What will you remember about the Thrashers?

As Tim Tucker reported, the name and logo of the Thrashers will not relocate to Winnipeg when the team does. They were not a part of the deal when the Atlanta Spirit sold the franchise to True North Sports and Entertainment.

Also not a part of the deal apparently was team president/former GM/former part-time head coach Don Waddell. He served as general manager for 10 of the 11 seasons in which the Thrashers played in Atlanta.

“They bought the assets of the company, excluding name and logo,” Waddell said. “That remains with our ownership group, Atlanta Spirit…I’m going to stay here through the close of business.”

“Then I’ll explore my options”, he added. “Whether that is staying here in Atlanta or looking to move in another direction, I will evaluate that when the time comes.”

So, if anyone knows of any openings for those experienced in assisting the running of a professional sports franchise right into the ground…

I will always remember the time I was able to share a game with Peter Bondra...oh wait, that's just Big Shooter of The Blueland Chronicle. (Photo/Krisabelle)

I will always remember the time I was able to share a game with Peter Bondra...oh wait, that's just Big Shooter of The Blueland Chronicle. (Photo/Krisabelle)

Anyway… once the team does close up shop and Mr. Waddell’s work here is finally complete, the “Thrashers” will officially become no more and fade off into the memories the citizens of Thrasherville. But while these memories are still fresh in our minds, allow me to ask you just what you’ll remember about the team and the time they spent here.

I chatted briefly with my family about this very subject as we made our way back from Florida earlier this week. I found it interesting that we all came up with differing responses.

For my younger son Chris, his first thoughts went back to opening night of the 2003-04 season when we all gathered to not only begin a new hockey campaign, but also say goodbye to Dan Snyder. He recalled the bagpipes playing as 18,000-plus fans mourned the loss of one who left us far too soon.

For Matt, my oldest, he was quick to point out coach Bob Hartley. Not just for what he did behind the Thrashers bench, leading them to their two best seasons and one-and-only playoff appearance, but he also remembers how Hartley pulled him from a crowd of people during the open house prior to the 2006-07 season.

“Hey, I know you”, the coach said. “How is your skating comin’ along there, Matty?”

Only Coach Bob could ever call him that.

Nasty Nest tailgate parties always attracted some interesting folks. Fans from visiting teams were even welcome down at the Gulch, as these Caniacs can attest (Photo/Kracker)

Nasty Nest tailgate parties always attracted some interesting folks. Fans from visiting teams were even welcome down at the Gulch, as these Caniacs can attest (Photo/Kracker)

He then asked about his schoolwork and how his Bantam team was doing so far.

My wife Judi told me that she would never forget what Philips Arena was like the night of the first playoff game in April 2007, and how the upper deck shook when Eric Belanger scored that fist playoff goal in team history.

Sadly, there would only be five more scored during the four-game sweep to the Rangers… one each by Greg deVries, Pascal Dupuis, Ilya Kovalchuk, Shane Hnidy and Keith Tkachuk. Both Tkachuk and Dupuis added a pair of assists and will forever hold the all-time playoff scoring record with three overall points.

Kovy had a goal and one assist while Nic Havelid and Brad Larson each notched a pair of assists.

Maybe you’ll remember that the Thrashers played to a record of 342 wins, 437 losses, 78 overtime losses and 45 ties in 902 regular season games. Post-lockout, their record was 222-212-58, but during the last four seasons it slipped to 138-151-39.

Perhaps the team’s first ever game on October 2, 1999 will come to mind, a 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils. If you were there, certainly you recall the team’s first-ever goal scored by Kelly Buchberger at the 11:26 mark of the second period. The assists on the goal went to Martin Prozchaka and the enigmatic first-ever draft pick in team history, Patrick Stefan.

Many will certainly remember the very first ever victory in franchise history as Damian Rhodes blanked the Islanders in New York 2-0 on October 14,1999. Twelve days later came the first home win, 2-1 over the Flames, the first team to depart Atlanta. The next month saw the team’s first-ever hat trick, courtesy of Dean Sylvester against the Vancouver Canucks.

Hanging out at Taco Mac after games with fellow Thrashervillians like Krisabelle is something I will always remember fondly (Photo/Smoothie)

Hanging out at Taco Mac after games with fellow Thrashervillians like Krisabelle is something I will always remember fondly (Photo/Smoothie)

Surely many will remember when this Thrashers organization employed two of the most promising young stars in the league, Ilya Kovalchuk and Dany Heatley. Or maybe you’ll recall the 2002 draft when then-general manager Don Waddell elected to go with a young Finnish netminder with the second overall pick, Kari Lehtonen.

And then there was the Bob Hartley era between January 15, 2003 and October 17, 2007. He took over the team during its fourth year after Curt Fraser was fired following an 8-20-4-1 start. The Thrashers finished that season 19-14-5-1 with Hartley behind the bench. Their 78 overall points that year were the most ever at the time and it was topped by 12 points the next…just prior to the lockout.

In all, the Thrashers went 136-112-13-24 during his time as head coach before the 0-6-0 start in 2007 cost Hartley his job.

Of course, since that time…well, we’ve already gone over that.

Many I am sure will recall the last goal ever scored by an Atlanta Thrasher…a power play tally by Tim Stapleton during the 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh in the season finale roughly two months ago. Or maybe what will come to mind is the last hat trick, courtesy of fourth-liner Eric Boulton against the Devils last December.

The last win came in New York as the Thrashers blanked the Rangers 3-0 behind Ondrej Pavelec’s 29 saves. The last win at home was a 5-4 shootout win against the Ottawa Senators on March 27. The last ever regulation win in Philips Arena came way back on February 11 when they knocked off the Rangers 3-2. Evander Kane scored twice in the third period to secure that win.

OK...so sometimes it didn't exactly suck to be the Ice Man (Photo/Mile Malak)

OK, so sometimes it doesn't exactly suck to be the Ice Man...even though I knew they only hung around me on the off chance they might meet Big Shooter (Photo/Mile Malak)

The most goals scored by a Thrasher was Kovalchuk, (328), followed by Slava Kozlov, (145), Marian Hossa, (108), Dany Heatley, (80), Bryan Little, (68), Marc Savard, (63), Patrik Stefan, (59), Ray Ferraro, (56), Jim Slater, (47) and rounding out the top-10 is Todd White, (43).

No, that was not a typo.

I’m certain many of you will recall certain favorite players…whether it is the likes of Kovalchuk, Lehtonen, Savard, Jeff Odgers, Hossa, Evander Kane, Pasi Nurminen, Garnet Exelby…the list goes on and on. I’m sure I’ll read about these players as well as many, many others in the comments section below.

As for me…well, I’m sure all of the above and many other things will come to mind when I reminisce about those Atlanta Thrashers many years down the road. Like my family, I will recall the electric atmosphere that surrounded the run up to and into the playoffs back in ’07, shedding tears with you all when we said goodbye to young Dan Snyder and getting to know such classy people as coach Bob Hartley, radio voice of the Thrashers Dan Kamal and others that crossed our paths between 1999 and 2011…and I’ll always get a chuckle out of the things that crazy bird Thrash would do to entertain us all.

But the very first thing I know that I’ll think about when reminiscing about the Atlanta Thrashers era is…YOU, the good people of Thrasherville.

I will remember the fun we shared before, during and sometimes even after games down at Philips. I will also recall with fondness the gatherings at places like TJs Sports Bar & Grill where we would meet to watch select road games.

Mr. and Mrs. Benning receive their 7th fan Award with Nik Antropov (Atlanta Thrashers)

Mr. and Mrs. Benning receive their 7th fan Award with Nik Antropov (Atlanta Thrashers)

I’ll think about the good we did here last spring when a small suggestion made on this blog exploded into a great movement to get the Bennings, a.k.a ‘The Kiss-Cam Couple’, selected as last year’s 7th Fan Award recipients. As I have many times before, I simply have to express my deepest and most sincere appreciation to all those who flooded the team’s office with e-mails, phone calls and letters on their behalf.

And a special tip of the hat to the Joint Chiefs of Staff members of Operation POM-POM for your efforts in making that happen for such a deserving couple that we all came to love and revere.

I will forever cherish the opportunity I was given to meet so many of you…whether it was at the games, viewing parties or even just here on this online forum I have been so blessed to have hosted for the last four Thrashers seasons.

Players, coaches, trades, draft picks, stats, records, goals, wins and losses may fade into the mist of passing time, but I will always remember you Thrasherville.

Atlanta Thrashers: 1999-2011 - Thrasherville Forever

Atlanta Thrashers 1999-2011 - Thrasherville Forever

242 comments Add your comment

Big Shooter

June 3rd, 2011
6:16 am

Ron Mexico

June 3rd, 2011
6:23 am

My most memorable moment- hanging that banner. God that felt good.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 3rd, 2011
6:28 am

I’ll always remember watching Hossa, Heatley and Kovalchuk treat their opponents like children as they drove to the net, sniped from the blue-line, or did a fancy dangle.

I’ll always remember the “good old days” when I was arguing the merits of a 3rd line player. I miss those days when Vigier was my biggest concern regarding the Thrashers roster.

And of course, I’ll always remember the people met through the Thrashers … on this blog, at the games, and off the ice. I’ve met Thrashers fans here in Austria, on numerous occasions, who never set foot in Philips Arena.

And finally, I will remember the deafening noise of playoff hockey in Atlanta.

There are countless other little things that will come to mind each night when I realize the I will never again be able to cheer for MY Atlanta Thrashers, and I will carry those memories (good and bad) with me for the foreseeable future.

Hip Czech

June 3rd, 2011
6:44 am

The ‘05-’06 season was probably tops in my book. That was an entertaining team and the atmosphere and buzz around Philips made for a great environment.

I was going through some photo albums of my oldest daughter that I had backed up onto my external drive…she had a lot of pictures from Thrashers games of years past. While it almost brought tears to my eyes thinking those experiences are gone forever it also brought back a lot of good memories and smiles.

One picture was the XLB car in the parking lot…that was cool.

Thanks again Mr. Tiller for doing this blog thing (after a lot of starts and fails before you)…that is another thing I am going to miss. Can we get a Gladiator blog?

Just a thought, with the ex-Thrashers still being in the SE division next year – 1) can you imagine the travel…6 times each to FL, TB, Washington, and Carolina 2) Any thoughts of an organized ‘Ex-Thrasher’ trip to one of the Carolina games next year?


June 3rd, 2011
7:14 am

Watching my son in awe of the players at practice, especially when he and a buddy were younger and saw one of the “larger” players (can’t remember who) skating up the ice and they said if he were coming at them, they would just give him the puck cause he was huge! Of course they are both grown up now and the players don’t look so huge anymore.

Bob Hartley taking time to give some of the Jr. Thrashers pointers during their practices, especially about exactly where their heads should not be! What a class act he is.

Though I was only able to attend one game this past season (unemployment is a big pain), the one I did attend was great and we won – that is a good final memory.

“Meeting” you all on this blog has been a great experience and let me know I was not the only hockey obessed person in Atlanta.

Blessings to all.

Big Shooter

June 3rd, 2011
7:15 am

The thing I will remember most is how good it felt when Chris Tamer scored the goal late in the game to win the night Snyder was honored. It was amazing to see 18,000 people who had all been so sad for a week spontaneously scream for joy. Somewhat fitting I guess that my main Thrashers memory has to do with a tragic event.


June 3rd, 2011
7:24 am

My fondest memory is of Coach Hartley after a practice grabbing guys as they came off the ice to sign my daughter’s poster. She was five and too afraid to ask. It still hangs on her wall.

But the memory that will always haunt with me is being in Tampa during these playoffs knowing I’d never see playoff hockey in Atlanta again.


June 3rd, 2011
7:28 am

Last December, I found a good deal on 4 upper-deck seats to the game against the Devils. My family was treated to Boulton’s hat trick and a whooping of New Jersey.
My family also loved attending some practices, rookie camp, and training camp at the Ice Forum. We found the players to be extremely accomodating as a small crowd of autograph seekers were treated to signings and photos with the players. We used to joke that Alex Burmystrov would make a nice son-in-law someday for my 15-year-old daughter.
Speaking of Burmy, he scored a wicked goal against I-forget-which-team last season that should go on an All Time Thrashers Highlights Show, should one ever be made, along with Kane’s behind-the-back pass to someone in another game that led to a goal.
We watched the games on TV, or listened on radio or over the web. Dan Kamal was awesome. We’ll miss it; we’ll miss it all.


June 3rd, 2011
7:29 am

this year my son started “watching” the games. we went to the pre-season game against carolina, sat in the headline grill and he (as a young goalie) was blown away by cam ward. we also left early the night boulton got his hat-trick. it was his idea to beat the traffic and get back to gwinnett. we listened to the game end on the radio and he declared he’d never leave a game early again.

he and my wife got to go to the last game. i saw the last game the flames won in atlanta – he saw the last game the thrashers played in atlanta. sad legacy, isn’t it?

cheif of smoke

June 3rd, 2011
7:30 am

I enjoyed introducing my family to game I played and grew up with in Buffalo, New York

I remember taking my wife (who is from the South) and my son to there first NHL Game on January 1, 2000. We played the Carolina Hurricanes and we lost

My son was 4 years old at the time.

I also remember attending the First Playoff game against the Rangers with my wife and son, what an atomosphere and we lost

I remember going with my family to the 2008 All Star Game Skills Competition

I remember March 14, 2010 when we took our 3 year old daughter to her First NHL game We lost to the Coyotes in a Shootout.

I also remember April 10, 2011 when we attended the final game in Thrashers History against the Penguins and we lost

My son will be 16 soon, ,He never played Hockey like me or his Uncle who played Division 1 at Canisius College but now he has love and understanding of the game. He like many kids in the South is focused on Baseball and plays on his High School team

We probably atternded 60 or 70 games over past 11 years, it was always a great family time.

Our Family will miss the Thrashers and the NHL. I am sure we will take a few trips a year to Nashville but it will not be the same.


June 3rd, 2011
7:34 am

So ASG owns the name and logo. If we wanted to get a team back here one day using the Thrashers name the road would lead through ASG.

I wish it would have at least gone to the NHL so we could at least have the option one day to get OUR team back. (Not that I have that much faith in the NHL at this time; however any thing is better than dealing with ASG)

Has anyone considered going to see our Thrashers away in Nashville or Raleigh next season? Our usual road trip with the intent of saying goodbye. We will need the schedule first to make plans. Thoughts?

Atlanta Flames Fan

June 3rd, 2011
7:40 am

I am still too angry (yes, I know it is not healthy) to think of good times. So, I’ll bring up the pleasure I got at one of the last games when Ruthless Seydel made a presentation on the ice. He was greeted with a loud chorus of boos.

I wish nothing but misfortune to him and his co-conspirators for etrenity.

Hip Czech

June 3rd, 2011
7:41 am

Frenzy, I asked the same thing….not sure how others would feel, but it might be cool to get a bunch of people to one of the ex-Thrashers games at Carolina next season.

Atlanta Flames Fan

June 3rd, 2011
7:43 am


June 3rd, 2011
8:08 am

Russian wants to say GOOD BYE for Thrashers Fans and Atlanta Hockey. I have lot of GREAT memories. Honestly I could not take any one favorite. Hockey is over in Atlanta, but it is not over for as a Sport. I am going to get Center ICE and watch Winnipeg on TV. What I am going to miss that FANS. I met lot of Friends on Phillips Arena since 1999 and I am going to miss them. This is a sad moment. :-(
Anyway we are still alive and healthy, that is a BIG point.
GOOD BYE Tharshers FANS!!! :-)


June 3rd, 2011
8:10 am

Once again – Personal THANK YOU for Rawhide. You did a great job to keep FANS together. :-)


June 3rd, 2011
8:13 am

Best memory, taking my 6 and 7 yr old grandsons to see a game, I had them believing they were taller than gionta and gomez, had the 2 boys calling them midget men all night. Canadian fan next to us wasn”t to appreciative of the big fingers that my boys were hitting him in the head with, by accident of course.


June 3rd, 2011
8:21 am

The only game my entire family of 5 got to go to was the game against NJ this year when Boults scored the trick and Kovy was booed if he got close to the puck. What a great game.

What I was hoping would be the start of a tradition ended up being the end. I will always love the team and will always resent the owners who took them from me. Trying to explain what has happened to my 11, 10 and 7 year old is almost impossible. They don’t remember Atlanta without hockey. Now, they’ll likely never know Atlanta with hockey again.

I wish the players luck, and TNSE the curse of the ASG. Sorry Peggers, I’m hurt and would just assume the team not exist if its not going to be here. Maybe that will eventually heal, but it’ll be a while.

Thanks Rawhide for being the voice of the fan in all of this. With few exceptions, the media coverage of this has been poor. You have been the spokesman for the unrepresented party in all of this mess. For that, you will long be remembered in Blueland.


June 3rd, 2011
8:21 am

My top 5 Moments that really stick with me.

1) Kovalchuks breakaway goals in overtime (I think he had a couple)
2) Exelby’s first game fight . He won it with a big knock down.
3) Odgers- after a game of heavy fighting, his face looked like
a pound of ground beef at practice the next day.
4) Watching the speed and stick handling of Hossa and Kovy at practice.
Sometimes it defied the laws of physics.
5) Just how nice 99% of the Thrashers who ever played were.


June 3rd, 2011
8:22 am

rawhide – great work on this blog through the years. lasting memories for me: the 2 playoff games and the heatley return when hos-sa was born. sadly one thing i remember about those playoff games will be kari letting in a soft goal in game 1. it turned that game and hindsight shows that everything was downhill from there culminating in the death of the franchise.

basically, all my good memories are from times when asg at least fronted like they gave a sh*t and the gameday experience was entertaining. this past season it was a little depressing to go to philips. the curtain over the 400s, the closed concessions, the broken chairs, the stale popcorn. at least twice i took pics of the 3/4 empty arena and texted them to friends with a note saying “this team is probably moving” never thinking i’d actually be right.


June 3rd, 2011
8:39 am

I worked around the Thrashers team for 10 years. Every person I met and dealt with in the Thrashers organization was friendly, especially the equipment staff and trainers. The players, for the most part, were also very down to earth and friendly, and I consider many of them friends even though most of them left years ago. The coaching staffs and Don Waddell were all wonderful peole. Bob Hartley even gave me coaching tips while he was here, drawing things out on a chalk board and giving great advise. It was sad for me when I had to leave them, but many of them remain friends. I wish all of the Thrashers people good luck and well being in the future and will cherish the memories forever.



June 3rd, 2011
8:46 am

Taking my 4 year old son to games. Interacting with the players at Casino night. Jumping out of my seat after every goal. Feeling like it was “my” team.

Atlanta Spirit is the anti-christ

June 3rd, 2011
8:47 am

I will always remember how hockey and my hockey friends were always there for me last year when I needed support the most. How going to practices could bring a smile and laugh to me when nothing else would. A tap on the glass from any of the boys would make me feel like I wasn’t really invisible. But most of all I remember getting my first Thrasher jersey to wear opening night to signify that indeed the NHL had not abandoned me and while the Flames played in Calgary, I had a team again finally.


June 3rd, 2011
8:48 am

The energy in the packed building for the two home playoff games right before puck drop sticks out in my mind. I just kept looking around the building in awe thinking we were finally turning the corner as a franchise. Boy, was I wrong…..


June 3rd, 2011
8:50 am

Started out trying to do a Top 10, but there really are too many. In no particular order…
-Kovy at StL, the no-seem slapper from the left point; the goal celebrations; the Crosby point-out
-Hossa’s one handed puck lug into the corner
-Heatley in late 02-03 vs Carolina scoring a backhanded after carrying two defenders on his back all the way from the blue line
-Slavamatic on the shootout
-Kane’s KO of Matt Cooke
-Holik’s pool cue goal scored sliding on his belly
-Burmi’s gem vs Caps
-Pasi’s Donkey Kong; breaking his stick in frustration after giving up a GWG
-Dan Snyder in 02-03 hitting anything that moved
-comeback wins, especially NJD in 2006(?), at Philly when DeVo scored the GWG
-the electricity in the Bulb for the playoffs
-Dan Kamal’s goal calls
-the lost look on Curt Fraser’s face after another loss
-this blog
-Patrik Stefan’s Dallas bungle because only a Thrasher fan could understand what could possibly be going through Patty’s head at the moment
My kids becoming passionate hockey fans

A lot of mostly good memories to sustain us through a long dark period without local NHL hockey.
A lot of mostly good memories


June 3rd, 2011
8:51 am

Hip Czech – count me in. Do you know who usually set up the trips out of town?


June 3rd, 2011
8:59 am

Lots of good, but the very first game in 1999 will always be the best. Everything new and still pure (well, as pure as pro sprots can get). I thought I would be going to games here until I was old and gray…


June 3rd, 2011
9:02 am

** to Not Blind**
It was Ex. Great Hit. :-)

Not Blind

June 3rd, 2011
9:02 am

The best hit was the one that sent Sundin to the ice. Only problem is I can never remember if it was Ex or Sutton that laid on that open ice beauty.

The best fight was Kane ko’ing Cooke.

There have been far to many great goals to single out one.

My biggest question about ownership over the years is how much $$$$ did McDavid actually get ???? Good job buddy, make ‘em pay. Where would we be now with McDavid instead of the AS$holeGroup.


June 3rd, 2011
9:06 am

My Childrens eyes when they came to their first game. They have been in love with the sport ever since.

Mr Willson

June 3rd, 2011
9:09 am

The best memory is meeting up with you, Bill, at one of the games. After warmups, we had settled down into our seats and one of the Thrasher’s staff came up to my wife and started talking to her. After a moment of confusion on my wife’s face, the lady gave her a signed Hossa warmup jersey. And for the rest of the night, she rubbed it in your face since YOU could have been sitting there.

But mostly, it was being able to go to the games and turning my family into Hockey and Thrasher fans after practically the first game.

Fan from Carolina

June 3rd, 2011
9:10 am

Just having an NHL club so close to me (2.5 hours away) was thrilling. Just a reasonable drive (3 or 4 times a year) let me see the NHL’s finest, from Ovechkin, Crosby, to Stamkos and Lecavalier. That was so nice and I really liked Philips Arena a lot. It became a litle too expensive over the years but I still managed to get there. That is now gone and overnight treks to Raleigh or Nashville will now be required if I want to see NHL action live. Thanks heavens for NHL Center Ice! I actually will miss the Rawhide blog very much, a few of the very knowledgeable posters, but Bill especially. I’ll be curious to see what the future brings. I know the AJC won’t even cover the playoffs anymore. I mean nothing!

Big and Little

June 3rd, 2011
9:10 am

Let’s not forget listening to Dan Kamal on the radio for road games–SCORRREEEEEEEEEE! This whold thing sucks. Bill, you need to do a piece on how much this is going to cost Atlanta monetarily. Really break it down. How much in gas taxes, metro fares, parking revenue, food, souvenirs, hotel stays, tickets, everything x42 games. I imagine it is a big number, and then remind everyone at election time. Pathetic ATL leadership. We deserve it for electing those bums.


June 3rd, 2011
9:12 am


June 3rd, 2011
9:13 am

I’ll always remember the first game I went to in 2002. I was a freshman in college and my sorority sister, Miss Hildymac (along with several other sisters) insisted that I needed to go to see the Thrashers with them. I hadn’t been to a game since the previous season with my parents -but going with my college friends was a completely new world of fun.

I can’t remember if we won or lost that night -or who we even played (my sisters also were kind enough to purchase me Frozen Jack and Cokes -yeah, remember those?). But I remember having the time of my life watching the boys of Thrasherville play their hearts out to a packed house. And I remember us ladies chanting sassy things, partying in the stands when we scored and having the time of our lives.

I continued to go to games when I could afford it. Over the years, I turned dozens of friends onto the Thrashers just by dragging them to a game. Every single one of them raved about it after just one night in “Blueland.” I’m glad at least that my future husband and I got to go to some games this past season and have those memories together. We’re broken hearted that ASG ruined something as fun as professional hockey for us all. We’re mad as hell that Bettman took the NHL away from us for the 2nd time for $60mil because Phoenix is his pet project. But we’re thankful for all the fun memories with the players, employees, and our fellow fans.

ATL Observer

June 3rd, 2011
9:13 am

I’m partial to any of the overtime wins….there were a couple of dandies over the Leafs….I remember Kovy potting one in an OT win over Buffalo early in a season (I’m thinking it was 2008) and the building just lost it.

And I’ll miss unleashing the fury most of all :-(


June 3rd, 2011
9:16 am

One of my best memories is the first game back for Heatley where Hossa single handedly dismantled the Senators. We were on a roll and Hoss was beast all year.

Hossa at the time was the best 2 way player in the league, and recall he killed penalties too from which he scored a bunch of shorthanded goals.

We got our $ worth out of #18, wish we could have kept him here.

Hip Czech

June 3rd, 2011
9:19 am

Frenzy, not sure…I think the official fan club put the other trips together. Let’s just throw it out there and see if anyone can run with it.

Another possibility would be a trip to Nashville, but I don’t think the ex-Thrashers will be there next year (didn’t they play there this past year?).


June 3rd, 2011
9:19 am

Ok, and I’m also thankful for all the free Diet Cokes from the Designated Driver program -that I dumped my flask full of whiskey into in the bathroom right before the first period. Yeah, you hear that, ASG??? After you stripped the Beers of the World down to Mexican “imports” and one server (that poor lady trying to serve a mob of fans between periods), I stopped giving a damn.


June 3rd, 2011
9:23 am

Vive la feuille d’étain !! The tin-foil Stanley cup !!! The heart of our hearts !! Vive la feuille d’étain !!!! Vive la feuille d’étain !!!!

The AJC Won't Let This Post!

June 3rd, 2011
9:26 am

What I will remember most:

The lies and condescension of Bruce “I Don’t Deal with Smart@$$.” Levenson.


June 3rd, 2011
9:28 am

Best memories:
The last game I saw the Thrashers win at Philips, a 3-2 result against the Sabres in April of 2009. The goals were scored by Slava Kozlov, Zach Bogosian, and the game-winner by THE Thrasher superstar Ilya Kovalchuk when he stripped Thomas Vanek and scored on a breakaway with less than 30 seconds left to play in overtime. It completed a season sweep against the Sabres and (I believe) knocked them out of the playoffs that year. It was a big crowd (upstate New York has a HUGE refugee community here), and the best NHL game I ever saw played at Philips. It SEEMED to indicate a promise of good things to come. A year later Kozlov was gone, Kovalchuk was gone, and Bogosian…well, no one’s really sure what’s happened with him since his rookie season.
Seeing Moose Hedberg outplay Martin Brodeur in a win against the New Jersey Devils in December of 2007 with my wife, daughter, and father in attendance during one of Chick Fil-A’s family pack nights. That may be the only game my dad ever got to see the Thrashers win.
A shootout win against the New York Rangers in a packed house (yep, NYC has a large refugee community down here as well) in March of 2006. Kovalchuk scored in regulation, all-time great Jaromir Jagr scored for the Rangers, but was later tossed out of the game for having not one but TWO illegally curved blades on his sticks. Marian Hossa scored the shootout winner for the Thrashers.


June 3rd, 2011
9:34 am

Quite a few good lists here.

The first time the Blackhawks came to town in Feb. 2000.
The sound of the crowd chanting Hossa the first time Ottawa came to town after the trade.
The feeling in the building the first payoff game.

To Bill,

You single handedly turned was was a revolving door of blog hosts into the best hockey blog on the net. I hope you decided to opine somewhere else in the future.



June 3rd, 2011
9:36 am

Just looking at the pictures makes me want to cry. I can’t even bring myself to read this just yet cuz I know you’re gonna make me tear up.

Bill – thanks for everything you’ve done on the blog and beyond. It has truly been a pleasure to have gotten to know you well over the past couple of years. You’ve been nothing short of “top shelf”. I am honored to call you my friend.


June 3rd, 2011
9:37 am

i almost forgot the autographed goalie stick awarded my son by darren elliot at an on-ice clinic before a game last year.


June 3rd, 2011
9:38 am

I will miss so many things:
1) Seeing everyone for the first time after a long summer at the Forum-players and fans alike-knowing that a new season was upon us.
2) The excitement of opening night each new season.
3) Watching warm ups before the game–some times on the other team’s side, so I could see the players on opposing teams that I follow.
4)The smell of the arena–it’s food scents mixed with the smell of ice.
5) Meeting new fellow Thrasher fans. Some who have become friends.
6) The direct smile I got from Pavs knowing he recognized me from sitting near his net night after night.
7) Watching Mr. and Mrs. Benning and the love they shared at their age.
8 ) The first playoff game-the excitement and hope
9) Reading this blog. Laughing at so many witty comments as well as gaining so much hockey knowledge.
10) LIVE hockey-the best game ever.

I could go on and on.
Unfortunately I am left with such anger and sadness toward the ASG and Waddell for personally taking all of this away from my family, my fellow Thrasher fans and me. I never believed that such a great thing in my life could end at the hands of greedy liars and cheats. For the ASG to jump at the first opportunity (officially 6 months with clear title) that is best for them and their wallets, makes me sick. Seeing Bettman makes me just as sick.

To the boys in Thrasher blue-I wish you nothing but the best to a great group of men. I hope with the right support you thrive. We will be cheering you on. Don’t forget your loyal fans in Atlanta.
I want to thank those players that have stood up for us as passionate and smart hockey fans.

Hip Czech

June 3rd, 2011
9:49 am

Dang, I thought I was over this yesterday…but all of these comments have me totally bummed again.

As has been pointed out, probably the best thing about the Thrashers was the players…took the kids to a few practices and by and large the players were just fantastic with the kids (Bob Hartley too).

The All Star game weekend was fantastic also (anyone else notice this past year how the media tripped over themselves pointing out what a great job Raleigh did with the game…nothing against Raleigh, but the weekend here was great). As a volunteer I got to drive David Clarkson, Matt Niskanen, the Leafs CEO, the Vancouver assistant GM (and Marc Savard’s equipment :-) ) around.

World Be Free

June 3rd, 2011
9:50 am

This is easy-”Milk Carton-Gate” standing next to Bill Tiller when Todd White turned around during warmups to give Mr. Rawhide the cold stare. Like we would ever be afraid of Todd!

It’s hard to believe that we won’t be getting together at Philips to see NHL hockey anymore. I have to say I made some great friendships, both here and at the arena that I hope will last for a long time. You are all great hockey people too. We need to get together for a Galdiator game next season (or two).

This is my tribute to the author and our hockey leader, Mr. Bill Tiller. I have often said this is the best hockey blog in America. Want proof? Cruise around to other hockey blogs in “NHL markets” and see the lack of off-ice passion displayed by fans that is common here. we we have had doesn’t happen without the right person running the show, setting the tone and keeping us in line when we need it. I always had a good laugh at out of town trolls that came in, acted like idiots only to be shot down when they got out of line. This will always be the best place to talk hockey, personally and professionally-a tribute to the man who got us to join in and encouraged us to stay.

Mr. Bill, Tim Russert would be proud.

Happy hockey everyone


June 3rd, 2011
10:00 am

My favorite memory was definitely the first playoff game. The stands were rocking, it was just an absolutely unreal atmosphere…and that was pregame. Seeing Thrash come down from the rafters, it was just unreal. So sad that we’ll never get that again.

But my absolute favorite memory was a game in Oct. 2005. It happened to be the day they announced we re-signed Kovy, but thats not why it was memorable for me. Me and a few friends had to buy standing room only tickets (remember those days?). We were all the way up top behind section 303. In the SRO section, there’s a yellow line you’re not supposed to cross. Well, a buddy of mine was messing with the usher, teasing her about putting his foot over the line. Well, after the 1st period the usher came over to us and said “I need you guys to come with me”. We really thought we were getting kicked out. Instead, she brought us down to the glass, front row next to the Caps bench! It was unbelievable. And to make it better, the Thrashers KILLED the Craps, 8-1 that day with 5 3rd period goals right in front of us. It was awesome. And we made a new friend that day. Since then, whenever we go to Philips we ask for our friend Millie, we’ve filled out comment cards on her behalf, given her gifts to show our appreciation, etc. I’m really gonna miss her amongst other things.


June 3rd, 2011
10:03 am

Very hard to come up with memories not mentioned above … it’s been a great 11 seasons.

Opening Night, the Banner Raising …

Boult’s hat trick (who’da ever thought *that* would ever happen?), Burmistrov’s emerging brilliance …

For me, I guess it’s off to Gladiators-land …

Bill – if you can’t continue the Fan Blog on the AJC, let’s please try and find a home somewhere … there’s a really great group of people who ‘hang out’ here, and it would be nice to be able to continue somewhere.

james c.

June 3rd, 2011
10:14 am

To all Atlanta hockey fans: Please know that the vast majority of us here in Winnipeg feel for you.It is eerily similar to what happened here in 1996 when no one stepped up locally to purchase our beloved Jets.I am sickened by some of the stupid and insulting comments made by “trolls” on the Coyotes’ and Thrashers’ blogs and want you to know that true hockey fans are part of a larger community.

I would love to see your great city (I have been to Atlanta and loved it!) part of the NHL again as it is a huge market and with proper ownership should have prospered at least to the extent of Raleigh or Nashville.Unfortunately it will likely be many years before Atlanta ever has another shot but we will treat your former team well here in Winnipeg.It looks like the team will sell out the entire 15,000 season tickets in our arena based on sales so far.Good luck and hope the Thrashers brand is reborn in another league as I always loved the swooping bird logo.

Red Light

June 3rd, 2011
10:16 am

Nicely done Bill.

Rawhude, Joe Friday, World Be Free, Smoothie, R. Stroz, Hockey Biltong, Brendan, Alan R., FormerIslesFan, BlueNote, kracker, Spud Webb, Big Shooter, and many others (I am sure I left out) are vitally more important than the hockey itself, as are all of the others that I met or went to games with during the last 11 seasons. But, one of my best hockey memories follows.

Red Light

June 3rd, 2011
10:17 am

Oops, Rawhide!

Red Light

June 3rd, 2011
10:21 am

I have so many memories about the past 11 years, but I want to take you back to Nov. 22, 2006, when the Thrashers visited Washington the night before Thanksgiving. My sister and brother in law were living just outside the District and we were invited to spend the holidays with them. Six of us hopped the Metro and went to Verizon Center. We all had great tickets and I had my media credential. The Thrashers played well that night and as the game was in hand, I left my seat and went down to the locker room with about five minutes left in the game. As you may recall, there were a number of brawls late in that game.

It started when Sutton took a run at Mike Green with the Thrashers leading 4-2. Vishnevski got pummeled by Brashear. Sutton took on Ben Clymer, De Vries wrestled with Bradley, Larsen went with Sutherby, Erskine battled Hossa, Moose quarreled with Kolzig and finally Mellanby took on Heward if I recall. Watching the fights on a hallway monitor, the parade of players to the dressing room was quite entertaining.

Vishnevski was a bloody mess. Sutton simply shot me a wide grin. De Vries looked no worse for the wear and Larsen came down the tunnel and yelled to anyone listening, and we all were, “Now that was Old-Time hockey.”

In the game’s waning seconds, Hanlon, on the Capitals’ bench, gestured toward Hartley, flapping his arms like a chicken. Hartley responded by mouthing the words, “Next time.”

After the game concluded with the Thrashers winning the game 4-2, the coaches made their way through the tunnel to the hallway outside the Thrashers dressing room, when suddenly Glen Hanlon burst through the door, called Bob Hartley everything unprintable imaginable, and then said, “Ok, Bob, you and me right now!”

I was the only Atlanta media guy there, so when it was time to begin asking questions, one of the media relations reps for the Thrashers whispered in my ear and said, “Ask Bob what happened in the hallway after the game.” And so I did.

Hartley calmly explained that Hanlon had challenged him to fight in the hallway. I asked him if that had ever happened to him before, yada, yada, yada. Several other guys covering the game asked me what had happened, so that was a lot of fun.

You can imagine the looks on my kids’ and my nephew’s faces when I explained the entire ordeal on our ride home.

Brashear, Sutherby and Mellanby each were suspended for one game and Hartley and Hanlon were fined $10,000 each.

Now, that was a great night!


June 3rd, 2011
10:32 am

Dan Kamal, getting that unrivaled access to our players at practices. Nasty Nest. Shaffee. THRASH (worlds best mascot), Eric Boulton quality fights, ‘Can i get a what what?’,

Zombie Steve

June 3rd, 2011
10:36 am

I’m gonna miss the Blue Crew =(


June 3rd, 2011
10:39 am

I remember taking my daughter to her first game vs. Philly in 2002. He was about a year and a half. She wore my old baby Flames jersey (because I was a little tiny Flames fan) and at least 5 of the Bulb staff made sweet comments about how cute she was and one of them had worked at the Omni and was so glad we had NHL hockey back in this town.
Marc Savard biting Darcy Tucker
Kane KOing Matt Cooke
Hearing my daughter and her best friend giving Marty Brodeur hell, then him being pulled after giving up 3 or 4 goals and them feeling like they were responsible because they couldn’t put up with the heckles. (we wound up blowing that game as I recall)
Hossa’s last hat trick with the hats all over the ice was my phone screen saver until I finally had to get rid of that phone last year.
The Isles game where we came back in overtime to win, during the playoff push. Phillips was full and rockin’ out. It was so loud you couldn’t hear sign language
Buffalo game a few years back, went to OT, we lost in the shootout. My daughter got out her Thrashers megaphone and became the section cheerleader. I had a client with me who was from latin america who had never seen a hockey puck in her life, and she’s been a puckhead ever since.
Being in the building to salute Keith Tkachuk’s 1,000th point (scored as a Blue, but he WAS a Thrasher the year before)
Kovy’s finger point
Hoisting the banner
The All Star festivities – getting to see a florid Bobby Hull in the flesh and to realize EXACTLY how small of a man Gary Bettmen is. Running around the arena during the All Star practice to get pictures done with every team’s mascot
Being stuck in traffic to the sound of Dan Kamal
On the couch with the fam, making the magic triangle to kill of a 5 on 3
Working @ Casino Night with Jeff Cowan – still love the Brabarian
Moose calls (the stuffed moose signed by Moose is probably our favorite piece of Thrashers what not)

I’m so on the fence about weather or not I can even watch NHL hockey right now. I haven’t been able to watch the final. One of my friends was texting me about what a great game I was missing, and my heart’s just not in it right now. Having to explain this to you kid who has grown up going to games, pactices, events, who proudly says, I love hockey, you people who like football are weird, who’s tears I dried when her favorite player (Exelby) was traded, is just really tough.

Thanks Rawhide for the forum and your insight. Always a pleasure to read. I don’t think we ever met in person, but I know I’ve seen you around. We were the ones with the little stuffed Moose hanging off the seat and the little girl who said that the goalie stinks instead of sucks because ladies don’t say suck.

Zombie Steve

June 3rd, 2011
10:45 am

Great story – Red Light

Susan Reid

June 3rd, 2011
10:46 am

That they were never as good, as fiery, or as fun as the Atlanta Flames…


June 3rd, 2011
10:51 am

I was supposed to move to Baltimore in November 2006. One of my friends bought us seats on the glass for the home opener that October as a going away present. It was absolutely fantastic. And of course, the energy before the first playoff game. I remember going down to the glass for their warm ups and the chants just seemed to overwhelm the players. My friend’s also won the Unleash the Fury video that year, so the season will always carry a little more weight for me.

I went to a Braves game the other day, and I was overwhelmed with sadness. The Braves have their own traditions, but it got me thinking about some things we’d never get to experience again with 10k-18k of our closest friends. No more (controversial) Knights! during the National Anthem, no more Unleash the Fury videos (which seemed to have stopped anyway), no more Thrash falling from the rafters, no more fireballs for every goal scored. We really did build some great traditions here.


June 3rd, 2011
10:51 am

I remember that game Red Light…luckily, I just happened to have DVR’d it and saved it for the longest time to show to friends how awesome the end of that game was!


June 3rd, 2011
10:54 am

Well done Bill. Your blogs will be missed. Good luck in the future.


June 3rd, 2011
11:09 am

11 years of complete incompetence that cost the Atlanta market an NHL franchise that the fan base didn’t deserve to lose.


June 3rd, 2011
11:11 am

And, of course, the great blogs by Rawhide. Thank you, sir.

Puck Like A Porn Star

June 3rd, 2011
11:11 am

Favorite memory: First stoppage of play during Playoffs Round 1, Game 1 vs. the Blueskirts. A parade of boos for Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” turns to deafening cheers when a Believe in Blueland sign is raised on the streets of Manhattan.


June 3rd, 2011
11:12 am

I remember the heat from the Flaming Birds when Thrashy scored, that was awesome and quite unique.

I remember showing up to an Avs-Thrashers game in hopes of seeing what was sure to be Foppa’s last game in Atl, wearing my Forsberg jersey, he didn’t play, but I can’t tell you how many people in the CNN center kept asking me “Is peter going to play?”. That points to the knowledge and interest of Atl hockey fans.

I remember watching the playoffs at Taco Mac in Buckhead with Bill and a ton of great people in Thrasherville. THAT was fun! It makes me sad to know that if I ever live in Atl again I won’t be able to join you all for a game.

I remember one of my first dates with my wife was a hockey game at Thrasherville – I don’t remember who they played because I was nervous as hell, but it was her first ever NHL game and she loved it!

I went to grad school with a few Canadians and I remember going to games with them and they were shocked at how much Thrasherville knew and loved the game.

I remember Kovy’s first ever goal in Phillips, the crowd went ape-sh!t.

Most of all – I will always remember this blog and the insightful posters here. You have done a hell of a job Bill. SI or ESPN needs to hire you to write for them. As you all know I will always be an Avs fan, but there is a special place in my heart for Thrashy. Firing Hartley was the wrong move. Nice work management…………..


June 3rd, 2011
11:16 am

I have so many memories of the Thrashers… I loved this team…My best friends and roomates were the intermission guys on the ice. They played human bowling and sumo wrestling on ice, they also ran the youth clinics. I remember coming to Will-Call to pick up my free tickets and hanging with the guys… I will miss their stories…

My first date with my soon to be husband was at a Thrashers game in 2007, we have been to so many games together since and enjoyed every moment of those games. There are too many memories to list…

I still sleep in my Believe In Blueland/Comcast shirt… This article and the loss of my Thrashers makes me cry. Thanks for all your hard work and for loving the Thrashers as much as we did….

Sage of Bluesland

June 3rd, 2011
11:20 am

I will remember so many things. Unfortunately, my first thoughts will be of the abject failure that was foisted on the good people of this city. This failure is personified in one Don Waddell.

I will remember the failed promises, the bluster, the snivelling laughs, the lisping explanations. I will remember the disappearance from the media, when he realized himself that he could not be trusted not to stick his own foot in his mouth.

I will remember a string of uncaring ownership–and the arrogance with which the last group carried themselves. I will remember an organization given no real chance to succeed, with a haphazard feeder system and a shrinking budget. I will remember a man who could rarely make a draft pick count beyond the early first round, if then–and an inept and underfunded scouting department.

I will remember good things, too. I will remember feeling like the dark days of continual losses were finally being rewarded by seeing Kovalchuk and Heatley on the ice at the same time early (i.e., preseason) in the 2001 season. Their magic was evident for all to see. They were truly gems to build around–and I felt we finally had two pillars from which to build a solid foundation. I will remember that same foundation being ripped asunder in preseason 2003 (an event which I never fully recovered from). Hossa was a ‘good’ player; Heater was the future face-of-the-franchise and Captain for life.

I will remember when a glass-groined Euroteen was taken with the 2nd pick of the 2002 draft–and realizing that the “Five-Year Plan” was a mere pipe-dream….coupled with the realization that the “Legends of Blueland” (talent pipeline) was a joke, a suffocating trickle…

I will also remember the excuses made by so many in support of the indefensible. I will never forget how wrong some were so often on such obvious things.

I will remember that this blog went from being an embarrassment (pre-Rawhide) which rivalled the ownership’s dedication and senior management’s incompetence…to one which exceeded all else, relatively, in the figurative joke otherwise known as ‘Blueland’….

But, I will also finally remember a city which wanted a reason to believe–simply stopped based on the continued negligence and fraud perpetrated by the organization’s leadership….


June 3rd, 2011
11:29 am

Thank you for this wonderful blog, Bill; you’ve always been so much fun and such a dedicated blogger. Getting to know you, and having the opportunity to meet your family, has been one of the best things this team has brought to me. Reading everyone’s favorite memories has been both enjoyable and bittersweet. I have so many favorite memories of this team. Cheating at Black Jack with Marty “The Party” Reasoner at Casino Night. Meeting my favorite player, Bryan Little, and having him turn out to be just so absurdly kind. The sense of camaraderie among us Thrashers fans. The thrill of jumping up to high-five and sing along to Song 2 whenever a goal was scored by one of our boys in blue. Meeting other fans at games, CNN Center, tailgates, and draft parties. A puck Shea Weber flipped out of play landing smack-dab in Smoothie’s lap at the last Nashville game we attended. Yukking it up with The Blueland Chronicle and Wild Bill Tiller in Section 317. Seeing the young talent at Prospect Camp. Christophe Schubert telling a security guard to step aside to let us into the VIP area at Casino Night. Submitting the “What kind of sandwich would you be?” question to Ask A Thrasher and cracking up when it was asked to every player thereafter. Smoothie’s hysterical Thrashers rap. Running into XLB dining with his family at Feast in Decatur on my second date with Smoothie. Commiserating with “tweeps” on Twitter during heart-stopping 3rd period rallies. Bringing people to their first hockey game and watching them experience the fun and excitement. Cheering for the Kiss Cam Couple at every game I attended. Kane’s KO of Cooke (legendary).

Thank you to Smoothie for awakening my love for hockey, and for being a willing partner in such lunacy as “lucky moose socks” and wearing fluorescent yellow stuffed crabs from IKEA around our necks in support of Joey Crabb. I fell for the Thrashers at the same time I fell for you, and this team will always be extraordinarily special to me for that reason.

Thank you ALL for enhancing the Thrashers experience. I will leave you now with a few lines from Smoothie’s *hit* rap song, “Yo, Check the Thrashers” (surely coming soon to iTunes):

“He’s not very tall but he’ll burn ya with speed, good luck trying to catch this dope sly Swede! Even if ya do he’ll make the right read, cuz Toby is a doctor of sick-ass feeds!

Comin’ down the tracks with a train of pain, numba 9’s on a mission so u ‘memba his name

The name’s Evandah just like The Champ, so don’t ya complain when he lights ya’ lamp!

Yo check da’ Thrashers, a playoff real deal, Pevs droppin’ pills like a waiver wire bank steal

Slates racin’ down da ice like a greasy frittata, he’ll work u in da corner like a dirty lambada!

Wee Freddy P likes to rock da wok, but get him on the ice and he’ll make u lose ya jock!

Todd Whitey White don’t need no Garmin, he gets to da crease to deposit the Charmin!”


June 3rd, 2011
11:32 am

My Dad, a native of Buffalo, used to take us to see Flames games when we were young and I loved it but once the Flames left there wasn’t much hockey around (we didn’t have cable) and my joy of the game faded. My interest in the game was rekindled while watching the 2006 Winter Olympics (I’m sure Bettman would hate to hear that) and I started following the Thrashers immediately after the Olympic break.

I’m sure I’m leaving some out, but here are my favorite Thrashers moments:

- My first Thrashers game at the Bulb on March 10th 2006 (a 3-1 loss to the Senators but regardless of the outcome I was hooked on the game)
- The big brawl against the Capitals in Washington on November 2006 with less than two minutes to play (Thashers go on to win 4-2)
- Experiencing the first ever Thrashers play-off game at the Bulb April 12th 2007
- Hedberg’s ridiculous poke check on Mats Sundin during a shoot out win in October 2007
- Hossa’s many highlight goals – my favorites include the “Hop-a-long Hossa” goal, the hat trick against Detroit, and the sharp angle goal from the goal line against Cam Ward (Ward’s reaction was priceless)
- Kovalchuk’s hat tricks and highlight goals – my favorites include the hat tricks against the Ducks and Leafs, the many one-timers from the point and the infamous point to Crosby in the penalty box
- Kozlov’s many shoot out goals
- Recchi’s shoot out winner against his former team the Penguins on January 13th 2008
- Working the 2008 NHL All Star game here in Atlanta
- The Thrashers beating the Wild in March 2008 in front of a sold out Phillips for the franchise’s first ever win against Minnesota
- Opening night 7-4 win over the Capitals in October 2008
- The Thrasher’s playing the role of play off spoilers in March/April 2009
- Bryan Little’s 31 goals in the 2008-2009 season
- The “Headless Hedberg” incident in January 2010
- Chasing Ryan Miller off the ice in the March 2010 4-3 win over the Sabres
- Evander Kane’s knock-out of Matt Cooke to wrap up the 2009-2010 season
- Burmistrov’s sick goal against the Capitals on November 19th 2011
- Byfuglien’s explosion of goals in the first half of the 2010-2011 season
- Witnessing Boulton’s hat trick in person on December 18th, 2010 and leaving the Bulb that night with the Thrashers in first place in the division

My biggest regret in all of this is that my kids (ages 4 and 1) are too young to have experienced NHL hockey in Atlanta. I’m sure we’ll make some road trips to Nashville or Raleigh in the future but it won’t be the same as home town hockey.

English Teacher

June 3rd, 2011
11:32 am

One night, my son and I were sitting in 412 when a guy and a girl came up and asked if we’d like to come down and sit with Chuck the organist. We did, of course, and this was the beginning of the most meaningful friendship I made through Thrashers hockey.

Chuck Bell is an outstanding individual. Not only is he an extremely talented musician, he’s also a father, a fan, and a friend. That night, I discovered that the best seats to watch a game was from the middle of the upper bowl, and my son discovered an outlet for his love of music. In games that followed, Chuck would often invite us back down to sit with him, but he would always come by and to visit. When we did sit with him, he would let my son “help” with the contest sound effects; often when you heard the “Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!” as some contestant knew that the Ryobi drill was, in fact, lower than $39.95, that was my boy doing his part.

When I volunteered during the ASG, Chuck was a familiar face, and since I was working in the production office, we were working together. During down time, he showed me around the press box areas which helped me perform my volunteer duties more efficiently when I was asked to deliver updated scripts.

As we became frequent guests of Chuck’s, my son grew to be a better sport. Not one to take a loss lightly, he would often rant and rave about minutia which cost the win. When I say “rant and rave”, I mean he would be nuclear in his reaction. However, it was quite easy to temper this by simply saying, “Son, if they lose, and you pitch a fit, we will never sit with Chuck again.” It wasn’t long before he’d figured out how to make a preemptive joke about losing to keep from going to his dark place. Regardless of my son’s reaction to winning or losing, Chuck always welcomed us back. When I told my son that the Thrashers were going to Loseipeg, his first question was, “What’s Chuck gonna do?”

So, there were tons of games, including an incredible game one of the playoffs, an All Star weekend, a shot at “Six Degrees of Blueland” (I got all the questions right, by the way), draft parties, paintball with the players, Fan Face-offs, auditioning for the PA spot, and many fantastic hockey friends, but for me, the best thing I’m taking away from Thrashers hockey, is my friend Chuck.

See you guys in Gwinnett this fall!


June 3rd, 2011
11:33 am

What I’ll remember(not in any particular order):

1) The first and last games.

2) Greg DeVries wearing MRS DWTOO’s blue vest at Casino Night.

3) The bagpiper and Dan Snyder and how my daughter made black arm bands from construction paper and cut out ‘37′ to glue on them.

4) The friends I’ve made thru this blog and the tailgates.

5) How the players – even the stars – stopped to sign autographs after practice. Denny Lambert had to be the best. We saw him wade thru a ton of kids on MLK day one year. Before he turned to head into the lockeroom he looked up and asked the crowd “if he got everyone” becuase he didn’t want anyone to go home disappointed.

Like any parent we had some tough times in the teenage years with our daughter, but, the one thing that we always had was the love of hockey and I’ll miss going to the games with her.

Remember, we still have hockey in Atlanta – Glovesave29 put it well. Let’s pack the Gwinnett Arena and show everyone we are a hockey town and maybe we’ll have this chance again.

Thanks Bill – I’ve been reading this blog since the days of the Ice Princess and you’ve done an outstanding job. Beth and I are glad to be your friend and look forward to seeing you at the Arena, TJ’s, or wherever hockey fans gather.


June 3rd, 2011
11:34 am

WBF – nice post man, and you can count on it! (Glads games & other assorted gatherings etc) People like you are what make the game of hockey so great…so many classy people I’ve met along the way, even from Buffalo! ;)

Red Light – indeed, I am so happy to have met so many fun and passionate people as a result of my interest in a game. The fun times we shared gathering in various areas within the club section will never be forgotten. Truly, the “Atlanta Spirit” was manifested in the wonderful people who followed this team so loyally and passionately despite a chronic, never-ending series of disappointments. Too bad the imbeciles who owned the team could never live up to the principles of stewardship and community investment about which they once blustered proudly and as it turns, insincerely.

I could go on and on but then I won’t be able to choke back the tears any longer. Thanks to all of you, both those whom I’ve met and enjoyed spending time with on countless occasions and those whom I did not have the pleasure of meeting, for your willingness to demonstrate an unfailing and unabashed passion for a game and a team you loved with such fervor, dedication and grace.

Sad Penguins fan

June 3rd, 2011
11:34 am

As a Penguins fan in Atlanta, I am extremely sad to see the Thrashers leave. I went to numerous games including every time the Pens came to town. I love hockey and played for 10 years while growing up in Atlanta! Hockey could have taken a hold, but as I’ve been saying for years, I could run a better team on my xbox!!! Waddell was either always an idiot or his hands were tied too tight by the idiot owners. Either way, my memory of the Thrashers will be forever tainted by Don Waddell and the ASG A-holes. It’s a sad day for the NHL regardless of the new smallest market in the NHL’s excitement. Had they been given the chance, the Thrashers could have been one of the most profitable teams in the league. But it takes money to make money in sports! If the ASG would have understood that, put a little money and effort into the Thrashers, then the could have made a lot more over time. (By the way, I’m a Penguins fan because my extended is from Pittsburgh and I grew up watching Lemieux and Jagr. I was born in Atlanta cause my father worked for Delta)


June 3rd, 2011
11:37 am

I remember taking my son who was 6 at the time to the first preseason game held in Philips Arena and then taking him as a 17 yr old to his last game on Mar. 27 2011. So sad that this is something that we can NEVER do again together.

James Mayes

June 3rd, 2011
11:40 am

250 Fans Show up in the parking lot at Phillips Arena And to cheer and try to convince the owners
not to sell the team to winnipeg,And Sadly it didn’t work.Nice Try Atlanta!!!!!!


June 3rd, 2011
11:45 am

Posting under my real name, not hiding behind my soma handle any further.
I had been given the “test” banner that many of you would recognize as the one hanging in the Ice Forum (Big, Maroon, Inaugural Season) from the company that won the contract from Turner to do the signage. I’m proud to say that even though they printed it upside down and had to redo it, I have one of the very first things ever printed with a Thrashers logo on it.
I was at the first home victory against Calgary, the tickets were given to me by the same sign printing company that I was doing computer repairs for. That was my first NHL game. I was in love with the sport, even though I couldn’t follow the rules, yet.
I’ll remember playing the EA Sports NHL games on my Xbox and Xbox 360 with my best friend Justin, eventually learning all the rules and ins and outs of the game.
The push to the playoffs was an exciting time, that was one of the only times I went to Philips and saw a majority of Thrashers Jerseys as it felt like that was the season all the “Fairweather fans” were rooting for the Thrash.
I remember meeting Mr Heat Miser for the first time at my job. Shooting the breeze with him about hockey at work has been great for the past few years, I’m hoping the conversation continues about the Glads or any (hopefully) AHL team that comes along.
Who can forget the great viewing party at TJ’s where it looked as if Buffalo was going to skate away with a W and the Thrashers won in a shootout? Thats where I met some of the regulars and started posting here shortly after.
Watching my niece Charlie at rookie camps, as enthralled as a 2 year old can be…
I finally got my wife hooked on hockey, Boults hat trick game against NJ converted her to a hockey and Thrashers fan, she thinks we got royally screwed. I think she will stay a fan of the game but she (like the rest of us) really hates Bettman and the league for what they did to us in the space of 20 days.
Finally I’d like to thank Bill (again) and all of you posters here in this blog for being accepting and accessible – for some reason in this life of mine I have always been excluded when it comes to being part of something bigger (like sports – I was “asked” to leave the team when I played High School football and even though I was in Theater in High School and College I was always a bit of a loner) and all of you (with a few exceptions) have been an absolute joy to chat with and bother for the past few years. I’m going to miss you all very much. The only thing I will not miss is Sage and his constant need to seek validity by mocking his fellow human beings to try and drive his point across.
Thank you Bill and fellow posters. See you at Glads games, on Facebook and Twitter.

Bill – ever thought of opening a group on facebook and calling it “Rawhides Rowdies”? If so please send me an invite – I would gladly join :)

English Teacher

June 3rd, 2011
11:47 am


June 3rd, 2011
11:47 am

Rawhide – my Thrasher’s memory is apparently in jail – can Trixie help me out?

Red Light

June 3rd, 2011
11:49 am

Dennis & Beth: Sorry to leave you out. I knew I was going to forget someone, and at least it was two ex- or now re-born Flyers’ fans! LOL.

Sage of Bluesland…excellent work!

Smoothie…lets play some golf and forget about this crap for a few months.

Thanks Zombie and J(Z)

ZAvs and any others…join us on Facebook!

Old Flame

June 3rd, 2011
12:02 pm

So many of the above comments bring back such great memories. While I always first think of the playoffs, two other events I fondly remember, which I’ve not noticed mentioned: When the Thrashers beat Bob Hartley’s Colorado team 2-0 here, when they were defending Stanley Cup Champions (one of the Thrashers best played games), and the other being the very first home preseason game in Sept. 1999, which I believe was also the first official event held at Phillips Arena. I also have the sad honor to having been at both the Flames and Thrashers final games in our fair city of underappreciated hockey fans.

Rawhide, thanks for your fine work and outstanding commentary over the years. I’ve never commented here before, but have enjoyed what you, and our fellow fans, have provided on this blog.


June 3rd, 2011
12:02 pm

Red Light – priceless story big guy, thanks for sharing!


June 3rd, 2011
12:07 pm

Well… I am from Quebec city so I also lost 2 NHL franchises over the years. This one hurts even more…we were getting real close to finally get somewhere with our roster…Just like the Nordiques who went on to win the cup the year after they left Quebec city…

This blog was my first stop in the morning; I hope to be able to keep reading it…

Thanks Ice Man


June 3rd, 2011
12:07 pm

So many memories..its tough to remember all of them. For me, this is the second time i have lost a team. I grew up a Hartford Whalers fan and used to go with my dad in the 80’s and was there when they left.

My wife, son and I have been going to games here in ATL for years. My son starting going when he was 5 months old and is now 4. he went to 35 games this year with us and this is one of the things i will miss most.

I will also miss that we will never have a chance to see that Stanley Cup here in ATL on our own ice. No matter how bad our team was, there was always hope of next year….now, there is no next year….its really hard to comprehend at this point.

Top higlights
the 2 playoff games….there was nothing like that.
The first game of 03-04 when Tamer scored the game winner as we mourned Snyder’s Death.
Watching Kovy and Hossa in 2006-07.
My son getting to meet the players at practices.
My wife getting me a zamboni ride for my 40th b-day earlier this year..hats off to you hon!

Thanks for the Blog Bill, I have always enjoyed reading this and it was a pleasure meeting you last year up in Nashville during our Ice trip.



June 3rd, 2011
12:10 pm

OK, I rarely, well never, post my real name online. I am a “friend” of KeepTheThrashers, but many of you I feel like I do – so you can request me as a friend on FB. Name: Mike Zentner, email mike.zentner AT gatech.edu. If you ever find yourself in CO, give me a shout, we will hit up an Avs game :) . And if it happens to be against the ‘Peg, bring your Thrashers jerseys!

This saddens me so much. I love Atl and love the Thrashers. This is just sad.


June 3rd, 2011
12:16 pm

**meant I feel like many of you do** lo siento

Matt from MN

June 3rd, 2011
12:19 pm

Watching Heatley and Kovalchuk play together and thinking what a great future this franchise had at that time. Man, was I ever wrong.


June 3rd, 2011
12:32 pm

I am too pissed to remember anything good that happened on the ice so I will instead mention the thing I will most remember. The first game after Mr. Benning passed away and Mrs. Benning and family were at the game and the kiss cam showed her. I was sitting about 10 rows down from her and she had tears streaming down her face…I will have to say I did as well, as I do just typing this! I am just glad Mr. Benning was not alive to witness the cluster screw job that has went on since his passing! May you live forever in the hearts and minds of Thrasher fans Mr. Benning and thank you for your service to our Country!

Matt from MN

June 3rd, 2011
12:35 pm

Sitting in a Suite for one of the Inaugural Season’s pre-season games.

Taking my daughter to her first (and last) hockey game, and how even after being destroyed by Toronto that night, she asked if we could do it again.

Watching the Thrash come from behind, after being down 4-0 to the NJ Devils in the 3rd period with Brodeur in goal and winning in overtime. Great seats as we were right behind the NJ goal in the third.

Sitting in the “nose bleed” seats with my Mom and watching the Thrashers vs. Wild and thinking about all the games we used to go see as a family at the old Met Center in Bloomington.

Joe Friday

June 3rd, 2011
12:40 pm

With so many good times from being at Opening Night 1999 to the last ever game and all the 100s of big and little games and events in between, the lasting memory is going to be of the complete and total injustice done to us by Waddell and the Spirit Group. I cannot stand injustice, it makes me very sad and angry, and unfortunately that’ll be my lasting memory of the Thrashers, the injustice of it all.

I was very happy to meet so many great people at the game, confirming what I already knew, that hockey people are the best. It takes a special breed to appreciate the game, and I’m pleased to be amongst you good folk. Hopefully the good memories will come back over time and I’ll be able to appreciate the NHL again one day, but today ain’t that day . . .

I’ll now never be able to pay off on that bet with my wife, to finally get a tattoo . . . a Thrashers logo on my keister when they won a Cup . . . Levenson, Gearon, and Seydel . . . you suck.


June 3rd, 2011
12:51 pm

Season ticket holders since day one. My whole family is sad. The best moments: first game, first playoff game (I’ve been to Finals games that didn’t feel like that), Exelby blooding Sundin with a body check and Kaner KO’ing Cooke (got a signed picture of that one in the basement.

Thanks for making me tear up on a Friday, Bill. See you all at the Glads games.


June 3rd, 2011
12:58 pm

“So, if anyone knows of any opening for those experienced in assisting the running of a professional sports franchise right into the ground…” LOL. Good one.

Who Cares

June 3rd, 2011
1:02 pm

I will always remember the fans. Yes the few and far between fans who actually liked the stupid sport of hockey down here in the South. My favorite memory was the official press conference were it was official that the Thrashers were sold! Hockey is an awful sport. I might of liked it if I grew up in canada or russia but I did not. I will remember the transplanted loud mouth yankees who liked hockey and the rest of all the fat outshape slobs I saw around town wearing thrasher hats, shirts, jersey’s etc. The majority of Atlanta has spoken not once but twice. We don’t like or care for hockey. Please NHL never come back to the A-Town.


June 3rd, 2011
1:07 pm

Wow who cares, great friggin attitude.


June 3rd, 2011
1:09 pm

Nice opportunity to say goodbye to those I have chatted with for the past 4 years….thanks Bill. You have always done a great job here – and I reiterate that you are missing your career calling…

I will remember the even at Centennial Olympic park when the new logo and jersey was unveiled. The place was packed, Flames logos everywhere – the sheer optimism was palpable…

I remember the first home game Tkachuk played against Montreal. What it was like to have a REAL power forward and how much it changed our team. Really thought we’d have a deeeeeep playoff run that season.

I remember sitting on the glass next to the Pens bench and hearing all the vets telling a whining (what else is new) rookie Cindy Crosby to sit down and shut up. Or the looks on the players faces when my buddy yelled thru the seam in the glass for them to sit down, he could not see – in French!

I will miss the excitement my kids had on game day. Or that they always came home with a stick or a puck, and the pride they felt walking thru CNN center with their latest addition to their collection.

I remember my part in operation POM POM at TJ’s. What was that? Try to get me kicked out? Ha Ha Ha Ha! Sorry, babe – I am a regular.

I am happy for the friends I have made. I hope they continue to be my friends – at events, on facebook….wherever. Let us not lose touch as you are a group of great people with a love, knowledge and passion for the sport that is unequalled. I always loved how trolls would come on board and be shocked by the quality of the work done here on this blog.

I am over the NHL. I do not want them back. I will not miss the know-it-NONE Sage’s whining. I will not miss the target of operation POM POM. I will not miss the logo that looks like a toilet flushing. I will not miss the morons of the ASG.

I do hope MANY here patronize the Gladiators. Time to bleed black, burgundy and bronze.


June 3rd, 2011
1:11 pm

I will never forget taking my 80+ year old Mom to her first NHL game. My regular seats were in the upper deck, so I had to get them traded for the handicap seats at the top of the lower bowl. We got to the game, my Mom in her newly gifted Thrashers alternate logo jersey, and had a great time. She froze her butt off, but from that point on she followed the Thrashers and always tried to catch at least part of the TV games. She may not have always known what was going on, or every nuance of the rules, but she sure knows what a goal is, and we would often discuss the Thrashers in our phone conversations.

Sad, sad, sad.


June 3rd, 2011
1:32 pm

Random memories –

Listening to my husband mutter “Tamer” every time Chris Tamer failed to clear the puck out of the defensive zone. In fact, all future bad, panicky, failed attempts to clear the puck were to be known as “Tamers”. As in, he just “Tamered” it. Though, I remember Tamer’s game winning goal opening night too.

My older daughter’s adoration of Jeff Odgers, when she was younger, because “he took care of everyone else”. My younger daughter’s adoration of Moose, because, well, his name was “Moose” (and he is one heck of a good guy). Watching warm-ups with my daughter and seeing Moose skate by and give her a wink and a smile, including this year when he was with Jersey.

Dan Snyder joking around with my older daughter at the STH Face Off event hours before the accident….. The ceremony (and video that played) honoring Dan. Wearing our #37 pins.

Seeing Ray Ferraro score his 300th goal with my older daughter and her statement that it was “the best game ever”. If I recall, that was also the same game where Heatley scored into an open net on one of those crazy bounces off the Philips boards that catch the goalies way out of position.

Playing our game of guessing which Thrasher would score the next goal.

My younger daughter freaking out when the firebirds spit their fire, when she was little, and spending the whole game buried in my chest. It was tough when the Thrashers scored a lot of goals! Speaking of which, getting free tacos when the Thrashers scored 6 (or was it 5?) goals.

Sitting on the edge of my seat during a 1 – 0 win over Calgary years ago. Low scoring but very exciting.

Big Buff scoring the game winning goal in overtime against Buffalo this past year.

The playoff games.

Bill – I’ve enjoyed your blogs and insight. I didn’t post but I always read them. I also enjoyed meeting you briefly at the Toronto debacle this past year as we both grumbled about “freakin” Clark MacArthur scoring so many goals. Memories :-)

World Be Free

June 3rd, 2011
1:43 pm

james c-enjoy the team dude. I am going to miss Burmie, was a special player and a great kid.

Smoothie-we will be up for a Glads game-


June 3rd, 2011
1:48 pm

Thrashers? Who are the Thrashers?

Larry E

June 3rd, 2011
1:52 pm

Many great memorys of Thrasher games, but most of all the practices at the Ice Forum in Duluth. The kids watching the pros. My grandson started playing there five years ago as one of the Jr.Thrashers and loved wearing the same uniforms as the Thrashers. He has advanced to the AAA Thunder level now but loved going to tournements representing the Thrashers. It sad that the following kids will not get to wear the uniforms. I also met Kane two summers ago at a Waffle house near the Ice Forum, nice guy, and he gave me his autograph for my grandson, which hangs on his wall.


June 3rd, 2011
1:55 pm

james c – classy post. Enjoy the players up there in the Peg, they’re a good bunch of kids. Hope they earn some consistent success in the years to come. Eventually I will be able to tune in and watch for myself, but it’s going to take some time and probably a couple of months of the new NHL season before I can bear to watch. Till then, it’s lots of golf and fun in the sun to help make this tragic injustice fade into oblivion. But the good times and memories will forever live on in my heart!


June 3rd, 2011
1:59 pm

My fav Thrashers memory is seeing Boults’ hat trick. I remember taking my hat off, wondering whether I should throw it to the ice, and thinking “Oh, what the hell! I’m doing it!”. Boults, if you get this, please send a picture with my hat.


June 3rd, 2011
2:03 pm

I will remember a couple of things….

First, they were a total disaster as an organization (as I use that term lossely!) from the ownership group to the general manager to promotion. Second, as probably part of the promotion angle, the organization never connected to the Atlanta Flames history (i.e. – the remianing fan base from the prior to team to the many former Flames that made Atlanta home. The Thrashers, and yes I LOVE hockey, are a blueprint for all the things NOT to do. Really hard to reflect on all the good moments right now due to the disaster that was the Atlanta Spirit. Tell me again how these dumbasses got their money?


June 3rd, 2011
2:05 pm

I’ll never forget my first game at Philips late in the season of ‘99-00. From the first drop of the puck, I was hooked! I gotta say that nothing can top the electric feeling of arena during the playoff season. I recall a game against Tampa toward the end of the regular season that year where the place was rockin’ too. Even the Tampa fans outside said they were impressed.

On a personal note:

I had started to take solice in the fact that since I’ve moved to Iowa several months ago, I’m now geographically closer to the team and will of course travel a ways north to see our boys in “blue”, but reading all of the posts here reminds me that no matter what the team belongs in Atlanta. The team really matters to so many of you who are still there and many of us who aren’t. It’s just a $#!tty thing that has happened and no matter how you go about it, it’s heartbreaking. A special thing has been destroyed and it seriously brings a tear to think about it. Thanks ASG. GFY!

Anyhoo, I do plan on making the trip from Des Moines up to Winnipeg next year for at least one game. It’s about ten hour drive from here and I will proudly sport my Thrashers sweaters!

Larry E

June 3rd, 2011
2:22 pm

Who Cares: Be nice even if your not a hockey fan. Just go flush yourself and maybe clean some of that sh@#%& of your mouth.

Red Light

June 3rd, 2011
2:55 pm

An incredibly tasteless attempt at humor or whatever 790 the Zone was attempting at STATS. This particular station has had nothing whatsoever to do with this team since 680 the Fan bought the rights to it (they didn’t even send anyone to games on a regular basis) and then they try to capitalize on the misfortune and emotions of fans, and for what purpose? To sell a sponsorship or two for two hours?

Extremely weak!


June 3rd, 2011
3:02 pm

Nothing – just the sound of a big sucking noise.

World Be Free

June 3rd, 2011
3:05 pm

Who Cares-your Mamma must be an idiot to raise a bigger idiot like you.
Get him Sage!

Zombie Steve

June 3rd, 2011
3:06 pm

I saw that on the news at lunch. They had Thrash in a coffin. Screw 790.

World Be Free

June 3rd, 2011
3:06 pm

790 has bigger problems than the Thrashers 0- they are a sinking ship.

Gwinnett Fred

June 3rd, 2011
3:12 pm

This is pretty much a repost of what I put in the last blog:

–I’ll remember my then 5 year old daughter (in 2004) getting interested in the Thrashers (I know not why) which in turn made me a Thrashers fan.
–I’ll remember back when the pre-game atmosphere was so much better and Sutton, while injured, was at the Fans Nest signing autographs and I still have that picture of my daughter with him (my first favorite player).
–I’ll remember All Star weekend – that was great
–I’ll remember Game 1 of the playoffs – what an atmosphere
–I’ll never be able to forget that fluke goal the Rangers scored on a wrap around that hit a crease in the boards and somehow went in past a stunned Kari L
–I’ll remember my kid, now aged 10, winning a contest to ride the Zamboni before a game. I bought more tickets to that game for family than any other game – NINE
–I’ll remember my one game with seats on the front row – always wanted to see a game from the glass. It didn’t dissappoint
–I’ll remember this years game against Detroit. Easily the best game I ever witnessed in person and how great it was to see all those red jerseyed Red Wing fans walk out with their tail between their legs
–I’m glad that I decided to go to one final game (after swearing to not go after the ASG debacle where they admitted trying to sell the team for over 5 years) – they won that game, I met Rawhide, and left the arena that night, and forever I suppose, with one last fond memory!


June 3rd, 2011
3:13 pm

March 13, 2003 Thrashers vs. Canadiens. My first Thrashers game, Garnet Exelby’s first home game, 2nd in NHL, first NHL fight, and first NHL knockout over Gordie Dwyer. Snyder and Steffan scored. Heatley gets 2 assists and Kovalchuk the other. Theodore gets the win, Nurminen the loss. MTL 4 – ATL 2.

April 14, 2007 Thrashers vs. Rangers. My first NHL playoff game. How ear splittingly loud Phillip’s Arena was all game long in front of 18,803 passionate Atlanta hockey fans. Avery’s 1st period lucky goal. Kovalchuk’s 3rd period game tying goal, the insanity that ensued, and the 300 Level stands literally moving and shaking like an earthquake! The fantastic NYNY video with Thrash in the streets of NY City (even the Ranger players got a kick out of that). Dupuis getting the most ice time as a forward over Tkachuk, Hossa, and Kovalchuk. Shanahan’s game winner with 4:01 left in the game. The end of the game “message” that was sent by the Thrashers. Atlanta became a hockey town. NYR 2 – ATL 1.

November 21, 2010 Thrashers vs. Islanders. Seeing my friend and fellow hockey player Trevor Gillies take the pre-game skate of an NHL game. Disappointed he did not play. Big Buff’s OT winner that I caught on camera. ATL 2 – NYI 1 OT.

December 18, 2010 Thrashers vs. Devils. Hipsters in Little 5 Points commenting on my Thrashers garb prior to the game and jealous that they couldn’t go. Taking a date to her first NHL game and sitting 10 rows from the glass. Getting on the Kiss Cam right before the Bennings. The boos. The Moose calls. Boulton’s Hat Trick! The Let’s Go Thrashers chants in the concourse after the game from 17,024 fans that once again Believed! The Bulb was LOUD and Proud. ATL 7 – NJD 1.

December 26, 2011 Thrashers vs. Lightning. Driving in a snowstorm from Augusta, GA with my dad, brother, brother-in-law, and 4 nephews for an NHL hockey game with the boys in the family. A rowdy game and rowdy fans. TBL 3 – ATL 2 OT.

January 1, 2011 Thrashers vs. Flyers. My two teams. Finally getting Mom and Dad together for an NHL game in Atlanta. Meeting, sitting near, and talking hockey with Rawhide. The ice covered city streets of Atlanta and over 15,000 still made it to the game. The young Thrashers skated with and played a much better game against the elite Flyers than what the score reflected. PHI 5 – ATL 2.

January 20, 2011 Thrashers vs. Lightning. My last Thrashers game. TBL 3 – ATL 2 SO.

May 31, 2011 Thrashers vs. NHL. The Great Injustice against the city of Atlanta, state of Georgia, and South East United States of America. ASG, TNS, NHL, WPG, CAN 5 – ATL 0.


June 3rd, 2011
3:30 pm


Your comment reminds me that none of us should ever forget this:


Very apropros at this point in time.


June 3rd, 2011
3:30 pm

Things to remember:

Going to games with Smoothie and Krisabelle. I didn’t get to as many as I would have like but had a blast every single time.

I’ll also remember going to games with my father and brother the first four years pretty regularly (thanks to company tickets!) Good family memories.

The Kiss Cam couple, hands down my favorite constant memory. I am so proud of us all making the 7th Man Award happen.


This blog and getting to know Rawhide just a little bit in person. You’re a really stand-up/shoot straight guy and a very entertaining writer. We were lucky to have you writing this through the many highs and lows. It really does feel like a family of Thrasherville.

I love hockey and while we still have the Gladiators….I hope that we have the opportunity again once day…in the distance to bring the NHL back here.

I enjoyed every game I went to, even the “bad” ones. I loved being a fan :)


June 3rd, 2011
3:33 pm


I feel like I’m at some kind of online Irish wake, which I suppose it really is.

Another Bushmills please.

Some of our collective highlights:

My bestest memories are of the the great folks:

Those who sat around us in section 315 from the very beginning and watched my family grow up. Jill, the Pittsburgh lady, Mr. & Mrs. Anderson, Craig the hockey guy and the mystery science theater crew who delivered 60 minutes of focused, hockey-informed scarcism every night.

….”great job SLOW-dry; you are such a pylon.
….”DeVries do you EVER hold the blueline?”
….”GO NEW GUY” when they couldn’t remember Domicelli’s name
….”THEY’RE CRIMINALS….they rip the tags off mattresses!”
….and our family favorite:
“HOW MUCH TIME IS LEFT?” at 1:02 of the period. Always delivered with a thank you.

An informed internet crowd (well 95% of them anyway) who could (generally) disagree without being disagreeable. You know who you are.

A collective family memory was being at the STH event and collecting a last minute autograph from “pretzel boy” Snyder (Snyders of Hanover….it’s a PA thing) before they wrapped the evening. We had to explain that to him, but he got a grin out of that. As Warren Zevon observed: you really have to enjoy every sandwich.

Perhaps most of all to Mr. and Mrs. Benning who showed us to enjoy every moment and love extravagently.

Tip of the hat to Rawhide for your most excellent efforts. Hope our paths continue to cross.

Believe another Bushmills is in order


June 3rd, 2011
3:53 pm

Pass the Bushmills please!! *sniffle, sniffle*

jwizzle – what’s up? Hope you are doing well and work isn’t beating you up too badly these days. We will definitely have to get together soon. And some Glads’ games are definitely in our collective future.

Beth & Dennis – hate that I didn’t get to see Dennis before the season ended or at the “tailwake” but thank you both for being such gracious and friendly folks when we bumped into each other at the Arena. Beth, twas great seeing you that sad Saturday and commiserrating like that as a group was definitely upliftingly therapeutic. Look forward to seeing you guys at a Glads or Braves game.

I reckon I’ll be typing some more in this here blog before the weekend is over, but till then, y’all have a fun and safe Friday evening!

Hockey Reporter

June 3rd, 2011
4:00 pm

Love reading these memories of Thrasher hockey. So sad to see it go. As a TV sports anchor/reporter, I had the great opportunity to cover the Thrashers and the NHL in Atlanta for about a year. Just happened to be the Thrashers best season ever. I dedicated a blog entry to that memory and my thoughts on the NHL’s departure from ATL and the lousy ownership group responsible for it. Feel free to check it out…



June 3rd, 2011
4:11 pm

One of my favorite bands and a true tribute to the Awesomeness of hockey players: http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=35&id=116705&navid=DL|NHL|home


June 3rd, 2011
4:24 pm

As a now Lightning fan, I am truly sad to see Atlanta lose the Thrashers. You may remember in the first year of your franchise, your International Hockey League affiliate was the now defunct Orlando Solar Bears. I remember seeing Dan Snyder play as well. Truly a tragic loss not only for the Solar Bears but the Thrashers. We lost our team in 2001 when the league folded and the AHL would not take the Bears because the DeVos family owned the Grand Rapids Griffins, i.e. conflict of interest. As well as travel and financial losses. This is truly heartbreaking and despite the jokes, there are more than 200 hockey fans in Atlanta and the South. Losing the Solar Bears was a sad day for me, and can feel your pain as well Thrashers fans. Unfortunately, this may be repeated in the near future in South Florida, where I saw several Panthers vs. Thrashers games in Sunrise. Announced crowds of 15,000 looked more like 7,000 at the Bank Atlantic Center. There is very little mentioned about the Cats…It’s a Heat town for the forseeable future with D-Wade and LeBron here. Can truly see the day soon when the Panthers leave for Quebec City or Seattle. Most of South Florida wouldn’t even notice. They will probably host a Save the Panthers rally, but most of those will come only for the Ice Dancers.


June 3rd, 2011
4:31 pm

Great post! I’ll never forget Dany Heatley’s first game back as a Senator. The fans showed as much passion in the stands as the team showed on the ice. I remember thinking after that game, “Wow, we’ve really got something good going on in Atlanta.”

A huge sarcastic “thank you” to all the inept criminals in the front office who squashed that budding passion among the Thrashers’ fanbase like a bug on the sidewalk over just a few short seasons.


June 3rd, 2011
4:49 pm

It’s sad, but I’m posting this from earlier this season again, which I wrote a while back:
At the end of the 2003-04 NFL season, I made a decision to drop my Atlanta Falcons season tickets and buy Atlanta Thrashers season tickets. Financially, this wasn’t a smart move since the hockey tickets were much more expensive. The poor decision was compounded with the fact that the Falcons made the NFC Championship game the next season, and there wasn’t an NHL game played in Atlanta due to the lockout.

So my first season as a Thrashers season ticket holder was 2005-06. During that time, I’ve seen the team do spectacularly, both in a positive and negative manner. I was there when Kovalchuk pointed at Crosby. I was there when we were down big to Brodeur and the Devils and managed to come back. I was there when the crowd during the Jersey Off Our Back promotion kept chanting “Lets Go Thrashers!” to try and urge the team on to the playoffs, even though the Caps would ruin that hope two nights later.

I was there for the birth of the Hossa chant. I was there for the shootout the night after we clinched the playoff berth when we went to a shootout with Tampa Bay – and in hindsight, I wonder if we had lost and ended up with Tampa in the playoffs instead of New York, how different things would be.

I was there for the horrid start the next season. I forced myself to sit through the era of Waddell as head coach. As bad as things were, I was there for the John Anderson days as well.

I was there when the value of my season tickets was undercut greatly. I was there when they had two concession stands in the upper deck open on a night Pittsburgh came into town and 16,000+ were in the stands. I was there the countless nights there wasn’t an usher for my section. I’ve been there for as many games as my job would allow this year.

As a fan, there’s been countless times I’ve felt screwed over by this franchise. But I keep coming back. And I keep having a group night every season where I bring a ton of co-workers. I keep giving away bonus tickets to friends to get as many people there that I know as I can.

I’ll be there Friday, even though the owners won’t be. I’m still foolish enough to give my money to Bruce and the Boys. Because the fact of the matter is, ever since the announcement was made in 1997, I’ve always looked at the Atlanta Thrashers as my team. On top of all that, I’ve got a team I can be proud of again to call my own.

So to heck with the owners. To heck with Waddell. I’m going to be there every night humanly possible because those guys in the blue jerseys with Atlanta down the left sleeve deserve all the support I can give them.

/wandering rant


Well, it was always about the name down the left sleeve to me. Shame it wasn’t for AS, LLC.


June 3rd, 2011
4:50 pm

My wife and I were married on the day of the Thrasher’s inaugural game, Saturday, October 2nd, 1999; we didn’t plan, it just worked-out that way, honestly. Leading up to that date, there was a billboard on the downtown connector near an abandon steel mill where Atlantic Station is currently located. The billboard had a countdown clock, proclaiming to us rush-hour commuters the number of days remaining until the re-birth of NHL hockey in Atlanta. I was working on the north-end of town, living downtown, so seeing that billboard was my daily reminder of both the number of days until our wedding day, and the Thrasher’s very first game – very exciting times they were! Over the years it has been great fun following the team, and going to the games. For us, it’s sad and particularly melancholy to see the team, the sport, depart. Our marriage has now officially outlasted the Thrashers; but for us, it has been an amazing 12 years. Over the years we have also been blessed with two beautiful sons who both enjoy playing ice hockey. Who knows, maybe one of them will play for Atlanta’s next team and we’ll be the elderly couple smooching on Kiss Cam – third time’s a charm, right?


June 3rd, 2011
4:55 pm

ZAvs: YES! I’m also a pretty big fan of U2, particularly their older albums. I saw that video earlier today. I thought it was hilarious… but he was saying something about Winnipeg at the beginning, so… MIXED FEELINGS

cable guy

June 3rd, 2011
4:56 pm

Taking my family, including my grandfather, to the first preseason game in ‘99.

Sitting behind the bench for a game and watching the coaching and line changes up close.

Going the first Thrasher / Ranger game and playing street hockey behind the arena with Ranger fans who flew in for the game from Brooklyn NY!

Bringing friends over the years to games with tickets given to me by a very generous Don Waddell!

Tough Ticket

June 3rd, 2011
4:59 pm

You mean he had extras? Shocker!

cable guy

June 3rd, 2011
5:11 pm

@tough ticket. Always club level. He would get jersey and sticks signed for me too… super nice guy despite all that has been written here.


June 3rd, 2011
5:57 pm

JDawg I was at the Heatley Sens game too, January 2, 2006, and felt the same way about “something good happening in Atlanta”. I’d add, in addition to the Heatley Boos, were the even louder HOSSA! HOSSA! HOSSA! chants. Hossa had two goals – a shorty and the game winner – an assist, was a +4, named First Star, and saw the most ice time as a Thrasher and 2nd in the game behind only Chara. De Vrise – involved in the trade – also scored and Kozlov had a hat trick. Like this season’s return of Kovalchuk with an eerily similar outcome, another great Thrashers game to have witnessed! ATL 8 – OTT 3.


June 3rd, 2011
7:03 pm

I have to honestly say that Rawhide nailed my most pertinent memories. So, in Rush-like fashion, I’ll offer a “ditto” on his blog. There are a few other things that stick out, for me, personally. My Aunt, who is from Grand Island, NY, and avid Sabres fan, came to visit me in 1999, when the Sabres came. Her flight arrived just in time for us to scurry to the ticket window in hopes of finding three (3) tickets side-by-side. Luckily, we did, at the mere cost of $55 per seat. But, there we were. Right behind the net, essentially. Patrick Stefan scored TWICE for Atlanta, driving the vaunted Hasek from the net. We saw a penalty shot that night, and Buffalo did score. The game ended in a 5-5 tie. As I recall, it was Atlanta’s first-ever NHL points, at home or otherwise. That was a great game. The Thrashers led, 5-3, going into the 3rd period, if I’m recalling correctly. I remembered saying, “Auntie, you might be here for the franchise’s 1st-ever win! Even if it is against your beloved Sabres.” She immediately began rooting for Atlanta! Why? She wanted to forever be part of our Thrashers history. After all, what’s a measely loss for the Buffalo Sabres, in 1999-2000? The Sabres were coming off a loss in the Stanley Cup Finals to Dallas. (Which is something Auntie doesn’t talk about. But that’s another topic.)

Anywho, there are a few more. Stefan’s late goal during the 2005-06 season game against Detroit, where the Thrashers blew a 6-2 lead, with I think Michael Garnett and Adam Berkhoel in net. There was the time I went, spur of the moment to the Nashville game with a friend from work, and the game produced the 1st-ever Thrashers Shootout winner! That’s forever in my mind.

I remember … just being AMAZED by what Kovalchuk could do. One time … we were facing Montreal. I cannot recall the date or season, but Atlanta forced Overtime, and Kovy won it. I was like, “did we really just do that?!”

Of course, Kovy’s pointing at Crosby, coming out of the penalty box, probably is going to get the most votes for the outstanding memory of the entire franchise.

But, there’s a memory BURIED in Thrasher lore, that has remarkably stuck with me. Anyone remember Ruman Ndur? The 1st-ever Nigerian born player to reach the NHL scored a goal on January 21, 2000, which I witnessed live, in the flesh. And all I can recall were his flashing white teeth!! Smiling from ear to ear. http://hockeyboxscores.com/box/20000121ATL.shtml. The game ended in a 3-3 overtime tie. And what a bizzare night for the franchise, getting goals from Ndur, from Yannick Tremblay and Dean Sylvester, Andreas Karlsson, from Shean Donovan, and a late tally, to tie it, from Yannick Tremblay, short-handed, unassisted. Shows you just how bad Florida was, to allow that to happen!! Pavel Bure nearly had the game-winner, for the Panthers, until the Tremblay tally.

I’ll remember waving my “Unleash the Fury” towel during Games One and Two in Blueland. I’ll always remember “puckdrop” of opening night, vs. Brodeur and the Devils, and my commemorative ticket box. I truly believed we were embarking on the first step towards the Stanley Cup. Let it go.

I’ll also remember “Parkfest,” in 1999. It was held at Centennial Olympic Park, I believe. I got to chance to get player photos signed by various Thrashers. Damian Rhodes was conspicuously absent. But I got signed photos from Norm Maracle, who chatted with me at length about the Thrashers Defense, and lack thereof. I got Matt Johnson, the # 17 before Kovalchuk. I got Petr Buzek to sign the Inaugural Thrashers Team Photo. And that was the first time I met Don Waddell. He was walking by children playing street hockey, by the Chamber of Commerce. I told him that I had my season tickets, and hoped that we could soon make the playoffs. He wryly grinned, then said, “Well, it’ll be a while. But we need your support to eventually get there.” He wasn’t kidding. It took all the way until 2007, from 1999, for a playoff game.

And if Rawhide will grant me this indulgence, I would like to thank all the posters who participated in my many various contests, through the years. I was fun tracking your votes, and guesses on the budget, and date Kovalchuk would re-sign with his next team. (No one got it correct. We had guesses of Washington, Toronto, NYR, but nobody picked NJD.) I enjoyed reading your postings, through the years. My favorites coming from Red Light, Bob/Joe Friday, Glovesave29, Adam, Rawhide, WBF, and especially R.Stroz, who kept me constantly in stitches, and considering “Blog Comments of the Year.” Also, I want to recognize Stendec, who when not on an utter tirade, made some good points. And LAC, thank you for always supporting me. I’d be remiss not to mention our ol’ pal Ranallo10, who provided us with a lot of insightful and challenging commentary. It was he who suggested Steve Yzerman for the GM position, post-Waddell. And finally, Sage of Bluesland, for as often as you infuriated people, your consistency of point shall not be forgotten. In the end, I do agree with you … that ownership incompetence directly led to the loss of this team from Atlanta’s sports landscape. If only … they’d listened!


June 3rd, 2011
7:10 pm

Trixie, I’m in the SPAM filters.

Thrashy Thrashy

June 3rd, 2011
7:19 pm

I’ll always remember that the good fans here were denied the chance to see their team do great things.

All because of a bunch of guys who didn’t even want the team in the first place.


I’ll remember fist-bumps with my dad when we watched Ze Trasher on cable down here in South Georgia. I’ll remember Kaner knocking out Cooke with one punch. I’ll remember seeing the Thrashers on NBC during their one and only playoff series. I’ll remember thinking that, though the result was extremely disappointing, I could get used to seeing my team on NBC.

Ultimately, I’ll just remember that my love of hockey will be lessened because I no longer have a team to cheer for. I’m an Atlanta pro sports guy. I will complain about all of the teams, but they’re my teams…for better or worse. I know there are a lot of people out there like me. I used to cheer for the Devils before we had a team, but it was more of a passing interest. Go Bruins?

Meh. We’ll see.

Can’t cheer for the Canes or Bolts, right? Hate never dies :smile:

Big Wally

June 3rd, 2011
7:23 pm

My favorite memory WILL be, when old lady karma strikes against Waddell and the ASG crooks and gives them what they truly deserve. My hate for them will never die.

Tom Lysiak

June 3rd, 2011
7:58 pm

Gosh, there are so many game memories and chances are they are already posted here.

Alas, I am basically reduced to these being the real memories of the Thrashers:

1) Seydel’s promise that he and the other “owners” would do everything in their power to bring a Stanley Cup to Atlanta. (Guess maybe the BOG will grant them one last wish and loan it to them for an hour or two one day.)

2) Levenson calling a fan a smart-ass at a town-hall meeting with kids present. (Gotta admit they know how to treat a customer!)

3) Waddell and his documented legacy (Just wow!)

4) Bettman’s covenant with us, the fans. Let’s fondly recall that, shall we?:

“But we believe we have a covenant with our fans, who make an emotional and financial investment in us. If you run out on them in one place then you’re delivering a message that maybe you don’t take that covenant seriously anywhere.” (Now, if that doesn’t make you feel warm and fuzzy, what could?)

Yeah, that’s what I will always remember……

Mrs. Zoomo

June 3rd, 2011
8:09 pm

There are many but three come to mind right now:

Opening night, October 2, 1999. My Devils fan brother-in-law was in town and my sister had gotten us tickets – but only a pair. Zoomo went to ticketmaster to get one more and ended up with a ticket three rows up from our attack twice goal, next to the goal judge. The three of us took turns sitting in that seat, one each period.

Little Zoomo’s first game – early November 2006 when he was 4 1/2. We had held off taking him to a game because he had some sensory issues, i.e. not liking crowds and afraid of the dark, but Zoomo got his company tickets that night so we decided to take the chance and bring him. He sat on my lap the entire game with his fingers in his ears but he watched most of the game. It turned out that going to hockey games helped him get over these sensory issues.

Little Zoomo’s fear of the fire breathing bird heads for the first two seasons they were there.

Geddy Lee

June 3rd, 2011
9:41 pm

Many times, I have been tempted to write a letter of complaint or shout my voice of fury. This time neither hell nor high water will prevent me from doing so.

To the Atlanta Spirit Group…. F*%& YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


That said, my favorite or most memorable times the last 5 years.

The absolute #1 memory happened after game 2 of the playoffs. We just lost and I was waiting for my friends to come out of the bathroom. While waiting, there was a woman with her two children, all three of them were wearing Rangers jerseys. When out of no where there comes that guy who wears the rainbow wig. He goes right up to one her children and shouts “RANGERS SUCK LITTLE GIRL!” The mother and kids were terrified. “He’s just a bad man, He’s just a bad man.” was her response. I ABSOLUTELY LAUGHED MY ASS OFF !!!!. Rainbow man, YOU ROCK!

I will miss taking my two nephews to the games. Each of them fighting for a chance to go to the game when the guy I shared season tickets with had to cancel.

I will miss going to games with my best friend since high school. His wife hates me and the only time we get to hang out is for a Thrashers game. So it’s HELLO SEASON TICKETS FOR THE GLADIATORS!

I will miss the beer chugging guy.

I will miss those games against Boston. BRUTAL!!!!!

I will always remember the BENNINGS.

I sat in section 122 for three years. For those of us who sat there, remember the twins? They were the two little girls raised on Hockey. God bless their parents for sharing their love of hockey with them.

Whatever happened to the guy who used to dress up as Braveheart? Probably got frustrated and left.


For the last two years I’ve sat in section 202. The individuals who ran the concession section near that aisle were completely retarded! HELLO, LEARN HOW TO POUR A BEER! YOUR OUT OF MOLSON CANADIAN AGAIN? DO YOU KNOW HOW TO MAKE CHANGE? OH WAIT A MINUTE, YOU’RE EMPLOYED BY THE ATLANTA SPIRIT GROUP. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN!

To Rawhide: We met two years ago after a Boston/Thrashers game on the stairwell to the parking deck. I thanked you for your blog and I thank you again. You are a gifted writer. Dave.

To Redlight: You are a genius. Who’s going to win the “2112″ Stanley Cup? If anyone knows, it will be you.

To ZAvalanche::

And the men who hold high places
must be the ones who start
to mold a new reality
closer to the heart


Geddy Lee


June 3rd, 2011
9:54 pm

The memory I will always remember is when Mark Chipman said True North Sports and Entertainment has purchased the Atlanta Thrashers.


June 3rd, 2011
10:01 pm

While I’ve enjoyed these memories I will not contribute to them as mine,for the most part, are very personal.
What’s happened here is a disgrace…. I despise everyone involved including the “New Owners”.
They’ve colluded with scum to attain their new “asset” in a veiled scheme to enhance their casino’s success. One of MANY in the City of Peg.
I curse them, and all of their future endeavors. A POX on them, and their fans.
I care not one iota for ANYTHING remotely associated w/ the NHL.
I will never again be fooled by their hyperbole, as I’ve experienced their “Covenant”.
I look forward to this League failing as salaries continue to escalate, and the market shrinks.
Thank the NHLPA for that.

Went to a hockey game on my wedding day in 1980…. Flame/ Bruins
Was at my LAST hockey game Thrashers/Pens recently…

Foxtrot Uniform AS,LLC……..NHL.


June 3rd, 2011
11:58 pm

Geddy Lee – thank you for your sentiments. I am sorry your little girls were treated that way – as a former teacher, and human being, I cannot believe an adult treating kids that way. You, sir, are a fine individual and you are right, RL could probably be a “books guy” in Vegas. I am going on a limb and saying that the SCF winner next year will be Detroit.

I have very much enjoyed your commentary and when I listened to “Limelight” (some of you will know what I am talking about) today, I really did think of you and your insight. I do not think there is a better blog for hockey on the planet. Peace brutha!

Signed – Neal Peart (ZAvs)


June 4th, 2011
12:05 am

Special kudos to all the diehards who stuck it out even after years of inept ownership and repeated mismanagement. So sad reading all this. Sports are cruel, owners call it a business but to us fans, it’s more a marriage. We love and support, through thick and thin, for better or for worse. We do not wear the pants in this relationship or have a say but our love is unconditional…..that is, until we are told it is conditional. Not your fault Atlanta, Bettman burn in hell.

Geddy Lee

June 4th, 2011
1:01 am

One final comment,

To the Edmonton fan who cheered and wouldn’t shut up, WE WON!

To the obnoxious Boston fan with his son last December. WE WON!





R. Stroz

June 4th, 2011
1:11 am

My list will be compiled from blog posts and events. Each one from the list will receive a separate post:

Here’s NUMBER ONE, which also NUMBER ONE in my heart.

While sitting with friends before last night’s game, I noticed the Bennings, also known as the elderly couple that appear on kiss cam, sitting two tables away. Although reticent to disturb them, once they had finished eating, I walked up to their table and asked if I could impose on their time for a few minutes. They graciously accepted with no prior knowledge as to why.

While kneeling at their table, I informed them of the seventh man award and the “ground swell” of support they were receiving from new and long time fans. They were flattered, surprised and honored that they were revered by the fans. They graciously invited me to sit with them, not to discuss the seventh man award, but to allow a stranger a few minutes of fan fellowship.

For a considerable period of time, I discussed how many fans saw them as “the goal we all seek to achieve in life,” a couple with a passion for life, devotion, compassion for one another, willing to overcome obstacles with a positive attitude. Hopefully, in 30 years, my wife and I will be walking in their shoes. And, by the way, they have been Thrasher season ticket holders since day 1.

Although Mr. Benning assured me that there had to be other fans more deserving of the award than they were, when asked if he would allow me to nominate them, he gave me his permission. Of course being of a generation that isn’t known for self promotion, he wasn’t comfortable nominating himself and his wife.

We discussed hockey in Atlanta, including the Flames and the Knights as well as their personal history for a considerable period of time. Interestingly, Mr. Benning attended the same Atlanta high school as one of my parents, although several years earlier.

Toward the end of our discussion, Mrs. Benning asked, “What happens if we win the award?” I informed her that after the last game of the season, they would be taken down to the ice and a player would give them his jersey.

Mrs. Benning looked at her husband, smiled, placed her hand on him, and said “That would be wonderful.”

After our discussion had ended, while walking away from their table overcome by the high humidity, I couldn’t help but think, yes, that would be the most wonderful thing I could see at Philips arena this year, maybe even in my lifetime.

Here’s the link:


In retrospect, this seems like foreshadowing.


June 4th, 2011
1:14 am

Bettman, I’m sorry, I can’t be more articulate after trying to drink myself to death, but http://youtu.be/ry4iwzS4Na0


June 4th, 2011
1:43 am

Does anyone else find it ironic that the song “Story of My Life” by Social Distortion was added to the Thrashers’ show in the past couple of years?


June 4th, 2011
8:04 am

Well first the current memory of how the NHL never gave Atlanta a chance to keep the team here and how Bettman turned his back on the fans. Where is that “covenant with the fans”? I will miss our family tradition of being certain we all go to the first home game right after Christmas Day but always enjoyed that game with my wife and children. I remember being in Centennial Park picking up my first Thrashers jersey that was given to season tickets holders the first year. The excitement and noise during the playoff game was great despite the outcome. More of that type of success and we would not have to write down our memories of another lost NHL team. I fondly remember the Christmas morning when my son received his first Thrashers jersey and the excitement on his face.
I will miss the amazing experience of sitting by the glass and watching the speed, skill, agility, and violence of the game up close. There’s nothing like it!

Lola - Loyal Hockey Fan

June 4th, 2011
8:10 am

Yes, even people from the South can love hockey! which is something I seem to have to defend when telling someone I’m going to a hockey game. My football-lovin’ Dad would encourage me when I was wavering on whether to attend a game: “Go! The team needs you there to cheer them on. You’ve heard the coaches and the players say how important it is to see and hear the fans’ support. Go!” And he doesn’t know anything about hockey or how the game is played, but he’d always make a point to ask me about the THRASHERS during our weekly conversations.

When we’d catch up I’d share things like: how I went to the Forum and got to talk to the players and get their autographs; meeting up with my friends and fellow hockey fans before, during and after the games; being welcomed with a hug from my favorite Blue Crew girl, Jami, when I got to the Arena; getting a nod from the players while watching pregame warm-ups; the honor of sitting with Chuck on numerous occasions; having Girls Night Out and sitting right behind the players with the bonus of watching one of the opposing players having his tooth pulled – blood and all – right in front of us [Hey, this ain’t no sissy sport!]; being happy that Peverly was fighting and not Boulton – coz he needed to get to the other end and score the hat trick! on and on and on….. But mostly I’ll miss my fellow bloggers and BlogMaster, my friends who always encouraged me to participate and make me feel welcome here and develop my love for hockey!


June 4th, 2011
8:32 am

It’s still tough to get over the fact that an absolutely incompetent GM and a lying group of idiot owners could scuttle hockey in such a great city. Had we had a decent product on the ice, we would be a solid NHL city in the SE. On the memory side, I can still see Dan Snyder circling behing the net like a stealth, heat seaking missle looking for an unsuspecting d-man to unload on. The Snyder family gave us such a great lesson in dignity and courage. Harley was classy. Kamal is the best hockey announcer that I have ever heard and you Bill have chaired a great, interesting blog. LET’S BOYCOTT THE ATLANTA SPIRIT BIG TIME!

Red Light

June 4th, 2011
9:13 am

Geddy Lee and ZAvs:

The best I can do right now is to tel you that the St. Louis Blues will win the Central Division next year!

Have a great weekend.


June 4th, 2011
9:18 am

I am originally from New Orleans. I lived in Atlanta for 10 years before moving to Charlotte 6 years ago. I must say I ALWAYS admired the passion I saw from Thrasher fans regardless of the team winning or losing. I hate to see loyal fans lose their team. Outsiders always want to shoot down a fan base when a team moves saying the team was not supported. I am not a strong NHL fan but did wish success for the Thrashers because I would like to see Atlanta win another Championship.(Well maybe not the Falcons if my Saints are contending!. LOL) I SALUTE THRASHERS FANS! I saw first hand how passionate Thrashers fans are.


June 4th, 2011
10:09 am

The minute they finally pulled the plug and let the thing die. What a disgraceful way for a bunch of disgraceful disgraces, who completely ruined any good will and alienated an entire city, to go out. Bon voyage, Atlanta Spirit.


June 4th, 2011
10:11 am

Lots of great memories! Don’t think that I can ever forgive ASG! The one passion that my wife and I both shared together is gone! Good luck to wonderful group of fans and team members! BYE!


June 4th, 2011
10:46 am

- Game 1 of the only playoffs that we were in. What an incredible feeling in that building. Packed to the ceiling and loud as hell.
- Holik’s half-ice slapshot that rattled the back of the goal.
- Kane’s KO that was forever immortalized by Mister Fred.
- Exelby on Sundin. Awesome!
- Boults and his hat trick. Awesome, again!
- My wife winning the 7th Man/Woman award and consequently getting to hang the SE Div. Championship banner during the first game of the next year.
- Hundreds of date nights with my much better half at Philips Arena.
- Thrash showing up to my private viewing party in Hiram at BW3. He is the best mascot in pro sports.
- Riding the zamboni as an anniversary present from the wife.
- Watching my oldest daughter ride the zamboni.
- Talking NHL 07 with Exelby and Slater and telling Jimmy that he sucks as bad at fighting on the game as in real life.
- Casino Nights and getting to have a great conversation with the future hall of famer, Mark Recchi. He may be my favorite Thrasher of all time and only played here one year.
- Watching a game from the radio booth with Kamal and Odgers. Most fun ever at a game! I gave them both Nasty Nest jerseys as a thank you.

The Thrashers were and always will be a big part of my family’s life and a big part of my marriage. The friends and adopted family that we have met over the last 10 years of having tickets are always going to be here. I just cannot imagine how we are going to spend our time, next fall.

To my friends in the nosebleeds, I leave you with this…………TODD WHITE!!!???


June 4th, 2011
10:53 am

I’ll never forget Kovy pointing at Crosby. That still makes me smile. At least while they were here we got to see 2 future Hall of Famers in Hossa and Kovy play as Thrashers. And 2 possible other Hall of Famers play here briefly in Bondra and Tkachuk.


June 4th, 2011
11:17 am

Bouchard and Myre skating hand in hand at the Omni.


June 4th, 2011
11:25 am

RL, perhaps. If Stewy has the year I think he will, it is going to be ugly for the rest of the Central. And Shattenkirk (sp) is looking to become a fantastic D-man – gonna take some time though. As I have always said, even though I hate the team, Detroit is always a possibility. That is just respect. Come playoff time they bring it. I actually see the Avs making the playoffs next year, if they stay healthy. I sure hope we can get Mueller back after his concussion #2. Interesting enough it was former Av Rob Blake that rolled him, and he (Mueller) was traded for Blake Wheeler.

Getting Flash back will be awesome, he was Matty’s anchor, and his production went way down after Flash left with pulmonary embolisms. I have mixed feelings regarding Stastny. Very streaky and definitely not worth $6 mill a year. Hejduk will probably retire after next year, but he has been a phenomenal talent. Sakic joined the head office and I hope Foote comes in to be the D coach as we are sadly missing some lock-down D. He would be an awesome coach for Johnson. If we don’t draft Landeskog I am going to riot in Denver – power forwards are hard to find and this guy has skills. He is already up to weight and the guy says he has idols like Foppa and Sundin. I like that as those two are definitely not pansies. Please Joe, pick Landeskog.


June 4th, 2011
12:28 pm

Being a season ticket holder from day one and seeing well over 350 games (home and away), what I will remember is not Thrasher highlights or lowlights but rather the experience. From the $5 parking lot guy who greeted us with a smile at each game, the 2-3 ushers we always got a hello from, watching my 10 and11 year old sons getting fired up on opening night day one enough to go on and play in High School after never picking up a stick before the Thrashers came to town.

RIP Thrashers -- Thank You Rawhide

June 4th, 2011
12:53 pm

Rawhide! You have been a THE BEST over the past seasons. Your passion for writing this blog is without flaw!! Thank you for always being truthful, honest and a true blue-hearted fan who’s passion for this team is unmeasureable!!!

One of my favorite games to attend was the first time that Mario Lemieux returned from retirement to skate with the Pens at Phillips.

My all time favorite game that I got to attend was the game verses the Red Wings about four years ago when the teams slugged it out until the very end with the Thrashers prevailing something like 8 to 7.

How can you not appreciate all of the antics of good old Thrash? A great mascot. I just wished he had turned that Zamboni Machine around and ran over Waddells desk along with Donnie Wads sorry butt!

I’ll keep my jerseys, caps, pucks and banners. And, upon occassion wear them if I attend a game in Nashville.

We are not the only city that has lost professional sports teams and we will not be the last. We didn’t lose the Dodgers, Braves, Giants, Rams or Oilers as did Brooklyn, Milwaukee, NY, LA or Houston…but we have lost a team that many of us dreamed of having ever since the Flames had left in 1980. We did lose our beloved hockey birds.

After enlisting in the US Air Force in 1983 I retired in 2003. During those years of travel I was able to attend hockey games in Germany. I loved the Oklahoma City Blazers of the Central Hockey League. I got to see the Utah Grizzlies win the International Hockey League championship in 1995-1996 season. Then I moved to Montgomery Alabama as able to watch the Columbus Cottonmouths of the CHL and come to ATL and see the Thrashers!!

Hockey will never be the same for me. It just won’t have the same feeling anymore. No more fantasy hockey leagues with friends and over the internet.

I don’t get the Verses Network and doubt that FoxSouth or Sports South will be allowed to carry Nashville or Carolina games in this area.

Hopefully, praying without ceasing, another true hockey owner will come to realize that Atlanta can and will support a hockey team that has a commitment from ownership to give 100% to the fans.

Until then I’ll just hang my skates up on a nail and by this time next year they will have rusted over…

Rawhide, Thanks again!!!

No one did it better than you!!


June 4th, 2011
1:07 pm

Wellll if you were trying make me tear up, you succeeded! Great article again Bill!! I’ve only been in Atlanta for 2 1/2 seasons.. . but it only took 1/2 a season to convince me I wanted to work for this organization…One year of blue crew gave me amazing memories from my first game on the ice, to having Joni Pitkanen take a swig of water and spitting it onto the ice and the exact moment I went skatin by with my shovel and being blinded by spit and water causing me to crash into a ref (yah that wasnt embarrassing at all lol) .. to meeting some of my best friends! Then year two allowed me to get my dream job, interview a team full of class act athletes, and meet some amaaazing fans!! (the last being my favorite memory of all) …. So a big shout out to all of you guys who have given me lots to smile about for years to come!


June 4th, 2011
1:16 pm

Thank you for using my photography throughout the season.

Words cannot explain how much I will miss the Thrashers, the whole experience of butterflies before every game, the friends made, the not being able to talk from cheering thru the games, the list just goes on and on. This is just so wrong!

Thank you again, my friend, for being you!


June 4th, 2011
2:04 pm

Wow, Winnipeg already sold out their allotment to 13000. Hmmmm…


June 4th, 2011
2:06 pm

I’ll remember many things about this team, both good and bad, but a few memories stick out in my mind:

My first game: March 18, 2007: Thrashers 4, Sabres 3, OT. I’d never really cared about sports prior to this game, but immediately I noticed the all-around intensity, both on the ice and in the stands. (Seriously.) As soon as Kovy scored that first goal, I knew I was hooked. Not only did hockey become my biggest passion in life, it also allowed me to create new, strong bonds with my family.

Watching the playoffs on TV, 2007: Obviously, they didn’t win any games, but it was still fun. (Not game three, though… that sucked.) That being said, though, I think I had a very sad, yet meaningful, realization that I really, really cared about hockey after the team was knocked out after game four– and my father showed me that he had gotten us tickets for game five.

One game against Ottawa in March 2009, we had tickets right behind the Thrashers’ bench, and I sat next to the tunnel. They won, 6-2, and after Colby Armstrong won third star of the game (he scored a goal and an assist), he gave me his stick. He didn’t say anything, but as he skated off the ice, he looked right at me, and acted like he was going to high-5 me with the blade of the stick, and hoisted it up and gave it to me. Easily one of the most incredible moments as a hockey fan in my experience!

February 4, 2010: Ilya Kovalchuk is dealt to New Jersey.

April 2010: I was hired to play saxophone at a middle school dance in Duluth. (The theme was “Night in the City”.) Johan Hedberg was an usher, helping kids out of their cars! I was amazed, but I told him what a huge fan I was, and we talked for a long time. (Of course, I did have to play the instrument, though.) He was an incredibly friendly and smart man; it’s a shame they didn’t extend him another year.

November 2011: Thrashers 7, Devils 1. One of the best games I’ve attended. Not just because we whipped Kovy’s new team, and not just because Eric Boulton had a hat trick (and that WAS incredible!), and not just because the team took first place in the Southeast Division with the win, but because that was when I really ‘believed in Blueland’… I believed that change had really, truly, finally come– that the promised land had been reached. After the game, everyone was chanting “Let’s Go Thrashers” in the concourse. Such a moment could only be described as magical.

April 8, 2011: My last game attended in person. Carolina beat the Thrashers by the score of 6-1.

And, of course, when TNSE announced the purchase of the team.

I still refuse to accept that the team is moving, and even though I know in my heart that it’s over, I refuse to believe it. I won’t ever be able to fill the hole in my heart that the team’s departure will leave. I’m considering commemorating the team by having the logo tattooed on my upper arm. And I may become a Bruins fan someday… but I really don’t know, with the way the Thrashers were abandoned by the rest of the league.

Despite the team’s continued mediocrity, I will never forget what happiness and joy they did give myself and my family. I will miss commenting here; thank you all for creating an excellent environment in which to discuss hockey. I won’t leave until it is over, but if I don’t post again, I want to thank you, Bill, and all the other posters here (that weren’t negative SOBs, anyway). Hail and farewell.


June 4th, 2011
2:07 pm

Damn, forgot Summer of 2009: Draft party at Jillian’s. Got Bogosian autographs, the team picked Kane, to my delight, and met Dan Kamal after everyone else had left and spent a good thirty minutes talking to him about my dreams of one day calling hockey games.


June 4th, 2011
2:09 pm

The first day I truly felt like a Thrasher fan was the day Bill acknowledged one of my first posts on this blog. That, and the one time I met him at Philips and he said “Oh, YOU’re Buzzeng!!”.

Being a Thrasher fan in North Carolina, it was hard to get to games and harder to even see them on TV, so I lived all these great moments mentioned through the many posts on this blog. As they say “It’s the next best thing to being there.”

Thanks, Bill, and thanks to the many regular posters (especially Brendan) who taught me so much more about hockey, who let me live the moments through their posts, and who responded to my few posts.

Long Live the Thrashers! (and go to He!!, ASG – if anything good ever happens to your organization or your leaders, it will be too soon)

I’m off to Germany for a week, and I keep telling myself that, when I get back, I will no longer be so depressed.

Best wishes to Thrashers fans everywhere, forever!

Herb in NC


June 4th, 2011
2:10 pm

9-0 at Carolina the year THEY won The Cup, and listening to John Forsland and Tripp Tracey whine & MOAN all game long. This season beatin Washington in the season series, by a WIDE margin.

Then the Constant LYING by waddell and these $hit owners, Never before in professional sports has a group lied and played the FANS for fools like they did ! George Schinn was Bad in Charlotte, but these clowns are THE WORST EVEN and We paid the price, Not THEM !

Lastly, what “are” the chances of the nhl returning here ? How Soon ? I really expect gary BUTTMAN to resist at all costs, but IS there a chance… Sooner…. Rather than later ?

Great Job Bill, Will be in KC in 2 weeks, and 18 lost their jobs here because of asg…


June 4th, 2011
2:10 pm

13000 Season Tickets sold in less than 3 days. Hmmmm….


June 4th, 2011
2:26 pm

I also forgot what was probably one of the most important experiences in my Thrashers existence: getting to interview Jim Slater in September 2010. He was very friendly, didn’t talk down to me at all, and answered my questions honestly and thoroughly. He was happy to do it, too. I still have the audio somewhere, but with or without it, this was an experience I’ll cherish for a lifetime.

Sorry for the triple post. I suck!


June 4th, 2011
2:27 pm

Wonder how many of those season tickets were bought by scalpers? I guess it doesn’t matter though, it’s all about the bottomline.


June 4th, 2011
2:41 pm

I honestly have been so frigging pi$$ed these past few days that I’ve purposely stayed away from anything hockey related, including Rawhide’s blog. Glad I came back in time to add my thanks to him and all the regulars who posted here. This was a truly sanctuary in the midst of the madness.

The Atlanta Spirit can burn in hell. Thanks for killing NHL hockey in this great town you bunch of effing morons!


June 4th, 2011
3:38 pm

13k is amazing enough, but apparently they sold the remaining 7k (general public) today in 20 minutes.

Even Hannah Montana didn’t manage that …


June 4th, 2011
4:22 pm

I feel for your loss, when the Jets left I stopped playing. My heart broke, I was playing on three teams at the time. I haven’t picked up a stick since, time to get back eh.


June 4th, 2011
4:32 pm

What I will remember most… feeling by first son kick in the womb for the first time during a game against Boston.


June 4th, 2011
4:36 pm

I think the Thrashers averaged 17,206 with over 12,000 season ticket holders there first season.

At best, Winnipeg will average 2,206 less it’s first year.

Furthermore, Emotion, like buying an expensive fast red sports car seems to have got the best of the citizens of Winnipeg. The owners are no dummy’s, fans are on the hook for 3 to 5 years no matter how bad the team is. Wait till you get that large $1000.00 a month bill every month, year in and year out, and you look up and your team is 10 points out of a play-off spot. What then? You will look in the mirror and wonder, what was I thinking.

I read an interview where one fan was trying to borrow $1000.00 from his family so he could sign up to get tickets for 5 years. Are you kidding me.

The owners knew if they asked fans to put 50% down or even 30% down the deal would never work. The owners are car dealers…little or nothing down and on the hook for 5 years for something you really can’t afford.

The owners get it…the fans obviously don’t.

The Real Thrash

June 4th, 2011
4:45 pm

Sitting right behind the glass and having a fight break out!


June 4th, 2011
4:57 pm

Little solace I know GA hockey fans but we do have something to cheer and be proud of with our sports and teams today. Augusta State University, the reigning NCAA Mens Golf Champions, just defeated Oklahoma State on their home course to advance to the finals against the University of Georgia. An all Georgia final means the title will remain in the state another year. The champions will make a trip to the White House and that ultimate prize, The Augusta National Golf Club. The teams have represented the State of Georgia well, as did GA Tech who ASU beat in the quarter final match play.

I’m very proud of my alma mater and what it has accomplished against the big boys of the NCAA. The little school that could!



June 4th, 2011
5:05 pm

Hmm, what will I remember about the Thrashers? Will it be the piped in crowd noise during announcemnts? Nah. Will it be the sounds of opposing fans drowning out the Thrasher faithful? Nope! Could it be I’ll miss the constant rantings on this website that in NINE seasons fans seem to feel so neglected, they got a hockey team, their second one in 20 years and once again LOST IT, they barely supported this franchise (and before you morons tell me you went to every game and showed support you don’t represent the EMPTY seats I saw at games so STFU) but it’s management’s fault, it’s their fault for not keeping their wallets open and pouring more and more money into it while getting nothing in return. You had players who helped the team to the playoffs, they chose to leave rather than stay here watching the ship sink. If you had read my blogs at Yougabsports.com or Sportingnews.com you would have seen I predicted this team would be leaving and I said it in ‘07 to start wth and as the weeks adn months went by, and the few games I attended came and went it was so evident the writing was on the wall, this team was hanging on by a thread.
This city is no hockey town, regardless of what the FEW here say, you again don’t represent the masses and that’s why this team is going to a city where they already have sold THIRTEEN THOUSAND SEASON TICKETS. How many season ticket holders did the Thrasher’s have annually? Not 13,000 that’s for sure, nor did they have 13K season ticket holders combined over their 9 years. But you all sat here bashing Winnipeg and their fans, calling them every name in the book when in reality it’s not their fault this team is gone, it’s you’reo wn fault. If the Hawks hadn’t made it to the playoffs the last couple of years they’be grouped in a sweetheart package to get rid of them too., but since they genrate income, TV money from palyoffs gmes etc it only made snese to ASG to keep them around, that’s good business. As for those of you who think the group should just sit there and hemmorage money, I ‘ll never ask you to do my books, that’s for sure. Well you can say what you want, but the PEG just sent you an Up Yours card and it was signed…Winnipeg SEASON TICKET HOLDER!. So when you ask yourself why this team left and what you’ll remember, remind yourself that not once but twice this city failed to produce enough paying fans to justify a team. Remember that when bigger city teams like Boston, NYR, NYI, Detroit or Philly came to town, their fans easily outnumbered your fans. A blind man could see that. Imagine being on your home ice and seeing enough Bruins sweaters to make you question whether you woke up in the wrong city.
Pitiful are the excuses this city uses for losing a 2nd team, and entitled is how those few fans who did go to games come off. You’re right, in 9 short years you should have had at least 2-3 Stanley Cups, a few more Conference titles and not a year should have gone by without theThrashers leading the charge to sign free agents…on ASG’s dime of course, not yours, you were too busy watiing for them to build a team for you to support. This is why Atlanta SUCKS as a sports city and I’m hardly the only one who says it. So go to your Bulldog scrimmage games, sellout 80,000 seats for said scrimmage and in the same breath sit there and tell me that this team’s leaving is simply due to mismanagement. You’re not fans, you’re not even a poor excuse for fans. You’re Casual Observers From Afar and not even good at that.

That’s what I’ll remember about the Thrashers!


June 4th, 2011
5:09 pm

GOLF???? That’s what you’ve got? Golf is what hockey players do when they don’t make the playoffs. Go to a Country Club near you to see your EX Thrasher’s in action one last time. At the very least they’ll be able to wind up and hit something!

Try reading the headlines, it asks a question…it didn’t ask what you’ll do now that hockey is gone, or for you to pump sunshine up the butt of another half-a$$ed sport in ths joke of a sports city.


June 4th, 2011
5:12 pm

BTW, they play golf EVERYWHERE, but you’re still the title holder in losing TWO HOCKEY FRANCHISES. In that case i’d be digging for anything to make Atlanta look better than it really is.

Wienerpeg Trolls

June 4th, 2011
5:14 pm

For such an accomplished blogger, you spell worse than a seventh grader. Idiot.

Get Over It

June 4th, 2011
5:50 pm

@Getthepuckouttahere……….+ 1,000,000,000…….as a 4 year STH I could not agree with you more. These sheep are finding everyone to blame for the move. They can’t accept the fact there is no local interest in hockey. Unlike them my life has gone on since the move. I saw my ST as a financial investment and not an emotional investment.

Get Over It

June 4th, 2011
5:53 pm

I will remember S T E N D E K


June 4th, 2011
5:53 pm

I’ll remember being there when they were awful. I remember thinking if i root for them when they suck, it’ll be that much sweeter when they win. Them taking away the team makes me realize how much loyalty really means in sports. Im so glad winnipeg gets to enjoy the good years.

Wienerpeg Trolls

June 4th, 2011
7:06 pm

Just to clarify, my comment above was for that blowhard who “knew the team was leaving in ‘07″. Definitely not for our esteemed host.

Wayne stuck in AL

June 4th, 2011
7:44 pm

The inability to fire Waddell from the GM role until it was too late.

Big Wally

June 4th, 2011
9:03 pm

One thing I will remember is a piece of crap like “get the puck” repeatedly coming on here to bash the city and fans. Do the world a favor and go play with a loaded gun.

Big Wally

June 4th, 2011
9:06 pm

“Get the puck”. I bet your parents had to tie a steak around your neck to get the family dog to play with you.

Michael Boggs

June 4th, 2011
9:08 pm

The most important thing I’ll Remember doesn’t have to do with a game or moment during a game, but it’s a certain team. That TEAM was called the Atlanta Thrashers. In April 8th 2008, my wife and I lost out 5 1/2 year old son to a deadly virus. Just a few months later my season ticket rep Stacey Belding did something that my wife and I will never forget. She sent us Two Sympathy cards. One from her, and one from Don Waddell and all the players of the “08″ team. Also, we received an Authentic Blue Thrashers Jersey signed by ALL the players, and the name on the back of the jersey was “CALEB”, our son. I’m going to miss you guys! Thank You, Again!


June 4th, 2011
9:15 pm

Boston has one answer to Vancouver and Thomas can’t score…….. The B’s offense better step up and step up fast.


June 4th, 2011
9:27 pm

Unless Luo pitches 4 shutouts, Kesler wins the Smythe. I believe he will get it. It is possible that Thomas will still get the Vezina, win or lose.


June 4th, 2011
9:36 pm

I guess the Bruins got my comment, now 2-1 Boston.


June 4th, 2011
9:40 pm

Michael Boggs – my condolences sir – that saddens me to no end. No parent should out-live their kids. Very classy move by the organization. I hope you and your wife are doing OK, I know I wouldn’t be.


June 4th, 2011
9:48 pm

Though Boston is leading this game they are still not playing to their strength. They are are a blue collar team playing against a white collar team. Right now they are playing a very fast back and forth game, they can’t win that type of approach in 7 games against Vancouver.


June 4th, 2011
10:06 pm

1) I’m thinking I’ll support the new team (since they’re our team). True North didn’t take our team, ASG gave them away!

2) Going to try to be there on opening night for the Glads!

3) Does anybody know how the public on sale went today in Winnipeg?

( o )( o )

June 4th, 2011
10:56 pm

Man, C-Viv’s been quiet this week!


June 4th, 2011
11:15 pm

Man! Chara should have taken a penalty there and rolled Burrows (sp). He should have seen that Thomas was WAY out of net. Huge mistake by a vet. Tell me if I am wrong, but you could feel the tide of Vancouver coming on. Great game. This is over. I hope Boston takes one at home as it would be nice for the Vancouver fans to see them win at home.


June 4th, 2011
11:16 pm

13,000 season tickets sold in TWO MINUTES….all of you loud mouths spent a week bashing Winnipeg, or ASG, ever think maybe this is all your own fault for not going to games? That makes way too much sense, and I don’t expect any of you to see through the blatantly obvious. All of you are a product of the Ga. Public School system and it shows!

13K tickets, WOW. How many season tickets did the Thrashers sell over 9 years? Not 13K!!!


June 4th, 2011
11:59 pm

I’d like to apologize to everyone on here. I’m really an idiot and have no other way to express myself. I have no friends. I have to go to blog sites just to talk to people. I really have a severe inferiority complex and have to compensate by bashing other people.


June 5th, 2011
12:09 am

Getthepuckouttahere – you just need a psychiatrist :) These are some of the nicest people you will ever find. I hope you discontinue “bashing other people” as we are good people. Best wishes brutha.

Vince Doodley

June 5th, 2011
12:16 am

Come on people. lets move on. Plenty of viable sports in the ATL and in the region. The sad thing is the abortion that owned the hockey team. Maybe when the Thrashers get to the PEG, the new ownership will show this franchise what professional ownership is and will invest accordingly and put a quality product on the ice.

i was a kid when the Flames moved. I loved them and Jigs McDonald as their announcer. I am not nearly so concerned with the loss of the Thrashers. The best thing is that perhaps they will take Dan Kamal with them.


June 5th, 2011
12:18 am

Oh and BTW – if you know what that means – the GA public schools are just fine. I would have gone head to head to your schools any day. Atlanta is one of the most educated cities in the US, get over it, you won and got your team. Please relent on the Atlanta bashing.

Wienerpeg Trolls

June 5th, 2011
12:23 am

ZAv, he is obviously a Wienerpeg teenager. Mommy is probably glad he is using the computer for trolling, rather than visiting the sites he usually does in the basement…..

Mr Bill

June 5th, 2011
12:40 am

I see Winnipeg met the Goal of 13,000 season tickets for the next three years hey Atlanta if we had showed up more often and in bigger numbers we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I remember when th crowds were bigger when the team first got here and then started to go down alittle the next few years. We were an expansion team and Atlanta fans are fare weather fans which if you win they show up if you don’t win they don’t. The fans starting coming back when Hartley came in and after he was let go it started to dip again. The games this past season there were to many empty seats and last year as well. When the team got off to a great start this past season fans still weren’t coming out for some reason. There was a game with only 7000 or so and alot of games in Novemeber there only 10-12,000 at best and the Team was winning and playoff bound. I ask why and I don’t have an answer. I ‘m afraid Atlanta we have nobody to blame our selves we didn’t show up until the second half of season after Football was over. We all forgot about the Thrashers. It takes money to run a team and be competitive. We all got serious and passionate when the talk was heating about selling the Team but it was to late. Showing in a Parking lot with a few hundred fans was fun I showed up but that wasn’t going to save the team. What was going to save us was going to the games in larger numbers no matter if they won or lost. So Atlanta wake up and support your teams if you want to keep them and stop being so fair weather fans because you see what happens.

R. Stroz

June 5th, 2011
1:02 am

It takes money to run a team and be competitive.

Mr. Bill – Yes, it does and the ASG should never have been allowed to own an NHL franchise. When eight individuals combined can only make a ten percent down payment on a purchase, anyone with a lukewarm temperature IQ should have been able to ascertain they were inadequately capitalized. Obviously Daniel Stern and Gary Bettman aren’t the sharpest commissioners in the drawer.

Too bad the Hawks payroll went from around 30 to 70 million for the course of the past six years whereas the Thrashers payroll went from around 39 million to 44 million.

Too bad most of the ASG owners didn’t want a hockey team to begin with as evidenced from the court documents filed a few months ago.

Too bad some of the ASG owners think “running sports franchises” is a hobby.

Too bad the Thrashers couldn’t retain their top tier talent.

Too bad you haven’t done your research prior to your verbal vomit.


June 5th, 2011
1:18 am

Boston will now have to win four out of the next five games to capture the Cup. They were in this exact same spot, only WORSE, in the opening round vs. Montreal, for Games Three and Four were in Montreal, not Boston. This is a tough spot for the Bruins. They played well enough to at least have come away with a split. They had a lead, going into the 3rd period.

WBF, doesn’t this sound familiar, with the Sabres? Perhaps the Sabres best shot at a Cup was 2006, not 1975 or 1999. Why? A salary cap was in effect, at $39 million. The Sabres held a 2-1 lead on Carolina, in Game Seven, going into the 3rd period. Had they held on to it, the 8th seeded Oilers would have been waiting. And, I think, a Sabres Cup would have materialized there. And Miller, not Cam Ward, would have been the story of the 2006 playoffs. Bygones. This isn’t over for Boston.

A wise man once said, “You’re not in trouble in a best of seven series … until you’ve lost a game on your home ice.”

Mr Bill

June 5th, 2011
2:25 am

To R Stroz showing up for the Thrashers was the most important thing we could have done, if our attendance average was around 16,000 a game then I would say we would be in good shape. The ownership was screwed up I admit but how long do you think Arthur Blank would survive with the Falcons if they only averaged 13000 a game or even the Braves for that matter. I would say not that long, We didn’t show up and we can only atleast share in the blame. Any business can’t survive if they don’t have enough customers to help pay the bills and keep the doors open no matter who is running the show. Atlanta has to many fair weather fans, regardless of the qualifications or lack of qaulifications for the ASG we should have showed up reqardless and then perhaps a local buyer or investor would have showed up and things would have been different but I think anybody who could have bought the team or became an Investor got scared off because for the main reason lack of attendance. The upper section had a large curtain covering the empty seats this season and the upper bowl area where seats are 35.00 was very empty. Heck they did a promotion to sell atleast 5000 more tickets for one of the games to get Thrash out of jail and they accomplished that.I knew they were in trouble at that point. So I believe they did try to get people in but the fact remains we didn’t show up last fall the first half of the season when the Thrashers were winning and were on the road to the playoffs. The ownership had nothing to do with us not showing up. Heck there were 100- 200 people maybe if that many and I was there I didn’t see 200 people maybe 100 or so down at the gulch for a fan rally. 100 -200 people come on that translates into small numbers at the games. I went to the arena during the select your seat just to observe and there were only a handful of people showing if that much. Atlanta fans are flakey. Look at the Braves they had to beg people to come out to the playoffs last fall. For years when they kept making the playoffs the fans wouldn’t show up, even though they won one world series if your team makes the playoffs there should be no doubt the fans need to show up and not be begged to come. Even though they didn’t get past the first round it was an exciting series last year. We are showing to the world that we don’t care and we are a town of losers period. More people came to knights games and sometimes they didn’t play that well. The night they won the turner cup the Omni was sold out for a minor league hockey game and it was exciting to watch it. The next season they weren’t as good and the attendance went down, true it was a minor league team but still showed then they were a bunch of fair weather fans. Its been years since the Toronto Maple leafs have made the playoffs but arena is packed for every game no matter if they win or lose. We didn’t want hockey bad enough and that’s what happened.


June 5th, 2011
3:12 am

“Losses don’t keep Atlanta fans away. A lack of committed ownership does. Fans notice when a team is “drifting aimlessly, ruddlerless at the GM position, for years on end, with absent ownership to hold it accountable.” That’s what Atlanta fans cannot, and will not EVER support.” Let’s play a little game, called “guess who’s responsible?”

Who hired Don Waddel, instead of returning Brian Burke’s phone call, to be General Manager of the Thrashers? It might surprise you to learn … that it was Sasquatch. Don’t underestimate the big guy. He gets around.

Who hired Dan Marr as Head of Scouting? It might surprise you to learn … that it was the Abominable Snowman, while on hiatus from his journeys around Antarctica. Who knew?

Who hired Curt Fraser as Head Coach? Lots of people get this one wrong, too. It was El Chupacabra, on one of his wild sojourns north from Mexico.

Whose idea was it to draft a goalie from Europe with the 2nd overall pick, rather than ‘earmarking’ a good chunk of the 2002-03 budget for a free agent goaltender, like Belfour, Hasek, Irbe, Kiprusoff, Nabakov, or simply claim Curtis Joseph off waivers, for the cost of nothing but his contract?” While passing on whoever was left between Rick Nash and Jay Bouwmeester in the 2002 Draft? Answer: Well, the architect of that ideology was a random AJC.com poster, who supplied the idea to ownership, who then gave Waddell his marching orders, to ‘Go Grab Lehtonen, or ELSE!!!” I’ll endeavor to find which which AJC poster was responsible.

Who waited until Christmas 2002 to fire Curt Fraser? C’mon, you know this one. That’s right. It was the Easter Bunny. People don’t know this, but the Easter Bunny uses Christmas time to gear up for his duties in March and April. He chose that time to fire Fraser.

Who sat on the Rules Committee during the lockout, where the rule changes would now favor YOUTH and SPEED in the new NHL, then promptly fielded the 2nd OLDEST roster in the NHL? And, in free agency, signed 35-year old Bobby Holik to a franchise crippling 3-year/$12.75 million deal, while adding Peter Bondra, retaining Scott Mellanby, and eventually adding Ken Klee to the roster? I know. This is a thinker. Take some extra time, if you need to. Okay, time’s up. Did everyone get “Terrorists from the Middle East, aged 17-41.” Good job, everyone! You’re really nailing these down!

Whose decision was it to pass up the 8th overall pick in the 2005, in favor of twice moving back to land at # 16, to select Alex Bourret, who’d never set foot in the NHL, aside from some preseason games? Yes, it was General Francisco Franco, despite still being dead. That guy’s just amazing. Who says people should rest in peace when they die?

Okay, who didn’t lockup Marc Savard during the offseason of 2005, so that Savvy wouldn’t be either a trade deadline casualty in 2006, or walk in free agency during the summer? Bearing in mind, that Savard was Kovalchuk’s pivot, and a consistent NHL leaderboard guy for assists? Yeah, time to put on those thinking caps. Did everyone get, “Alf?” Alrightee, then.

Who was in charge of ‘groins’ during the 2005-06 season? Yes, someone said. “Rosie O’Donnell.” Excellent, excellent work, class. Clearly, the direction of the team was squared away, with accountability in full effect. It was the ENTIRE training staff that returned for the next season, right? Okay, movin’ on.

Who made four (4) trade deadline deals that ultimately derailed the franchise, sending it into a tailspin of a 4-year rebuilding project? Hmmn. Yes!! That’s right!! It was the Iron Sheik, the former WWF World Champion! I was totally shocked when the Atlanta Spirit let the Sheik get away, over a simple contract dispute over “free cokes” for his office. I suppose that it was his constant use of the “Camel Clutch” on Rutherford Seydell that ultimately sealed his fate with the Thrashers. I really, really think the Sheik should have been given another year, to ‘try, try again.’ When I confronted Bruce Levenson on the subject, he said the following, “Well, email has been about 50/50 on the Sheik. But, really, I just can’t have any members of my staff eye gauging Ed Pescowitz, kneedropping Beau Turner, or clotheslining Michael Gearon. We frown on that kind of office place violence.” I guess he had a point. But we march on!! Yes, we do!

Whose idea was it to bluster about playoffs, at the commencement of the 4-year rebuilding project, that the ownership denied was occuring? Remember, “Alexei Zhitnik was a big part of the upcoming season.” It was Ellen Degeneres’ idea. Ellen said, “If you tell fans that there won’t be playoffs. They won’t buy tickets. So, let’s lie to them, rather than introduce a ‘policy of inclusion’ about our plans for the future.” That Ellen! She is a SAGE one!

Okay, it’s July 2007. It’s free agency, and Hossa’s future (pending UFA in 2008) is very much in doubt, after the playoff sweep by the Rangers. Who’s idea was it to land Tier I Superstar Centers, Todd “The Milk Carton” White and Eric “I have one move for shootouts” Perrin? Good job, everyone. It was the Tooth Fairy. Excellent. Movin’ on.

Who’s idea was it to nix a September trade of Marian Hossa, in favor of hoping trying to sell tickets with a “lame duck, trapped” Hossa? Actually, it was Bruce Levenson. That was Bruce’s plan.

Who negotiated the Angelo Esposito, Daultan Leveille, Colby Armstrong, and Erik Christensen trade with Pittsburgh, for Hossa and Dupuis? No, it wasn’t Sasquatch again. It was Santa Claus, taking a break from the North Pole to make some critical February decisions.

In 2008, who decided to target TOP BLUELINE candidate Brian Campbell in free agency, stating, “I think we know how to sign free agents!,” believing that simply throwing money at a player would make them sign in the train-wreck organization that was the Atlanta Thrashers, for the PRIME of his career? Okay, it was Levenson, again. Good job. Atlanta wound up with Ron Hainsey, on a 5-year deal, at $4.5 million per year.

In 2008, whose idea was it to force Kovalchuk to play out his remaining two years of his contract, knowing that he would not re-sign here, without major ownership changes, and an utter housecleaning, forgoing a major deal for him at that time? It was tuxedo’d dolphins, who wandered inland from the Coast of Savannah, supporting themselves as Blackjack dealers. Eventually, the dolphins returned to the ocean, swimming all the way to Cuba, where they made a deal with Fidel Castro, to open up a chain of Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in Havana. Eventually, they were driven out by local mafia.

And there you have it. That’s why Atlanta fans are fickle, and SUCK, and are responsible for the team’s relocation to Winnipeg. It’s not as if the NHL could have, and should have intervened at some point. Heavens no! That’s sheer lunacy! No, the management of the restaurant wholeheartedly endorsed employees ‘blowing their noses in the bun’ before serving up a hot dog at Blueland. MMM. Yummy. Too bad they didn’t embark on a earwax campaign for Nachos. ‘Cuz that’s a million dollar idea, right there! Bygones. Maybe the Spirit will try it, for Hawks games? I do have to thank the Spirit Boys for one thing. We do have a wonderfully environmentally-friendly arena. It wasn’t Tinkerbell who did that, ya know. Also, I think the Spirit, LLC, also laid down a perfect “blueprint” for what NOT TO DO with an NHL franchise.

I wish this had all taken place in Toronto, instead. I would have enjoyed watching those soldout Air Canada Centre events on Centre Ice. It would have been great to watch Leaf fans endure all that, at $120 nose-bleed seats, while supporting their franchise like they should. Certainly, Toronto media would have acquiesced that all these moves by Sasquatch, the Abominable Snowman, El Chupacabra, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Terrorists from the Middle East, aged 17-41, Santa Claus, along with the assistance of Rosie O’Donell, the Iron Sheik, and Ellen Degeneres, and incomparable and invaluable NHL experience of Bruce Levenson, were for the best! I know Toronto fans don’t like being in the playoffs. They long to drift aimlessly, for decades. And certainly don’t embrace Stanley Cups. They do, however, like LEED-certified arenas. So, they’re still utterly disappointed in their venue. Chin-up, though, Leaf fans. Your team isn’t relocating to Hamilton, Ontario. Well, until Leaf ownership experiences a “sense of urgency” to sell to Jim Balsillie, while the NHL pockets a $60 million relocation fee, and a totally inflated purchase price. But, who can deny that Hamilton, Ontario, Candada won’t snatch up 13,000 season ticket holders, with Balsillie buying up nearly half of them, especially those high-dollar ones along the glass, and behind the benches, and pretty much everything between the blue lines.

The NHL is awesome.


June 5th, 2011
6:07 am

Put an arena where it belongs and the NHL will be a success in this market. Simple. I’m not buying a full season ticket package and having to navigate traffic/MARTA from the north side for all of the weeknight games. Don’t even bring the NFL/Falcons into the comparison. An NFL team has what, a max of 12-13 home games (preseason and play offs included) the majority of which are on Sunday afternoon??? Not to worry Thrasher fans, with 30 NHL teams, one will ALWAYS be available for relocation. Get a major league arena on the north side of town and everything else will take car of itself. The NHL doesn’t care how many times a market failed as long as teams are available for relocation and the prospective new owners have the cash it takes for the deal. Atlanta, Phoenix, Miami are important for the NHL owners and the NHL players association. The TV revenue and player salaries are much higher if the sport doesn’t become regional. Hamlets like Winnipeg won’t get the players the salaries they are currently getting. And, TV ratings have traditionally been low enough without a city like Winnipeg being involved in a Cup Final series. Can you imagine a Winnipeg-Quebec City Stanley Cup final on NBC primetime? The Canadians may have claim to hockey being ‘their’ sport, but they’d still be making peanuts without the American markets.


June 5th, 2011
6:43 am

I choose to remember the 342 wins. Specifically, the win to clinch the Southeast Division in 2006. Also, I loved the Third Period win against Philthydelphia where we came back from a 4-1 deficit to win last season in Philly.

Get Over It

June 5th, 2011
7:03 am

Mr. Bill……………don’t waste your words on the sheep. What they fails to mention is even during our rise to 1st place this past year we were lucky if there were 7k in the seats. They like the other sheep prefer to place blame around except where it belongs.


June 5th, 2011
8:33 am

I will always remember Erin Andrews before she got her start with ESPN mispronouncing every other name in the Studio on the Turner South games!!

Kovy's Agent

June 5th, 2011
8:34 am

Just heard Duds won’t be the Peggers GM. Apparently, TNSE will be instituting a complete housecleaning, something the ASG wouldn’t or couldn’t bring themselves to do. I guess that spells the end for Rammer too. I am getting annoyed at the coverage including the phrase that Winnipeg got “their” NHL franchise back. No, your franchise still plays in the desert in Phoenix. You “took” our team for the healthy price tag of $170mm. Small distinction obviously for the Canadian media who are doing a victory lap on the grave of our franchise. And I even heard them talking about the up and coming nature of the team. Boy, funny we never heard those comments when they were the Thrashers.

Sage of Bluesland

June 5th, 2011
9:14 am

“…We are showing to the world that we don’t care and we are a town of losers period…..”

No, “Mr. Bill”, it proves that the good folk in Atlanta are remarkably discerning with their disposable income and refuse to throw it away on an unkempt and unexciting product, especially when there are so many more options in such a beautiful place to live.

You really need to learn that paragraphs are, indeed, your friend. Based on your writing “style”, I’m guessing “public” for you?

Braves? Please. I’m still not over the 1996 World Series debacle. They haven’t been close–mentally, to me–since then. Smoke-and-mirrors, pipe dreams, and the same-old Bobby Cox strategy. Intelligent folks–and not sheep–can spot a legitimate contender. Intelligent folk will adjust their spending habits accordingly, too.

Brendan–thank you for that quite unpleasant walk down memory lane. It boggles the mind there was anyone at all at the arena considering the horrific decisions which kept begetting….and begetting…and begetting. Most “real” teams/organizations will relieve an incompetent buffoon of a GM when it becomes proven that their initial “Five-Year Plan” is shown to be a shambles….but, not the Atlanta Thrashers…We actually had to endure another rebuilding plan with the very same architect–with a promotion on top of it in the final year.


June 5th, 2011
9:18 am

Just read Dudley won’t be retained as GM for Winnipeg…what a mistake!


June 5th, 2011
9:33 am

13,000 season tickets sold in minutes. Read it and weep boys and girls, this team is where it belongs.


June 5th, 2011
9:40 am

First, folks how about some common decency for once regarding comments on people about to loose their jobs as Thrashers employees. Yes, we can always sit here and second guess Don Waddell on a lot of his decisions but I’m still convinced this franchise never gave him the full green light on anything, even when Turner and AOL owned the team. The Thrashers were part of the selling point to get a new arena, never forget the Hawks were and always will be the main emphasis.

Now, Rawhide I do want to thank you for keeping a great blog and while I may not have always agreed with your statements at time, they have made me see things from a different perspective.

One of my favorite games was the first season and the Maracle on Ice when we shut out the Flyers. The game had a playoff feel to it.

Take care all!


June 5th, 2011
9:43 am

I’ll remember that they were abysmal.

Mr Bill

June 5th, 2011
9:47 am

Thanks Get over it for backing me up, there is plenty of blame to go around that is for sure but the main problem is we didn’t show enough and that is why we don’t have a team today. Even when they televised a home game and the attendance was so low that the cameras were pulled back far enough as not to show that when it was in between periods and Darren Elliot was making his coments.

When the game started up they all ways focused on the areas down low behind the glass where it looked like there was a lot of people. The fans didn’t show enough passion last season when we got off to a great start, instead they kept blaming Waddel who I think did his best under the circumstances going all the way back to Ted Turner who knew nothing about Hockey, the guys hands were tied nothing he could do.

This ownership didn’t spend the money I agree but perhaps they didn’t have enough of it to invest to get a return on their investment. We didn’t show up period and we are to blame.

Red Light

June 5th, 2011
9:50 am

Kevin Cheveldayoff, former Wolves GM who has been with the Blackhawks the last two seasons, is set to become the GM in Winnipeg and True North has received permission to talk with him.

I don’t think this is a bad decision at all. Dudley doesn’t negotiate contracts, prefers the scouting aspect of things, doesn’t like to fly, has the NHL’s worst wardrobe and was rewarded by Waddell just one week after Gearon’s announcement in February with a four-year extension. Does anyone find this just slightly coincidental (cynicism alert)?

This is a complete purge as Winnipeg wants to completely erase any ties with the Atlanta failure, and who can blame them? Ramsay might be next, and then (FINALLY) the scouting staff. There may be one scout retained, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Good to see TJs hopping on a Saturday night! Enjoyed it.

Cheveldayoff is only 41 and can keep the job long term.


June 5th, 2011
9:56 am

Remember- If you support the HAWKS you will be supporting the ASG. They must be playing with daddy’s money.


June 5th, 2011
10:49 am

Brendan – yes, Boston overcame their deficit with Montreal, but Montreal is sure as hell no Vancouver this year. As far as I am concerned, the cup metal-smith can start putting Vancouver on there. Don’t get me wrong, I like Boston a lot, but they don’t have the depth to compete for 60 (+) minutes. They were the better team for the first 40 but they could not roll 4 lines like the ‘Nucks did and they got tired. I don’t know what the team cook is feeding Vancouver, but I want some of it for my next game.

13000 season tickets in minutes? My respect goes out to you MB. Though I am thinking that much of that was corporate $$……

Mr . Bill's Mom

June 5th, 2011
12:07 pm

My son still lives in the basement.


June 5th, 2011
1:30 pm

I remember my whole family becoming avid Thrasher fans soon after moving to Atlanta in 2005 from Florida. We went to many games and my kids knew every fact about all the players. When the Thrashers went to the playoffs my wife bought groceries with nothing but blue in it (drinks, food, etc). For the next 2 days we saw nothing but blue when we went to the bathroom!

On December 22, 2008 my 8 year old son was diagnosed with leukemia. Knowing he would be in the hospital for awhile, he wanted all his Thrasher gear brought to the hospital and we kept it in his room. Three days later on Christmas day I walked outside his room only to see Thrash down the hallway visiting the kids. Our whole family was so excited to see him and Thrash was surprised to see all the Thrasher gear in our room!

I will also remember all the Thrasher players who would visit Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta hospital every December. My son was in the hospital again in December 2010 when the Thrasher players were scheduled to come in again. However, he was released a few hours before the players showed up. He convinced us to stay in the hospital lobby for 3 hours after getting released until the players showed up. All the players were really impressed that he did not want to go home and that he waited for them.

I remember Eric Boulton taking time to visit the AFLAC Cancer Center to take pictures with my son and other children that were getting treatment that day. One week later after practice my son saw Eric leaving and asked if he remembered him. Eric said he did and that he had something for him. He jumped out of his truck, grabbed one of his hockey sticks and signed it for my son!

Despite an inept organization as far as hockey goes, I will remember all the help the Thrasher organization give Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta and the AFLAC Cancer Center.

Thanks to all the regular bloggers who have been so informative. A big thank you to Rawhide also. I really got so much Thrasher information from you and the fellow bloggers.


June 5th, 2011
2:52 pm

ZAvalanche, I guess the real bottom line is … though Boston has played well enough for at least a split, the simple fact is … they didn’t get it. And right about now, they’ve got to worry about getting swept.

Red Light, I’m happy for Chevaldayoff getting his long awaited shot at a full-time GM job in the NHL. Too bad Atlanta wouldn’t fire Waddell and give Kevin that shot. But, we had a ‘perfect storm’ that led to this. But just think, if the NHL had interceded, none of this would be happening. The NHL would either be running the Thrashers or a new ownership would have been found. We saw what happened in Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Buffalo, and Phoenix. It wouldn’t have even taken that long to get the Atlanta market resurrected. Bygones.

Re: Rick Dudley … it’s definitely Waddell taking care of his buddy. There’s a long history there, dating back to minor league days. I think Dudley at least deserved the chance to make it work in Winnipeg. I suppose Craig Ramsay and John Torchetti are next. What a miserable mess the AS, LLC has left to clean. This is like selling your house, and the first things the new owners do … is bring in bulldozers to level the place, and rebuild it from scratch.

Re: Zach Bogosian … let’s see how Winnipeg develops him.

Re: Evander Kane … he should do fine in Manitoba.

Re: Bryan Little … he’s definitely a Thrasher holdover, being a Waddell pick from 2006. Let’s see how long he lasts.

Re: Ron Hainsey … gosh, he could be gone, soon. Winnipeg might try to package him at the Draft.


June 5th, 2011
3:12 pm

Sage of Bluesland, it was a sickening trip down memory lane, no? The thing that bothers me the most … is this notion that Waddell wasn’t responsible for his drafting? Or his free agent signings. Or his lack of vision/identity for the team. Or his trades. I mean, did ownership ever say, “Don’t take Setoguchi, Staal, or Kopitar, we’ll be better off with Alex Bourret at # 16?” Heck, no. Drafting Lehtonen? Two picks (Pavelec and Nurminen, both goalies) after 11 years of drafting, between the 2nd and 6th rounds? I’m sorry, but Kevin Chevaldayoff would have done more with nine (9) Top 10 overall picks with which to build the franchise than Waddell. I know, the GM can’t go sign a top name in free agency, because he doesn’t have the money. But that has no bearing, whatsoever, on his drafting. Or his ability to re-sign an RFA. The rules are set up to prevent RFA’s from leaving. And if there is an RFA offersheet, at least Atlanta would have been compensated. Ya know? It’s just incomprehensible … the manner in which the Thrashers were run. I mean, really. This franchise never stood a chance, with the business model it was following.

I think there actually were fans willing to throw ‘blind support’ behind this team, had there been some accountability. But when the voice of the season ticket holder is steadfastly ignored, demanding Waddell’s head, then they made their bed. Markets in Canada, like Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Ottawa … well … they make changes to PLEASE the season ticket holders. Yeah, everyone shows up. They are sellout games, even in losing seasons. But there’s also accountability for failure. That’s the difference here. To retain the hockey fan in Atlanta, GA, you’ve got to make changes to retain their fiancial support. If not, you get what we saw: A divorce. Tell me again, how Waddell could have survived 10 seasons in the provinces of Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, or Manitoba? C’mon. Beeee honest. He couldn’t have. The fans would have been heard by ownership, and changes made. But not here. Ownership heard the disapproving voices, and decided not to make changes. I have to believe … that there would be a revolt in Canada, over Waddell as GM.

Guess what the response was in the NHL TV studios in Toronto, to Waddell’s decade of failure in Atlanta? Answer: Rubbing their hands together, “it’ll soon be ours. All ours! Keep that Waddell in Charge!! Open the ticket windows in Canada, a franchise is comin’ our way.” Of course they didn’t utter a PEEP about it. They wanted to take our club, not give us ammunition to SAVE it. NHL Network never once said, “Atlanta, to save your club, you better make wholesale changes, top to bottom.” Instead they said things like, “Things are difficult in Atlanta. But perhaps the draft will help them.” Gee, thanks!!!! If the Thrashers had been the Oilers, Flames or Senators, the NHL Network would have been ALL OVER the necessity for changes to be made.


June 5th, 2011
4:15 pm

I just enjoyed going to NHL games with my two sons, and sharing the greatest team sport on earth with them. Nothing can compare to NHL hockey. It will be sorely missed in this town. Thanks to the solid 10,000 fans that supported this franchise. And special thanks to Joe Johnson, who is the main reason this team has gone to Canada.

Yung JB from Montreal

June 5th, 2011
5:56 pm

Pasi being Pasi
Exelby three straight hits on Colorado players
Kovalchuk just being the best player on the ice. He was so good.
Pavelec being Hasek and the whole NHL not noticing it
Kozlov and Schremp SO moves
Our young guns (Little, Kane, etc.)
Having Maxim Afinogenov (fav player with Erat and Buff)
Learning to know Byfuglien and him becoming my idol after i hated him in CHI.
Chris Thorburn playing his heart out.

I love you my Thrashers, I really do.

Yung JB from Montreal

June 5th, 2011
5:57 pm

And when the Thrashers beat the Habs here in Montreal, my day would be perfect. I will miss you guys, please come back soon.


June 5th, 2011
6:07 pm

Augusta State University repeats as National Champions!

Finally something to be happy about with sports in the state of GA these past few weeks.

Congrats to my alma mater on their incredible victory and to UGA for their fine tournament. Lots of sports, entertainment, activities, and culture to be proud of in our state.


June 5th, 2011
6:40 pm

I’ve been thinking about this for a while recognizing that it will probably be my last Thrashers’ related post ever.

For me, my fondest Thrashers’ memories are not ones that occured on the ice. My oldest son was born just before the Thrashers’ first season and my younger was born three years later. Over the years, I have taken absolute joy in not only introducing my sons to the game I grew up loving, but watching their love of the game take root and grow as well.

What will I miss?

The look in my older son’s eyes when I surprise him with Thrashers’ tickets for that night.

Coming downstairs on Saturday morning to find my younger son already awake and before I can even say “Good Morning,” he is already telling me about which plays from the Thrashers’ game the previous night NHL on the Fly has highlighted and what the statistics are from that game (and every other game that was played the previous evening).

The aplomb with my wife shouted “Let’s Go Thrashers” at each game we attended together and how scratchy her voice would be the next morning.

I will miss going to practice on Columbus Day, knowing that my sons are off from school and our tradition of me taking off from work so that we can sit and freeze in the bleachers and watch the Thrashers practice up close. Then, after the practice is over watching my sons work up the nerve to ask the players coming off the ice for an autography (or even the one year that my older son worked up the nerve to ask Exebly for his stick — and X then coming out of the locker room a few minutes later and handing my son an autographed stick!).

So, if you were to give me five minutes alone with the ASG or Gary Bettman, that is what I would tell them that their greed has removed from my life.

RH – I want to take a moment and thank you. Both for being an excellent online host and for being a friend. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and your both Online and RL families and wish you and yours nothing but the best in the future.

To everyone else out there, who knows? Maybe, just maybe, we’ll all get a chance to root for an Atlanta NHL team again. I’d like to think that I’m an optimist that way.


Mr Bill

June 5th, 2011
7:40 pm

The Florida Panthers are the next Target wouldn’t that be something if we can get a new owner we have an NHL arena that won’t be doing anything for awhile and the spirit kept the Thrashers name. We could end up buying the Panthers and they maybe on their last legs next season in Florida thats why the have Dale Tallon and just hired Kevin Dineen sounds familar. If they don’t draw much next season then who knows what could happen. It would just like the Thrasher players moving to Winnipeg we would have their players. But we need somebody to step up and not the ASG thats for sure. Anything is possible. I think Hockey will come back sooner than we think.


June 5th, 2011
8:43 pm

I would love more than anything than to see an ownership group come together in Atlanta. Redevelopment of the GM site in Doraville to be easier access for the majority of the fan base. Until the economy turns I doubt it though but I guess I can have my wishful thinking.

There is nothing people in the south hate more than being told they can’t accomplish something.

Atlanta Flames Fan

June 5th, 2011
9:15 pm

If you think about it, the way we got to this situation is due to an incredible number of bad things happening. So let’s dream futher. The Canadian dollar returns to its historic levels; the price of oil plumments, and the economy of Calgary goes to the toilet. Resulting in….. The Return of the Flames!

If we’re going to wish, let’s wish for the max!

Atlanta Flames Fan

June 5th, 2011
9:18 pm

I believe that the Panthers are tied to their building. I think that it would take bankruptcy to get them out of it.

Big Wally

June 5th, 2011
9:49 pm

Dang Brendon. I had forgotten two thirds of that. Now I’m pissed again. Thanks. Rather funny that it took the Winnipeg owners all of what two days to realize they didn’t want Waddell, while the ASG could never figure that one at.


June 5th, 2011
9:56 pm

Ya know what the difference is about Pittsburgh, Buffalo, TBL, Phoenix and Atlanta? Don’t say attendance, ‘cuz attendance was terrible in those places during lean years, too, when ownership was in the tank. No, the difference is … $60 million in relocation fee, and the unwilliness to TRY TO SAVE the Thrashers, on the part of the NHL. From the lack of intervention since 2007 on, to the “cover up” about plans to relocate this team.

And with proper ownership, the Thrashers would be saved. Yeah, still buried in the sports section, but it’d only take 18,545 to pack Philips Arena. Atlanta would be just fine, if an owner interested in winning emerged. And that could have happened, if the Atlanta Spirit,LLC had offered operating rights to Philips Arena in their negotiations.

It’s just a whole slew of pathetic. Everyone else gets NHL intervention, but us. Thanks a lot, $60 million relocation fee. It wouldn’t have mattered if we’d sold the place out. The Spirit wasn’t including operating rights to the venue in the “attempted” local sale of the Thrashers. And such, even soldout, the Thrashers are a money pit that no one would touch, while the league still collected its $60 million. But, it’s all the fans fault, right????



June 5th, 2011
10:04 pm

Big Wally, that’s why hockey fans in Winnipeg are cheering. Look at what they’ve got going for them. The 17th richest man in the world as a part-owner, no hint or trace of Waddell, or his employees, Dudley and Ramsay. Okay, wait. I don’t think Ramsay or Torchetti have been canned yet. But, don’t be surprised when they are.

This is about wiping the memory of the Thrashers from the NHL landscape. What Manitoba wants to do … is pretend this is an expansion club. Don’t be all that surprised to see players drafted by Waddell and Marr to be traded out, just to further distance the memories of ex-Thrashers.

So, what is the legacy of the Atlanta Thrashers? I think … it’s that of a minor league team masquerading as an NHL club, run by a crew of minor league management. Awful. Still, within that mess, were some good times and excellent memories. You didn’t have to like hockey, or know anything about it, to have a good time at Philips Arena, with the “Philips Experience.” You could take a date there. You could bring your kids there. It was totally interactive. The food was decent. The beer was cold.

Last one out, turn out the lights. Don Waddell, I can leave without saying a bad word. And that’s just what I’ll do.

R. Stroz

June 5th, 2011
11:14 pm

Well I’m running a little behind schedule, so here we go:

1. Watching the Bennings win the 7th Man Award, in particular, Mrs. Benning rising to her feet refusing to be encumbered by her wheelchair.

2. The energy in the building for the first playoff game.

3. My introduction to Cowbell Corner, otherwise known as Section 222. They are truly some fine men.

4. The third period comeback versus the Devils with Brodeur in goal. I never thought the Thrashers had a chance down 4 to 1 in the third period. Not only did the Thrashers comeback, they took the lead, lost the lead, and won in overtime.

5. Winning “a dollar” from Rawhide on a bet that I wouldn’t ask Buzilla’s fiancé if she could read. Buzilla had stated in the blog that his fiancé couldn’t read so why not take a “triple dog dare” bet.

6. Reconnecting with a member from the church I attended years back. I had “fought” for her to be appointed a Sunday School teacher many years ago. Now, she is a certified teacher with a Master’s Degree.

7. Naming Todd White “Charmin.”

8. Asking Don Waddell to resign at the March 2010 Towne Hall Meeting.

9. The fan support as I walked around the arena holding a sign with “Atlanta Spirit Group Brutally Bad Owners.”

10. Meeting so many great Thrasher fans who participated on Rawhide’s blog. What an awesome group of individuals that I always hope to stay in contact with over the forthcoming years.

11. The number of “dates” the wife and I spent at Thrasher games.



June 5th, 2011
11:33 pm

BTW … Dan Kamal on WXIA toinght … adamantly defending the fans, stating they’re taking a bum rap.

More and more media is starting to dig into this cesspool, the more the merrier. I’m sure there’s some great dirt yet to be dug up and unleashed.

Back on topic … a few more items …

This year, watching Burmistrov develop … man is that kid fun to watch.

The first half of the season, with so much hope for the team – tons of fun hockey to watch.

Meeting all the good folks on this blog … great bunch of folk.

Maybe, just maybe, sometime in the future, the NHL will deem us fit to host a franchise again. If – and when – that occurs, we’ll be ready. And we’ll be waiting.

Meanwhile, I’ll see y’all up in Gwinnett.

R. Stroz

June 5th, 2011
11:46 pm

A Tale of Two Men:

One man stormed the beaches of Normandy freeing the world from a genocidal maniac; the other stormed around Towne Hall Meetings showing contempt for his customers.

One man proudly prepared himself to showcase his love for his wife at each Thrashers game; the other hid in the shadows pretending to care for a team while defiling its very existence.

One man demonstrated constant chivalry happily assisting his encumbered wife to as many games as possible; the other crippled a team with a low payroll while pretending he wanted the team do well.

One passed on a legacy of love to his wife, the other left the honorable man’s widow out in the cold, taking away her ability to honor his memory which she did by placing his hat on the seat next to her.

One man will never be forgotten, the other will never be forgiven.

Would you like to guess which is Mr. Benning and which is Mr. Levenson?


June 6th, 2011
12:50 am



June 6th, 2011
12:56 am

…donkey kick. I know I’m not the only one to remember that one.


June 6th, 2011
7:45 am

Good: 2006 Season up till the Rangers.

Bad: Expired, skunked beer on draft at the club level in 2010. On more than one occasion. I should have seen it as an omen…

steve brown

June 6th, 2011
9:15 am

I’m creating a new memory-a boycott of the Hawks and Philips arena so long as they are owned by the current group of neanderthals.


June 6th, 2011
9:59 am

“Bad: Expired, skunked beer on draft at the club level in 2010. On more than one occasion. I should have seen it as an omen…”

There was an investigation by one of the TV stations several months back about watered down beer @ major venues around town … Philips had the most watered down of any venue.


June 6th, 2011
10:25 am

There are far too many comments/memories to respond to here. However, I do want to thank those of you who shared them with us all. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who appreciated reading them.

Also, thanks to all the people who showed up at TJs Saturday night. The place was packed and it was a blast as always. It’s always great to spend time with quality people and true hockey fans. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to together again soon…or some time further out in the future.

Oh yeah, one more thing….