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Thrashers up next in relocation crosshairs?

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08:55 AM ET 12.08 | As one may be saved, which is the next franchise in trouble? With the Phoenix Coyotes situation seemingly close to being resolved -- go ahead and roll your eyes -- Atlanta looks to be the next hot spot for speculation about relocation to Winnipeg or Quebec City. After Atlanta's viability as a sports market was questioned by NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, Thrashers president Don Waddell addressed his team's challenges Tuesday. "We've heard it before. There are always things happening in our business we can't control and we just deal with it. We have a good team right now and we're trying to market and sell tickets in Atlanta," Waddell said after the NHL's board of governors meetings concluded. "That's why I speak up about it because it does get frustrating. My job is to make sure it doesn't affect anybody below me in the organization. We deal with it as they come up and it has been coming up for three years now. It won't be the last time for sure."

Toronto Sun

Ben Eager, AP Ben Eager, AP
December 8, 2010  09:11 AM ET

too bad, just when ATL finally gets a decent mix of players, and out from under Kovalchuk's shawdow, that can compete in the Southeast

December 8, 2010  09:20 AM ET

We're trying to market and sell tickets in Atlanta.

And I'm trying to market and sell sand in Dubai. That's not working either.

December 8, 2010  09:25 AM ET

Wait a minute. Have the scales suddenly fallen from the Dwarf's eyes? After all this time trying to preserve teams in the southern US, why are the all of sudden questioning the Thrashers viability? Granted, they are drawing only slightly better than the Coyotes and Islanders, but still . . . . . Is the Dwarf being bribed? blackmailed?

December 8, 2010  09:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

We're trying to market and sell tickets in Atlanta.And I'm trying to market and sell sand in Dubai. That's not working either.

Or even better. I'm trying to open a ski resort in Tripoli.

December 8, 2010  09:42 AM ET

It doesn't matter if they are good, bad or OK. Atlanta isn't a hockey market, it's not really a sports town period. The Braves were great for like 15 years and couldn't sell out playoff games. The Hawks are good and no one shows up. It's not like there is competition because there are a lot of teams in the area either. The fact that sports that should have better attendance don't should prove that there is no way hockey is ever going too.

December 8, 2010  09:46 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

It doesn't matter if they are good, bad or OK. Atlanta isn't a hockey market, it's not really a sports town period. The Braves were great for like 15 years and couldn't sell out playoff games. The Hawks are good and no one shows up. It's not like there is competition because there are a lot of teams in the area either. The fact that sports that should have better attendance don't should prove that there is no way hockey is ever going too.

Sounds about right.

December 8, 2010  10:02 AM ET

The Falcons and Braves do okay but seemingly only when the Teams are very very competitive.The Cap Era NHL Teams have cyclical success patterns(sans Detroit) that clearly will not be supported in this market.

December 8, 2010  10:56 AM ET

I ead in a different interview from buttman at the BOG meeting that this team isn't goin ganywhere. No plans to relocate or approve relocation if they are sold. Atlanta's where this team stay for now.

If the dwarf managed to actually find a buyer and keep the yotes in the desert, there's no reason to believe he wouldn't go that route for this franchise either, especially when in my opinion other teams could benefit from a little league attention far more than the thrashers...

December 8, 2010  10:56 AM ET

read* :( another morning without coffee wtf

December 8, 2010  10:59 AM ET

"Go ahead and roll your eyes"

Everything he does involves a head shake and an eye roll...

December 8, 2010  11:02 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

too bad, just when ATL finally gets a decent mix of players, and out from under Kovalchuk's shawdow, that can compete in the Southeast

You're right. I think the Trashers moved to New Jersey with Konvalchuk. Maybe Atlanta can start over with a more robust name ... like the Atlanta Chickadees.

December 8, 2010  11:26 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

We're trying to market and sell tickets in Atlanta.And I'm trying to market and sell sand in Dubai. That's not working either.

Hee hee hee. Good one!

December 8, 2010  11:28 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

I ead in a different interview from buttman at the BOG meeting that this team isn't goin ganywhere. No plans to relocate or approve relocation if they are sold. Atlanta's where this team stay for now.If the dwarf managed to actually find a buyer and keep the yotes in the desert, there's no reason to believe he wouldn't go that route for this franchise either, especially when in my opinion other teams could benefit from a little league attention far more than the thrashers...

Precisely why the Dwarf needs to go away and fast. There are Canadian cities and Northern U.S. cities that are clamoring for a team, yet this dooochebag still wants to keep teams in Southern markets that simply do not care about hockey. I call Shenanigans!!

December 8, 2010  11:41 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

It doesn't matter if they are good, bad or OK. Atlanta isn't a hockey market, it's not really a sports town period. The Braves were great for like 15 years and couldn't sell out playoff games. The Hawks are good and no one shows up. It's not like there is competition because there are a lot of teams in the area either. The fact that sports that should have better attendance don't should prove that there is no way hockey is ever going too.

In large parts of the country, there is no interest in hockey; kind of like selling soccer anywhere in the U.S. or Canada.

December 8, 2010  11:46 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

I call Shenanigans!!

The Quebec Shenanigans actually has a nice ring to it. Or should I say "Le Shenanigans du Qu??bec a une belle sound ?? elle, pas il?"

December 8, 2010  11:48 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

The Cap Era NHL Teams have cyclical success patterns

Kill it now....

December 8, 2010  11:54 AM ET

Just curious if the people who know so much about whether Atlanta is or isn't a sports town, how many people show up for games and when, have ever lived there?

December 8, 2010  12:11 PM ET

Until they get things moving to build an arena in Quebec, there is no point in having this conversation. Regis Lebaume has to stop talking and round up the cash to get ther stadium built. Firt the deadline was dec 21st, then the 31st, now its whenever.

December 8, 2010  12:20 PM ET
QUOTE(#20):

Just curious if the people who know so much about whether Atlanta is or isn't a sports town, how many people show up for games and when, have ever lived there?

well, I have been to two games in Atlanta. Unlike in Sunrise and Tampa Bay, they don't even seell out when the Habs or leafs come to town, that should tell you something. Even Phoenix gets filled to the rafters when those two teams show up.

Having been to Carolina, Atlanta, Tampa and Sunrise, I would rate Atlanta as the worst hockey market. Hands down.

 
December 8, 2010  12:28 PM ET

I remember hearing there was some kind of event like a farm convention or something that coincided with the ASG in ATL a few years back and they reported that the farm event outdrew the ASG. That's a pretty good indicator that town isn't a hockey town. But, they haven't done much to improve the situation, and ironically having their "best" LOL player leave via FA has been the biggest improvement. It's hard to build a brand when you lose, have a generic team name that doesn't mean anything and ugly jerseys.

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