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?

hockeymom92

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.

RiceOwls

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.

Paul

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.

toddism

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.

FRENZY

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

Russian

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!!! :-)

Russian

June 3rd, 2011
8:10 am

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

Dwayne

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.

Bluestreak

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.

Hotrod

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.

canofpeas

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.

Bill

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.

Bill

DB

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.

Darkhorse

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…..

Omnifan

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

FRENZY

June 3rd, 2011
8:51 am

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

VOLinATL

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…

Russian

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.

Flames

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.

Flames

June 3rd, 2011
9:12 am

MissBlondie

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 :-(

KLS1

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?).

MissBlondie

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.

JPVJ

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.

Brent

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.
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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.

Adam

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.

THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT WORK & THE MANY LAUGHS!!!

Smoothie

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.

toddism

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.

EA/Eileen

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

J(Z)

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.

litz

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.