Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/20/11 at 08:21 PM ET
from Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
On Monday NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, in an exclusive interview with Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thrashers beat writer Chris Vivlamore, talked about a variety of issues including what went wrong in Atlanta, the city as a hockey market and the relocation fee the league receives as part of the deal.
Q. Why do you think the NHL has failed in Atlanta twice?
A. I don’t know enough about what happened the first time (when the Flames left for Calgary in 1980) to say why it happened twice. I don’t know that the situations were comparable. In this case, the franchise wasn’t economically viable. We are not happy about it. The litmus test is: Does someone want to own the franchise? The Raine Group and current ownership were completely unsuccessful in their efforts to find a local buyer.
Q. What do you think of Atlanta as a hockey market? Does that differ from 1997 when the city was awarded the expansion franchise?
A. We had high hopes in 1997. This is obviously not the result we envisioned or we wouldn’t have come. How we got to this position involves a number of issues and that’s why we find ourselves in the current situation.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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