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

stendec

January 7th, 2010
8:29 pm

El Kapitan Ilya “Heartless Scumbag Quitter” Kovalchuk will not score for his team but is not adverse to standing around watching players from other teams score. Perhaps the Ranjerks will shell out millions to the overrated and highly overpaid piece of Siberian shet! To Hell with the captain. Captain my a$$! ++STENDEC++

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
9:18 pm

Did I just hear Derwood say, “let’s just call him <strong, second-half Slater." Aye, aye, aye. While it is a statistically anomaly that Slater has three goals in two games, if he genuinely becomes our “go to” scoring leader in the second half of the season …. No, I won’t finish that sentence. I prefer to let, YOU, the reader, finish it.

Hokie, I find it utterly disheartening that a GM of ANY team, much less ours, would go public with a statement like, “We expect attendance to pick up after the football season ends.” Oh my goodness. How is that any different from saying, “The first half of the season attendance is irrelevant to us.” Wow. Thud. Here’s an idea, build a winner, and the attendance takes care of itself, no matter WHAT OTHER COMPETITIVE SPORT season might also be underway. Then again, wouldn’t that speak to ACCOUNTABILITY for results? And, you know, I snuck into the offices of the Atlanta Spirit once, just to STEAL their dictionary. (Yeah, they can bill me for it.) And sure enough, the word accountability wasn’t in there. Here’s my offer. I’ll buy them a dictionary with that word in it. Free of charge.

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
9:20 pm

Second-half Slater had better score another one, or we’re headed to overtime. It’s 1-1, with 5:00 left in regulation. Slater, maybe, has been the best Thrasher skater all night.

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
9:35 pm

Thrashers and NY Rangers are in overtime now. It’s about half over.

HookyBob

January 7th, 2010
9:40 pm

Well,…I gave my tickets for tonight’s game to some fellow office workers who show great promise for becoming serious hockey fans. I hope the Thrashers don’t let them down. (with 3 minutes to go in the 3rd I think they may be hooked on our grand old game).

RiceOwls: What Taco Macs do you frequent? If it is the Decatur store we are most likely “two ships passing in the night”. Same with the Philips store before games.

Biltong: Where do you find the curious (French) brew? I’m a fan of Allagash, especially Dubbel & Grand Cru, but have not been able to find the Curieux (Have you tried the Innis and Gunn oak aged offering?). Also, let me know the next time you are planning to be at Twains. Assuming I can make it, the 1st round (and/or 3rd, 4th, etc) is on me). Might also be able to make the Midway Tavern for a game. If you are from Saskatoon area,..well I’m just from just a few hours downwind. Forget the wind,…do you think it is going to get cold here?

Zach!!!, as Eliott notes, when you are 200′ from your net don’t blindly pass the puck back. Eeeech!!!!

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
9:42 pm

My heart nearly STOPPED. Bogosian went DEEP into the Rangers zone and throws a blind back pass, which quickly is intercepted and sent up ice, creating a partial 2-on-1, where Marian Gaborik is the likely recipient of a cross-ice pass for a goal. And the Thrashers CHASING him, in the backcheck, is Max Afinogenov.

I couldn’t watch. I couldn’t watch. Somehow, Finny got back and there wasn’t a goal on the play. So, we’re headed to the shootout. Where Moose usually shines. He is, statistically, one of the all-time best NHL goaltenders in the shootout.

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
9:45 pm

Slava scores! Kovalchuk can win it! No!! Now, it’s up to Moose to get the win.

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
9:47 pm

Gaborik scores. Peverley now. No!! Lost it off his stick. Peverywhere is in a funk. Now it’s up to Moose to save it. And he does! It continues!!

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
9:47 pm

Bryan Little scores!!!

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
9:48 pm

Del Zotto misses! Moose wins! Atlanta is 1-6-3, for five out of a possible twenty (5/20) points.

Dwayne

January 7th, 2010
9:51 pm

its over….yeah

Dwayne

January 7th, 2010
9:51 pm

back in first….yeah

stendec

January 7th, 2010
10:00 pm

Sincere thanks to Moose Hedberg who refused to allow the losing streak to continue. Way to go big guy! Only Yardbird who truly gave a damn tonight at Loseland. El Kapitan “Figure Eight King” Kovalchuk made an ultra pathetic uneffort in shootout which could have kept slide intact had Moose not been super sharp. Moose would have shut out Ranjerks in regulation were it not for IK who stood by like a damn statue as the Rankjerk goal was scored. Overrated Russian scumbag bestard! Proud of Moose. Rest of the wingless Yardbirds can dive into Hell. ASAP! ++STENDEC++

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
10:08 pm

Moose said, “Nij!”

GaVaHokie

January 7th, 2010
10:09 pm

So, Bogosian’s been playing with an injury for what did they say? Six weeks? He definitely looks like a changed man the last two games.

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
10:10 pm

Ranallo Warning?????

Bob

January 7th, 2010
10:24 pm

“Savard is hindsight.”

You’re just making stuff up. There were a couple of the usual suspects, mabye you were one of them, who didn’t care that we were letting Savard go as he was a “penalty taking machine” if I remember right, and “good riddance”.

However, most of us, myself included, were pissed that we let him get away. There was no hindsight involved, most of us called it at the time as it was clear as day that he was a top line center in the NHL and had a great knack for making the key pass, something Kovy has always needed. Waddell goes and replaces him with Rucchin et al, and you can’t see the idiocy in that? Oy vey.

Speaking of foresight, that’s the definition of what it takes to be a successful GM in any sport. Waddell has none and the couple of you that can’t see clear as day that Waddell is completely inept after watching him for 10 years, well, not sure what I can say to you, but you are definitely in the vast minority on that.

LAC

January 7th, 2010
10:37 pm

Hedberg was Steller tonight… Glad we won ONE… What will we see Saturday night… Helps, but blood still pouring from the wound.

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

January 7th, 2010
10:37 pm

:!: RANALLO WARNING!! :!:

This is your official 10-minute Ranallo Warning!

Sage of Bluesland

January 7th, 2010
10:38 pm

Donny isn’t going anywhere as long as the sheep still actually give him ‘credit’ for his, umm, “work” during the past decade!

Wow. Should have placed an “idiot-alert” at the beginning of some of the posts I just read.

Oh well, sheep aren’t too swift–and that’s been proven time and again…

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
10:39 pm

The thing that irked me so much about Waddell, pre and post-Lockout, was hit reliance on yesteryear’s vets. He’d give anyone a shot, from Uwe Krupp, to Rucchin, to Holik to Ken Klee? I kept thinking, “how is this really going to work? What’s the plan?” When I think of the typical job description of a GM, I think, “Responsible for oversight of the team, including TEAM IDENTITY and TEAM STRATEGY. Where the most important thing is hiring the right coach to make it work.”

Well, as Sage of Blueland is fond of saying, “I have as many NHL playoff victories as Waddell has to his credit.”

Ice Dawg

January 8th, 2010
7:55 am

Well stated my man! This franchise will be lost under Waddell’s leadership (ha!). He’s already negociated Heatley, Savard, Hossa, and now Kovy out of Atlanta. No one wants to play for Waddell! Could you imagine if we still had all of those players???

God save Blue Land! (Waddell won’t…)

thrashersfan

January 9th, 2010
1:40 pm

Brendan, buddy, we don’t need a play-by-play on the Blog.

SickenedThrasherFan

January 10th, 2010
1:02 am

What a great way (blog) to vent some of the frustration caused by the miserable performance of this team. I grew up watching the Islanders of the 80’s with consistent contirbutions from the entire team including Trottier, Bossy, Nystrom, Giles, Bourne, Goring, Tonelli, Potvin, Smith, Pearson, Johnson, , Sutter, Sutter, Murrow, , Hedberg, Parisi, even Howatt and Carrol contributed to the dynasty. Behind the bench was Al Arbour and in the front office was Bill Torrey. Everyone did their job and when you compare those great teams to the Thrashers of today – it is impossible to find anything in common. This team is in deep trouble from the ownership down. Where is the GM Waddell ? Why have they not fired Anderson yet? Why would anyone pay Kovy ten billion dollars when as the face of the franchise he is the leader of arguably the worst team in professional sports? It is time for change – whatever fan base is left will be gone soon. If this team were a person, they would be attached to a defibrillator by now – - it is time to press the switch…….