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Category: Atlanta-Thrashers

No Name, No Logo, No Jersey but Hell, They Have a Web Site!

Behold, winnipeg.nhl.com.

Now then, who will become the first-ever draft choice of the second-ever go-round for the Winnipeg


Whatevers this weekend? And what will they wear on stage?

Oh, and officially, R.I.P., Atlanta Thrashers.

Condolences to those whose career paths have now been drastically altered.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Official: Winnipeg Approved by NHL BOG

From Chris Vivlamore of the AJC (Tweet):

It’s official. NHL Board of Governors approves sale and relocation of #Thrashers.

Update 3:33pm ET: From TSN

The NHL is officially returning to Winnipeg. The league’s Board of Governors approved the sale of the Atlanta Thrashers to True North Sports and Entertainment of Winnipeg on Tuesday.

Fifteen years after the Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix, the two sides came to an agreement on May 31 and the first step to move the Thrashers North was taken, pending Tuesday’s approval.

The franchise price is $170 million, which includes a relocation fee of $60 million. As determined by the league’s Board of Governors, the relocation fee will be distributed among the other 29 teams.

Statement from Gary Bettman:

“We deeply regret that Atlanta’s ownership was unable to secure local partners after exhausting every option and alternative.  At the same time, we are delighted that NHL hockey is returning to Winnipeg and to a fan-base that already is showing so much support for its team. We congratulate Mark Chipman, David Thomson and True North on their patience, their preparation and their professionalism, and we look forward to the start of a new era for the franchise.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Bettman Talks Atlanta

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.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

Thrashers’ Captain Checks Out Winnipeg

From the CP via TSN:

Atlanta Thrashers captain Andrew Ladd is visiting what could be his new hockey home in Winnipeg.

The Thrashers are moving to the city but Ladd is set to become a restricted free agent July 1 and would need to strike a deal with the new owners of the team to join his teammates in the Manitoba capital.

That process hasn’t really started.

But the native of Maple Ridge, B.C., brought his agent and fiancee along for the trip and says he’s impressed with the vision and culture the team’s management wants to create.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+ladd

Blackhawks Exec Front-runner for Winnipeg GM Job

From Tim Campbell at Winnipeg Free Press:

A front-runner has emerged to be the general manager of Winnipeg’s new NHL team.

Chicago Blackhawks assistant GM and senior director of hockey operations Kevin Cheveldayoff is hot on the radar of Canada’s seventh NHL franchise.

After a Thursday meeting with True North chairman Mark Chipman and hockey senior vice-president Craig Heisinger at the NHL’s scouting combine, current Atlanta Thrashers GM Rick Dudley does not appear to be a slam-dunk to move with the club to Winnipeg. Nobody at True North will talk about it and there are strong rumblings here that Dudley will either be re-assigned or dismissed, that True North wants to go in another direction with its own people.

*h/t to Elliotte Friedman

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kevin+cheveldayoff, rick+dudley

Anticipating Winnipeg’s First Roster

From Lyle Richards at The Hockey News:

If True North Sports and Entertainment chairman Mark Chipman is willing to spend up to the cap ceiling, his team would have around $26 million to work with, but as Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette recently noted, Winnipeg fans shouldn’t get their hopes up for any big free-spending moves.

Chipman has stated his club’s philosophy will be to build through the draft and he’s also suggested his team’s payroll will stick close to the mid-way point, which will be roughly $52-$54 million.

Forget about the possibility of Brad Richards or other big-name unrestricted free agents signing with Winnipeg this summer.

That doesn’t mean Winnipeg won’t sign any UFAs, but it will likely look for affordable talent. The main focus will be re-signing its own key free agents.

read on plus odds and ends on the Leafs and Wings

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Evening Line

The lesson here for my kids, all die-hard Thrashers fans including one 14-year-old hockey player, is that rich men can bend rules, twist words, sacrifice loyal followers and essentially do what they want — all in the name of profit and business. That is a horrible way to run a self-proclaimed “community asset” and a horribly cruel lesson thrust upon kids with jerseys, helmets, gloves, shirts and rooms covered in Thrashers and NHL logos.

-Brian H. Gedeon, an ardent Atlanta Thrashers supporter.  More at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Remember The People In Atlanta

from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,

But this move comes with collateral damage. For one, hockey fans in Atlanta are burned again—once by the Flames, now by the Thrashers. Those who invested their time and money and hearts in hockey are left wondering why the NHL didn’t fight for them like they have so many other hockey markets in the States.

There are also those who invested more than their fandom. They invested their careers, their livelihood.

For so many around the NHL, the Thrashers became a punch line. Without support from ownership, it was nearly impossible to build a consistent winner and the play on the ice proved it. Fans’ apathy reflected the annual slide in the standings.

Yet, there were still plenty of people who wore a Thrashers logo with pride. Guys like Inar Treiguts, a Latvian native who has been the Thrashers’ massage therapist since their first season. He’s a guy who always met the media with a huge smile and a greeting of “Hello, journalists!” before working the kink out of a player’s shoulder. What’s next for him?

Or a guy like Bobby Stewart, who served as an equipment manager on not one, but two Atlanta hockey teams.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Crummy day for hockey in Atlanta


Despite advice to wait and see what happens, the sale and move of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg sure had a sense of the inevitable about it, didn’t it?

There will be more euphoria about the return of hockey to Winnipeg than angst over its loss in Atlanta. Still, the loss of the Thrashers will hurt the team’s core fans for a long time to come. Sure, we can talk about the Thrashers being swept in their only playoff series, their inability to keep star players, and the Thrashers ranking near the NHL basement in attendance. Still, there was a core of fans who “Believed in Blueland” and now are left without a team. Think about them for a minute today and put yourself in their shoes for a minute. It’s a pretty crummy feeling to lose “your” team. Success or not, fans love their team, even if they love to complain about it. In the long run, it’s better to be a “long suffering” fan, than have no team at all.

And feel worse for the team’s staffers that lost their jobs. Most won’t make the move to Winnipeg and now enter an employment market that can best be described as “challenging” to say the least. They are the ones you really need some action, not words like these from the team’s statement.

“It’s extremely disappointing to all of us that (this sale) became necessary after all other options were exhausted. We want to express my gratitude to you, the fans, for the years of dedication you have offered to the Atlanta Thrashers.”

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Winnipeg Jets, Phil_Coffey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, gary+bettman, winnipeg

Atlanta Players Talk Winnipeg

from Chris Johnston of the CP at The Score,

Moving to a hockey hotbed from one where the sport was rarely in the spotlight, the Thrashers are expecting a little bit of culture shock now that they’ve landed in Winnipeg.

“It’s probably going to be bigger than most guys think,” captain Andrew Ladd told The Canadian Press on Tuesday. “I think not having (NHL) hockey there for 15 years, it’s kind of built up and built up to the point where I’m sure (fans) are ready to blow the doors off the hinges and get this thing going.”

Added goaltender Chris Mason: “Next year it’s going to be hockey, hockey, hockey. I just love that. I think it’s going to be awesome.”


added 5:26pm, from Ian Mendes of Sportsnet,

If some Atlanta Thrashers players are reluctant to move to Winnipeg, Evander Kane certainly isn’t one of them.

The 19-year-old was happy to see a definitive resolution to the Thrashers saga, which officially came on Tuesday when the NHL announced the club was re-locating to Winnipeg.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity. Anywhere in Canada, I’d love to go play. Going to Winnipeg with the Jets, they have a good tradition and history there,” “Kane told Rogers Sportsnet on Tuesday. “I’m looking forward to renewing that and being a big part of it. I’m looking forward to that and getting this thing going.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com



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