No, I don’t think Anderson should be fired. However…

Well, as sure as hell is hot, one thing that a nine-game losing streak will spawn is calls for a coach to be fired.

“His system doesn’t work”…is what we’ll hear.

”He’s losing the locker room”…will be the reasoning.

”Someone has to be held accountable”…people will demand.

Certainly, it’s to be expected from paying customers and passionate followers of a team mired in the type of slump the Thrashers find themselves in. This is especially so here in Thrasherville given the fact that not too long ago one coach was axed the day following a sixth-consecutive loss to begin the 2007-08 season.

About the only place that is warm around Atlanta these days is the seat John Anderson is on. But is he the only person in the organization whose backside should be a bit toasty? (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)

About the only place that is warm around Atlanta these days is the seat John Anderson is on. But is he the only person in the organization whose backside should be a bit toasty? (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)

That man was Bob Hartley and, as many will point out, the losing streak that cost him his job was not six but actually ten games dating back to the four-game sweep just the spring before during the one and only playoff appearance in the franchise’s history. And John Anderson, along with the current edition of the Thrashers, are but loss one away from that magical ten-game slide…albeit, there have been three charity points given them for at least getting a few games into overtime during this frustrating string of losses.

Now, as I stated above, with this nine-game nightmare comes the inevitable and no-so-surprising calls for Anderson’s ouster. But don’t count me in that number…at least, not just yet.

Personally, I put far more of the blame for the current predicament the Thrashers are in on the players than he or the current coaching staff. You can disagree with me if you wish…but I’ve seen what his system can do when players are where they are supposed to be and doing the things they are supposed to do. So, I’m not ready to give up on the good coach at this time.

However, if…IF…IF the Atlanta Spirit gang actually does decide that “enough is enough” and move to make a change, then they need to decide that simply changing just the coach… again… is not “enough”. They need to also give careful consideration to the notion that the man who has hired the first three head coaches in the franchise’s history should not be given the opportunity to hire the fourth.

In short, if a firing of any kind is in order here, this time it simply has to be Don Waddell that is shown the door…whether or whether not the coach is on his way out as well.

There’s a couple of reason’s why I opine in this manner…beginning with the previous statement that Waddell has already been given three chances to place a coach behind the Thrashers bench. Seriously…can anyone out there tell me when the last time is that a GM has been allowed to hire that many coaches…fire that many coaches…then been given the opportunity to try yet again with the same team before being asked to gather his personal effects and turn in his ID badge?

And I’m not just talking about the NHL…but any professional sport.

Thus, if an “accounting” for the team’s performance is in order, then shouldn’t the person who has been in charge of the operation of the franchise for over eleven years also be included in that action?

I mean… at least this one time?

Don Waddell has been the one consistent with this team since day one. Well, that… plus consistently not making the playoffs. The Thrashers have played nine and a half seasons with no playoff victories and as each game passes without the benefit of actual points in the standings it becomes more and more clear that that number will reach ten.

Whose backside should be feeling the most heat?

  • John Anderson (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Don Waddell (68%, 111 Votes)
  • Both of them (26%, 43 Votes)
  • Neither of them (4%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 164

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The only tangible evidence of any sort of “success” to be seen in Thrasherville is the 2006-07 Southeast Division Championship banner that hangs in Philips Arena. But given the fact that zero playoff wins came from that “success” …and that we now have three years in which to assess the overall effectiveness of the Waddell’s moves to sure up the team leading up that “success”…it’s pretty clear that the “success” that banner represents came at a very, very heavy price for this franchise.

But being in charge of the on-ice personnel is only part of the issue here. 

Have you been to a Thrashers game at Philips Arena lately? Give the number of empty seats each game, chances are very good that you answered “no” to that question…that, or 8,000 or so of you show up disguised as empty seats most nights.

But contrary to the yammering that spews forth from the “Make-It-Seven” types… this is not because Atlanta is a bad hockey market or that the NHL simply cannot survive in this area of the country. There is a great fan base in the metro Atlanta area…many have relocated from traditional markets that grew up loving the game as well as many, like myself, who are natives of the area and have learned to love the sport.

Nope, it’s not the fans nor is it the market. Rather, I suggest, it is that most of the potential paying population simply isn’t buying what Don Waddell is selling anymore. And it doesn’t matter if there are going through a winning stretch…as they did last spring and this past fall…or, as has been the case of late, losing nine straight games.

In essence, if it’s thought that the coach has “lost the locker room”…then it’s crystal clear that this general manager has “lost the market”.

And in this fan’s humble opinion, that’s worse.

Given all of that, I would contend that if a change once again is needed…this time Don Waddell could should needs has to be a part of what gets change.

Otherwise…what really gets “changed”?

124 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

January 6th, 2010
7:37 pm

With Don Waddell’s 10 years of “incremental progress,” the Thrashers will be “moving in the right direction” in the desert for the next thirty years.


January 6th, 2010
7:40 pm

Oh please, please, please, please Fire Waddell.

And, Erste??


January 6th, 2010
7:46 pm

Oh, and one more thing…the Thrashers have played 780 games with Don Waddell as GM. They have 291 wins to show for it. This means Ilya Kovachuk has scored 31 more goals in his career then the Thrashers have victories.

Not sure if that really means anything…but I thought it was worth the mention.


January 6th, 2010
7:57 pm


I am one of those fans that just doesn’t buy into the product anymore. I am a diehard hockey fan and have followed the Thrashers since season 1, going to several games per year and watching every single game I could on TV.

This year, I almost do not care. I went to opening night and have not been back since. With SportsSouth not even showing many of the games early on the year I stopped paying attention. I was disappointed that I couldn’t even watch the team “Win” a game, not to mention win “many” games. By the time the games are back on TV, we are losing 9 in a row and I am switching off the game by the middle of the second period which I honestly have NEVER done.

I am not a Don Waddell hater, but clearly his time HAS to be up. Some sports teams do well with stability in coaching/ownership, but this is not one of those cases. I have also recently had 2 children who could end up paying hockey fans down the road, but at this pace, that won’t be happening.

Just my thoughts – sort of validates your argument.

Alan R.

January 6th, 2010
8:22 pm

Bill, if Waddell goes, Weeks should go too. He has been a pox on our goalies for a very long time. Hell, I’d get rid of Weeks before Waddell, at this point. Both should inevitably go, though.

Miami Screaming Eagle

January 6th, 2010
8:40 pm

I like John Anderson as a coach. If his systems needs adjustments, it is up to the GM (his boss) to demanding changes. Some players need to sit (coach’s responsibility) and some guys need to be traded or waived (GM). Neither has been done so far.

Getting rid of Hartley was Waddell’s mulligan and you don’t get a second one.

10 years into the program and we have waiver guys (Schubert) making the team and taking a starting spot days before the season starts. Schubert has played pretty well, better than some of our high draft choices. That happens with expansion teams, not established franchises.

These are all reasons why people don’t come to the games. This IS a hockey town, if we had a real hockey team. The time to make a change in the GM’s position was 3 years ago. So let’s say firing DW right now is late, but not too late. Take some of these scouts with him. The Kovy situation is in itself, justification for termination. Everyone saw this coming, waiting to the last minute and letting the player dictate to the franchise.

These guys at ASG must have inherited their money.

Red Light

January 6th, 2010
8:46 pm

Bravo Bill! Rather than to justify your comments or my opinions for the past decade about the GM, for those of us who have been attending games since Day 1, why is it that we don’t see the same people in my section, the neighboring section or much of the lower level where I sit, and have sat for the last nine seasons? The answer is because they didn’t want to go through the same agony, the same excuses, the same lame excuses about why this franchise has failed at nearly every level. Screw the apologists; the time has come, six years too late (or 10 if you prefer) to cut ties with the entire regime assembled by Waddell, including the scouting staff, ass’t GM, Weeks and anyone else that can fit onto the bus to take them back to Northern Michigan. I attend games because I love hockey, certainly not to support this bumbling cast of characters.

Thank you for this blog, your opinions and your fairness!


January 6th, 2010
8:52 pm

Well said, DW has been given too many mulligans already. It has shown in this past decade that success usually starts from the top down in any sport (Anyone remember all the boneheaded things the Falcons did when the Smith family was in control?) I doubt the Atlanta Spirit would sell their teams to an owner that gives a damn about STH’s, Fans, Growing the Market, or doing something as simple as moving game start times to 7:30 to accommodate Atlantas horrendous rush hour, and unlike Mr. Blank the AS would NEVER admit that problems as well as successes, start at the top. The saga in Phoenix has shown what happens when you finally put an owner (this case the NHL) that wants success – success comes. For some reason a prerequisite to being an Atlanta Pro Sports team is to have season after season of miserable failure so it seem exciting when a team can do something as exciting as, say, WIN A GAME. The NHL is fickle, and a lot of people in Canada foam at the mouth to Trash the Thrash (going as far as to call our team THE TRASHERS) and they are all ape$h*t crazy at relocating to Canada. Us fans are tired of saying “Ownership Dispute” or “Goofy GM” and the only way to show the rest of the NHL crowd in North America is to START AT THE TOP. DW if you had decency you would resign. Atlanta Spirit, if you had BALLS you would show your “red headed stepchild” of a market that you want Success and would FIRE DW. Don, don’t take it personally. If you go then maybe the Thrashers would actually rebuild and grow (instead of perpetual rebuilding). Growing would be hard and growing pains would be addressed and fixed – and maybe those of us still willing to put our butts in the seats would actually feel like we aren’t getting bent over and stiffed a hard one from The Owners, Management, Coaches and Lazy Players. THINGS WOULD ACTUALLY GET DONE!! In closing, those who remember this rant from “Christmas Vacation” will enjoy what I have to say to DW and the Atlanta Spirit (with slight changes for flair) – I want to look them straight in the eyes and I want to tell them what a cheap, lying, no good, rotten, floor-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, di**less, hopeless, heartless, fat-a$$, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed, sacks of monkey sh** they are! Hallelujah! Holly Sh**! Where’s the Tylenol?


January 6th, 2010
8:53 pm

DW isn’t going anywhere and I don’t know why. Kovy shall be missed. Anderson should go 2 more years. Longterm this team is pretty good. A solid platform on which to build. That Kovy money has to go somewhere. This team will be better next year.


January 6th, 2010
8:53 pm

Is Waddell’s daughter going to try to delete this post?


January 6th, 2010
8:59 pm

Well Well Well, great points Bill, shows don waddell, who deserves NO RESPECT from anybody, is what he is… A Career LOSER.

He is a loser in every regard, as well as a total liar to ALL us fans.

I am getting to the point I don’t care about this team any longer, with this STUPID spirit group running this Circus and waddell the ringmaster
of the show, we are DEAD forever ! No hope except trying not to finish last in the NHL !

Sage of Bluesland

January 6th, 2010
9:32 pm

Try this on for size: Guess who the one really laughing is? That’s right, sheep–none other than Don Waddell has laughed all the way to the bank depositing in his bank account your hard-earned dollars.

Oh well, sheep, look in the mirror for the second half of the real problem (the first being Don Waddell–or your general inability to spot a fraud in your midst until recently).

It is what it is. Waddell has had the incredible fortune of having an uncaring ownership and an ignorant fanbase that ooh’d and aah’d at every one of his promises.

All of his failed promises–yet he is still employed! I love the wittle excuses for buying tickets creeping out of some pie-holes now! They are just as precious as wittle Sara’s spweadsheets assuring us that all is well–that Donny actually drafts ‘better’ than league average!

I want to heartily congratulate you, sheep who continued to buy despite the evidence to the contrary, for filling this team’s coffers and allowing the ownership or league to do nothing about it.

Too late now, folks. Too wittle, too wate for too many….


January 6th, 2010
9:45 pm

Thank you. I like DW personally, but it is time for a change.


January 6th, 2010
9:49 pm

Time to boycott all games at home until changes are made, the least being the firing of this Don Waddell, I simply do not understand why and how he is still in control, like a run away bus going down a mountain road at 100mph, this is a lost franchise and Don Waddell is to blame for it all !!!!!!!


January 6th, 2010
10:22 pm

Somaatl95 – Dude…that ‘Vacation’ reference…it was beautiful!


January 6th, 2010
10:37 pm

Rawhide – Thanks! Classic movie and the rant fit the way the current situation makes me feel. Almost makes me want to get a screencap of when “Cousin Eddie” brings the boss to the Griswold household in PJ’s and in chains with a big bow on his head, and superimpose DW’s face on it. But I digress…


January 6th, 2010
10:55 pm

Waddell has to go, been saying it for years. Once we get a real GM, watch this club take off. It makes me literally ill to think where this club could be today, if Waddell was jettisoned years ago and a real GM had been in control of this club. But for the love of all that is holy, don’t delay it any longer.

Get a real GM in here and let’s get on with the business of building a hockey club. Then watch the fans come back. Red Light, it’ll be like a reunion in your section and my old section. We’ll all come back. But the root of the problem has to go first.

The Joker

January 6th, 2010
10:59 pm

Looking at the poll results, it’s obvious that Waddell’s daughter cast the only vote for the fourth choice.


January 6th, 2010
11:19 pm

It just blows my mind that one man will go down in Thrashers history as the man that let, one way or another, star players as Dany Heatley, Marc Savard, Marian Hossa, and Ilya Kovalchuk walk away. I know a lot of players play for a lot of teams in their career, and a lot of teams serve as revolving doors in the league, but the inability to keep any of these players for an extended time is just baffling. It is a damn shame that these types of things happen. Don’t the fans of this city deserve better then what we are served? It’s like serving a tv dinner and labeling it as Filet Mignon. They must just think we are stupid rednecks that know nothing. Hey guys, guess what, more then half of the die hard fans have seen through your little game, and are starting to take a stand. Look at the damn stands. No one is coming because they are tired of being shat on. Plain and simple. I pray something good happens for this team. At the very least, the fans deserve SOMETHING good.


January 6th, 2010
11:29 pm

I was at the Thrashers very first home victory (against the Flames) The Thrash were the very first Atlanta team I had gone to and saw a victory – In the 80’s every Braves game I went to was awful, when they were good in the 90’s they lost the games I went to see, and I always had the bad luck of seeing the Falcons play the Cowboys (when all of Atlanta would go to the dome in Blue and Silver, being the fairweather fan town Atlanta is) and I will never forget the rush of Atlanta showing Calgary that we were real and that the Flames should have never left. That was October 26, 1999. It took waiting till 2007 to feel that wonderful feeling again, just to get swept by the “Rump” Rangers in our only playoff appearance. I (like many Blueland faithful) am to the point of frustration with this organization that they need to make a DRASTIC change, beyond head coaching, to show us that ownership has the ability to make some sort of realistic reach for success. Unfortunately everything about our team has changed, except DW. We still act like an expansion team. Not to beat a dead horse but DW NEEDS TO MOVE ON TO ANOTHER DESTINATION. We fans should demand it, and in unison all STH’s should say the same thing at the next town hall meeting. If we act and make our displeasure known, maybe we can have something to look forward to, especially in April and May.


January 6th, 2010
11:59 pm

Well … I can listen to an argument that says, in the strictest of terms, that it’s the GM’s job to draft and sign the best available players, while it’s the coach’s job to develop those players.

Fine. Fair enough.

But, at some point, doesn’t a GM have to answer for who his coach is?, what system/strategy is tried, and the overall direction/oversight of the franchise? Humming the theme to Jeopardy now… “do,doo, do-do, doo-doo-doo. Bum, bah-dum-pump-bah-dah-dum.” Allllrighteeee then. Isn’t it a fair statement to say, “The MOST IMPORTANT THING that a GM does … is hire a coach?” Yes, yes it is. For the coach is charged with getting the most out of the players on the team. A great coach can be stifled by a terribly assembled roster. But likewise, a sure-fire winning roster can be messed up by a Coach. Either way, the person who ANSWERS for wins and losses, over a body of time, is the GM. The GM hires the coach. And in some cases, like Atlanta’s, the GM has SERVED AS COACH, during Ilya’s “minus WHAT???” career. The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, that Ilya Kovalchuk has not been properly developed. What he is … is the greatest pure sniper in the NHL today. He has the best raw skills that, maybe, I’ve ever seen. The one-timer. The wrister. The smooth skating. The passing. His breakaways. It’s just one-big WOW. Notice how I didn’t say, “And his ability to excel defensively.” For his does not do that. He circles up the ice, while the puck is in his own zone, and not in possession of his own team. He’s a cherry picker. He’s constantly thinking, “OFFENSE.” That is NOT … being a COMPLETE player. Ergo, Ilya Kovalchuk has NOT been properly developed by the coaching staffs, plural, of the Atlanta Thrashers, since 2001. Bob Hartley TRIED with Ilya. He’d bench him. He’d constantly tell him, “Ilya, you’d be the best player in the NHL if you learned how to play a more committed two-way game.” And Ilya sat there thinking, “Yeah right. I’m already the best winger in the NHL.”

It is as Redlight and Bob say. And have been saying, FOR YEARS, on this blog. But my favorite quote comes from the BLOGMASTER himself, Bill “Rawhide” Tiller, with this gem: In essence, if it’s thought that the coach has “lost the locker room”…then it’s crystal clear that this general manager has “lost the market.”


January 7th, 2010
1:01 am

I want to add something else here, folks. Before ANY OF US had a clue what failure would ultimately follow this franchise, this was the scene: Atlanta soldout 38 of 41 home games, while establishing an all-time NHL attendance record. (That record was quickly broken by the Minnesota Wild, another expansion team, that entered the league in 2000.) That was during the WOEFUL Curt Fraser Years. People were willing to sit through BAD HOCKEY in this southern market.


So, there is NO LACK of HOCKEY INTEREST in this town. There is a LACK OF FAITH IN DON WADDELL in this town. People no longer believe that “we’re building something WORTH HAVING.” Therein lies a very important point. As amplified by this next statement, “Hockey hasn’t BEGUN YET in Atlanta. And won’t, until OWNERSHIP COMMITTED TO WINNING THE CUP is installed.”

For all the vitriol of the Sage of Blueland, he’s right about something. If this ownership won’t respect you, THE HOCKEY FAN, by stepping in and doing what is necessary for the improvement of the franchise, to advance towards winning the Cup, then you must LIKEWISE treat THEM disrespectfully by withdrawing your financial support. It’s how you gain their attention. There’s not a business in the world that doesn’t understand the ramifications of the word “cancellation.”

Let me explain what cancellation means. It means that the Atlanta Spirit, LLC can no longer ESPOUSE THE BELIEF that they are in possession of one of the greatest hockey minds of his generation in Don Waddell. Which is how I think … that THEY operate. For if not, it’s FAR, FAR WORSE than originally thought. If this ownership DOES think he’s something of a bumbling idiot, guaranteed to put them back into the lottery draft on an annual basis, then WHAT, EXACTLY, is their plan? Well, my first thoughts are that the easiest and best way to sell a franchise would be to have it chock-filled with high-end 1st round picks like Bogosian and Kane, while keeping overhead low, in the form of league minimum payrolls. Uht-oh. Isn’t that what’s been going on for the past few seasons? Wouldn’t any OTHER market but OURS, demand someone’s head on a pike?

Stop. Atlanta’s been inside the lottery draft in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2008 and 2009. Add it up, folks. That’s six times. And in the midst of an 0-6-3 patch of season, a 7th time isn’t out of the question, especially when the “face of the franchise” is saying “nyet” to a contract extension in the very real possibility that he’ll be FREE TO CHOOSE his next team. But we’re not done yet. For in the years 2003, 2004, and 2005, Atlanta owned these original draft positions, respectively: 8th, 10th, and 8th. So, in addition to six lottery picks, that makes NINE (9!!!) Top 10 overall picks with which to build this franchise.

So? So ask yourselves this question: “Why AREN’T the Atlanta Thrashers the youngest, fastest, most highly-skilled team in the NHL, at this point?” And really, that’s a fair question to ask. Unfortunately, the answer is that a significant number of those draft picks wound up ESCAPING THE CLUTCHES of this franchise, like a PRISON-BREAK at Alcatraz. Or are “marginally” still here, eyeballing the exit. Our CORE AREA of “player retention” is abysmal AT BEST. Heatley, Savard, Hossa, Kaberle, Audette, Brunette, Staios, Donovan, Sim, Metropolit, etc., whether marquee guys or merely role players who performed their function well, too many got away. The only player we haven’t been rid of … is Slava Kozlov. He, seemingly, will re-sign NO MATTER WHAT. He loves it here. His play doesn’t get scrutinized in the media and he can live out his life in total anonymity, in nice weather and low cost of living. Oh, not that money were ever the issue. Kozlov is all too happy to be enjoying his ‘no trade clause’ and Top Six forward minutes. Bobby Holik, and his crippling contract, was a cancer who wouldn’t leave. How many years did J.P. Vigier occupy a roster spot. And the “thrill a minute” type play of “Mr. Electricity,” Per Svartvadet. How much money did Chris Tamer get out of this franchise, over the years? Before you answer, it’s dwarfed by the amount Andy Sutton got. Poster Bob has the laundry list of blunderous blueliners this franchise has employed throughout the years. And worse yet was that Don Waddell was a defenseman himself. In this regard, he should have had THE MOST insight into the position. Bygones.


January 7th, 2010
1:38 am

1. fire DW
2. hire someone who knows anything about making a winning team, even a shuffleboard team at this point
2. Charge him with “impersonating a GM;” garnish his wages retroactive to 2002. Redistribute to fans.
3. JA: teach your team to play defense consistently. trade anyone who won’t or can’t. You’ve got less than half a season.
4. Win 3 games in a row. Then three more. etc.
5. Drop ticket prices for the remainder of the season. Otherwise i’d rather do something cheaper that sucks less.
6. Owners: at least make it look like you give half a s**t.


January 7th, 2010
5:44 am

Just how can the owners justify any sane reason to keep Waddell around for a day longer, Would someone, anyone please answer that ?

Miami Screaming Eagle

January 7th, 2010
6:39 am

Brendan-great point on Curt Fraser. We forgot Curt, a guy that should never been allowed to coach and NHL team. That was his last NHL head coaching job. He is a scout at best.

Sage is right-he has to be laughing at us.

Look at the product and tell me this isn’t a GREAT hockey town! We have sat throught this garbage for 10 years! You want to save hockey in Atlanta? Get rid of this guy now and get someone in here that knows hockey.

Mr. Dudley’s phone should be ringing.

A quote from The Natural -
“Losing is a disease, odd but curable”

Let the curing begin.


January 7th, 2010
7:37 am

I don’t believe it’s the coaching. The players are not skilled enough or are skilled enough but don’t have enough pride to play hard for 60 minutes every game. That falls on ownership which is responsible for the GM who is responsible for the roster.


January 7th, 2010
7:41 am

There’s an easy and fast change that should be made today. Make Dudley the GM. Now!

I’ve given Waddell the benefit of the doubt, at times, because of several issues. Savard could NOT be retained here. Do some research on the backstory. No GM would have re-signed him in this market given the circumstances. And, don’t forget that Don was the guy that resurrected Savard’s career, when he was being cast off. The Heatley/Snyder accident which led to the subsequent Hossa fiasco was a tragedy that no GM should have to deal with.

But, Brendan is right about all of the other role players that have passed through here. There’s a lot of talent in the list and they were simply left to walk. Kunitz? Belanger? Pothier? I’m sure there’s more.

It’s time to end Waddell’s reign.

And I agree that Atlanta will support a winner. Those two home playoff games were packed with ravenous fans. That was proof positive.

Miami Screaming Eagle

January 7th, 2010
7:57 am

Just look around and see all the ex-Thrashers still in the NHL, contributing to their teams. And look at the trash we got for those NHL players.

ASG-you want fans in the stands?
Get Dudley in as GM and get ride of the Clown!


January 7th, 2010
8:48 am

Could the impasse with Ilya also be blamed on ‘Wads’? Shouldn’t that alone be enough to get the goomba canned?

That should be the interview process for the next GM, ‘can you get a contact signed with Kovy before he hits FA?’

My concern is that Don will be here long enough to wave to Ilya as he leaves for NY before getting canned.


January 7th, 2010
8:52 am

I feel that he was never meant to stay around this long. I also think he’ll be going sooner rather than later. But, the team won’t be all that bad next season. I mean that Kovalchuck money has got to get spent. Maybe they can go out and pay for a goaltender or something.


January 7th, 2010
8:58 am

I agree with the Ice Man that Waddell must finally be held accountable. The ultimate problem is the owners, who are now the jokes of two professional sports leagues. Their best basketball player turned down an extension and 2 years ago another player decided he’d rather play in Greece than stay here. The face of their hockey team is willing to re-sign, but they don’t like what he’s asking for. Changing Waddell won’t fix the ownership issues, but it might lead to better decisions with the team players. Too many of our 1st round draft picks have failed to live up to expectations. As a friend pointed out, it’s interesting that the 2009 draft, which is regarded as easily the best draft in the team’s history, happened after Dudley was brought on board. Anderson’s system doesn’t really seem to be working consistently, but I don’t see any coach being able to salvage the season now. I think the entire Kovalchuk saga has damaged the morale of the players more than the owners and GM realize. And remember that Anderson was not the first choice but he got the job because nobody else would take it. All the other candidates turned it down. Neither Fraser nor Hartley can get a job as a head coach in the NHL after working here. The Thrashers job is a coach killer. Hartley is the only Stanley Cup winning coach I can think of who wants a job and can’t get one.

I think the lack of fans isn’t totally due to the economy but a sign that they have had enough of this losing. After the inevitable Kovalchuk trade and fire sale, I forsee the team quickly falling towards the bottom of the league standings. It’s going to get a lot worse here before we see any improvement.


January 7th, 2010
9:08 am

Here’s the thing… we signed all these scrubs because we knew the day would come when we had to sign Kovalchuk to a significant deal… and now that day has arrived.

If you don’t like the team now, as is, why would you want this deal to happen?! You’re basicly saying you want the team to operate, as it currently does, for the next 10 years. One superstar contract with a bunch of “jobbers” that fit into the budget.

I’d be more curious how the Kovalchuk money gets spread out to make a fuller, more balanced roster.


January 7th, 2010
9:10 am

re’s an easy and fast change that should be made today. Make Dudley the GM. Now!

Ah! Which reminds me… I think someone around here owes me a $1. :)


January 7th, 2010
9:41 am

Imagine it…your dreams come true…this years big casino night announcement is given by GM Dudley explaining how DW was let go earlier that day.


January 7th, 2010
9:47 am

If and when DW goes there is a guy already in his place so no extra dollars need to be spent by the owners. Let Dudley take a shot at this, how bad can he do?


January 7th, 2010
9:48 am

Imagine it…your dreams come true…this years big casino night announcement is given by GM Dudley explaining how DW was let go earlier that day.

Paminski – OK…now your just teasing me. That’s unkind…


January 7th, 2010
10:05 am

Don did lot of mistakes. I am not going to tell you those mistakes. We already knew them. This year he built a TEAM. Team is best what we got for all 10 years. May be Dudley helped him, I do not know. Final point is Don bring a Winner Team. Anderson must win games and make His “SYSTEM” worked. He did not. Coach should make lines up. Not GM. Coach should keep Hot Goalie in the net. Not GM. Coach should tell players what they have to do on PP or PK. Not GM. I saw all problems became from Anderson. Yes, the best scenario is fire Anderson and Don together. Dudley became as GM and he will choose Head coach.

Miami Screaming Eagle

January 7th, 2010
10:06 am

I do not think Don is a dirt ball, scumbag or anything people say he is. He’s simply in over his head, as far as running a hockey club from A – Z. The same can be said for Curt Fraser and probably half the scouts on the team.

Kick him upstairs and put Dudley in as GM.


January 7th, 2010
10:08 am

Paminski – that would be hilarious and I would certainly join in a toast to GM Dudley and “change that we can believe in” cuz right now there isn’t much to feel good about.

Funny thing is that if the Thrash could somehow win tonite (in regulation!), they would jump back into 9th place, with games in hand on MTL in 8th, and in a position to reel off some wins as the next 3 at home. I figure a 3 – 0 – 1 (not that I’m counting on it) run would put them right back into 8th place and perhaps spur them on into a good stretch of hockey before the Olympic break. Wishful thinking? Probably.

Buzilla in CT

January 7th, 2010
10:10 am

Big Willy Tilly for GM. GAVA Hokie as Scout. Bring back Mandy Sutton and Buzek to bolster the defensive. Sign Thrash to a huge contract to be “the guy” to score goals and lead us into the playoffs.

To get more people to come to the game? Simple. Each person gets a beer served to them from there favorite ice girl.


January 7th, 2010
10:13 am

I checked Head Coach available. This is a list:
Bob Hartley-why not. Carolina did bring old coach.
Denis Savard from Chicago – Dudley knew him
Michel Therrien from Pittsburg. I like him. He made Crosby, Malkin, Stall as NHL players.
Guy Carbonneau from Montreal. I do not know about this guy. We can try.
Tom Renney from NYR. He is very good coach.
Blues just fired Coach.
We can find good coach. Anderson is done, he does not have NHL experience. If we will loose game tonight, Anderson MUST GO.


January 7th, 2010
10:23 am

Brendan… I understand your points on Atlanta as a “hockey market”, but when I hear ownership and Waddell continually point out that this is a football area of the country and “attendance generally picks up during the second half of the season after football”, I don’t believe they’re thinking along the same lines as you.

But I think they do understand that Atlanta likes a “winner”… I don’t think they’re purposefully trying to lose… I think, personally, they’re trying to build a team around a “wild hair” in Kovalchuk, because Atlanta also likes a “face of the franchise”.

I’m pretty sure I’m wrong about wanting to trade Kovalchuk, simply because Mike Milbury agrees with me. :)


January 7th, 2010
10:25 am

Responding to various:

1. If Kovy wants league max, then we should let his contract expire or trade him. Because he’s not worth it and he actually probably won’t get it from anyone else. So if that’s really what he’s inisting he’s worth, then he’s bluffing. I’m guessing his actual value is in the $7-9 mill. range.

2. Bob Hartley should absolutely never be rehired. As a coach, he was pretty decent. But as a developer of young talent he was quite poor. And a team like ours, that is trying to work with a lot of less expensive, younger players, can’t afford a coach who doesn’t know how to recognize and develop that kind of talent.

3. Anderson’s not the problem. Among other things, I’m not sure he has the discretion to do what he wants to do on the bench. And this issue with the team’s morale? It’s been the case for, what, three coaches now?

East Point Bob

January 7th, 2010
10:29 am

We are no better than in year 2 or 3. We have no drive or desire to win
or play for 60 minutes. The coach has lost the room and the GM has just simply “lost it”. Why, when in a losing streak like this, is the GM at the World Juniors ? He should be here trying to improve the team and salvage something of the season, he is not doing that.

What is going on with the owners, where are they ? Why are they hiding ?
Why are they afraid of change ? I am so happy David McDavid won his case, proves these people are not legit owners, at least in my book.
I am at the point I will not go to another game until drastic changes are made, new coach, new GM and lastly new owners, it will likely be years before this ever takes place, and I will bet the team moves before real change takes place. Because nobody will take Don Waddell’s
crap record and run with it, yeah he is a nice guy and all, who cares, I want to see winning hockey played here and Don Waddell is not one bit capable of providing it. In the business world, when you do not produce, you are fired, something these owners need to wake up and do
before all the fans turn away and they have only themselves to blame !

One last comment, Where is the National Hockey League ? Do “they” think
things are running smooth here ? Do they have even a clue ? They did
everything they could to save Phoenix, why can they not help the suffering fans here ? Do they not care about Atlanta ?


January 7th, 2010
10:39 am

I agree Waddell must go, but ultimately the players this season are accountable. Anderson has proven his system works, but we have lazy players who aren’t willing to pay the price to backcheck or stand in front of the net. Even if the Thrashers got back on the winning trail and make the playoffs, it would be another early exit. Playoff hockey is grinding, physical, back-checking hockey. The Thrashers are not built this way. Sure they may be an entertaining product in the regular season (when they win), but they are not a team built for April, May and June hockey.

Wings fan in Ga.

January 7th, 2010
10:40 am

“Seriously…can anyone out there tell me when the last time is that a GM has been allowed to hire that many coaches…fire that many coaches…then been given the opportunity to try yet again with the same team before being asked to gather his personal effects and turn in his ID badge?

And I’m not just talking about the NHL…but any professional sport.”

Detroit Lions’ Matt Millen. He hired four coaches, but one lasted a few games after he fired Mariucci.

Hang in there, Thrashers fans.


January 7th, 2010
10:47 am

I would make the following moves right now:
- Kozlov and White on waivers
- Move Little to center
- Send Pavelec down bring up McIntyre or Mannino (AHL Player of the Week last week) until Kari is ready
- Sit Bogosian for a few games (let him see the game from a different perspective-it usually helps the young players who try to do too much)
- I would rotate Valabik, Salmela and Popovic with 2 of the D spots – that means one of the Top 5 sits and makes sure the likes of Kubina don’t get too comfy
- I’d bring up two young hungry guys to replace Kozlov and White and send a message of competition to the players (Machachek, Kulda)
- FINALLY, I’d trade Kovy. I know you can never replace a superstar, but I’ll trade his 50 goals a year for 3 players who can total 60-70 goals a year, AND backcheck and bring other elements to their game (namely grit).


January 7th, 2010
10:48 am

Detroit Lions’ Matt Millen. He hired four coaches, but one lasted a few games after he fired Mariucci.

Wings fab in Ga. – Thanks…and as we all know, that really worked out great for the Lions…didn’t it? :roll:

Miami Screaming Eagle

January 7th, 2010
10:48 am

Wings Fan-I see similarities in Wayne Fontes and Curt Fraser

Spud Webb

January 7th, 2010
10:54 am

Full Circle…I remember me and my best friend downtown, 12 years ago (?), we were at a rally to bring hockey to the ATL again. Exciting, Betman was there & a few thousand people. I think we knew that day, we we’re going to get a team here, sheer excitement. And 12 years later, my guts are turning bad. UGH…wtf is going on? I fall asleep watching “on the fly” and wake up just WAITING TO HEAR KOVY has been traded. Sad. I’m tired, tired of losing, tired of being the laughing stock of the league, tired of the contracts and gaffs by DW. I’m tired of the excuses. Accountability for the ASG and this orginaziation is ZERO. I’ve hit rock bottom, I’m not a basher, I dont think, but just gassed. I have no other way to put it. I’ve been avoiding the blogs because I don’t have anything positive to say. I’m actually LOOKING FORWARD to Kari coming back. WHAT?????????????? CRaP, SH&T, %$@%, I gotta go kick the dog (kidding). thanks for listening. I’ll see everyone next thursday, when a low money team from up north shows up and where a team is held accountable, not only by the coach (lindy) but by the GM. Wierd huh??? Accountability.