Thrashers Olympic update and other quick shots

Just a couple of quickie notes here as we are now almost a week into this Olympic break…

First off… an update on some of the Thrashers players who are playing for their counties Olympic team in Vancouver. Toby Enstrom assisted on Mattias Ohlund’s second period goal as Sweden downed Germany 2-0 Wednesday night. Tuesday night Maxim Afinogenov assisted on Russia’s fourth goal on the way to an 8-2 thumping of Latvia. Max was credited with the secondary helper when Evgeni Malkin scored in the second period. Ilya Kovalchuk has the primary assist.

Oh, and I guess technically speaking, I should also mention Ilya Nikulin’s assist on Danis Zaripov’s goal that opened the scoring for Russia.

Today’s action will see team USA, who bet the Swiss 3-1 in their first game, taking on Norway…who was thumped 8-0 by Canada Tuesday afternoon. Russia will play Slovakia and Canada will match up against Switzerland.

USA woman’s hockey team…fresh off it’s 13-0 beat down of Russia 13-0 and their 12-1 pasting of China…will play Finland’s ladies today as well. Our gals have outscored their opponents 25-1 and will now be going up against a Finnish team that Beat China 2-1 and Russia 5-1.

Yes…I’m quite tired of the “Thrashers sold and moving to Winnipeg” yammering. Folks…it’s a fabricated story that was posted up on a Classic Rock station in western Canada. Period. It holds about as much credibility as if the guys from Dave FM posted up two lines on their website about Ted Turner buying the NBA Toronto Raptors and moving them to a city that lost their professional basketball team years ago…you know, like Buffalo, NY.

So…don’t give it any more attention then it deserves.

I’m currently working on a couple feature stories on Thrashers TV personalities Darrin Eliot and Matt McConnell. I had the chance to sit down with the two a couple weeks ago and hope you’ll enjoy reading about them and their thoughts on the team as much as I did chatting with them

If you are looking for a place to watch the USA vs. Canada game on Sunday, I hope you’ll join me at TJs on Holcomb Bridge to view it. NBC has chosen not to air the match…going with figure skating instead…but it will be on MSNBC.

And finally…just a reminder about the Party Bus that will take fans to the March 20th games when the Flyers are in town. The bus will depart from TJs at 5:00 and return there after the game. Along the way, prizes and drinks will be served up as well as great times with fellow Thrashers fans.

Contact Karin Beckman at 404-878-3781 or e-mail her at Karin.Beckman@atlantaspirit.com for more information.

189 comments Add your comment

Bob

February 18th, 2010
9:44 am

What time is the USA – Canada game on?

Russian

February 18th, 2010
9:50 am

Game at 7:45PM

sisu

February 18th, 2010
9:57 am

I think it is a lot of fun to see the Olympic hockey games. Much better than All Star games!

GaVaHokie

February 18th, 2010
10:02 am

I’m ready to see some good Olympic match-ups , instead of these lobsided opening affairs.

GaVaHokie

February 18th, 2010
10:03 am

Oh, and I guess technically speaking, I should also mention Ilya Nikulin’s assist on Danis Zaripov’s goal that opened the scoring for Russia.

eh, screw the technicalities… no need to mention that putz. ;)

Smoothie

February 18th, 2010
10:15 am

Who won the battle of Czech-o-Slovakia?? C’mon Bill, that’s lazy reporting! ;-)

It was 1 to 1 when I drifted off to sleep. I think I recall that Hossa guy setting up Gaborik with a sick feed for the one-timer. The line of Marian is pretty damn good. Anyone realize Marcel (Marcel!) Hossa is leading the KHL in goals scored? Yeah, THAT’S a quality league. j/k

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

February 18th, 2010
10:22 am

Somebody fill me in-why did Ilya Nikulin never come to the Thrashers?

NBA in Buffalo-yeah Bill, I remember when the Buffalo Braves left town. They were behind the 8-ball to begin with. Sabres and Braves came into existance the same time. The Sabres took control of The Aud, since they were awarded their franchise before the Braves. Braves never had their choice of play dates, so they got stuck with Tuesdays and Fridays, the same nights as high school basketball. Other reasons for their demise, but that was the biggest.

Anyway, we had Bob McAdoo.

J(Z)

February 18th, 2010
10:23 am

Can you get McConnell to eliminate “Missed the mark” from his vocabulary????? Please?????

Smoothie

February 18th, 2010
10:33 am

Matty really likes the word “carom” as well. In fact, the puck is seemingly in a constant state of “caroming” around the rink when he’s at a game and talking about it. :cool:

Mark

February 18th, 2010
10:40 am

Atlanta has over 5 million people in the metro area. Manitoba, the province Winnipeg is located, has 1/5 that population and little more than 700,000 in in the Winnipeg metro area (if you can call it that).
Yeah they’re gonna move the team there…

Bluenote

February 18th, 2010
11:04 am

First lacrosse scrimmage for my deduction tonight, but I will drop in after that epic battle is settled.
Save me a seat at TJs tonight….and a few of those bluecheesy chips

GaVaHokie

February 18th, 2010
11:06 am

Pirate… because of money… I believe the rules require Nikulin to play on an entry level contract the first year. The KHL pays him millions… He only wanted a one year agreement to play with Atlanta, making him UFA after that year. He’s good friends with Ovechkin, and we can’t risk him leaving after year one and signing with Washington.

One other, lesser non-issue, is he wouldn’t accept a two-way contract with the Wolves.

All in all, he’s used the NHL to leverage more money out of the KHL… he’s done this twice… it’s essentially the opposite of what Kovalchuk is going to do this summer. Kovy will use the KHL to leverage more money out of the NHL.

I wish we had traded Nikulin’s rights a long time ago.

Rawhide

February 18th, 2010
11:06 am

Bob - 7:30-ish is game time…but many of us will gather earlier that afternoon to watch Russia play CZE.

Smoothie – CZE 3 – SVK 1

Mark – Exactly!

Bluenote – The Canada vs. USA game viewing party will be Sunday night…but I’m sure you they’ll have tonight’s game on as well should you happen by there.

Russ

February 18th, 2010
11:37 am

“It holds about as much credibility as if the guys from Dave FM posted up two lines on their website about Ted Turner buying the NBA Toronto Raptors and moving them to a city that lost their professional basketball team years ago…you know, like Buffalo, NY.”

Or as much credibility as anything that comes out of DW’s mouth.

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

February 18th, 2010
11:54 am

Bluenote

February 18th, 2010
11:59 am

Thanks for the clarification.
My powers of misunderstanding appear to be limitless this week!

Trash

February 18th, 2010
12:00 pm

Why has JP Dellacamera disappeared from the scene ?? Anyone ?

Alan R.

February 18th, 2010
12:20 pm

Why has JP Dellacamera disappeared from the scene ?? Anyone ?

Covering Soccer for ESPN.

Tony C.

February 18th, 2010
12:20 pm

Trash: he signed a nice deal with ESPN to do MLS games (which is his preferred sport to call).

Colin

February 18th, 2010
12:21 pm

The Thrashers are moving to winnipeg, it has been confirmed by people high up in the moose org, (part owned by the richest man in canada) thrashers get 13000 a game with a city of 5 million. manitoba moose get 9000 with city of 800 000. when jets left winnipeg drew 13500 a game. city has grown, dollar is up, and we now and financial support (city used to own the building).

Rawhide

February 18th, 2010
12:34 pm

Colin – Come back on March 5 and tell us why the “big announcement” didn’t happen.

Colin

February 18th, 2010
12:48 pm

Alan R.

February 18th, 2010
12:52 pm

The Thrashers are moving to winnipeg.

Nice attempt. Try harder next time, though.

James Brown

February 18th, 2010
1:05 pm

The Gwinnett Gladiators have a bigger pool of people to pull from than Winnipeg does………….What does advertising go for there on a televised hockey game? Laughable!

Red Light

February 18th, 2010
1:08 pm

A good piece here by John Manasso. Interesting reading! http://yankeewhistles.blogspot.com/2010/02/idea-of-thrashers-move-is-laughable.html

Alright, we’re all getting a bit tired of the RELO nonsense. So, I compiled a few tidbits for everyone to consider. Hope you don’t mind Rawhide!

A Tale of Seven NHL Cities
While attendance in Atlanta has declined, the drop during the past four seasons isn’t as significant as Colorado, and like most have pointed out, frustration with management seems to rule the day. But there is no question that a few consecutive playoff appearances will/could help curb the decline and a significant positive spike will/could occur. I think the biggest question is whether or not a significant number of disenfranchised fans will return with playoff appearances if the ASG and Waddell remain involved. I think we all know where each of us stands on the matter, but I think it’s worth exploring.

I took a look at the correlation between winning and losing, using attendance figures and standings since 2003-04 season to the present. In two cases (Pitts and Wash), winning certainly matters. In one instance (NJ) it simply doesn’t matter because they have their core fans, nothing more and nothing less, and that market is very similar to Nashville, Long Island and Florida with no significant spikes either way. In Colorado, despite three of five playoff appearances, attendance has steadily declined by nearly 4,400 per game since the 2005-06 season. In Columbus, they are off a few thousand during the past three seasons and last year’s playoff appearance hasn’t helped. Winning doesn’t cure all ills, but it can’t hurt in Atlanta.

Pittsburgh Penguins
Winning and star power matters
2004 11,877 15th in Eastern Conference
2006 15,804 The Crosby Era begins, Fleury arrives
2007 16,424 The Malkin Era Begins
2008 17,076 Stanley Cup Finals
2009 16,975 Stanley Cup Champions
2010 17,066 4th in Eastern Conference

Washington Capitals
Winning does matter!
2004 14,720 14th in Eastern Conference
2006 13,905 14th in Eastern Conference Ovechkin and Green Arrive
2007 13,929 14th in Eastern Conference Semin Arrives
2008 15,472 1st in Southeast Division Backstrom Arrives, Boudreau Hired
2009 18.097 2nd in Eastern Conference Varlamov arrives
2010 18,277 1st in Eastern Conference

New Jersey Devils
Winning doesn’t have the desired affect on attendance
2004 15,059 6th in Eastern Conference
2006 14,230 1st in Atlantic Division
2007 14,176 2nd in Eastern Conference
2008 15,564 4th in Eastern Conference
2009 15,790 3rd in Eastern Conference
2010 14,972 2nd in Eastern Conference

Atlanta Thrashers
Frustration sets in!
2004 15,121 10th in Eastern Conference
2006 15,550 Tied 9th in Eastern Conference
2007 16,240 1st in Southeast Division
2008 15,831 14th in Eastern Conference
2009 14,626 13th in Eastern Conference
2010 13,203 11th in Eastern Conference

Florida Panthers
Futility hasn’t hurt attendance
2004 15,936 11th in Eastern Conference
2006 16,014 10th in Eastern Conference
2007 15,370 12th in Eastern Conference
2008 15,436 11th in Eastern Conference
2009 15,621 9th in Eastern Conference
2010 15,127 12th in Eastern Conference

New York Islanders
Always at or near the bottom regardless of standings
2004 13,693 8th in Eastern Conference
2006 12,609 12th in Eastern Conference
2007 12,886 8th in Eastern Conference
2008 13,640 13th in Eastern Conference
2009 13,373 15th in Eastern Conference
2010 12,500 12th in Eastern Conference

Colorado Avalanche
Steady attendance decline despite 3 of 5 playoff appearances
2004 18,007 4th in Western Conference
2006 18,007 7th in Western Conference
2007 17,612 9th in Western Conference
2008 16,842 6th in Western Conference
2009 15,429 15th in Western Conference
2010 13,610 6th in Western Conference

Red Light

February 18th, 2010
1:08 pm

I simply don’t know how to use the bold feature on my computer. Help me Trixie!

kracker

February 18th, 2010
1:10 pm

I’ll try to make TJ’s for USA-Canada. It’s played on Sunday, I see. I missed the B’hawks game there, down with a cold.

Colin's anus

February 18th, 2010
1:11 pm

Whinny-peg Thrashers….

kracker

February 18th, 2010
1:12 pm

Looks like you did real good with the bold, Red Light! lol

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

February 18th, 2010
1:15 pm

Mr. Red Light – I took care of the BOLD issue for you.

Red Light

February 18th, 2010
1:16 pm

You’re the greatest. Thanks. I’m done with the shouting.

Red Light

February 18th, 2010
1:19 pm

For clarification, the rank is where they are in the actual standings, not in attendance. Sorry if it’s confusing.

kracker

February 18th, 2010
1:27 pm

Nice work, Red Light. I think winning will help the attandance here. Winning playoff games, that is.

World Be Free

February 18th, 2010
1:47 pm

Great job Red Light!

Thrashers27

February 18th, 2010
1:53 pm

Anyone know if The Thrashers lose the rights to Nikulin with the passing of this season/calendar year?

kracker

February 18th, 2010
2:15 pm

I know how to get Nikulin to sign. Move Thrashers to KHL. OK, not so funny. Everyone is tired of looking for Nikulin and he’s signed w/ Ak Bars Kazan for a few years anyway.

Smoothie

February 18th, 2010
2:21 pm

Let’s hope so because I’m tired of hearing about a guy who will never come to ATL and prolly not ever to the US either. Instead, let’s be thankful for the future: Kulda, Postma and Vish to go with Ron, Z-Bo, Tobes and Johnny O!

LAC

February 18th, 2010
2:23 pm

I thinkthere needs to be a Press Confrence in Atlanta March 4th.

In attendence ALL owners of the Thrashers, even beau turner… Also Gary Bettman and Bill Daly.

These owners then need to refute all these moving rumors and say WE understand the fans fustration here and NOW realize this and will NOW REALLY do all in our power to put a WINNER
on the ice.

The Commissioner needs to do the same and let EVERYONE know, esp those DUMB canada fans, this team is NOT moving, The owners and us have met and there is NOW a much clearer
understanding of what the Thrashers need to do, to produce a WINNER here once and for all.

IE… If you don’t owners… The NHL Will.

End all this BS and make these owners APPEAR IN PUBLIC all at once to finally show themselves
and tell the Thrasher Fans “WE ARE SORRY FOR HOW WE SCREWED THINGS UP” !

First order of business to turn this mess around, the prompt FIRING of don waddell, that would go a LONG way to show they care and LISTEN to the fans and NOT waddell and his lies !

Badger Bob

February 18th, 2010
2:23 pm

Beautiful work, RedLight. While it shows local market conditions are a big player in most of those cities, winning will be key in ATL with so much competition for sports $.

Let’s throw the following back at the next Canadian whiner who complains about Canadian fans subsidizing southern US NHL teams. There are four members of the Canadian Women’s hockey team (including their leading scorer Meghan Agosta) who hone their skills at US colleges. Women’s college hockey is a beneficiary of Title IX, which basically funnels money from football programs to women’s athletics. So we can say Georgia Bulldog football fans are subsidizing the development of Canadian Olympic hockey players. Perhaps it will at least shut them up for a minute while they digest that…

R. Stroz

February 18th, 2010
2:31 pm

Two of my axioms apply to individuals such as Colin:

1) There’s always an idiot

2) It’s hard to convince an idiot not to be stupid

Brendan

February 18th, 2010
2:49 pm

Confession time. I haven’t really watched very much Olympic hockey. All that’s ever on … is ice dancing, snowboarding, skiing, and curling. I try CNBC and NBC. And I even tried the NHL Network, hoping that might be carrying some live feed. I do have Comcast, so there are those “best of the day” under “2010 Winter Olympics” (ON DEMAND), with which to watch highlights. But in terms of “live” game coverage, I’ve missed quite a bit of it.

Thus far, my impressions of the 2010 Olympics have been good ones, despite the tragedy early on, re: the luger from Georgia (Republic of). Shaun White and Lindsey Vonn have delivered. And if you think Lindsey’s a hottie, SI has about 45 pics of her, as well as a video documenting the photo shoot. And yes, she is topless for several of the shots. (Not bare and exposed, mind you, just topless.)

It reminds me of a joke. A guy’s walking down the strip, bar hopping. He sees a sign, “Topless.” And another that reads, “Bottomless.” Naturally, he’s intrigued and mozies on it. Sure enough, the place was empty.

Smoothie

February 18th, 2010
2:50 pm

Stroz – you forgot one.

Axiom 3) Many idiots reside on the frozen plains of Manitoba outside Winnipeg.

Hockey Biltong

February 18th, 2010
2:51 pm

Taking the high road…..

Brendan

February 18th, 2010
2:52 pm

I’m really looking forward to the interview with (Cornell graduate) Darren Eliot. Call me crazy, if you must, but I think Darren is a far better choice of GM than Waddell. Darren Eliot can evaluate talent. And if he’s not sure about salary parameters, Dudley is there to help him. Or, he could hire an accountant, to keep him to a budget.

Brendan

February 18th, 2010
2:55 pm

Rawhide, was the final tally 167-14, concerning the “Glass Half Full vs. Glass Half Empty” poll?

Rawhide

February 18th, 2010
2:58 pm

LAC – Excellent post…I’d love to see just that happen.

Brendan – Final tally was indeed 167 votes for “Glass Half Full” and “14 votes for “Glass Half Empty.

Lee

February 18th, 2010
3:09 pm

Here’s my top five picks for the olympics:
Gold – Russia
Silver – Canada
Bronze – USA
4th – Sweden
5th – Czech

Badger Bob

February 18th, 2010
3:12 pm

Brendan, msnbc is showing tons of live hockey. Then again, 18-0 and 13-1 games can barely be called hockey, so you haven’t missed much yet. USA has the US-Norway game right now (1-0 4 min utes in on a Kessel goal)

Brendan

February 18th, 2010
3:25 pm

If only I were home, enjoying it! (Yeah, that’s what Tivo is for. I hear ya.)

Brendan

February 18th, 2010
3:27 pm

167-14 is a good sign, Rawhide. Now, if the ownership would just DO SOMETHING to cultivate, rather than tear down, this positive belief in the team ….