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Hedberg: Atlanta owners never gave team a chance

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08:25 AM ET 05.25 | Not many have played pro hockey in both Winnipeg and Atlanta, which gives Johan Hedberg an interesting perspective on the Thrashers possibly moving to Manitoba. He clearly has stronger ties to Atlanta and the Thrashers, however, and said he would be sad if the team does leave. "We've kind of made [Atlanta] sort of our second home for five years now and, obviously, the Thrashers were the reason we came here in the first place," Hedberg said. "I know all the people involved. I know all the people working in the front office and in hockey operations and I know a lot of the fans around. They're hard-core fans that really don't want to lose the team. So, I would have feeling of [sadness]. There's no doubt this could be a good hockey city, but it needs to be done the right way. This ownership has never given it a chance to do that after it got off on the wrong foot."

The Record

Dustin Byfuglien, Getty Images Dustin Byfuglien, Getty Images
Comment #1 has been removed
May 25, 2011  09:23 AM ET

not a good sports city period

May 25, 2011  09:27 AM ET

they never gave it a chance, they kept Don Waddell as GM for most of the history of the franchise. That was your biggest problem right there. After Millbury he has to be one of the worst in the game.

Either way, good riddance Atlanta. Welcome Winnipeg.

May 25, 2011  09:47 AM ET

Go Jets ! I am now only curious about which non playing types survive the move back to Winnipeg ?

May 25, 2011  09:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Go Jets ! I am now only curious about which non playing types survive the move back to Winnipeg ?

I heard they aren't calling them the Jets....that is a shame. What do I do with all my old Jets gear? If I were them I would clean house before arriving back in the Winnipeg....

May 25, 2011  10:01 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

I heard they aren't calling them the Jets....that is a shame. What do I do with all my old Jets gear? If I were them I would clean house before arriving back in the Winnipeg....

I read that also AND REFUSE TO BELIEVE IT ! Gotta be the Jets. I smell a complete house cleaning also.

May 25, 2011  10:03 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

not a good sports city period

I agree with that.

May 25, 2011  10:05 AM ET

MOOSE!!

May 25, 2011  10:06 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

not a good sports city period

Agreed.


Braves played "Playoff" games to empty seats. Seriously Atlanta.

May 25, 2011  10:23 AM ET

As previously mentioned Atlanta isn't a good sports city, especially for Hockey, but Moose does have a point, the owners never gave them a chance. If a team is going to make it in a non traditional location they can't have terrible management, which the Thrashers have had. And if Peg gets the Jets back and they aren't the Jets, that's a disgrace.

May 25, 2011  10:34 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I read that also AND REFUSE TO BELIEVE IT ! Gotta be the Jets. I smell a complete house cleaning also.

'When you're a Jet you're a Jet all the way...
From your first cigarette to your last dying day....'

IT BETTER BE THE JETS MAN!

As far as that house cleaning you're smelling, does it smell an awfully lot like vinegar and water per chance?

May 25, 2011  10:35 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

not a good sports city period

Atlanta Flames? Gone! Atlanta Thrashers? Gone!

But ... never fear! The Poison Dwarf will see to it that Atlanta is awarded the Phoenix Coyotes as part of the master plan to "expand" the sport to hockey starving masses in the South.

May 25, 2011  10:56 AM ET

That picture of Byfuglien has accumulated a lot of mileage lately.

May 25, 2011  11:10 AM ET

And the traffic in Atlanta sucks too. So there...

May 25, 2011  11:25 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

not a good sports city period

Exactly - they aren't even good fair weather fans.

May 25, 2011  12:54 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

And the traffic in Atlanta sucks too. So there...

I heard they're still looking for a couple of Olympic buses. :-)

May 25, 2011  01:10 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Atlanta Flames? Gone! Atlanta Thrashers? Gone!But ... never fear! The Poison Dwarf will see to it that Atlanta is awarded the Phoenix Coyotes as part of the master plan to "expand" the sport to hockey starving masses in the South.

Someone looking at this objectively would say that Bettman is moving a failed Atlanta franchise to a small city in Canada where hockey as a business already failed once despite great fan support. How is that being overlooked by all the Bettman critics?

May 25, 2011  01:30 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

As previously mentioned Atlanta isn't a good sports city, especially for Hockey, but Moose does have a point, the owners never gave them a chance. If a team is going to make it in a non traditional location they can't have terrible management, which the Thrashers have had. And if Peg gets the Jets back and they aren't the Jets, that's a disgrace.

What always amazes me is how they can have truly epic-bad management (Waddell, Millbury to name two offenders) and every single human being on the planet can see it except for the boss. Ex: the NHL owners unanimously awarded Bettman 5 more years.

As per the name, I would be interested to know who owns the rights to the Jets name, and what the cost to obtain those rights are. If it was formerly the ownership group that purchased them, was that later transferred? Could be private interests, could also be the NHL considering that they have guardianship of the team. If it's privately held I bet they are asking alot of money because they know that everyone wants it back. The ownership group in Winnipeg probably don't care enough to pay the price tag because they know that people in Winnipeg HAVE to support the group no matter what.

The rights to the Whalers are held by some brothers that want heaven & earth as royalties, which is why when CCM was making tons of vintage gear you never saw the whale jerseys & t shirts. Now you can find some t shirts, but nothing with RBK/CCM and no licensed jerseys. Could be similar in the case of the Jets.

May 25, 2011  01:31 PM ET

p.s. I know Mllbury was not with Atlanta, its just an example of poorly run franchises being a reflection of the poor ownership.

 
May 25, 2011  01:32 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

a small city in Canada where hockey as a business already failed once

...because of a low dollar policy by the ruling government. The shoe seems to be on the other foor these days.

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