Thrasherville Six-Pack & Seventh Man Suggestion in Today’s Thrasherville Times

Thrasherville Times

- If it isn’t in the Thrasherville Times, it didn’t happen -

Sunday March 14, 2010

Before we spread this morning’s Thrasherville Times out all over the bed or breakfast table…or wherever else you take the Sunday morning paper… I’d like to take this opportunity to give a couple of shout outs to a pair of “Bobs” that frequent this little on-line forum.

Friday night I had the chance to meet BadgerBob as well as Bob…yes, the original “Bob” of this blog…while attending the game at Philips Arena. Oh, and I also had the distinct pleasure of also meeting the lovely and charming Mrs. Bob as well.

It was wonderful to have met ya all…and I certainly do hope to see you again soon.

And now, the March 14, 2010 edition of the Thrasherville Times…

Working On A Thrasherville Six-Pack

This afternoon the Thrashers will entertain the Phoenix Coyotes, who are 41-22-5 after winning in Carolina last night and currently hold the 4th position in the Western Conference. The Thrashers on the other hand are 28-29-10, only two points away from the Southeast Division cellar and three points north of 14th place in the Eastern Conference.

Also, as you are all also very aware of, the home team is currently mired in a five-game losing streak…and not one of those loses brought with it even a single loser consolation point taking an opponent to overtime. Earlier in the season, the team suffered through a nine-game losing streak, but at least three of those defeats earned an overtime loser point.

But such is not the case during this latest slide as they have five losses with zero points. That being the case, a regulation loss today to the Coyotes would bring with it the possibility of having a Thrasherville Six-Pack cracked open.

What’s a Thrasherville Six-Pack, you ask? Well, that’s when you lose six consecutive games in regulation…and then someone is sent packing.

You know, like was the case with Bob Hartley in October of 2007.

If you want to compare this current streak of un-success with that of the first half-dozen games in the fall of ’07, back then the Thrashers were outscored 26-8 in the six losses…22-8 in the first five. In their current losing streak…the “Free-Fall From the Playoffs 2010 Edition”… they have been outscored 19-6.

As you can see, the goals for/goals against difference was pretty near the same…-13 now and -14 then.

So much for “incremental progress” and all that jive.

Kiss-Cam Couple For Seventh Man Award

I was once told that the most hard to attain status symbol in America these days is that of a long-term, happy, successful marriage. The reason being is that in order to achieve such, you have to have someone else in your life equally as dedicated, driven and devoted to obtaining it. You can gain riches and fame on your own, theoretically, but to achieve successful marriage status…well, that is something you simply cannot do on your own.

I’m reminded of this beautiful though many times throughout the hockey season when I see that wonderful elderly couple that appear so often on the Kiss Cam during intermission breaks. They always receive a wonderful ovation from the crowd and I can’t help but don a broad grin each and every time they are shown. And I know so many of you enjoy seeing them on the big jumbo screen above the ice of Philips as well.

The other day I, along with a few of my fellow Thrashervillians, came upon the topic of the two charming Kiss Cam favorites and an idea popped into my head. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this season this lovely couple were honored with the seventh fan award, which is presented at the end of each season?

Personally, I think it would be a great way to honor their devotion to not only each other…but the Thrashers as well.

They have weathered life’s storms, endured hardships, troubles and tribulations…something we Thrashers fans case certainly relate is some measure to…as well as shared many wonderful moments in life as well along the way. And they still find a way to make it to so many home games…together.

I wish I new their names…and to that measure, I’m in the process of trying to learn them. But I thought I would throw the idea out there to the masses nonetheless so that when it comes time to decide who this year’s seventh fan recipient will be, they will be in the forefront of your minds.

Ya know, come to think if it…this may very well be the first-ever official endorsement by the editorial staff of the Thrasherville Times.

Has Anybody Seen My Old Friend John…or Tom…or Jim…or Anybody?

Back on February 6… as the Thrashers were making their way back to Thrasherville from D.C. in the midst of a blizzard … Executive Vice President and general manager Don Waddell, along with Atlanta Spirit partner Bruce Levinson, held a town hall meeting with season ticket holders to discuss the state of the Thrashers organization and the future of the franchise. By most accounts, there were about 250-300 fans in attendance.

Waddell fielded a few direct questions from some who were very disappointed that he was yet again forced to trade away another star player because he was unwilling to re-sign and stay. But from what I have heard of the event, most their seemed more than willing to express support for the only GM the team has ever had by giving him a giant pat on the back with “we’re behind ya, Don” and “Keep doing what you’re doing” type of comments.

Given that, a lot of people came away from the THM thinking that Waddell, Levenson and the rest of the Great Octocluster did indeed have the support and backing of the fan base in Thrasherville. I mean, if most of the crowd did not come to the meeting demanding a change in the front office, then surely the brain trust of the organization can take heart in that…right?

Umm…maybe, maybe not.

See, while it’s true Waddell and Levenson did not have to face the kind of angry mob that many thought they would, the real concern to me is that there were so few who were there to even take part in the event in the first place…250-300.

What does Philips Arena hold for a hockey game…18,000-plus? Uh-huh, and how many season ticket holders were there over a decade ago when the franchise came into the NHL? If I’m not mistaken, that number was 12,000 in March 1999… an NHL mandated minimum.

But only a couple hundred STHs were on hand to discuss the state of the franchise fresh off the most meaningful transaction in the club’s history. Which begs the question… just where did the rest of the season ticket holders go?

So that you don’t have to put too much cerebral activity to that question, I’ll answer it for you…they are indeed still around.  It’s just that those fans…fans that greatly outnumber those who remain…have simply stopped pulling out their wallets to shell out thousands of dollars a season for a product that they have completely and totally lost faith in.

Oh, they haven’t lost faith in the Thrashers or NHL hockey in this community per se. But they have lost faith in the current ownership and one other person, Don Waddell…the man that has promised them so much over the course of a decade-plus, but has delivered on so little.

What should be Don Waddell's fate at the end of the season?

  • Keep him as GM. He's doing a fine job so far! (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Fire him! The record speaks for itself! (25%, 37 Votes)
  • Keep him as EVP but take GM from his title (18%, 26 Votes)
  • What do you mean "at the end of the season"...FIRE HIM NOW! (56%, 82 Votes)

Total Voters: 146

Loading ... Loading ...

And these people are not coming back, or at least not willing to become season ticket holders again, until there is a change…and I’m talkin’ a serious change…coming from this Thrashers organization. They will not give this team any more of their hard earned dollars unless and until the Spirit Group shows the intellectual fortitude…the intestinal fortitude…and the testicular fortitude…required to actually part ways with Don Waddell and set this franchise on a different course.

Now, we can sit here and argue about “this trade” and “that signing” and “this player not re-signing” as reasons why the Waddell-era of the Thrashers has or hasn’t been a complete failure until we’re all blue in the face. But there are two cold-hard facts here that simply cannot be ignored.

One: The lack of success. Their overall record going into today’s game is 301-396-63-45. That’s a points winning percentage of .441. In the last two seasons, both ending with 76 points, that PW% has been .463. Right now, they are once again a sub- .500 hockey team. Nine complete seasons, seven with losing records, one playoff showing and zero post-season wins. And as the Thrashers continue to slide closer and closer to the land of lotteryville, it is clear we are really no closer to that first playoff victory than we were three years ago following the four-game sweep at the hands of the Rangers.

Second: The vast expanses of empty seats in Philips Arena on any given night. Take last Friday for example…a Friday night game in March. The team in the middle of a “March to the Playoffs’…and the building wasn’t full. Officially they say 15,000 +, but there were maybe 12,000 in the house.

And don’t even get me started on what weeknight attendance is like. Simply put, this is nothing short of embarrassing, folks. But it is also the most damning evidence pointing to the fact that the vast majority of potential paying customers have 100% totally rejected what Waddell and the Octocluster are selling.

So again I will say, this organization simply must change course and do it now. Not with just new players, or a new “thinking” of how to construct a team…not with just a new coach, as that has been tried before….not just with a new season campaign slogan or lower ticket prices, although that would be a good start as well…and not with new promises coming from the same source.

No…this organization needs a change in the fundamental foundation of it’s very existence. And that change can only come from the general manger’s office.

If the Thrashers ownership do not finally and once and for all move to make such a change…then those 250-300 season ticket holders that bothered to show up on February 6 will be all the Thrashers sales and marketing department can ever hope to collect revenue from on a season ticket basis.

And pretty soon…they’ll also be the only people showing up to the games at all.

Classy Way To Say Good-Bye

We here in Thrasherville are well accustomed to seeing players leave for other teams. Many times, we also have to endure a backhanded slap from them on their way out the door…a “it’s nice to play in a real hockey town”, or “it’ll be nice to play in front of so many fans each night” is not uncommon.

Certainly we are not alone in this, as many fans of all sports have felt the stinging rebuke of a departing athlete. But here is a case where the direct opposite occurred.

The New Orleans Saints, as you may have heard, recently won the Super Bowl…something many thought was as likely as the Thrashers winning a Stanley Cup. (And hey, it only took the Saints organization four and a half decades to do. So, using that as a measuring stick, we are about a quarter of the way there).

Anyway… recently, the NFL began their free agent signing season and, much like in the NHL, many players found new employers. One such player, linebacker Scott Fujita, left New Orleans to go play for the Cleveland Browns.

How did he depart Louisiana? Well, he gave the community a big virtual hug by donating half of his Super Bowl winnings to charity. Half of his generous gift went to the post-Katrina coastal restoration project in New Orleans and the other half to the relief efforts underway in earthquake-ravage Haiti.

“The people of this city and region have been so good to me and my family that we just felt strongly about doing something to protect the city we have come to love so much”, Fujita explains. “And helping on the coastal issues has been on the back of my mind since I first got here”.

Now that is a classy way to say good-bye. The sports world needs more people like that.

Quotes of the Week

“I think they were a little sharper, wanted it a little more” – John Anderson after last Saturday’s loss in Tampa Bay.

“The power play and the penalty kill are not doing a good job right now. It’s the difference in the game and being in playoff position or not” – John Anderson after the 4-0 loss to Carolina last Sunday.

“We’re not out of it. We’ve still got some games left but we’ve got to start putting some wins together instead of losses” – Chris Thorburn after the 2-1 loss to Nashville on Tuesday.

“I don’t think we were ready to play the first period and a half” – Nik Antropov after the 2-1 loss in Columbus on Thursday.

“This was a huge game for us. We knew how big of a game it was and we didn’t perform how we wanted to. It’s definitely deflating” – Jim Slater after the 5-2 loss to the Rangers Friday.

106 comments Add your comment

FormerIslesFan

March 14th, 2010
6:30 am

First? (That was for you, Stroz)…

The Real Thrash

March 14th, 2010
6:48 am

Why is there a need for this discussion?
What does the ownership keep Waddell?
The only logical reason is because no one else would come here and believe they would be successful. The financial constraints are too severe.

HookyBob

March 14th, 2010
6:52 am

Great read Rawhide.

This blog is to the Thrashers organization what the Tea Party is to Washington. We are tired of all the crap and want a meaningful change.

Coyotes, today. I’m staying home. I am as enamored with the Yotes as I am disillusioned with the Thrashers. They have done a great turn-around despite issues more troubling than our inept management and disfunctional ownership. I’ll still cheer for our “Boys in Blue” but deep inside I now hear a voice asking “why?”.

nhlfan79

March 14th, 2010
7:48 am

I was at the town hall meeting, and to be fair, it was standing room only on the Hawks practice court. That low number was all the place could hold. Also, don’t mistake the fans’ agreement with the hockey decision not to pay Kovy max money over 12 years with approval of the Octocluster and DW’s overall performance. The fans clearly were frustrated with the team’s performance, the retention of DW, and ownership’s absence at the games, and quite a few made that known. Levenson’s answers to those criticisms, however, give me no faith that they’ll finally make any tough decisions this offseason. Therefore, I’m sitting on my ticket renewal until action is taken. The ball is in their court.

moriler

March 14th, 2010
7:51 am

I worry that a bigger problem than Waddell is about to become ownership. I am still largely optimistic that Waddell will step out of player-related duties completely and turn them over to Dudley, and our recent player moves certainly indicate a better direction on that front than in years past. I’m willing to give Dudley some time and see how things work out.

Unfortunately, the Thrashers are saddled with Philips Arena, and practices up in where, Duluth? Others have commented on this but I’ll go through it in slightly greater detail: The locations suck.

There are plenty of hockey fans in this city. A lot of them, like myself, are transplants from the North (though I’ve been here since ‘85 so I probably don’t qualify anymore). Where are most of those transplants living, though? Yup, that’s right… in a big wide are from slightly outside the west side of 285 allll the way over through Marietta and Alphawretched to Gwinnett County. And ticket prices are just a bit high these days … and where’s a huge hunk of the money living? Oh, right. Same place.

And we still start the weeknight games at 7:00pm. This, more than anything, is where the Octocluster needs to wake up and get a clue about what’s happening in their own city: The start time and location have rendered it literally near-impossible for the average fan to conveniently make a weeknight game. Consider that Joe WorkingBum CasualFan leaves work at 5:00. He heads towards his house outside the Perimeter to change out of his zoot suit, and doesn’t make it there until 6:00 on a good day because _traffic sucks_. Then he has to turn around and try to get back down to Philips Arena, smack in the middle of a major traffic blob, by 7:00? Yeah, right. He maybe does this once, twice a year ‘cos of how much of a pain it is. I am able to show up to a bunch of games because I live within walking distance of a stop on the MARTA north train line — zero traffic, almost-zero effort, and no risk if I choose to consume a few ginger ales at the game and bang on the glass. But that line doesn’t extend out into the places I’m looking at buying a house soon, and NO line does, so you can start watching _my_ attendance drop off as well… for reasons totally unrelated to the team’s performance.

I don’t even think that having the games start at 7:30 would be sufficient, honestly. The arena is, plain and simple, in the wrong location. Downtown’s too hard to get to from where your target market lives, and you’d think that the Octocluster would have bothered to employ at least one market research deadbeat to find that sort of thing out. Put an arena in northern Roswell and you’ll see it flooded with people, even those that show up wearing bags just to make fun of the team.

I also don’t think this will ever change, sadly. The city-proper of Atlanta hasn’t figured out how to draw people back to the downtown areas, and it’s so poorly mismanaged that it doesn’t have much of a hope of getting there anytime soon. But they’ll hold onto the arena with tooth and claw, because that’s one of their few bright spots, and trying to get Fulton or one of the northern mini-cities to fund an arena is going to be next to impossible: Fulton’s tax base is being taken away from it as we speak, and the mini-cities (John’s Creek, Sandy Springs, etc) aren’t big enough; they’re only incorporating to get out from under Fulton’s and Atlanta’s thumbs.

Anyway, I have digressed. Happy Pi day. :P

moriler

March 14th, 2010
8:03 am

(I had hoped for there to be some purpose updating that playoff projection spreadsheet, but with the latest couple losses, the projection for the Thrashers looks a lot more simple: “Win Out And Hope Someone Blows It”, and you don’t really need shiny numbers to figure that one out. :)

Tony C.

March 14th, 2010
8:06 am

Again, if anybody here can do decent accounting, I say go interview for the position-apparently, you don’t have to have too much in the way of hockey knowledge-just cook the books baby!

thasher fan

March 14th, 2010
8:11 am

for the poor fans who live out in the suburbs where there is no MARTA, well, quit complaining and get your local government to vote for the tax that could bring MARTA out to you. It’s the suburban folks who — and we all know why — don’t want MARTA near them but sure like to use it. the location is fine. it is the atlanta thrashers not the lawrenceville lads, by the way. so, vote for MARTA. as for waddell, fire him. glad kovy is gone but it’s time for don to go as well.

MB

March 14th, 2010
8:16 am

Fantastic idea to honor the Kiss Cam couple as the Seventh Fan…they do, indeed, bring a smile to many faces at the game.

Ya know, there is still a chance that we can play meaningful games this month. The way the Leafs have been playing of late, it’s not beyond the pale that the games against them on the 25th and 30th could be pivotal in determining which is the second worst team in the league. Yippee.

moriler

March 14th, 2010
8:17 am

If the location’s so good why does attendance suck again even when the team’s playing well? :D Oh, right — the people with the money are using it elsewhere. Can’t force them to use their money on your product; you have to make your product appeal to them. One way is to make it easier to attend your product.

This is Marketing 101, really. Hockey fans are the vast minority of suburban residents; it wouldn’t matter if every single person who wanted to attend a thrashers game started supported the MARTA train line expansions, it still wouldn’t happen. So Thrashers ownership need to take action, not make excuses and pretend it isn’t their problem.

Bluenote

March 14th, 2010
8:23 am

I picked a bad week to stop sniffing glue. ASG: Another Season Gone.

Another in a series of missed opportunities as the team as has utterly failed to connect a flicker of post olympic hockey buzz to any success. Should/coulda/woulda. Wish I thought that a new GM was going to be the answer, and surely it can’t hurt, but the fish rots from the head. Anyone seen Michael Gearon at a game since his rousing Stanley Cup speech a couple of seasons back?

Neither have I.

As long as this franchise is an investment, not a passion to owners it’s hard to believe anything’s gonna change. And sponsors. What’s up with a 5 story pile of non-working, 10 year old video monitors Phillips? What a terrific way to raise awareness of your leading edge technology!

Great work, as usual, Rawhide. Really like the idea of giving the “old couple” some names and recognition. The arena always seems to enjoy it when they’re on camera. Applause for your thoughts there.

It made me consider the former regulars who are now MIA. The Braveheart guy. Beavis & Butthead. Rabid Fan. Grandma. Others. It’s one thing for the team not to be able to retain high dollar free agents. Speaks volumes that it can’t hang onto hard core fans. Sheesh one of the few remaining goofballs, the cowboy guy covers his face.

Can’t really blame him.

Not Blind

March 14th, 2010
8:44 am

Wasn’t that a GREAT NYI vs NJD game ? In the 2nd the Isles pinned the vaunted Devils in there own end for extended periods of time causing NJ to take penalties which NY capitalized on. It was some great hockey to watch.

My point is – I don’t think NYI has more skilled players than Atl. What they ARE is better lead and better motivated.

Tom

March 14th, 2010
9:10 am

I love the idea of the Kiss Cam couple. Back when we were season ticket holders they sat right above us in section 111. As nice of people you would want to meet. They moved to behind the benches, we moved to 122, but a hello was always in order when we saw each other at the games.

Now of course, thank you Don Waddell, we are ex season ticket holders, but they remain one of the bright spots of our Thrashers experience.

LAC

March 14th, 2010
10:38 am

Bluenote, I believe that was the sinister rutherford STUPIDNEL, Oh I mean snydel, who was on the ice when the SE banner was raised promising allsorts of BS and meaning nothing, in ordnairy
terms, LYING.

These clowns never go to Thrasher games, they are afraid. That is how people with book sense and NO common sense act. They would not know what to say to the common fan.

They act all “high & mighty”, but everyone laughs at them and knows they are complete FOOLS at running an NHL team. Come on Bill… Find out WHY these little boys are hiding from the fans and will not answer the waddell factor. Someone needs to, Jeff did a good job on the commissioner.
Why can’t you seek these IDIOTS out ? We All know the asg TOOL beat writer will not, he takes orders from them and when the fan asks, he resorts to his usual childish name calling !

So please see what you CAN find out… Thanks!

Junk not Trunk

March 14th, 2010
10:39 am

And there are plenty of hockey fans who live on the southside for whom a northern-suburb-located arena would be a huge hassle to get to. And out west, Douglsville way. And east, towards Conyers. Yep, there are hockey fans out there too.

And some like me, who live walking distance to Philips.

They’re trying to draw from the entire Atlanta region, not just Roswell. And the much bigger problem is that the product they have is so bad it can’t draw flies.

Bob

March 14th, 2010
11:08 am

Bill, great to meet you! And R. Stroz, great to meet you as well!

I like the idea on that couple from the Kiss Game for the 7th man. They always warmed my heart seeing them dressed up nicely and enjoying a game. I used to tell me wife “that’ll be us one day”.

As I was showing you Friday night, our old section was full of long time season ticket holders. We were some of the last to leave, there’s just one guy left in that section from the years there. All of the guys I talk to now say they’ll come back, when they get rid of Waddell. But most don’t even care enough to come to a game now, that’s very sad.

There’s some nice pieces in place on this team. A new GM could come in and spend the money wisely this offseason. I pray the Spirit Squad wakes up and finally does what needs to be done.

Red Light

March 14th, 2010
11:10 am

Thrashers all-time record vs Coyotes: 1-10-1. Their only win came with Pasi Nurminen in net back in 2003. Only Doan remains with Phoenix and Kozlov for Atlanta from that game.

EA

March 14th, 2010
11:11 am

nfl79, thanks for backing up what I have said on this blog numerous times. The applause at the STH was about the money involved with the Kovy deal, not the Thrashers season. I guess if your name is not Brendan or the other regulars (no offense to any of you great bloggers) , no one believes what you say. STH fans are as upset and frustrated as everyone else on here.

sisu

March 14th, 2010
11:11 am

I think there is always a lot of talk about the budget for this team but what about Nashville? They run their squad on a shoe string budget, changed owners and still compete very hard. I think what the real reason for failures is the draft picks, if the organization had a steady stream of prospects in the AHL it would be easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
One thing that could go a very long way is to finally find a true #1 goalie, don’t believe me? Look at the Swiss in the Olympics and what a difference their goalie made for them.
It is time for a change all around, the team never being able to win more than 5 games in a row speaks for it self.

August

March 14th, 2010
11:14 am

I really can’t believe that someone is on here whining about attendance being down because “the Thrashers play downtown.” You know, instead of building that stadium for the Atlanta Beat, maybe Kennesaw State should expand it and dome it for the hundreds of hockey fans that live in Kennesaw/Acworth.

Personally, I live in Stockbridge and I work in Kennesaw. I’m 20 miles from downtown with where I work and I’m 20 miles from downtown with where I live. Yet and still, I still go because I WANT to go. If the team played in Peachtree City, I’d still go because I WANT to go.

Heck, I drove downtown when the city was flooding for a frickin’ preseason game. The only reason I’m hesitant to go to games now (as I said last blog) is that the team doesn’t care to make the effort on the ice, so I don’t care to make the effort to show up. And I guarantee you that the people in Roswell, Alpharetta, Flowery Branch, Lawrenceville, Covington, McDonough, Hampton, Lake City, Villa Rica, Douglasville, Fairburn, Union City, Marietta, Cartersville, and all points outward and in between feel the same way. If the team was winning or if the team at least played with effort, those people would show up.

moriler

March 14th, 2010
11:16 am

“They’re trying to draw from the entire Atlanta region,…”

Yeah, see, that goes back to “failure to do market research”. The guys in Douglasville and Conyers have a heck of a drive no matter where you put the arena (excluding Douglasville and/or Conyers, of course) — and I-285 takes them to the northside just as well as I-20 takes them to downtown. The people downtown can go outbound (even on MARTA!) just as easily as the people near 285/400 can go intown; possibly easier.

I wouldn’t want to draw from Roswell specifically either, but Roswell is simply a central point that’s easier to get to for the north, west, and east Atlanta burbs. And rather than buying into the City of Atlanta’s failed once, failed twice, gonna-fail-again “downtown restoration project” (Atlantic Station: NO WAY), the Octocluster should’ve considered maybe something a bit better. (Don’t get me started on what they _need_ to do to fix downtown; I lived in Ormewood Park/Grant Park for a long time, and if it didn’t suck in so many basic ways, I’d be delighted to still be living there.)

If someone has market research that proves me wrong and shows that Philips Arena is the optimal ‘centralized’ location for Atlanta-area hockey fans, by the way, feel free to post it. But I’m inclined to say that the Octocluster wanted Philips for the events and the Hawks, and took the Thrashers as a sideline.

moriler

March 14th, 2010
11:18 am

August: Do bother to keep up. Attendance right now is in the toilet because the team is playing like my blind grandmother. But attendance wasn’t up that much even when the team was doing well.

“Heck, I drove downtown when the city was flooding for a frickin’ preseason game. ”

You don’t get it. You aren’t the fan they need to attract to have consistently high attendance. You _already_ love hockey. They need to get more than just the hardcore hockey fans.

Nikita (in PA)

March 14th, 2010
11:35 am

I love the idea of the Kiss Cam couple for the 7th Man.

As for the location, I no longer live in Georgia, but even as someone who lived relatively near Gwinnett I am absolutely never going to see any team located there. And if I, as someone who lived about 60 miles from downtown Atlanta, can manage to get myself to Phillips more or less on time, leaving at 5 p.m. from work, I’m pretty sure someone who lives 30 miles closer can manage it. The Rabid Fan and some others have done the same for, like, the entire team history, so it can be done.

a. It is the Atlanta Thrashers. It is not the Somewhere Near Atlanta Thrashers.
b. The downtown is part of the Thrashers experience. I, personally, like to get dinner or go to some other type of entertainment before or after, and that’s not going to happen in the ‘burbs.
c. Also, I ride MARTA. Not always, but when I do I see plenty of other fans on the train. I actually saw a guy hauling a keg, on MARTA, to a Thrashers tailgate. Its actually a pretty awesome way to get to the game, particularly if you plan to drink.
d. Technically, the wealth is not in Gwinnett. There is wealth in Gwinnett, but not as much as in two of the other metro counties. Plus, there’s no ambient traffic in Gwinnett.

As for the Ice Forum and 7 p.m. — meh. The Ice Forum is a manky little minor league facility. But hey, it is what it is. Yes, the Thrashers should have better, and they could probably use some presence in Cobb County. But a lot of the other teams have similarly incognito facilities and they do o.k. I don’t know that the time matters, either way. Basically, you give people more time to get there and they have to stay out later. Or they get to bed earlier, but have to hustle to be there on time. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

rob

March 14th, 2010
11:35 am

So what game might we suggest as ASG = Another Season Gone and FIRE WADDELL night?
And not every night should be that night.

Sage of Bluesland

March 14th, 2010
11:59 am

“…They [the fans] will not give this team any more of their hard earned dollars unless and until the Spirit Group shows the intellectual fortitude…the intestinal fortitude…and the testicular fortitude…required to actually part ways with Don Waddell and set this franchise on a different course….”

Couldn’t have said it better myself…Then again, reading some of this and the comments from those whose eyes have just recently opened, I feel like it’s deja-vu all over again…

It’s good to see another AJC writer joining Jeff Schultz in attempting to get the obvious message to the masses.

I’ve never seen a GM fraud in this town quite like it. Ken Herock [Falcons, late 1980s to mid 1990s] is in the discussion–but Waddell is the King of the inexplicable. Only in Atlanta…

drajax

March 14th, 2010
12:21 pm

if the team was any good fans would come even to downtown Atlanta, most of the NHL teams have arenas in the downtown and draw better than we do so that argument has no merit. Waddell and Anderson should be fired. Waddell for failing in ten years to recognize what it takes to put a winning team on the ice and Anderson for not being able to get any consistency out of the players he’s been given. To be successful you need to be consistent. Waddell keeps failing because he’s chosen the wrong guys to play under the schemes he envisioned for the team. First it was to be a Detroit style, European players with finesse, once he realized that with the players he had he wasn’t even close to a winning formula he chose the more rugged North American approach to the game but his coach can’t seem to coach the team Waddell has provided. Fire them both and start over. What’s the worst that can happen? We finish out of the playoffs again. The best, we do a turn around. It happens all the time. Regardless, we as fans after living with the sports teams in this city can take it.

Mrs. Zoomo

March 14th, 2010
1:37 pm

I too love the idea of the Kiss Cam couple being the 7th Man. We saw them before the game last Sunday in CNN Center, he was pushing her in a wheelchair. That is devotion.

10 yr plan

March 14th, 2010
1:38 pm

Great read Rawhide, love the idea about the couple. Good news, we’re finally ending the Waddell era. Time to give Dale Tallon a call in Chicago and see what him & Dudley can build. They did ok in Chicago. Team still has no identity. Only Waddell to blame. Schiller should have hired Burke! ASG, wake up!!!!!!!

Russian

March 14th, 2010
1:38 pm

I hope that after Game today Don Waddell and John Anderson will be FIRED. We are going to loose the game, even if we win a game those two Persons should be FIRED. Thrashers should play rest of games and FIND new GM and new COACH. If it is happend after this season, we can BUILD new Success Team. If everybody will stay a same position Atlanta Thrashers will not move in RIGTH Direction.

Supes

March 14th, 2010
1:55 pm

Rawhide, best blog of the year award (if the AJC gave them out) should go to you. Very well said sir.

moriler, couldn’t agree more with your point and argument about the location of Phillips arena, and the lack of foresight to do proper research and learn where the majority of the thrashers fanbase is located, and most of all…the fans who are considered (casual) and go maybe to 4-8 home games per year…which is my demographic. I live in Forsyth Co. and have been thinking the same thing…Marta or not I have friends who have season tickets and routinely can’t find ANYONE here to give them away to…b/c (lack of a consistent product on the ice resulting in winning, and how far away the arena is) esp. during the weeknights with the 7pm start and traffic.

One of these days, one of the major 4 will get smart and build an arena outside freaking 285 on the northern side. I know this wasn’t that far north, but even moving the Falcons to where the GM Plant used to be in Doraville would have been a major improvement over their current location. If Arthur has the money to go through with it, I can’t wait to see the Falcons outside of downtown in the future, in an open stadium with grass, the way football was meant to be played in the SOUTH.

Sherry Taylor

March 14th, 2010
2:15 pm

As season ticket holders since day one of the Thrashers franchise, my husband and I have driven down to Philips several times a week from Gainesville, an hour drive one way in good traffic. Location of the arena is NOT why there aren’t more fans in the seats. Frustration with how this team is managed and staffed and the consequent play of said staff is the issue. We have ownership that is less than confidence inspiring, a General Manager who from what I can tell doesn’t know for the most part, how to draft for the future or now. Now that Kovalchuk is gone, I don’t have much of an issue with players. I think most of them are playing up to their abilities, which may be the problem. Drafting is only a weapon if you have an eye for the NHL not the AHL. It seems to me that ownership and management have a keen eye for what will work in Chicago but not what will work here in Atlanta and the ‘big league’, which means something must change.

We did not attend the town hall meeting or that game because of the snow. Up here in Gainesville everything was saying don’t go out if you don’t absolutely have to, otherwise we would’ve been there and voicing our distaste for the current state of affairs. I, as a hockey convert and season ticket holder, lay the blame for this teams inability to move forward in ten plus years at the feet of ownership and the GM. The one consistent thing over all these years is management, which means something must change. Simple. Unless you are a member of the Atlanta Spirit.

Alan R.

March 14th, 2010
2:18 pm

The only six-packs we need should be in our fridges. Me? I’m prepared for yet another flat start, with inconsistent play through the first 30-40 minutes… after which time the team decides to pretend like they care, score a goal — maybe two, in a losing “effort.”

By that time, the beer should be gone and I should be at least a quarter of the way through the handle of whiskey sitting in my freezer.

Alan R.

March 14th, 2010
2:22 pm

But I’m inclined to say that the Octocluster wanted Philips for the events and the Hawks, and took the Thrashers as a sideline.

First and foremost, this is a false statement. Philips was there before ASG came in and bought the whole shebang.

Secondly, people who love the Thrashers and hockey live on the southside too. Stop trying to screw us!

Brendan

March 14th, 2010
2:40 pm

I don’t doubt that the STH’s were pleased that Waddell didn’t CAVE to $135.6 million for Kovy. But why on Earth can’t they see beyond that, to clarify something. As in, “that applause is for not being stupid with the Kovy contact, but … why do all our top Tiered player refuse to re-sign? That’s not good. We’re displeased by it.” In the case of Hossa, he wouldn’t even counter-negotiate. I think it’s relatively clear that Kovy’s salary demands were made in an effort to make re-signing him impossible. I always said, let’s take dissoluble ink to the 12-year/$135 million contract, explain to Kovy that it’s binding, and that he’ll spend the prime years of his career in Atlanta, then watch Grossman and Kovalchuk say, “okayyyyy. You called our bluff. We just don’t want to be here.” Then tear up the offer, explaining, “why didn’t you just tell us this last July?” Let Kovy answer, “Because I had a pregnant wife and didn’t want to spend the year apart from her, until I could choose my next team in July 2010.” See, I’d believe that, as an answer. That seems like honesty. Along with this statement, “I just don’t have confidence in this organization to do what is right and necessary, at the time when tough decisions need to be made.”

If I’m wrong … and admittedly I could be, and Kovalchuk up-n-signs with Columbus for that 12-years/$135 million, then Waddell was actually right. “It was about the money.” But if Kovy takes a modest 8-year/$60 million deal with a contender, that is “Exhibit A” that it wasn’t about the money. It was about spending Kovy’s prime years with an organization with a realistic chance of winning the Stanley Cup. If that same 8 year/$60 million is signed by Columbus, then that’s “Exhibit A” that Kovy’s value is weak, for Columbus isn’t any closer to winning the Cup than we are, and GM’s just didn’t think he was worth $10 million, or even $9 million, or even $8 million. For that cap hit would be $7.5 million. Which is is “present salary.”

We can argue all day long about this trade, or that trade, or this UFA signing, or that one. Or this draft pick, or this other one, just like Rawhide said. But really, … and this is deadly honest, this organization fundamentally dropped the ball in April 2007. They did. That’s my opinion. But I think it to be fact. The truth I believe is this. At the trade deadline in 2007, Don Waddell should have come down to the bench to take over for Hartley. And if the team didn’t make the playoffs, the whole organization gets gutted. Instead, DW makes 4 moves.

1. D-man Vitaly Vishnevski (acquired for Atlanta’s 2007 2nd round pick in the offseason) to Nashville, for Center Eric Belanger. Belanger walked in free agency for nothing.

2. 1st round pick Alex Bourret to the NY Rangers for Pascal Dupuis and the Rangers’ 3rd round pick. (Note: 3rd round pick later used to acquire forward Chris Thorburn.)

3. 1st round pick Braydon Coburn to Philadelphia for 35-year old Alexei Zhitnik. Coburn plays 24-25 minutes a game for the Flyers

4. Atlanta’s 1st and 3rd round picks in 2007, their 2nd round pick in 2008, and a conditional 1st round pick in 2008, later returned, and Center Glen Metropolit, to St. Louis for center Keith Tkachuk.

Rolling the dice? Certainly. Expection level for mortgaging the future? High. The results: A division title hanging from the rafters, with no accompanying playoff wins.

For any other organization, the next step would have been crystal clear. Fire Waddell. Fire Hartley. Fire the Scouts. Etc. Instead, everyone was kept? Marian Hossa went into full-fledged WTF mode. And it didn’t end when Centers Eric Perrin and Todd White were added in free agency, to join Steve Rucchin. Hossa wanted out, right then. The organization wanted to sell tickets. Hossa was TRAPPED until the 2008 trade deadline, when he and Pascal Dupuis were dealt for the 2008 1st round pick, 29th overall, in the form of Daultan Leveille, forwards Erik Christensen, Colby Armstrong, and prospect Angelo Esposition, a 1st round pick, 20th overall, himself.

Kovalchuk, to his credit, said nothing. When the 2009 season came to a close, Kovy opened his mouth wide enough to say, “I think the organization should spend some money, bring in free agents, and try to compete for the Stanley Cup next season.” The organization at least met him half way. The internal team cap budget went from $40,000 to $53,000, but included bonuses for Bogosian and Kane. But really, and beeee honest, how was Kovalchuk supposed to simply ignore the state of the franchise? The ownership? His fellow players opting out, as pending UFAs. The slow, overprice defensemen, when Waddell sat on the “Rules Committee” during the lockout. The never-ending in net, from Damian Rhodes to Kari Lehtonen. And yes, yes … yes Kovalchuk himself was part of the losing. But Kovalchuk also scored 30 or more goals seven times, and 40 or more goals five times, soon to be six times, once Kovy scores four more goals in New Jersey. That’s not failure. Kovy’s -85 or something career +/- stat is something to which you can assign failure and blame. Kovy shares responsibility in that statistic, along with the organization.

Alan R.

March 14th, 2010
2:54 pm

Thanks, Brendan, for that depressing trip back through time. I think I’m going to go get started early on that six-pack.

Brendan

March 14th, 2010
3:19 pm

Rawhide, I don’t mean to put you on the spot. But let me ask you, personally, “What, in your opinion, was the single defining moment of failure (to act) by this franchise?” You can pick anything you’d like, from the 1st Thrasher ever signed, Damian Rhodes, to Curt Fraser, to Bob Hartley, to John Anderson, to Dan Marr as a scout, to the failure to retain Audette, Brunette, Savard, Kaberle, Hossa, or even now, with Kovalchuk.

But my vote goes to, without hesitation, the failure of the Thrashers organization to take stock of the situation in April 2007, and clean house then. Look where we might be, today, if he had? Who knows? Maybe Perrin, White and Rucchin never get here? Maybe Hossa stays???? Maybe Kovy “compromises a bit” on his UFA deal, and stayyyyys? We’ll never know. But, to me, the single, defining moment of failure … by this franchise is, without a SHADOW OF A DOUBT, standing pat in April 2007, doing absolutely NOTHING about the situation. In my view, not just Hartley had to go, but Waddell as well. That was the time to clean house. That was the time to do something about retaining Kovalchuk. The inaction that followed … was inexcuseable. The retention of Waddell … inexcuseable. Indefensible, from a sports perspective. What an opportunity April 2007 truly was … to change the fortune of this franchise. Bygones.

Actually, I retract those bygones. For it’s never too late to fire Waddell. There’s never a bad time to do that, as the NEXT BEST STEP towards ‘moving in the right direction.’

Sharon

March 14th, 2010
4:31 pm

At what point will former STHs outnumber current STHs?

I’ve gone from being a STH to walking out of the last game I attended (last Sunday vs Carolina, and that was my first game in ages). When the ASG invests in the team, then I’ll invest in the team.

Great idea on the Kiss-Cam couple, we just love them :)

Sharon

March 14th, 2010
4:43 pm

Oh, does anyone know where to buy Thrashers pucks (other than the arena)? I live in the Smyrna area, if anyone knows of a sports shop. I might go to next Sunday’s practice to get some autographs since almost all of my memorabilia is signed by former players. It would be nice to have something current.

stendek

March 14th, 2010
6:54 pm

Quit bellyaching. Atlanta hockey fans are honored! They have the privilege of watching the most heartless group of untalented nobodies in the National Hockey League. Total oxygen wastes! All Thrashers except for Johan Hedberg should handle ditch digging shovels not hockey sticks for a living. Certainly overpaid for their current (non)production! Spare be about shots off iron. Boo hoo! Spare me the bad bounces excuses. Wah! Spare me the playing hard fantasy. Been a lie since it was first uttered! Glad Coach John Petrino is such an offensive genius. Sure is obvious by last few outings! Wonder if jerk is related to that other offensive genius Dan Henning? Another loss at Loseland is moments away. Home team has been it in again! Visitors up 1-0 as sieve Pavs Lehtonen surrendered a tally any halfway average high school goaltender could stop. Probably by 2-0 final on empty netter! Such is life for a team already in tank with games remaining. It is all right losers. Only a few more matchups then tee time! Uh oh. Score now tied. SHOCK! Await further news reports. ++STENDEK++

stendek

March 14th, 2010
7:16 pm

Now that reality has set back in. Thanks Pavs! Worthless piece of commode residue. Final score in a few minutes will be 3-1 on empty netter. Thrashers threw me off with that one in a million fluke goal they scored. Total scumbags! Losing streak intact. Tankers remain firmly in tank! Thrashers do not want to earn playoff berth. Would interfere with their time on greens or in bars! Most heartless alleged professional athletes anywhere. Except perhaps in Michigan! This group of quitters belongs at very bottom of NHL standings at end of season. If there is any justice in sports that is where they will finish! Thrashers worked hard to be this putrid. They DESERVE last place! ++STENDEK++ Darn. Game tied again. Tune in same bat time same bat channel for additional update. Whadda ya say Pavs?

stendek

March 14th, 2010
7:18 pm

Now that reality has set back in. Thanks Pavs! Worthless piece of commode residue. Final score in a few minutes will be 3-1 on empty netter. Thrashers threw me off with that one in a million fluke goal they scored. Total scumbags! Losing streak intact. Tankers remain firmly in tank! Thrashers do not want to earn playoff berth. Would interfere with their time on greens or in bars! Most heartless alleged professional athletes anywhere. Except perhaps in Michigan! This group of quitters belongs at very bottom of NHL standings at end of season. If there is any justice in sports that is where they will finish! Thrashers worked hard to be this putrid. They DESERVE last place! ++STENDEK++ Score tied again. What do ya say Pavs?

Brendan

March 14th, 2010
7:31 pm

A point!!! We got a point!!! Let’s go Thrashers, in OHHHHHHvertime. C’mon Blue. Get a win.

Brendan

March 14th, 2010
7:36 pm

Lots of chances in Overtime. Bergfors, Peverley, Finny. It’s been there. 1:34 left in OT.

Brendan

March 14th, 2010
7:37 pm

Okay, it’s time for the shootout. Time to put in Moose. :)

Brendan

March 14th, 2010
7:51 pm

Peverley put us up, 1-0, as the 3rd shooter. All Pavelec needed to do was stop Vrbata. Vrbate removed Pavs from his jock strap. Atlanta couldn’t score again, so it was up to Adrian Aucoin to win it. Which he did. Perfect shot, high over the glove. I can’t and won’t blame Pavelec on that one.

Pavelec made 32 saves on the night. But it wasn’t enough. And really, Atlanta must win every game, including this one, so … ya know … it’s over. At this point, we’re playing for roster spots. And as soon as we get to 9 games left, we can start to bring up the guys from the AHL for those 9 game auditions.

Matt

March 14th, 2010
7:51 pm

SIX loses in a row!!! Woo-hoo awesome. Go Thrashers (preferably somewhere far, far, far away)

stendek

March 14th, 2010
7:52 pm

Way to go Pavs! Knew you would not let us down. Miserable piece of commode residue! All you had to do to put a halt to the skid was to stop one shot. One miserable shot! Could not even do that. Sheep baa that they got a point. Whoop dee do! Being embarrassed at Loseland by the Phoenix Coyotes is not a cause to celebrate a darn thing. Absolutely no positives from this fiasco. Pavs sucked! Forwards sucked! Defenders sucked! Coach John Petrino sucked! Assistant coaches sucked! Any idiot in stands NOT rooting for Coyotes sucked! Hit posts? Spare me! Played hard? Spare me! Fought to end? Spare me! Quitters? Now you are talking! ++STENDEK++

HookyBob

March 14th, 2010
8:02 pm

Tough loss, Let me rephrase that “Another tough loss.”

No matter how the remaining games play out,..I am so disheartened (for next season).

Bloggers,…. while I truly like Rawhide’s vote for the elderly couple,…. have you given any thought to Rawhide being the the 7th fan? In my mind he is more as loyal/valuable.

stendek

March 14th, 2010
8:03 pm

I was wrong! Pains me to say so. I really believed team bound for playoffs after Ilya Kovalchoke jettison! Guys played as a unit for a few games. Then they quit! Just gave up. That remains a mystery to me. Most pegged Thrashers as a playoff team. I did. Ask them about that projection now! Is last place in NHL out of reach? If not, I hope Thrashers finish dead last. Then relocate to Hamilton! Heartless quitters. ++STENDEK++

stendek

March 14th, 2010
8:04 pm

As much as I hate Kari Lehtonen. And I do! The Finn would have won shootout today. That is all I am going to say about that! ++STENDEK++

Wayne stuck in AL

March 14th, 2010
8:16 pm

“Tickets distributed” (calling it “attendance” with this franchise would be a joke) was announced as 15,914…Looked like 6,000 in the stands on TV

Brendan

March 14th, 2010
8:37 pm

Out of the past six games, the Thrashers have been outscored 22-8, with a record of 0-5-1, for one of a possible twelve (1/12) points. Marching towards the unemployment line.

Sharon

March 14th, 2010
8:37 pm

Rawhide as the 7th Fan… now that’s a great idea too :)

It would be awesome if Todd White presented the award.

Brendan

March 14th, 2010
8:51 pm

Okay, let’s try to guess who Waddell will blame this time. In the past, it’s been the “veteran leadership.” Ummn, who would that be? Kozlov barely plays. I guess the guy with the most Thrashers tenure is now Slater. Maybe he means him? Boulton has some longevity. Can’t blame Kovy. And, as I recall, we’re a BETTER TEAM without him. Eight goals in six games proves that. That’s like, way more than a goal a game, on average. And with a 37-year old career back up as our #1 goaltender, (who had tonight off,) one goal is all we should need. Every game should be a 1-0 shutout, unless I am misunderstanding the rules of hockey.

Okay, what if it isn’t veteran leadership or goaltending that has failed us. What then? Bad coaching? No, I’m pretty a bad coach is a symptom of a bad GM. No, I’m leaning towards … “bad officiating.” Yes, (looking around,) that should do. It’s the zebras’ fault that Atlanta has banked one-point in 12 games. Remember, we woke up this morning in 8th place. We’re not chasing anyone. We’re just hanging to our 8th spot. That’s what Waddell said during the intermission of the Nashville game.

Brendan

March 14th, 2010
8:55 pm

I tell you, honestly, that all the ideas have been good for the 7th man. But really, I applaud all the former STH’s as the 7th man. For if they force the changes that have been needed since 2002, they will have done a great service to the advancement of this hockey club in the coming years.

MB

March 14th, 2010
9:17 pm

EA and nhlfan, I appreciate your comments about the last THM for STHs. Did you come out of that meeting with the impression that the Waddell and ASG guys got the message that those in attendance were angry about the state of the franchise and the “leadership” of DW and the ASG? Or is it possible that the applause was misconstrued and they left thinking, “well, some of the guys who asked questions seem unhappy, but that cheering must mean that most people support us.” Because to be honest, when I heard about it all I could think was “how could ANY hockey fan cheer for these clowns given the state of the franchise?”

moriler, I understand your frustration with the downtown location and your points about where the majority of fans MAY live, but honestly I can’t think of any location in the suburbs that would be a better draw and be able to handle the traffic. I’ve lived over near Northlake Mall, in Cobb County, downtown, L5P, Brookhaven, and Buckhead, so I have a pretty fair awareness of traffic issues in different parts of town. I’ve driven between east Cobb, Roswell, and Gwinnett during rush hour, and it’s hellish (and that’s being kind). I can only imagine what it would be like with several thousand non-locals streaming in as well. While downtown isn’t ideal for everyone, it has the advantage of offering attendees the most and best transportation alternatives (Marta, two and a half (400) major expressways, and several other major arteries). More people from more areas can get there with relative ease than anywhere else because, surprise, it’s central, what with it being the city center from which the suburbs evolved.

LAC

March 14th, 2010
9:58 pm

Well Bill, Good Teams find ways to win… Bad teams do not… We are a BAD team… Sorry it is over.

EA

March 14th, 2010
10:22 pm

MB, good question. Quite honestly, I am not sure. DW probably saw what he wanted to see which was an overall pat on the back. As for me and the fans around me, that was not the case.

R. Stroz

March 14th, 2010
10:40 pm

First, and foremost, everyone should be in favor of the elderly couple winning the seventh man award. All couples should strive for their degree of commitment, compassion, and zest for life they exemplify.

Second, I enjoyed meeting Bob and Mrs. Bob as well as the “lurker” couple in the 200s.

Bob, glad to know you could hear the BULLHORN at ice level.

Rawhide

March 14th, 2010
11:12 pm

Rawhide, best blog of the year award (if the AJC gave them out) should go to you. Very well said sir.

Supes – Thank you…and on behalf of myself and Trixie, I’d like to accept this award….and thanks to all the little people out there who helped make this all happen. I’m so very happy!!!

Brendan – In response to your question at 3:19 pm earlier this afternoon…I would have to say that I have to agree with your April 2007 opinion. That is when I thought the change should have been made. I’ve opined here many times that I felt…and still do…that the 2007 debacle was primarily on DW. Not totally…but primarily.

Outside of that, I cannot say there is one true defining moment…it’s really been a death by a thousand needles, if you will.

Sherry Taylor – Very well put…and welcome to the frey!

HookyBob & Sharon - Thanks for the kind suggestion…but I really, really would love to see the Kiss Cam couple win it. I really cannot think of anyone more deserving, But again, thank you very much just the same.

And to that point, I want to thank the dozens of people…mostly “lurkers”… who approached me before the game to tell me they like the idea of the Kiss Cam couple winning the award. Nice to know so many other fans think of them in the same regards.

Wayne stuck in AL – From my vantage point high atop press row…there were certainly not 15,000 in the house. However, there were more there than I thought there’d be. Maybe 11,000…12,000…shrugs

stendek – (Or, the poster formerly known as “stendec”)…Trixie cleaned up your multiple post mess. You may now send her flowers in gratitude. :grin:

August

March 15th, 2010
12:09 am

Anyone thought about what the Season Finale is going to be like this year when there’s 14,000 Pens fans in attendance compared to about 2,000 Thrashers fans? Will there be enough Thrashers fans there for the “Jersey Off Our Back” ceremony?

I’m sure there would have been if we had only built the arena in Alpharetta instead of downtown. :roll:

Lee

March 15th, 2010
6:49 am

I feel really bad for the elderly fans that come here. They probably have Alzheimers and can’t remember that the Thrashers have lost 6 straight.

HonkyTonkHero

March 15th, 2010
7:55 am

Forgive me if I am mistaken but isnt there a minor league hockey team in Duluth? I’ve been to a few of their games and the attendance was on the same ratio as the Thrashers even on buy one get one free nights. I don’t think location is the issue here. There are hockey fans everywhere and the elitist folks in the northern burbs need to just deal with the decision to live in a craptacular traffc filled area. Oh yea…you can stop your whining when you decide to let Marta expand a rail line into “your backyard”. Till then…enjoy being part of the red line on the GA Navigator website.

On another note…I was a STH last year and decided to do a Kovy and wait this season. Well…glad I did. I have been to just as many games as I did last year and only paid for 2 tickets this season. When we have new ownership and a new GM I will start supporting the team with my $$. I seriously hope that doesnt come too late and we lose our NHL team.

World Be Free

March 15th, 2010
8:04 am

Hey folks, back from Spring Training 2010-Jason Heyward is a monster, Freddie Freeman not far behind. George Bush Sr. was at Saturday’s game in Disney.

Speaking of fantasy land, made it back last night to see the game. I was hoping Bogo was sitting for the way he was playing, not his poor little hand. Hope Don is working on a new contract for Max, he and Nik are our bext players right now.

Big cheers for Chelios, he doesn’t look bad out there. Not great, but he’s giving the effort which is more than I can say for others. Todd White threw body checks – I could not believe it! I think he’s trying to shed the Charmin label.

DWTOO

March 15th, 2010
8:32 am

IMHO the defining moment of this franchise was the Heatley crash. Since that time there appears to be a curse on this organization. Everything has just gone south since that time.

The couple older than us certainly deserves the 7th man award. They show up hell or high water. Always a smile. Great folks.

Rawhide

March 15th, 2010
8:54 am

IMHO the defining moment of this franchise was the Heatley crash. Since that time there appears to be a curse on this organization. Everything has just gone south since that time.

DWTOO – Certainly a worthy considertaion, that’s for sure. I thought about that response too.

However, if I remove the “emotional” aspect of that horrific event…I find myself thinking “Well, as bad as that was…and as much as it set this franchise back…it was 6-1/2 years ago”. And to that measure, DW and the Thrashers have had time to recover from it.

Heck, 6-1/2 years is 1-1/2 years longer than a 5-year plan.

DWTOO

March 15th, 2010
9:02 am

And since we do remember folks on this blog RIP Peter Graves. Although I’ll remember him as Agent Phelps (along with the sexy Barbara Baines) it’s Clarence Over where he made his mark. Think I’ll watch Airplane today.

“Ever watch gladiator movies Billy?”

DB

March 15th, 2010
9:04 am

Getting to Roswell would be a bigger cluster than downtown. Seems like people forget that the ASG is on the hook for paying the bonds for condtruction for Philips as well so any thoughts about moving to another location are pretty much an exercise in futility. From the standpoint of available modes of transportation, downtown makes the most sense. What kills that idea is the ineptness of MARTA. Those clowns make the ASG clowns look like amatuers.

Rawhide

March 15th, 2010
9:08 am

“Do you like to hang out in gymnasiums, Joey”?

LOL!!! I watched Airplane w/ the boys just a week a go…must have been the 1,278th time I’ve seen it and I still crack up. I was telling the tax-exemptions that what made that movie so damn funny was actors like Peter Graves, Llyod Bridges, Robert Stack and Leslie Nelson were all serious dramatic actors. Seeing them in those roles just made it all the more hysterical.

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

March 15th, 2010
9:14 am

Fire Waddell, why is this so complicated?
How much linger do we have to put up with this garbage?

Looks like I picked the wrong day to quit drinking.

Russian

March 15th, 2010
9:24 am

I think it is time to see a Lottery pick. WE can be 3-d from bottom. Oliers and Toronto will 1 and 2-d.
We have lots of UFA and we can see a draft picks.
I hope whole Managment and Coaches staff will change for next season.

Nikita

March 15th, 2010
9:35 am

*What kills that idea is the ineptness of MARTA.*
What do you mean, “kills that idea?” You do realize that thousands and thousands of people are using MARTA right now, right? That it’s one of the nation’s bigger public transportation systems despite not having an appropriate level of funding?

And it can handle a Thrashers game with no problem. It does all the time, in fact. Hell, it survives and thrives serving the Peachtree Road Race crowd (50-100k people, all on the same schedule).

Scotty

March 15th, 2010
9:52 am

“I’ll take Hamm on five, hold the Mayo”!

Tears for Beers

March 15th, 2010
10:42 am

Somewhere, Peter Graves is smiling from that big Turkish Prison in the Sky.

sharongilo

March 15th, 2010
10:45 am

I just happened by from a google alert … how sweet about the couple!

http://www.ashortguidetoahappymarriage.com

DB

March 15th, 2010
10:49 am

Nikita,

My first dozen games I took MARTA. AFTER being stranded on the platform for an average of 30 minutes per game before the trained arrived, plus another 30+ minute ride until I hit my car pertty much killed the viability of me taking MARTA. MARTA seems to adjust its schedule for other sporting events, just not hockey. I understand the limitations due to funding, but their first answer is to cut service, a source of revenue. The issues are way too complex for me to address adequately on this forum (as well as this not being the proper place). To me, downtown makes the best sense for a location.

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

March 15th, 2010
11:02 am

If we tank the season we will get a high pick AND Waddell will be gone.
Carolina is right behind us in the standings?

Why is this so difficult? WHY WHY WHY?

Christoph Schubert

March 15th, 2010
11:39 am

“Joey, sind sie je in einem Türkischen gefängnis gewesen?”

AtlantaFlamesFan

March 15th, 2010
11:41 am

I live in Marietta. Zip down 75 and am at Philips in 25 minutes. I would hate to battle 285 trying to get to Doraville. Roswell, Alpharetta, Gwinett traffic would be a worse disaster. Location is not the problem. WIN and the fans will come.

Hockey Coach

March 15th, 2010
11:41 am

Atlanta does not need to tank the rest of the season. Their lack of talent, worthless Coach with the GT high school football type offense, will ensure the 2nd worse record in the NHL this year.

Dwayne

March 15th, 2010
11:42 am

Tell me Joey, have you ever seen a grown man naked?

Badger Bob

March 15th, 2010
11:44 am

Rawhide, great idea for the seventh man award! There are nights when my blood is boiling, wanting to rip the arms off one of our uninspired head-up-their-butt players and beat them to death with them… and then the Kiss Cam shows the Queen of England and her elegant prince, and my anger subsides, I crack a grin and I start clapping, remembering that there are things more important in life than how badly screwed up this organization is. Find them and crown them!

I’ve posted before an indifference to firing Waddell now that RD is in town. Six inexplicably poor games have changed my mind – FIRE DW NOW!! And Sage, piss off with the inevitable “Told you so”. You were remarkably (and refreshingly) silent when we went 4-0-2, so just stay that way.

I will not be renewing my season tix – perhaps being a Club level guy they’ll care when I tell them Octocluster and DW are the reason… then again, they probably won’t ask or listen.

Red Light

March 15th, 2010
11:48 am

The original, and favored arena location, for the arena was at the junction of 400 and I-285. Ted Turner overruled the others, effectively saying that if you want my money the new arena has to be downtown. Bygones.

Badger Bob

March 15th, 2010
11:49 am

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue

Red Light

March 15th, 2010
11:50 am

Someone needs to tell the “old seventh man” to take off his hat indoors. Who does he think he is, Punch Imlach?

Smoothie

March 15th, 2010
11:54 am

Badger Bob – hammer, nail, head. That’s all the ASG cares about: corporate sponsorship, club suites and club seat sales. That’s the revenue that makes up the majority of their payroll. Having Sage hit us over the head with all that other nonsense is an insult to the intelligence of human-kind. To think the regular STH have any real sway or influence whatsoever is incredibly short-sighted and stupid. As if paying $22 / seat for a full season is really keeping Don Waddell employed. He tells us to pick up an Economics book and I guffaw loudly as I have taken 3 classes in Economics and know full well that 5,000 STH (if it’s even that high) paying for 41 seats at an average price of $45 is really not that significant in the scheme of things. The ebb of STH is completely mitigated as long as they keep selling out suites and club seats to corporate big whigs and business entrepreneurs in Atlanta.

Red Light

March 15th, 2010
12:07 pm

Smoothie: You’re right on, except for the fact that sponsorship, club seats and suites sales are at an all-time low, which mirrors the rest of the building. Season ticket sales are a vital part of revenues for any NHL team that doesn’t have a good local TV/radio contract and the Thrashers can ill afford another downturn in ST renewals.

Badger Bob

March 15th, 2010
12:15 pm

Thx, Smoothie, and you are right about the dropoff, Red Light. When we first moved over to Club seats 3 years ago, they were probably 80% sold (based on the number of potential locations they showed us). Now, there’s no way that number is over 50%, and dropping steadily. I hope ASG notices, but even more so I hope the Atlanta equivalent of Ted Leonsis notices and gets this team away from The Octo.

Smoothie

March 15th, 2010
12:26 pm

Red Light – I reckon they are, but I can’t imagine normal, run of the mill STH ticket revenues are any higher than $9 or $10 M for this season. We know that for the last several years the ASG has been losing an avg of $12 – $15 M per season. With an average P/R of between $44 and $46 M, they must have had at a minimum between $15 – $20 M in corporate sales.

I would surmise that at their peak, corporate sales accounted for an avg of $25 – $30 M per season. Chances are, corporate sales are twice as lucrative than just ordinary ticket sales. Perhaps the ASG is okay with the status quo as the losses they incur operating the Thrashers help them avoid paying exorbitant Corporate Income taxes. Don Waddell’s incompetence may be the key to their business model until Belkin can be ousted, new investors brought in and the owndership squabble settled once and for all.

Perhaps the operating loss protection from Corporate taxes has just been a happy accident and by-product of the whole ownership fiasco and then I am giving them too much credit for keeping Waddell to simply meet their short-term business objectives. But I just don’t see how the further “boycotting” of games is going to make any difference in their decision-making at this point if they are okay with losing $70 – $75 M over 5 years WITH Waddell at the helm. Apparently, they were stupid enough to think Bernie Mullins was the problem and not someone like Waddell. Perhaps Bernie was telling them the truth and they didn’t like hearing it.

World Be Free

March 15th, 2010
12:29 pm

Are we forgetting tomorrow night? The Thrasher fans’ favorite team (and fans) to hate comes to town, The Buffalo Sabres.

Carlonia is in our rear view mirror. Whohda thunk that earlier this season? The Thrash started strong and the Canes forgot to show up for the first 2 mos of the season.

I come from Kennesaw; I have taken MARTA from the Holmes station a few times. Very interesting ride to say the least. I do take MARTA from Perimeter to Tech games.

Can we get a train in Cobb County please? Sorry, it only makes sense which is why it will never happen!

Midfield

March 15th, 2010
12:40 pm

I heard Eliott stating that this losing streak is the direct result of Kane being injured and off the line-up. Which is probably true – at least to a degree. But think about this. How could it come to this? The entire fate of this franchise supposedly rests on the shoulders of an 18-year-old rookie, who had n’t even known if he would play past the first 9 games of the season. Are you kidding me?

jimbo

March 15th, 2010
12:41 pm

Rawhide: I seem to recall that in the first year of this franchise we set an NHL record for attendance by a “new team”. In any event, the support was there. Donnie Brilliance has eroded it over the past ten years with his inability to recognize talent, keep what we draft or sign UFAs. It’s amazing that someone with his results in any business would still be around. And, John Anderson has the worse “system” that I have ever seen. Many posters called attention to its lack of a defensive component and the fact that once teams starting playing tighter that we’d have nothing to fall back on. And, we were all right. And, can anyone stay awake when he speaks. His lack of a motivational spark has to be one of the reasons that we are the poorest first period team in the NHL. Fire Donnie and Johnnie RIGHT NOW!

World Be Free

March 15th, 2010
12:49 pm

Midfield-I agree with the “Kane effect” to a point. But after one thing I noticed during the losing streak, is that virtually nobody is crashing the next. Antropov and Little spent a fair amount of time in the crease yesterday, but nobody else is near the net. You can’t score goals from the boards.

Does this mean Kane will be the next captain?

Smoothie-nice piece

Smoothie

March 15th, 2010
12:55 pm

Evander Kane is certainly a vital cog of our team but I don’t know if you can blame the 6 game streak on his absence alone. JA’s decision-making, especially when it comes to line-ups etc, must get a lot of the blame IMHO. But keep this in mind, in the last 6 games, the Thrashers have allowed 8 PPG. Obviously, not having Kane as an option on the PK is putting too much responsibility in the hands of Slater, Army and White. Although I think White has been our best PK’er over the last 10 games or so. To blame it on Kane is a bit short-sighted as we gave up 5 PPG with Kane in the line-up during the previous 4 game stretch in which we went 3 – 0 – 1. The difference? We scored 4 PPG of our own.

Our lackluster — actually that’s a bit generous — PP has been absolutely killing us. Our PP is our “penalty killer” when you get right down to it. In the last 16 games (since the 1/2 way mark) in which we have scored only 2 goals or fewer, we have a mere 4 PPG scored. Our opponents have tallied a whopping 18 PPG against us and that stat alone pretty much explains our record of 2 – 11 – 3 in those 16 games.

In the other 11 games in which they have scored 3 goals or more, we have seen the Thrashers average 4 goals per game and score 8 PPG versus 7 PPG allowed. In that 11 games, the Thrashers record is 8 – 1 – 2. Obviously, avoiding dumb penalties and scoring their share of PPG has been a consistent key to any success they have enjoyed. Recently, we have had no success with either.

Smoothie

March 15th, 2010
12:59 pm

WBF – thanks. Just tryin’ to “keep it real”…fair and balanced that is.

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

March 15th, 2010
1:02 pm

Gotta wipe the slate clean-
Fire Waddell, Anderson and most of the coaching staff and make make RANDY CUNNEYWORTH the head coach.

Don’t fire Cunney

ben

March 15th, 2010
1:12 pm

On Busses and trains, they’ll happen eventually. I write that knowing full well MARTA slashed bus service. I think Elliot, a bright guy, knows where his bread is buttered. That’s why he goes on and on about Kane. Brendan, I respectfully think the crash of this franchise could be dated to the aftermath of the Snyder Crash or to the non-resigning of Marc Savard. I even wonder if the orginal hiring of Waddell had more to do with his minor league GMing experience and Turner sold the team before Schiller could fire him?

In other words, I question if Waddell was supposed to be here at this point in the original plan. We may never know. Don alluded to a book he’d write after he left. I would love to read that book to get his take on how he drove a multi-million dollar enterprise into the ground, acquired excellent scorers only to see them walk, and kept getting all these chances to keep doi8ng it over and over.

Wannago

March 15th, 2010
1:14 pm

I would like thank both the ASG & Don Wad for icing such a piss poor team that I was able to purchase 5 tickets for less than $100 total and sat section 108 row G. Great view

Rawhide

March 15th, 2010
1:27 pm

Midfield, WBF & Smoothie – I happened across Evander Kane outside of the locker room before yesterday’s game. Good news is that he no longer needs to use a crutch, but he’s still wearing the boot. You could just see it in the kid’s eyes that having to sit out is just killin’ him and he wants back out there terribly.

I asked him how he was feeling and he said, “OK, I guess…getting better”.

I just felt awful for him…he wants to play so bad.

R. Stroz

March 15th, 2010
1:37 pm

100th (that’s for FIF)

Sage of Bluesland

March 15th, 2010
1:42 pm

Smoothie–Hmmm, let’s see, since you’ve “read” three economics books…based on your drivel I’m guessing you’re “public” education (as opposed to private).

Yep, that’s what I thought. Having 1,000 sheeple in the stands wouldn’t cause a ripple-effect? You don’t even know what you’re talking about, son.

Go back and re-read them big books. It’s quite humorous, someone ‘else’ stated the facts–and you sheepily agreed with him/her with a quick turnaround of opinion!….Now that was funny!

(oh, and Badger: I told you so–a long time ago…it must hurt to be so wrong so often?)

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

March 15th, 2010
2:02 pm

:!: NEW BLOG POSTING ALERT!! :!:

Mr. Rawhide would like to dedicate this latest blog entry to the memory of Peter Graves and his portrayal of Capt. Oveur in the movie Airplane.

Bob

March 15th, 2010
2:08 pm

“The ebb of STH is completely mitigated as long as they keep selling out suites and club seats to corporate big whigs and business entrepreneurs in Atlanta.”

Nice rant, but completely wrong in that they are not selling out suites nor club seats. Those of us that were in there abandoned this team because of Waddell, and continue to do so each year.

The fact is that there’s one thing the owners will understand, and that is non-renewal of ticket plans. As long as there’s people that keep buying the product, they’ll keep mismanaging the team. Like what they’re doing? No problem, re-up your season tix, and expect more of it to come.

World Be Free

March 15th, 2010
2:50 pm

Bill-on Kane
Which is why he may be captain someday, assuming he stays that long.

Brendan

March 15th, 2010
7:03 pm

DWTOO & ben, I certainly welcome a diversity of opinion regarding the defining moment of failure for this franchise under Waddell. I also gave some thought to the Heatley crash. But let me tell why I definitively rejected that as my choice.

1. We traded Heatley for Hossa and deVries. With them, we won a division and made the playoffs. It seemed to be a relatively good exchange for Heatley. Dan Snyder was a 10 goal-per-season player. That’s not impossible to replace.

2. Many years and much opportunity later, the crash is but a distant memory. Most of the today’s Thrashers never met Dan Snyder to know him and miss him.

3. Had Dany Heatley been forced to stay and play, I fear what happened in Ottawa would have happened here. Namely, that Heatley would have said, after seasons of losing, “I’m not being properly utilized. I want to be traded.” And even if that didn’t work, he’d just refuse to re-sign here, once he reached UFA status.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Heatley crash was something terrible for this team and its fans. But I’d counter-argue that by 2006, Waddell had assembled a team capable of making the playoffs and winning a round of playoffs. Imagine if Kari Lehtonen had been healthy? And Pasi Nurminen hadn’t blown out his knee. There would be no need for Steve Shields, Michael Garnett, Adam Berkhoel, or Mike Dunham. It would have been Nurminen and Lehtonen. Plus, we had Bondra. Holik was at his youngest point as a Thrasher, and Holik was signed, in my opinion, for his playoff resume, not his regular season one. Mellanby would have provided the senior leadership, as Captain.

Here are some of the other times I considered, before deciding on April 2007, standing pat. I gave some weight to the 2002 Draft. I saw no need for drafting a goalie who would take 5 years to develop at that juncture. To me, that reflected a fundamental error in judgement, at a critical time in the evolution of the franchise. There are precisely two (2) scenarios in which I would have permitted the Lehtonen draft, as a fan or owner. One, if we were flat broke, and our financial outlook wasn’t any better for the coming seasons, such that we couldn’t afford a goalie out on the open market. And two, that the plan was to snare a Tier I goalie out on the market, but that we’d only sign that goalie for 3-4 years. And just as the Tier I free agent goalie’s contract was expiring, Kari Lehtonen would be developed to the point where he could step in as the new #1 goaltender. But I’m not particularly buying either scenario there. To me, drafting a goalie in 2002 didn’t make any sense. And it hamstrung the franchise for years.

I also considered the 2008 offseason, where we couldn’t come to terms with Hossa. That was a severe blow to the future of the franchise. Not that losing Marc Savard wasn’t. In fact, that’s where I’d headed next. Letting Marc Savard walk for nothing may have been a necessary risk to take, but … to me … having Marc disinterested in staying was cause for MAJOR CONCERN. Marc was on the NHL leaderboard for assists. His winger was Ilya Kovalchuk. And yet, Savvy didn’t want to stay here? That’s a very telling and disturbing sign. It was the snowball that created the avalanche of departures.

But still, to me, anyway … the UNCONSCIENABLE ACT … was standing pat, doing AB-SO-LUTELY NUTHIN after the playoff sweep. Shaking my head, in disbelief. I couldn’t believe that THAAAAT was the response. No Hartley fired. No Waddell fired. No Dan Marr fired. It was … theatre of the absurd.

And I just can’t and won’t accept that … tax liabilities being an act of SERENDIPITY for the ownership … is what keeps Waddell here. Someone once wrote a book called, “Useful Idiots.” I wish I could recall the author’s name. But Waddell very well may be such a “useful idiot” to the ownership. The most distasteful thing of all, however, is dismissing ANY fan, I repeat ANY FAN, because they don’t sit along the glass, at $200 a seat. Or $150 a seat. Or $125 a seat.

To me, being a GOOD FAN … AT PHILIPS ARENA … has EV-ERY-THING to do with how LOUD and how INVOLVED you are with the action. It has NOTHING to do with HOW MUCH MONEY YOU PAID FOR YOUR SEAT. If you paid $175 for that seat, but you’re silent as a church mouse during games, you take YOUR NAME right out of the hopper for the 7th man award. You didn’t do ANYTHING but overpay for a seat. And that fan, sitting in section 413, screaming his or hear head off, is the one that matters. Ohh, not to ownership. But to the players on the ice, seeking inspiration. That’s what the players say, anyways. When you ask a player, “what do you want from a fan?” They don’t say, “for them to PAY A LOT for their seats.” They say, “We want the fans to be loud and to give us the edge. We want a hostile environment for the opposition.” It’s true. That’s what they say. So, paying a lot for a seat, only to wear white gloves, to politely clap, using doiles, isn’t cutting it. Try tennis, instead.

In my decade of experience at Philips Arena, I have NEH-VERR, EV-ERRRR heard the SUITES chant, “Let’s go Thrashers!” NEVER. EVER. EVERRRRR. Please do explain it. And yet, that’s the MONEY that counts??? Pfft. Well, that’s economics for you. And it’s also why you never want businessmen or corporations running your team. They just … DON’T CARE. When the truth I want to see as REALITY is … “every fan, even the $10 seat fan, should MATTER to ownership.” Every last one. Every person is another voice … to cheer on the Thrashers and to be part of the experience. It’s a shame, really, that ownership doesn’t see it that way. There are 18,545 seats at Blueland. If I were the owner, I’d want each and every seat cheering. Just like the suites, I’ve never heard an empty seat cheer.

J-man

March 15th, 2010
8:15 pm

You have a point, Ice Man, about the Town Hall, but what exactly are the owners and Waddell supposed to think? 16,000 fans cheered like it was game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals in the first home game after the Kovy trade. And the Town Hall was filled with Kool Aid drinking and hand holding and “Keep up the good work!” messages from those assembled. Sorry, but I cannot fault the owners for doing EXACTLY what they were told – to keep doing what they were doing. Anyone who went to that game has no business to complain. None. Had 10 or 11 or maybe even 12 thousand people come to the game, yes, a message could have been sent. But 16 thousand people gave a gigantic high five to Waddell and the owners. Too late now.