out, so please quit writing about how “we’ll see in 10 years”, it only makes you look like spoiled children.
If you’ve been following the story closely you would realize that the players are all looking forward to playing in front of a crazy-packed house with fans who will love them and stick with them—–win or lose.

Dwayne

June 14th, 2011
1:27 pm

Hey Fat Ass Cartman (lol…kidding) Us rednecks understand, we all know yall didn’t steal the team. Even tho some posters say that, they are just trying to yank your chain. You have a commited owner, that is more than we ever had, and yall fired Don Wadell, that is worth a season ticket in itself. Good luck to yall, I will pull for most of the ex Thrashers to do well.

DWTOO

June 14th, 2011
1:59 pm

To all of you perusing this blog – you’re not telling us anything we didn’t already know. We’re not the hockey hot bed you are. However, if the ownership were committed to putting a good team on the ice Atlanta would have had respectable attendance. Folks here aren’t going to support mediocrity (and I wonder why I did for all these years)and fork over good money for a bad product. Until the last three seasons (when the payroll was the league’s lowest and promotions non-existant) attendance was good. We set the record for first year attendance and sellouts. All it takes is work, which the ASG wouldn’t put forth. If you don’t like what you read please stick to your home paper and leave us alone.

Time Out

June 14th, 2011
2:54 pm

To wpg fan: If you don’t like it, don’t read it. I know what the history is you moron. As the rest of us here in Atlanta are saying: you are not adding anything to the conversation.

Responsible Journalist

June 14th, 2011
3:19 pm

Go to Winnipeg? Like most NHL players I think I’ll pass. I know what frozen tundra looks like and it shows again that the internet has barely reached Canada when you insinuate Atlanta is nothing but rednecks. Think Lil John and Ludacris types, idiot. That’s Atlanta. They blind you with their teeth whereas rednecks have none. Both are better than snow Mexicans who thrive in your tundra however, those “new fans” anticipating Anthony Stewart not scoring for half a season. Like I said, enjoy it, enjoy those prices to watch mostly AHL’ers. Winnipeg is suddenly a hockey market? How have they proved that? So far Winnipeg has had a billionare overpay for a mediocre hockey team, put it in an AHL arena, fire a good GM in place of an unproven one at the NHL level, sell tickets to people who normally watch the snow fall for fun and of whom will be mad when your new favorite team isn’t called what you want it to be called. It hasn’t worked there yet, don’t put the cart before the horse or the eskimo before the igloo or whatever y’all say there.

Please...blame yourself as well.

June 14th, 2011
3:56 pm

@ Responsible Journalist. Like most NHL players they are from Canada so I am not so sure you will be right on that account.

Also use that American education of yours and come to terms that if you do not spend $$ to support a team win/lose then you run the risk of losing themin the long run. Bad ownership or not some of the blame can be put on the fans for not going to the games and supporting the team…which is why a local buyer could not be found as the market was not there for them. Argue that is you must but the evidence speaks for it self.

Be mad as losing your team sucks, but quit blaming others when you had a part in this as well. As for the rest of your comments…well they just reeks of bitterness, ignorance and contempt.

Wpg fan

June 14th, 2011
4:20 pm

Really “Time Out”? Please tell me why I am a moron…you seem to want to surround yourself with only like-minded people…like the racist “Responsible Journalist”?…I am adding to the conversation. You may not like it or want to hear it, but that means nothing with regards to the validity of my statements.
Yes, it is too bad your ownership group did not do a better job at promoting the game…or a better job in hiring better hockey people…those are all things that I feel bad for the hockey fans of Atlanta for. No fault of the fans for sure.
But do you not see that in the Winnipeg market there is no need to market the game…b/c it IS the game. And if there are hockey decisions that do not work, there will be a massive amount of public pressure to make it right, and a public pressure that is hockey knowledgeable.
If you want to add to the conversation yourself, add something other than calling people names….it does not look good on you or the people you are representing.

Time Out

June 14th, 2011
4:36 pm

Public pressure does not necessarily translate to wins. See Toronto. Your owner overpaid for this garbage team. You already lost one team because of lack of support. Bettman already told you again he is not going to put up with that again.

Reality

June 14th, 2011
4:49 pm

Time Out…

Winnipeg lost an NHL team in 1995 because .. drum role please! …. BECAUSE NOBODY WANTED TO OWN A TEAM AT THAT TIME.

Atlanta lost its team because of the same reason. NOBODY wants to own it.

Now granted the reasons nobody wanted to own a team in Winnipeg in 1995 are different than the reasons nobody wants to own a team in Atlanta in 2011… it does not matter. THERE IS NO BUYER.

Wpg fan

June 14th, 2011
5:24 pm

@Timeout…Where in my comments does it say public pressure equals wins??? There will public pressure to do the right things, because a lot of people care about hockey…and I am guessing you are one that does as well considering you are spending time like me discussing it. That is why I put in my first comment that you should come to Winnipeg for a game or two next year to see for yourself what a hockey market looks and feel like….I am not saying that to put down Atlanta….I truly believe you and the other hockey fans would love it in Winnipeg. So come up and see it for yourself…if you can get a ticket!!!!

Get The Puck Out

June 14th, 2011
5:58 pm

Congrats on getting our team, the Thrashers. I wish you nothing but good things and maybe your owners can ice a winning team. I am bitter about losing the Thrashers, but in no way do i blame anyone from Canada. It was owners that did not care about hockey and it showed. I do agree with most in Atlanta that after five or six years of losing and not getting any better will take the wind out of anyone’s sail. People got tired of management not caring and they quit caring as witnessed by the empty seats at the games in the last few seasons. I don’t blame them for not wanting to go……after you’ve seen it for a few years the luster of hockey loses it’s shine. Good luck Winnipeg. Maybe if we ever get a NHL hockey team again it will be owners that will desire to hoist a Stanley Cup in the ATL. If not don’t expect me to support owner’s like we just had.

Brendan

June 14th, 2011
7:03 pm

We seem to be rehashing these same things over and over again. There’s a difference between not winning, and not TRYING. In Atlanta, all you have to really do … is TRY. That’s it. Look at what the Falcons just did at the Draft. They made a bold move from # 27 to # 6, or something like this, to land the 2nd most coveted widereceiver in the Draft. They had to cough up a lot of picks, and will have to pay this Julio Jones a boat load of money. But you cannot say … that the ownership isn’t TRYING, no matter how stupid or irresponsible you might think that move to be. In the Atlanta conversion meter, that move tells us to BUY TICKETS. Ownership is trying. They may not ever win the Super Bowl, but there’s an honest effort at it.

In the NHL, that conversation cannot take place. This ownership never tried, past 2007, with respect to the Thrashers. Four league minimum budgets, lottery draft finishes, etc. Waddell and Dan Marr, still here, since inception. Waddell actually got promoted, for his zero playoff wins and 9 Top 10 overall draft picks in which to build the franchise into a winner. It reeks. In Atlanta, we can hang with a team that loses, but is TRYING. That’s okay.

Red Wing fans, forgive me for this. But every year, since 1993, Detroit has been one of the four teams that Las Vegas says will likely win the Cup. Every year. And yet, there’s just four Cups during that span. Can anyone say the Red Wings aren’t trying? Or that their fans should bail on them, for not winning more Cups??? Every year, we’re STUNNED that the Red Wings got eliminated.

Okay, now re: No one wanted to own the team. That’s false. It’s pattently false. Those entities interested in buying the Thrashers were not given the opportunity to purchase the Hawks and operating rights to the Philips Arena venue. They just … weren’t given the option. And without the venue and the operating rights, this topic is a non-starter. Nobody, but nobody, but NOBODY is going to buy ANY NHL franchise … without the proceeds and revenues from the arena, with a squared away lease. To suggest otherwise, is utter folly. It’s just not gonna happen. Which is what happened! Duh!!

Let me dumb it down a shade. This ownership SEPARATED the assets they owned. They were UNWILLING to sell the Hawks, venue, and Thrashers as a 3-component deal. And the moment they did that … they waived “buh-bye” to the Thrashers. That’s the moment … when we all knew, or soon realized, that this team would be relocated. Somewhere. Anywhere. But it wasn’t staying. For no one, but no one, but no one … would buy a hockey team, and the losses that brings, in terms of admin staff, practice facility, rent, team payroll, advertising, marketing, TRAVEL COSTS, etc. It can’t be done. I’d challenge you to name a team in the NHL … that could be sold … as an isolated entity, divorced from proceeds from the venue, and the property in and about the arena. That’s why the team left.

It wouldn’t matter if Atlantans were given the opportunity to buy 5 years worth of season tickets to save the team, the operating costs of running that team, even soldout every night, is a money pit. Okay, barring a 40-percent spike in ticket costs. Even then, I’m still not too sure. But to even sell one ticket, the first thing that has to happen, in a city like Atlanta, is the BELIEF that ownership is TRYING. And that starts with firing Waddell, and Dan Marr, the Head of Scouting. That track record is abysmal. You might as well … have picked meeeee, or any other poster, to run the franchise into the ground, squander draft picks, and not make the playoffs or win playoff games.

My critics say, “Brendan, with you in charge, I’m sure the Thrashers would never win a playoff game, and would ultimately be forced to relocate.” Bingo!!! What’s the difference?? What’s the difference? We’re all tied with Waddell for playoff wins. We all could have read the morning paper on Draft Day and come up with Heatley, Kovalchuk, and Bogosian, etc.

Brendan

June 14th, 2011
7:13 pm

To any Canadian still reading: “Is John Ferguson, Jr., still the GM of the Maple Leafs?” Well, is he???

Let me ask you another question: “How do I get Maple Leaf fans to abandon the Air Canada Center?” Answer: Why not have ten more years of John Ferguson, Jr.? And no matter how much you beg and plead for changes, NONE are forthcoming. And the budget is set at the floor of the cap. And your seats are discounted 50-percent by November. Still think the ACC would be packed??? I don’t. I recognize Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to be the MECCA for hockey, in North America. Even Leaf fans … would eventually boycott the product. It might take all ten years to transpire, but they would abandon it, in time, having been systematically dismantled. Of course, they know they’d be getting a relocation or an expansion team, as well! Pretty stupid to abandon a market with the passion and population of Toronto. All the Toronto market would need, after all, is a committed ownership entity! Then everyone comes back, even if the Leafs fail to win the Cup for another 10 years. Doesn’t matter. At least, they’re trying. So, is John Ferguson, Jr., still the GM, in Toronto? Answer: “No, the Leafs are TRYING.” Congratulations, you passed the quiz. Even knowing that the Leafs are the only team in this CBA to not make the playoffs. They’re at least trying enough to change GM’s.

SouthernFriedHockey

June 14th, 2011
7:19 pm

Brendan- Again, on point as always. I have enjoyed reading your posts through the seasons. Wonder if Bill or someone is going to provide a forum for the posters here once the sale is complete.

It all still reeks. Hopefully one day the full story will be out.

Wpg Fan

June 14th, 2011
8:33 pm

@Brendan…your absolutely correct about your ownership situation, bang on the money….you go a bit off the rails with the Maple Leaf analogy however…do you know how long they have sucked??? A long time, and before they started sucking, they had sucked during the 80’s as well….and still will pack the rink no matter what…b/c of the passion for hockey, no other reason. Kids all across Canada will cheer for the Maple Leafs because their dad, grandpa, and great grandpa cheered for them…and once in a while you’ll have a crazy uncle who cheers for the Canadiens…I understand your frustration, I just think you are missing the mark a bit on that one.

Heatley Sucks

June 14th, 2011
8:38 pm

Brendan, you can’t build a successful team without revenue. You can’t get revenue from ticket sales, parking fees,concessions etc if no one is going to games. They spent at the bottom end of the cap because they didn’t have the money to do other wise. You want a better team, you want the owners to care and the gm to go after free agents and put a better team on the ice but in order to do that they have to have money to play with and that money wasn’t there because the fan interest wasn’t there. No fan attendance= no revenue. No revenue= no money to spend on decent players.

EA

June 14th, 2011
8:49 pm

If the ASG made money on the Thrashers, they would have found a way to transfer it to the Hawks.

Norm

June 14th, 2011
9:39 pm

Now who do I root for? The first hockey game I ever saw “live” was in 72 (?) at the Omni when the Atlanta Flames came to town. Not being one to jump ships on a team, I stayed with them in Calgary (because after all they were still the “Atlanta” Flames to me). Now another Atlanta team bites the dust. I’m fortunate enough to live in Hershey, PA and attend Hershey Bear (AHL) games. The Bears are the Yankees of the AHL. They joined the league in 1936 (the 7th oldest hockey team playing in North America) and have played in the same city for 75 seasons having won 11 Calder Cups. Any way, I digress…so now that Atlanta has 2 ex NHL teams, I just can’t decide who to root for.

Brendan

June 15th, 2011
1:23 am

Wpg Fan, how do you know the Leaf fans won’t disappear, until you actually try 5 more years of John Ferguson, Jr.? And I don’t mean 5 total years, I mean 5 more years AFTER it’s clear … that he’s an idiot. To be clearer, I mean the following. All your season ticket holders, en masse, YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR … say they won’t renew their seats until Ferguson is gone. And the ownership’s response is, “We’re delighted that you’ve taken an interest in the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club. We’re looking forward to another great season, with you and your friends cheering us on. With regard to the GM position, John Ferguson, Jr. is ‘very well respected in NHL circles,’ and we have no plans of making a change. Be sure to renew your seat, to ensure first dibbs on that seat come playoff time. Sincerely, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Richard Peddie and Lawrence M. Tannenbaum.”

Now, beeee honest. And your honesty is on the line here. Didn’t you just throw up a little bit in your mouth, at reading that? I don’t believe that the Leafs have been Cupless for 43 years … because they’re just not trying. Clearly, they are trying. And when they fail, changes usually follow. The catalysts? The Toronto print media. The Toronto TV and radio media. The blogosphere. Harold Ballard, dodge the spit when people say his name audibly, didn’t care. He bears a LOT of the responsibility for the Leafs being Cupless in the 1970’s. I remember plenty of empty seats, watching them on CBC. If that arena was soldout, those who bought tickets didn’t show.

As for the argument that owners can’t spend revenues that they don’t collect. I agree! But, isn’t there more to the story, than “fans in Atlanta refused to buy tickets?” How ’bout … ownership didn’t listen to its lifeblood, the season ticket holders, when they DEMANDED change.

Well, what say you, about that? Were the owners RIGHT to ignore them?? Were the owners ‘right’ to make NO CHANGES afer the sweep by the NY Rangers in 2007, after building the club since 1999, with six Top 10 draft picks? Is that what the Maple Leafs would do??? “Stay the course, everything’s fine.” Nevermind, that the Thrashers gave away the store with those 4 disasterous trade deadline moves, just to salvage a playoff berth. Those moves have to result in tangible success. Those moves have to keep the franchise ‘moving in the right direction,’ instead of ‘moving to Canada.’

That’s the point … when Thrasher fans turned away, en masse, it was upon hearing the news that Don Waddell was returning for another year. He was the lone architect of it all. He did not ‘inherit’ some other GM’s mess. It was HIS MESS. But the final blow … was the dismissal of Head Coach Bob Hartley, after an 0-6-0 start, coupled with the four playoff losses, made the team a 10-game loser. Waddell scapegoated Hartley for his failed moves. Jeff Schultz, AJC opinion columnist, posted a blog that a travesty had taken place. There were pages and pages and pages full of comments that basically read, “The wrong guy got fired.” While Hartley certainly deserved his share of the blame, he wasn’t here since 1999, molding and shaping and allegedly giving an IDENTITY to the team. No, that’s the job of the GM. Did the GM do his job??

Pfft. If you (”you,” generically speaking, not directed specificially at Wpg fan) have to stop to analyze that, you probably take another card, at 20, while playing ‘blackjack.’ And Vegas loves you for it. Doesn’t ownership have to take some responsibility for the product they foist on the hockey-going public??? I say, “Yes.” And because of that, they must make changes to appease their customers. It’s that, or the customers walk. Which is what happened. Had Waddell been fired, in April of 2007, and a new GM installed for the June Draft, the hockey fans in Atlanta would have stayed. Ya know, seeing that ownership was TRYING.

“But, but, but … those hockey fans in Atlanta are supposed to support their team, win or lose.” Yes, win or lose, while TRYING. The operative word is TRYING. The Maple Leafs are TRYING. Their fans shouldn’t abandon them. Brian Burke is a decent GM. Probably, the best available GM that the Leafs could hope to find, when the position became vacant. Is this what happened in Atlanta?? Heck no. The ownership lost the fanbase, and their revenues, because they refused to make the requisite changes to retain their customers. It’s their fault. It’s way too easy to say … hockey fans in Atlanta suck, and deserved to lose their team. All the Canadian teams that fail … listen to their customers … and GRIND THE GRIST that the MILL REQUIRES to keep their fannies in those seats, at FULL PRICE. Nothing of the sort … happened in Atlanta. And Gary Bettman … sat and watched, while this franchise drained his league of $17 million in revenue-sharing dollars, per annum.

Now, pause to mull that one over.

Brendan

June 15th, 2011
1:32 am

Sage of Bluesland, to answer that question that you’ve all so often posed, we’re in the LAST YEAR of Don Waddell’s “5-year plan.” This, uhh, third “5-year plan,” for making the playoffs. It turns out, it was an “11-year plan” for getting relocated to Canada.

I wonder, if at Don Waddell’s house, he’s got a banner hanging over his living room area that reads, “Mission Accomplished.”

Acerman

June 15th, 2011
3:20 am

“Even knowing that the Leafs are the only team in this CBA to not make the playoffs. They’re at least trying enough to change GM’s.”

The Panthers are in the same boat.

Kelly

June 15th, 2011
10:07 am

sisu: you’re a jerk. Your owners hung a for sale sign on the team. Yes, ASG mismanaged and bungled the Thrashers to near-bankruptcy. But when an interested party sees a for-sale sign on a property and enters in to negotiations for said property, and the ensuing transaction is agreed to buy the selling party, nobody has stolen or cheated their way into anything.

None of ASG’s misdeeds in this franchise is any fault of True North.

Kelly

June 15th, 2011
10:10 am

Brendan: you’re right. But it doesn’t change a thing.

Kelly

June 15th, 2011
10:14 am

And another history lesson for those who need it or just weren’t paying attention:
Winnipeg did not lose the Jets because of poor fan support.
Winnipeg lost the Jets because the Jets had lease deal that was WORSE than what the Thrashers had. The lease deal was so bad that even sellouts could not generate enough revenue for the team. Why? No concession revenue, no advertising/promotional revenue, no corporate boxes. And, to top it all off, they didn’t even get 100% of gate revenue. Yes, they had to pay rent PLUS pay a shy on the gate!

What team in the league TODAY could even operate like that?

DWTOO

June 15th, 2011
10:45 am

Actually, I don’t care anything about W-peg. If the TSNE wouldn’t have bought the Thrashers someone in another city would have. I’ll keep my venom closer to home and direct it at the boneheads who drove this team into the ground. They made in unreasonable for anyone to buy the the team and keep it here.

Now, for you Canadians who insist on blogging here. Please allow us to vent amongst ourselves and GO AWAY! Problem with venting is most of the time it’s misdirected towards those who really had no say in the deal. So, really it’s not directed at you. But still GO AWAY.

WTF?

June 15th, 2011
11:46 am

Winnipeg would be smart to pass on Ramsay because he is one of the worst coaches in the NHL. Never seen such a blame it on everyone else coach in a major sport. They will never make a playoff run with that boob as coach, but hey it doesn’t matter to me anymore because it’s not my problem and I still have my Blackhawks that I’ll see several times next season. So, piss off Ramsay and the ex Thrasher organization, you couldn’t win here and you sure as hell won’t win there with what you have.

Time Out

June 15th, 2011
12:28 pm

Yes, and Canadians piss off. This is a Thrashers blog.

Wpg Fan

June 15th, 2011
12:31 pm

@Brendan, What about the past year? Dudley as GM, young exciting team to watch, got off to a great start…..Is it just a case of the fans being fed up to the point of never returning? B/c from an outside prospective it certainly looks like “trying” to me….Bogosian, Kane, Burmistrov, Cormier, Ladd, Buff, Pavelec….these are great cornerstones to build a franchise on….not trying to start a big arguement, but would like to know why fans did not show up to watch the team this year?

DWTOO

June 15th, 2011
12:43 pm

Wpg Fan – You hit it with “fans being fed up”. All the hockey fanatics realized that we had a really core of players and the potential was there. However, it was a case of too little too late. If the team would have continued surging interest would have picked up. But, about the time the improvement was noted the team went into their usual January/February skid.

hockeymom92

June 15th, 2011
12:48 pm

@Wpg fan – the only reason I could not show up to see the game I love is unemployment. Having very limited funds tends to put a cramp in your hockey attendance. Not sure how many fans that reason belongs to, but would have to guess quite a few – especially the casual fans given that our current unemployment rate in Georgia sits at roughly 10%. I was always one of those that went to games in spite of all the mess and inferior product, because I love the game that much – and this from a southern native not a transplant. I know there were those that refused to attend because of the inept ownership, but you cannot put us all in that same group. Many of use just no longer had the means to make it happen.

hockeymom92

June 15th, 2011
12:50 pm

@Brendan – thank you for all your wonderful insightful posts – that are definitely a treat to read. Hopefully we will have another forum on which to discuss hockey in the future. Mucho respect professor.

Wpg Fan

June 15th, 2011
1:35 pm

@hockeymom, @DWTOO…thanks for the feedback….just trying to understand the real situation…..to hockeymom, awesome to hear about someone falling in love with the game who did not grow up with it. In my opinion, the best sport there is, with the best people involved…sorry to hear about the unemployment being the reason you had to quit watching games, unfortunate for you and Atlanta…When you find employment again, come to Winnipeg and see a game, I know you’ll love it up here…

Responsible Journalist

June 15th, 2011
2:28 pm

@if you do not spend $$ to support a team win/lose then you run the risk of losing themin the long run.

It looks like my analogy flew over your head. Like I said..(again)..go buy a car that doesn’t run, just because someone tells you to. If you think that is somehow smart..my words will (again) fly softly over your head. You can’t force people to pay for a crappy product. If you are truly that stupid you must spend thousands on infomercials each day. You must put money into the ASG’s pocket, because if you do, like I said (again) you are an invalid. If it’s your habit to tell people how to spend their money, chances are you’ve been donkey punched more than a few times.

That has nothing to do with education, it’s called having common sense and a brain in general, something again, you and many like you from up north seem to have missed out on or you obviously went without oxygen during long periods of time in your life.

Adam

June 15th, 2011
3:06 pm

Wpg Fan, you also have to realize that when we say that the Atlanta Spirit spent no money on this team we really mean it. There was ZERO marketing done. Your child’s piggy bank has more in it than their marketing budget. I went to games for the 1st time in several years after Dudley was moved up. But there is still the simple fact that they had a budget that was 29th in the league. As Brendan said is that really trying?

Wpg Fan

June 15th, 2011
3:29 pm

@Adam, Ok, I understand the payroll implications…..but Dudley makes one hell of a trade with Chicago, brings in great pieces for Kovalchuk (Who will never be a winner), and drafting Kane and then Burmistrov, to me that looks like trying..yes, with a small budget, but nonetheless you have to give Duds and the hockey department some credit in their hockey moves. I am just saying that I love the fact we got this set of players and not Phoenix….this is a team that has the pieces to build around……a bigger budget does not mean success, look at what happened when you traded away future assets for Tkachuk….was that TRYING???

Cornbread

June 15th, 2011
4:38 pm

Look Canadians, those of us who have posted here for years and continue to do so know the game of hockey and know what happened to the Atlanta Thrashers. We are trying to tell you the real story.

Please, for once, listen to the reality and truth of the matter instead of some frenzied biased piece from TSN that only focuses on empty seats and not WHY. Because, if it can happen hear, it can happen again in the Peg or anywhere else. The Thrashers moving had nothing to do with the fans, corporate support, or local buyers and everything to do with the ASG running the franchise into the ground from Day 1 and the NHL that allowed it to happen in a Top 10 North American market.

As hockey fans you would think you would listen to or side with those closest to the situation – other hockey fans. To side with the sale and move is siding with the scumbag ASG and very very shortsighted. If this team had won at all over their very short existence or made the playoffs the last 3 years and less than 15,000 fans still showed, you’d have an argument. But, that is not at all what happened here. And, I am glad that is not the case. For if that were true, it would speak far more poorly about the vitality and legitimacy of the game of hockey than it does the fans in Atlanta.

The reality and truth is the incompetent ASG ran off thousands of fans, corporate support, media support, their own business partners, lawyers, investors, interested local buyers, star players, and, in the end, the team and the NHL. But – big BUT – the NHL allowed it to get to this point from the very beginning, all along the way, and in the end while doing nothing to correct the problem. That is the truth and the only reason Atlanta no longer has an NHL team.

Sage of Bluesland

June 15th, 2011
4:49 pm

“Sage of Bluesland, to answer that question that you’ve all so often posed, we’re in the LAST YEAR of Don Waddell’s “5-year plan.” This, uhh, third “5-year plan,” for making the playoffs. It turns out, it was an “11-year plan” for getting relocated to Canada. I wonder, if at Don Waddell’s house, he’s got a banner hanging over his living room area that reads, “Mission Accomplished.”….”

Indeed. Now that is humorous to think about! That bumbling, lisping, buffoonish little fraud of a GM/President isn’t moving to Winnipeg; what a surprise….As others have stated so well, “It took them less than one week to do something which couldn’t be done here for 11 years.” How sad and pathetic. The little oaf who would bluster about moving forward and making the playoffs really could only do one thing well: Stay in budget. Didn’t have the guts to tell the truth to the fans. No surprise there, though.

They are already a light-year ahead of where we were. I think, with the proper support from ownership and accountability for management, they will prosper. Good for them.

I’d love to meet and “talk” (civilly) to Don Waddell one day. I really would.

The conditions of a very good story (i.e., book) are here. If anyone ever does scribe this sad story, I just hope it’s not a Manasso-snoozer like the Snyder-Heatley book….Ugh.

The stories that are out there–from former players; from former Flames players living locally (i.e., Bouchard); from former ASG employees….I would bet the behind the scenes look at this organization would prove it to be the abomination we’ve all believed it to be.

Cornbread

June 15th, 2011
4:54 pm

If some of you Canadians are not going to listen to fellow hockey fans, listen to a fellow Canadian, Hershey Bear, Atlanta Flame, Calgary Flame, and Winnipeg Jet – Dan Bouchard:

http://www.tsn.ca/window/podcastcentre.aspx?xmlURL=http://www2.tsn.ca/podcasts/tsnradiopodcast.xml&mp3URL=http://podcast.tsn.ca/tsnradio/bouchard_051611.mp3

“They want to blame the fans,” … “It has nothing to do with fans. It has to do with the ownership. The ownership is terrible.” ~ Dan Bouchard

Brendan

June 15th, 2011
5:04 pm

Hockeymom92, thank you very much. And best of luck to your son in his future hockey tournaments.

Adam

June 15th, 2011
5:12 pm

Wpg Fan, I hear you. I’m a huge Dudley fan. I think he made some great decisions during his time here. He built a pretty decent core of players, that are quite young I might add. I’m not saying the owner needed to spend 90% of the cap but just think of what Duds could have done with a 52 million budget instead of a 42…

The Tkachuk deal was Waddel grasping at straws trading away the future ofr 6 weeks of potential success. So it was trying yes, Waddel TRYING to save face.

Brendan

June 15th, 2011
5:30 pm

Wpg Fan: What about the past year? Dudley as GM, young exciting team to watch, got off to a great start…..Is it just a case of the fans being fed up to the point of never returning?

Yes, it does come down to the fans being just that fed up. Now, to be CLEAR, the players TRIED. Obviously, they put forth effort. Every player on the ice is playing for his next contract, unless he’s planning on retiring. So, of course, the players, like the ones you mentioned, Kane, Bogosian, Burmistrov, Enstrom, Little, etc., were TRYING. But since when, name one instance, where the players, college or pros, OVERCAME poor ownership and BAD MANAGEMENT to win a Championship?

Answer: That just doesn’t happen. And when the players who are TRYING become eligible for unrestricted free agency, they almost all opt to leave Atlanta. It must be that ownership FILLED THEM WITH CONFIDENCE about the future here in the A-T-L. Not! It doesn’t take a Phi Beta Kappa to figure out, between whistles, that the ownership of the Atlanta Thrashers didn’t know what it was doing. The players would look at each other, and down the bench, and wonder aloud, “Can’t ownership see what we need?” We went 11 seasons without a single Tier I defenseman. That’s a fact. Or a Tier I goalie. What wins Championships in hockey? Even now?? Defense and goaltending.

Our Atlanta Thrashers were an annual hodge-podge of whatever the “bargain barrel” at K-Mart presented to Don Waddell. Waddell stopped short of hiring the Hanson Brothers, and their toys. There was never any cohesiveness. There was never any IDENTITY for this team. And really, how is that anything less than the job of the General Manager to provide?? That’s not ownership’s job. It’s ownership’s job to hire some COMPETENT to run the team, give it order and structure. In short, to develop the plan, and blueprint, for a Stanley Cup.

Fans demanded Waddell’s head. They didn’t get it. And in the process, they vowed not to return to Philips Arena until he was gone. The ownership was supposed to “get the message.” Here was their response.

Owner approaches Thrashers Season ticket rep on the phone with a season ticket holder:

Owner: “Hello Thrashers ticket rep. Which way are the winds blowing?”

Ticket Rep: “Not so favorably.”

Owner: “Why not?”

Ticket Rep: “It seems they’re fed up with Waddell, and think someone ELSE should get a chance. They’re saying, ‘If Waddell’s in the house, I’m staying in mine.’”

Owner: “Hmmn. Well, that’s obviously a crazy person saying that. Don Waddell is a genius. Are they still on the phone?”

Ticket Rep: “Yes.”

Owner: “Hand it to me.”

Owner: “Hey crybaby! Go suck an egg!” Hands the phone back to the ticket rep.

Ticket Rep: “What do I do next?”

Owner: “Hang up. Oh wait, tell them we’ll replace him ‘like that,’” snapping their fingers.

Ummn. Didn’t work out so well. Actually, for them, it did! They wanted to ditch the NHL asset, and they sure managed to do that! While writing the book of what NOT TO DO to a local fanbase.

Question: When an owner endeavors to buy a team … shouldn’t it have the money to finance that team? I mean, at least, initially, if not in PERPETUITY? Yes!! Look no further than Chipman and True North. They had the bankroll to finance that team, even if they DIDN’T GET the season ticket holders. Even if they did buy up the seats, themselves! The point is … they’re not “cash-strapped.” If you’re an owner, and you don’t have money, don’t you think you should try to WIN BACK the fans?? To earn their money? Yes! Of course. You need your fanbase. This ownership couldn’t care a bit about its fanbase. They not only didn’t grow their fanbase, they systematically alienated the one they had! Interest in hockey DECREASED under their stewardship. Usually, in business, that means somebody’s getting fired. But not in Atlanta! These owners sat back, collecting the revenue-sharing dollars, while fielding a league minimum budget, paying NO MIND WHATSOEVER to trying to win back the fans, and the dollars in their wallets.

Ya know … they weren’t TRYING.

Brendan

June 15th, 2011
6:02 pm

Sage of Bluesland, I agree completely. What a GREAT situation the Winnipeg team is now in. Look at ALL the ADVANTAGES that they have, that we didn’t.

– Committed ownership – That’s always at the top. And they have it.

– Bankroll to finance the team – Clearly, that’s important, too.

– Accountability – Can’t make a good team, without it! Is Don Waddell making the trip to Manitoba?? Pfft. You gotta be kidding me! See, that’s ‘how well respected’ Don Waddell really is in NHL-circles.

Is Dan Marr making the trip? Hardly. Dismissed, summarily out of hand, and appropriately so!!

– Passion – Yep. I’d say True North and Chipman and GM Chevaldayoff are pretty serious about making the Winnipeg team a success, for the longhaul.

– Knowledge – They’ve run a minor league team, in their market, so … I’m going to say YES to this one.

And I could go on and on. I’m not worried about Winnipeg’s viability. They have a billionaire owner, willing to absorb whatever losses may come their way. And I’m pretty sure he’d fire Chevaldayoff, if his concept/design is lacking or falters. And if the Winnipeg fans, after 5 years, decide that the team sucks and isn’t worth of support, Chipman will still BANKROLL the next GM into making it a winner. And then, the Winnipeg fans would come back, assuming that they ever left in the 1st place.

What a BRIGHT, BRIGHT future this team might truly have … now that Bruce Levenson, Gearon, Waddell, Seydell, Pescowitz, and Dan Marr … will have NOTHING to do with it. That’s addition by subtraction, right there, boy-ohs! You better believe it.

For me, I have no grudge against (1) Winnipeg, (2) Manitoba, (3) Canada, or (4) people from any of those locales. No person in Winnipeg ever drafted Alex Bourret. No person in Winnipeg ever hired Don Waddell. No person from Winnipeg stole our team. No person from Winnipeg hired Dan Marr as Head of Scouting, and retained him for eleven seasons!! What does Winnipeg have to do with us?? Nothing.

LAC

June 15th, 2011
8:14 pm

Brenden,

In case I don’t get on here ever again, I wanted to say HOW MUCH I ENJOYED your posts & comments and prospective.

I like ALL fans in Atlanta, cannot believe this, how the asg Screwed All of us and buttman turned a blind eye and screwed the Atlanta fans as well.

I wish you THE BEST in the future and can only hope hockey returns sooned rather than later.

I got so disgusted I moved my business HQ to Kansas City and am now living there, 18 people in my home office lost their jobs because I got so DAMN fed up. But I own 5 RR’s in Kansas, so was easy to do…

Also Sage Be Good, Always Agreed with ALL you said.

chrisv I hope you move to winnipeg or at the very least LOST YOUR JOB, as you did the Fans here a Grave DISERVICE !!! Your entire tenure and you were a TERRIBLE reporter !

Brendan

June 15th, 2011
8:25 pm

LAC, thank you. For your support through the years. Sorry about the company, though. That’s got to be rough for everyone. Best of luck to you in Kansas City, and maybe the NHL will eventually get there?

I promise you … I could have managed to win no playoff games and make the playoffs once … if I were GM.

Brendan

June 15th, 2011
8:40 pm

Pre-game speech, for Boston. “Gents, we’ve endured preseason, and 82-game regular season, and 24 playoff games over this past 9 months. We sit at 15 wins. And the league gives you NOTHING for that. There’s nothing WORSE than genuine regret. Many don’t think you can do this. I want you to imagine, that you’ve LOST this game, and it’s 10 years down the road. In that time, you haven’t so much as had a “sniff” at this Cup. And you’ve LIVED with that regret all this time, consuming you. Then, a magical Genie arrives to grant you ONE wish! A time machine, to go back in time … to replay this game, and alter history. Well, your wish has been granted!! You’re back!! You’re here!! And the result of this game … will be the result that history remembers! Now, it’s up to you to go out and win it!! For the pride of Massachusetts! For the Glory of the City of Boston! And for a patriotic nation that looks to New England as its birthplace, you must go win that Cup!!!

Pre-game speech, for Vancouver: “Last Fall, we talked about winning our division, and gunning for the # 1 seed. We got it!! We’re President’s Trophy winners! We EARNED the right to host this game, just in case we needed it. We cannot let all that hard work go for naught. We’ve owned Boston in this building. We get one more shot to close them out. We’ve never won the Cup, but this is our time! Our Commonwealth Nation expects us to win. And just like the Olympics in this very city, we must deliver the gold! But, in this case, it’s the BIG SILVER. Let’s go out there … and claim that Cup!!

I pray for a well-referreed game. I ask for “good” goals, without controversy. I ask for good health for both sides. I ask … that any goal scored in overtime to at least be REVIEWED before the handshakes. And for the Love of God, please … don’t allow play to continue after a suspected goal. Blow the play dead, then review it! For if the other team scores, Toronto’s review booth must decide who wins the Cup, the team who scored first, or the team who scored next, on the delayed review. And if it’s Boston who scores first, but Vancouver carries it up the ice and scores, pending the Boston review, it’s up to Toronto to deny their nation a Cup. Please, don’t let that happen. Let’s have good, clean goals. No Steve Smiths. No pucks caroming in off the glass, while the goalie goes behind the net to play the dump in.

May the best team win!!

Sage of Bluesland

June 15th, 2011
9:55 pm

LAC–Take care of yourself and best wishes in Kansas City. You were a lone voice in the wilderness for so long–and I only wish I could have refereed that match between you and any of the clowns in ownership or management. On passion alone, none of them would have stood a chance.

Yes, Brendan is the professor on these blogs and I will miss him, too. Always a kind and unbiased word; professional yet subtle; always analytical; always searching for the truth.

Bruins up 3-0 against the Canucks. It makes me sad as this will be the last campaign which involved the Atlanta Thrashers. The book is almost closed, once and for all.

Atlanta Flames Fan

June 15th, 2011
10:37 pm

This is the first time I have watched a game in 3 weeks. Watching with mixed emotions. I do hope that the B’s hang on; a ring for Beverly and especially Savard, so he retire with the hardware and keep his brain.

HookyBob

June 15th, 2011
11:06 pm

“My,..what a long and strange journey this has been.”

Congratulations Mr Peverly.

Congratulations Mr Recci.

Congratulations Mr Thomas.

lordstan57

June 15th, 2011
11:35 pm

F….U…Peggers.
F….U…NHL.

IF……I wind up in WPG… it’ll be because of a mechanical malfunction w/ the aircraft.

MB

June 15th, 2011
11:37 pm

Congratulations to former Thrashers Rich Peverley and Mark Recchi. Especially proud of Peverley given the circumstances of his NHL career to this point…what a great story!

As Atlanta Flames Fan mentioned, I assume Marc Savard gets a ring as well, though I’m sure for him it’s bittersweet not being able to have played for it.

Sage, I’m feeling melancholy as well with the realization that this closes the last season of the Thrashers, and possibly NHL hockey in Atlanta. Sigh.

ThrasherFan

June 15th, 2011
11:38 pm

Sucks to be Canada – still can’t win a cup. For all the Winnipeg fans who came here bashing hckey in Atlanta, suck on the fact that Canada, the owners of the sport, still can’t beat North America. GOod luck with our AHL team jerkwads.

Brian powdertown

June 15th, 2011
11:52 pm

F U Canada may all of your teams never lift the cup again. Thats what you get for poaching our team.

Brendan

June 16th, 2011
12:30 am

Sage, thank you for those comments. I always tried to remain above the frey, and keep decorum.

Back on October 8, 2010, a poster on these blogs named ‘Red Light’ predicted the Bruins would win the Stanley Cup this year. Congratulations. Red Light also went 14-1 in his picks. Rawhide went 13-2. Alas, I finished 10-5. But, that’s “good” for me, since I average 8.6 wins and 6.4 losses.

I lost Pittsburgh/TBL, Anaheim/Nashville, Washington/TBL, and Boston/Philly, and Boston/TBL. Yeah, the Tampa Bay Lightning screwed my picks and chances of ever catching Red Light. I was sure the Penguins would beat them. I was sure Washington would beat them. And then, I believed they were going to win the Cup, and took the Bolts over the Bruins in the CF. I did pick Boston to win this Cup, with much of the blog looking at me sideways when I did it.

Canadian fans: I know you’re down right now, but Vancouver did actually amass one of the greatest seasons in the NHL, of all-time. Points-wise, wins, PP, PK, GAA … it was all pretty spectacular. Everyone must give them credit for that, along with the President’s Trophy, and Clarence S. Campbell Bowl. They finish the year with 15 wins. Gosh, that’s tough. Who wants to end with 15 wins?? They tied their 1994 mark of 15 wins, vs. the Rangers. Sadly, someone had to lose, but I do think the Canucks were outscored 23-8. That’s a big goal differential. For Vancouver, it did become their series to lose, up 2-0, needing only two more wins in the next five games. They only game they’d win, from that point forward, was Game Five, 1-0. That’s just not good enough.

“What’s the Rule, Class?” Answer: “In the playoffs, there are no ‘pity points.’ You must keep winning. You cannot rest on your laurels.” Vancouver did not keep winning. Maybe they started the Party after Game Two? From that moment on, they were outscored 21-4. Is that right? 8-1, 4-0, 0-1, 5-2, and 4-0. Can’t win like that.

For Canada, I kinda think this is a “wash.” Yes, their nation’s representative did lose the Finals, but Team Canada won the Gold in Vancouver, and they are getting the Thrashers from the southern United States. Many Canadians, I think, would take that deal. Olympic Gold and the Thrashers in exchange for losing the 2011 Cup. It’s not as if Canada doesn’t get their chances, ya know? Look at 2004 on? Calgary went vs. TBL, in 2004. Edmonton went in 2006 vs. Carolina. Ottawa went in 2007 vs. Anaheim. And now, in 2011, Vancouver went vs. Boston. I guess it’s Montreal and Toronto’s turn next, for Canada. Montreal isn’t so far away from a Cup. And Toronto, with Brian Burke as GM, could get there, too, in a few seasons.

I will miss the Thrashers, and the time I’ve spent with you, on these blogs. I will miss Rawhide, maybe most of all. I hope to see you at Gwinnett Gladiators games. And, perhaps, the AJC.com will continue these blogs through the Draft and Free Agency??? I guess, it’s that, or they close them down on June 21st.

Brendan

June 16th, 2011
12:39 am

Hopefully, Marc Savard gets his name on the Cup, along with Recchi and Peverley. They’d joing a growing list of ex-Thrashers with their names on the Cup. Pascal Rheaume, won with NJD in 2003. Jiri Slegr won with Detroit in 2002. Shane Hnidy get a Cup? Frantisek Kaberle has one. Chris Kunitz has one. What about Marian Hossa? Yep, he got one with Chicago in 2010. And let’s keep a watchful eye on Heatley and Kovalchuk, who will probably both win Cups, eventually.

Brendan

June 16th, 2011
1:10 am

There is a vehicle on fire, in the streets of Vancouver, BC. http://a.yfrog.com/img640/870/3vmyfi.jpg

Cornbread

June 16th, 2011
2:28 am

The same selfish and entitlement crowd of cry baby “fans” rioting in Vancouver because they lost their “deserved” Cup are the same group of Canadian trolls that come here to cause trouble. Go to Hell Canadian idiots along with Bettman and the ASG. I hope seeing the Cup lifted on Canadian ice by an American team with 4 Atlanta Thrashers is the closest you come to it in a long long time. Call it Karma.

tom

June 16th, 2011
5:27 am

I am hoping Ramsey is getting an interview just out of courtesy. Winnepeg does not need this guy as their coach. They need new blood. A new beginning. Ramsey accomplished nothing while a Thrasher coach. By the way, just who is he anyway. Another coach hired on the cheap.

hockeymom92

June 16th, 2011
5:56 am

And the President’s trophy winner’s curse lives on…… Congrats to the Bruins, especially Peverley, it was a great game to watch, though bittersweet.

Responsible Journalist

June 16th, 2011
6:33 am

Congrats to the former Thrashers who won the Cup last night, though I didn’t watch. Also, a good job to Nuck fans who chanted “F Boston” as they destroyed their OWN city in a riot. Canadian logic seemingly strikes again.

East Point Bob

June 16th, 2011
6:35 am

How classless are those stupid fans in Canada. Lose the finals and riot, We had class and no riots when we lost our team. I have to say Canada fans are the most worthless, classless, bunch of big mouthed bums I ever saw… All NHL teams should leave for the USA ASAP ! they do not deserve hockey in that wasteland called “Canada” !

Let NONE In

June 16th, 2011
6:47 am

Oh Wpg Fan: Care to explain how a real hockey town acts like that last night? No thanks. I think I’ll pass on visting Winnipeg. You all act like a bunch of neanderthals.

Atlanta Flames Fan

June 16th, 2011
7:30 am

Watching the postgame on NBC last night, I saw no sight of Savard. Did anyone else? I assume that the NHL Network and/or Center Ice continued with the on-ice celebration and into the locker room. Anyone see him? Did he get to be a part of the on-ice team picture?

Atlanta Flames Fan

June 16th, 2011
8:31 am

Ironically, another Savard, Denis, was in his street clothes due to an injury when he jumped on the ice to join his teammates to celebrate the clinching of the Stanley Cup as a Canadien.

Atlanta Flames Fan

June 16th, 2011
8:34 am

Watching the post-game celebration replay on VS., I saw Horton put on his jersey and skates to hold the Cup over his head.

Matt from MN

June 16th, 2011
8:43 am

Wonder how Blake Wheeler is feeling this morning?

DWTOO

June 16th, 2011
9:06 am

Matt – Wheeler and Stuart are on hold with the suicide hotline.

And, let’s stay classy Thrasher fans. We didn’t appreciate the crud slung our way by the Canadian so called fans posting here. So, don’t stoop to their level. Of course it’s OK to laugh at their duplicity without resorting to making it public.

ThisSucks

June 16th, 2011
9:28 am

I’ve held back for long enough. I am devastated about the loss of our team. My oldest son and I went to every opening and closing night game at a minimum, even after we really started to suck. The first few seasons, I averaged about 40 games in attendance. I was proud of the logo being tattooed on my leg. I take this loss personally because it was something special I shared with my kids. I wish nothing but the absolute worst for ASG, Waddell, and the commish.

That said, I applaud the city and fans of Winniped as well as True North. Y’all seem very committed to the success of our franchise. While I will not be a fan of a team in Winnipeg and likely will no longer watch the NHL, you deserve credit for what you have accomplished in such a short period of time. As a die hard (dead) Thrashers fan, I do wish you nothing but success with our team. They have a good core and I hope your support helps bring in necessary talent. Congratulations to you… Goodby NHL…

Adam

June 16th, 2011
9:51 am

Brendan, I just wanted to say I enjoyed your posts as well. There are many people on these boards that were great to share our thoughts with. It would sure be nice if we can find another home to continue what we have here.

I live 5 minutes from Gwinnett Arena and would be more than happy to hit a local pub and or tailgate with you guys before Glads games.

DWTOO

June 16th, 2011
10:15 am

Adam – We live close to Gwinnett Arena also. Shame the Loafing Leperchaun closed. Good place for pre/post game brew.

Tom Lysiak

June 16th, 2011
11:15 am

Good to see those Canadian fans acquit themselves well after yet another defeat. Guess the Bruins didn’t get the memo that this is Canada’s game and their birthright. Stymied since 92-93…..may the streak continue forever.

EA

June 16th, 2011
11:15 am

What a sad situation that erupted in the streets of Vancouver.

Wpg Fan

June 16th, 2011
11:36 am

To Brendan and the other intelligent hockey fans….thanks for the feedback, good to learn from the source, I appreciate it.
To all of the people that are saying that all of Canada was cheering for Van last night…you could not be more wrong….a lot of us hate the Canucks….the media creates this bring the cup home crap……if you actually look at the rosters you’d see the Bruins are mostly made up of Canadian players and only one American (Tim Thomas)….so reality is that this morning many of us are happy that the Bruins won…
As far as people painting all Canadians with the disgraceful actions of a minority of people in Vancouver….I mean, c’mon, do you want me to start hammering out a list of all the disgusting things that ever happened in your country and then say what terrible people you all are?? I think not…..

Adam

June 16th, 2011
12:11 pm

DWTOO – Yea that was a shame. There’s still Arena Tavern, Marlow’s & Fontera. On weekends I could always throw something on the Grill or smoker ;)

Brendan

June 16th, 2011
1:34 pm

Adam, many thanks for those comments. For sure, I’m going to get out to some Glads games next year. I’m thinking Rawhide could be our POC for gatherings, as he has all our email addresses and tele #’s. It’s a darned shame … a darned, darned shame that the NHL and its ownership lieutenant ran the franchise into the ground. Just imagine if Atlanta’s two 1st overalls (Stefan, Kovalchuk) and two 2nd overalls (Heatley, Lehtonen) could have been as well as Pittsburgh’s two 1st overalls (Fleury, Crosby) and two 2nd overalls (Malkin and Staal)? With a couple a deep runs into the playoffs, even without a Cup, this city would have been energized. And the NHL would have gotten off page 6 of the sports section, too. If you’re a print newspaper, deep in the heart of college football territory, what do you do with a nothin’ happenin’, poorly-run hockey team with owner apathy? Shrugs. Bury them on page 6, I guess!!

David

June 16th, 2011
2:02 pm

First of all, I believe everyone in Atlanta including myself was sad to see this hockey team leave. I was a few that saw more Atlanta Flames games than Thrashers games. Now, that does not mean that this team lack support. It went though the same process the Flames went though; they could not find a new owner in this city that would take a hit with a sports team. We still have hockey here only in Gwinnett, and it support well enough with a very beautiful arena to watch hockey. I believe that the next NHL hockey team that come here maybe 20 or 30 years from now; they must build a new arena in the north subs to be close to the core fans and find a way for this team to stay and make money. The Thrashers owners AS did hold on this team longer than I wanted; only things I hate to see was the only group intersting in buying this team was outside not local. There was no local interest here to keep the team here. That was a big blow more than why this team left to another city, I cannot blame the NHL people on that.

Brendan

June 16th, 2011
4:38 pm

David, I think Coca-Cola was interested, but the Atlanta Spirit, LLC, wouldn’t sell the Hawks and operating rights to Philips Arena, so their efforts turned into a non-starter. Nobody will buy an NHL team divorced from venue proceeds.

Bob

June 16th, 2011
7:16 pm

I can’t believe the thrashers are gone… can’t believe it still…damn and now they may name them the FALCONS?????? what gives!

Brian powdertown

June 17th, 2011
11:00 am

oh canada your home and wasted land we beat you down again why dont you loons form your own league then your cup wont be taken by a tougher american team.

its imminent

June 17th, 2011
12:00 pm

@ BOB the Winnipeg falcons were the very first hockey gold medal winners in the Olympics

its imminent

June 17th, 2011
12:25 pm

@ BRIAN POWDERTOWN .THE STANLY CUP WAS DONATED TO AMATEUR HOCKEY CLUBS IN CANADA BY FREDERICK ARTHUR STANLY , HE WAS THE THE SIXTH GOVERNOR GENERAL OF CANADA .THERE ARE ONLY 5 AMERICAN BORN PLAYERS ON BOSTONS ROSTER

Next Season TV

June 17th, 2011
2:44 pm

Will the NHL allow for either Nashville, Carolina or Tampa games to be broadcast over FoxSports or SportsSouth in ATL when the season starts again? I don’t get Verses.

Stan Drulia

June 17th, 2011
3:57 pm

I emailed SS and got a response back immediately that basically says yes, there will be hockey, either Carolina or more likely Nashville games – televised in ATlanta next year. I’m hoping for Nashville.

thrasherdawg

June 17th, 2011
11:38 pm

Wasn’t it Great!

When Bettman was annouced to present the trophy’s, the chant “Bettman Sucks” was so loud he couldn’t even here himself talk.

The BOOING was so loud he couldn’t here himself talk. When will the HNL get a clue and get rid of this clown? Bettman couldn’t run a popsicle stand.

All he had to do was come to Atlanta and tell the fans, 13,000 season tickets and the team stays in Atlanta…the reason he didn’t, he knew he would loss 60 million dollars.

EA

June 18th, 2011
7:52 am

C VIv-what is the status of Dan Kamal, Darren Elliot and Matt McConnell’s jobs?

ZAvalanche

June 19th, 2011
12:08 pm

@ wpg fan – pretty sure I know what a “real hockey market” is. Perhaps you should have been in Atl for the series vs the Rangers. Yea, we got rolled, but the place was rocking and the local TV ratings were very good. Most Atlantans are transplants from the north, we like our hockey but would you pay for a poor product? I don’t think so. As has been said and beaten into the ground continually – the ownership screwed this up, not the fans.

Brendan

June 19th, 2011
8:39 pm

Whether or not SS carries Predators or Hurricanes games wouldn’t matter ifffff you subscried to Center Ice. I understand. We’ve declared war on the NHL, the evil-doers who allowed this to happen. But really, is it the NHL’s fault moreso than the owner’s fault? I know, we’re venturing into a chicken vs. an egg argument. The NHL put the team in Atlanta, and vetted the ownerships, plural, such as they did. They should have done a better job of it. But really, did the NHL tell/instruct the Atlanta Spirt, LLC, to SEPARATE their assets, and sell them in that fashion? No, I’d venture that they didn’t. That was a Heptacluster decision, spitting at us with their last breath, because we vowed not to give them financial support until they fired Waddell. Well, in the ownership’s shoes, I would have fired Waddell, to keep my patrons coming. How expensive are GM’s, really? You can pick them up for under a $1 million-a-year. It’s really NOT cost prohibitive.

Our chance to get NHL hockey back is not over. I do believe our Commissioner is quite aware of how this all happened. Whatever it was that made him think Atlanta was a good option for expansion will be the same reason he allows a Coyotes, Islanders, or Panthers or Blue Jackets team to relocate to Atlanta, one fine day. Except this time, I think he knows … he can’t put dead weight in place, as ownership. That’s part of understanding the dynamics of the Atlanta market, where hockey is the 5th or 6th priority, in terms the entertainment dollars. In a city of 6 million people in 22 counties, it only takes 18,545 to fill the arena. That’s not a difficult task, UNLESS you’ve systematically driven away the hockey fans. Which is precisely what happened here, with respect to THIS PARTICULAR OWNERSHIP group. They drove away the hockey fans. Maybe deliberately, because they always had the intention to relocate this team. Think about that. They were TRYING to sell this team, as far back as 2005 or 2006. And why would they want to sell it, instead of trying to make it work? Answer: They thought they could make more money having concerts or other events at their venue, in lieu of hockey. So, really, this move was quite inevitable. We can argue, until Judgement Day, that if we’d soldout Philips Arena instead of boycotting it under the Waddell Regime, that the team wouldn’t have been sold. I’m not buying it. They just didn’t want to own a hockey team. And that’s it. They had no passion for it. So, they left Waddell in charge, knowing he’d never quit, and that he’d stick to the budget. In terms of driving away Thrashers fans, they didn’t care, because in their eyes, they could get fans of the opposing team to come out and support hockey enough to qualify for the revenue-sharing dollars it would take to offset all these losses, even at league miminum budget.

Nice guys, huh? They really CARED. They cared so much, that they IGNORED season ticket holders at every opportunity. Think the ticket reps didn’t tell Waddell that fans blamed him, and wouldn’t renew, BECAUSE of him? I’m sure the word got to him. In Waddell’s mind, I’m sure he was thinking, “Why walk away from GOOD money, if the ownership wasn’t going to fire him, no matter what.” So, here we are. But Don Waddell … you forgot one thing. You will always, always, always be the posterchild for failure for an NHL GM. You had nine Top 10 overall picks to build a franchise. Two 1st overalls, two 2nd overalls, a 3rd overall, a 4th overall, two 8th overalls, and a 10th overall. And that, friends, has nothing to do with budget. Those are GM decisions. You, Don Waddell, hired three head coaches, plus yourself twice, in failing to win a playoff game over a decade, with all that favorable draft position. That’s your legacy. You WILL OWN IT, Don Waddell. You EARNED it.

Brendan

June 19th, 2011
8:52 pm

ZAvalanche, I counted all of six (6) Ranger jerseys for each game, when we hosted those playoff games in 2007. We were told by local sports radio that the “Let’s Go Rangers!” chants would be overwhelming and embarrassing. I didn’t hear that chant, but from the six of them that showed up to support the Broadway Blueshirts. And that’s the truth. I was there.