Atlanta Thrashers

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Atlanta Thrashers
founding June 25, 1997
history Atlanta Thrashers
1999 - 2011
Winnipeg Jets
since 2011
Stadion Philips Arena
Location Atlanta , Georgia
Team colors Ice blue, midnight blue, bronze, copper, gold, white
league National Hockey League
Conference Eastern Conference
division Southeast Division
owner Atlanta Spirit, LLC
Cooperations Chicago Wolves ( AHL )
Gwinnett Gladiators ( ECHL )
Stanley Cups no
Conference title no
Division title 2006/07

The Atlanta Thrashers ( IPA : [ətˈlæntə θɹæʃɚs] ) were an American ice hockey franchise of the National Hockey League from Atlanta , Georgia . It was founded on June 25, 1997 and started playing at the beginning of the 1999/00 season . The team colors were ice blue, midnight blue, bronze, copper, gold and white. The Brown Thrasher , the state bird of the state of Georgia, served as logo and nickname . After financial difficulties, it was announced on May 31, 2011 that the team would be relocated to Winnipeg at the beginning of the 2011/12 season .

The Thrashers played their home games in the Philips Arena and at the time of their existence they were one of the youngest of the 30 NHL teams. After the city had already hosted an NHL franchise with the Atlanta Flames from 1972 to 1980 , the league returned to the city in 1999 after a 19-year abstinence and stayed there for twelve years. In the time of its existence, the team qualified once for the play-offs and won the title of the Southeast Division in the same year . The team was unable to win the prestigious Stanley Cup .


Ice hockey in Atlanta

Atlanta was home to a franchise in the NHL from 1972 to 1980. However, the Atlanta Flames were sold after the owners could no longer bear the economic loss and have played as the Calgary Flames ever since . Atlanta was the only team in the southeastern United States at the time. With a new stadium and a number of other teams in Florida, Carolina and Tennessee, the conditions for the start of the Thrashers were more promising than the first time.

The first years of the franchise (1999 to 2004)

On June 25, 1997, Atlanta received the license to form a team from the NHL league leadership. On February 16, 1998, media entrepreneur Ted Turner announced the name of the franchise that became known as the Atlanta Thrashers after the red-backed mockingbird . Around two months later, the team logo was presented via an Internet broadcast in real time, which was also a novelty in the history of the National Hockey League . Another two months later, Don Waddell , who joined Atlanta from the Detroit Red Wings, was named the first general manager in franchise history.

On June 25, 1999, the Atlanta Thrashers took part in the Expansion Draft to fill their roster with new players. The franchise was allowed to select a total of three goalkeepers, eight defenders, and 13 strikers who were not banned from the other NHL teams. The Thrashers chose Norm Maracle , Brett Clark , Darryl Shannon , Yannick Tremblay , Kelly Buchberger , Tomi Kallio and Steve Staios, among others . Furthermore, the Thrashers were allowed to secure the rights to young talents for the first time in the NHL Entry Draft , which took place one day after the Expansion Draft. With their first right to vote in the Entry Draft 1999 in the first position of the first round, the franchise secured the rights to the Czech attacker Patrik Štefan . Curt Fraser took over as the first head coach of the franchises .

The alternative logo used by the Atlanta Thrashers in the premiere season

On September 18, 1999, the Thrashers played their first pre-season game in the Philips Arena against the New York Rangers . The guests prevailed 3-2 in extra time . Nine days later, the Thrashers' first team captain was named. Veteran attacker Kelly Buchberger was entrusted with the task of leading the team through its inaugural season.

On October 2, 1999, the team played their first NHL game against the New Jersey Devils , which ended with a 1: 4 defeat at the home Philips Arena. Kelly Buchberger scored the first hit in franchise history. In the fourth NHL game on October 14th in the away game with the New York Islanders, the team won the first time. In the 2-0 win of the guests, goalkeeper Damian Rhodes succeeded in the first shutout of the Thrashers by parrying 20 shots on goal by the Islanders. On November 22, 1999, the right wing striker Dean Sylvester scored in the 6-3 home win against the Vancouver Canucks as the first player in the franchise a hat trick in an NHL game. With three goals and an assist , he also set another record.

The Thrashers earned a total of 39 points in their first season in 82 games, placing them last in the Southeast Division and also showing the worst results in the league . As the team's best scorer, Andrew Brunette scored a total of 50 points, while Yannick Tremblay scored 31 points as the best defender. Also among the top performers were the NHL experienced Ray Ferraro and Donald Audette . At the NHL Entry Draft 2000 , the Thrashers chose Dany Heatley in the first round , who became an important pillar of the team in the following years. In the following season the team increased its points, but the overall balance was still clearly negative. With 60 points, Atlanta placed fourth in the Southeast Division one point ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning . Ray Ferraro set a new franchise record with 76 scorer points. The winger Donald Audette, who had scored a total of 71 points for the team from Atlanta in the 2000/01 season in 64 games, was given up in March 2001 to the Boston Bruins .

The Thrashers began the 2001-02 season with the previously the NHL Entry Draft in 2001 selected Ilya Kovalchuk , and the signings Tony Hrkac and Daniel Tjärnqvist . In addition, the team was strengthened by Dany Heatley, who was accepted into the roster of the Thrashers. Nevertheless, a step backwards followed, with 54 points earned, the team occupied last place in the Southeast Division and was also classified in last place in the league. Among the top performers of that season were the duo Kowaltschuk and Heatley, who both scored a total of 118 points. Goalkeeper Milan Hnilička , who prevailed against his rival Damian Rhodes, achieved a capture rate of 90.8 percent and set a new franchise record with three shutouts.

For the 2002/03 season , the winger Vyacheslav Koslow, who was obliged in a swap deal by the Boston Bruins , joined the team. With Shawn McEachern and Marc Savard , other key players were signed after the start of the season. The team core with Heatley, Kowaltschuk, Stefan, Tremblay and Tjärnqvist remained largely unchanged. The start of the season for the Thrashers was consistently negative. The first ten games resulted in eight defeats, one draw and one game lost in extra time. Only in the eleventh game of the season on November 2, 2002 succeeded in the away game with the Florida Panthers with a 3-1 win the first victory. During the season, the previous goalkeeper Milan Hnilička lost his regular place and was ousted by the Finnish goalkeeper Pasi Nurminen , who was used in 56 games. Shortly after Christmas, the previous head coach Curt Fraser was dismissed after the unsatisfactory results. On January 14, 2003, Bob Hartley was named the gang's successor. In the last third of the season, the team showed a balanced overall balance. At the end of the season, with 74 points, the previous best performance of the franchise was exceeded by 14 points, but the qualification for the finals remained out of reach.

In September 2003 the team was sold to a group of Time Warner managers , along with the Atlanta Hawks basketball team , with whom the Thrashers share their arena. In the same month, striker Dany Heatley had an accident in his Ferrari 360 Modena . He was seriously injured while his co-driver, center Dan Snyder , died six days after the accident. The Thrashers dedicated the 2003/04 season to Snyder and wore a patch on the right chest in his honor. Through the injuries sustained and the court case against Heatley, who for manslaughter was accused of missed much of the season. In February 2005 he was finally sentenced to a three-year suspended sentence.

In terms of sport, the team got off to a positive start in the 2003/04 season , as the team finished the first five games without defeat. Up to December 26th, 2003 there were 19 wins, 14 losses, 3 draws and one defeat in overtime. In the following 21 NHL games, however, the team only got two wins and the first participation in the play-offs was again out of reach. At the end of the season, the team finished second in the Southeast Division with 78 points, which again meant a franchise record.

Lockout and the aftermath (2004 to 2007)

The 2004/05 season was completely canceled due to a strike lasting several months.

Heatley asked for a restart because of the events in September 2003 that resulted in the accidental death of his then teammate Dan Snyder. In August 2005 there was a swap deal with the Ottawa Senators , who gave Marián Hossa and Greg de Vries to the Thrashers, while Dany Heatley was sold to Ottawa. In the same month, the experienced attacker Bobby Holík was also signed as a free agent . The three-year contract with the Thrashers came about because his former employer, the New York Rangers , paid him out of his original five-year contract. In September, the Slovak Peter Bondra , also as a free agent, signed another notable commitment. In addition, the attack line was reinforced with the experienced Scott Mellanby , the Swede Niclas Hävelid supplemented the defensive department of the team.

In the first game of the 2005/06 season goalkeeper Kari Lehtonen suffered a groin injury that put him out of action for more than two months. After a modest start to the season with four wins and eight defeats in the first twelve games, the team managed to improve performance thanks to Michael Garnett , the substitute goalkeeper, and to show a balanced record until the regular goalkeeper Lehtonen recovered. Due to a period of weakness in the spring of 2006, in which between January 19 and February 3, all seven games ended in defeats, the team fell into reserve again in the fight for a place in the play-offs.

By the end of the season, the team had a positive game record in the outstanding matches and achieved a franchise record for the third time in a row with 90 points. This was barely enough to qualify for the finals. The Tampa Bay Lightning , who ranked second in the Southeast Division and made it into the play-offs, won only two points more than the Atlanta team. With Ilja Kowaltschuk, Marc Savard and Marián Hossa, three players achieved over 90 points in the 2005/06 season.

For the 2006/07 season , goalkeeper Johan Hedberg and attacker Steve Rucchin made two reputable new signings. The start of the season was consistently positive, with the team losing only one game in regular time of the first twelve games and winning eight games. The highest win of the season was on September 7, 2006 with a 6-0 win over the Florida Panthers . The team suffered the biggest defeat on December 7th in the away game at the Tampa Bay Lightning, the game ended with an 8-0 defeat. In the course of the season, the team sat down in the upper ranks and kept the possibility of a first-time entry into the finals open. In February 2007, the team acquired the experienced Keith Tkachuk , who was bartered to Atlanta with the St. Louis Blues , an accurate offensive player.

The Thrashers in their second play-off game against the New York Rangers

At the end of the season, the team had a record of 97 points, which meant another franchise record for the Thrashers. In addition, the team qualified for the first time for the play-offs by winning the Southeast Division. As the best scorer of the regular season, Marián Hossa was the first player in the history of the franchise to reach the 100-point mark, surpassing the previous record holder, Ilya Kovalchuk, who had scored 98 points in the previous year. In the first round, the Thrashers met the New York Rangers. The first two games of the series each ended with narrow wins for the Rangers. After the Rangers had won the third match 7-0, the decision in the best-of-seven series was made in favor of the New York Rangers in game four, which thus reached the next round. In June 2007, Tkachuk returned to the St. Louis Blues after four months.

Sporting relapse and loss of leading players (2007 to 2010)

The Thrashers in the home game against the St. Louis Blues

After the 2007/08 season had failed with six defeats in a row, head coach Bob Hartley, who had led the team since January 2003, was relieved of his post on October 17. As a result, General Manager Don Waddell took over the post of head coach on an interim basis. After the coaching change, there was an increase in performance that brought the team seven wins in the following ten games. In December 2007, the Pittsburgh Penguins put veteran winger Mark Recchi on the waiver . One day later, the Thrashers, who at this point had a balanced record with 14 wins and 14 defeats each, chose him from the waiver list. In February 2008, a few hours before the start of the trade deadline , the Thrashers made an extensive transfer deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The team gave Marián Hossa and Pascal Dupuis to the Penguins and received as compensation the winger Colby Armstrong and the two centers Erik Christensen and Angelo Esposito . After the Thrashers had a balanced record on February 21, 2008 with 29 wins and 29 losses each, the level could not be maintained in the following weeks and the play-offs fell out of view. The season ended with a record of 34 wins and 40 losses, the team had a negative record for the first time since the lockout .

In June 2008, John Anderson took over the position of head coach. Don Waddell, who had looked after the team on an interim basis in the 2007/08 season , took over again as General Manager and Executive Vice President . As in the previous year, the 2008/09 season began with poor sporting results. From the first eleven games there were only two wins. This was followed by five wins in a row, but the team did not manage to preserve the positive performance and the Thrashers had a suboptimal record at the end of January 2009 with 17 wins and 29 defeats. Even a winning streak of six games in a row in March did not move the team close to the play-offs, at the end of the season the team finished fourth in the Southeast Division and failed to make it into the finals. As in the previous year, the Russian Kovalchuk was the Thrashers' best scorer and scored 91 points, while his compatriot Koslow collected 76 scorer points during the season.

For the 2009/10 season Nikolai Antropow signed a four-year contract with the Thrashers as a free agent. With Maxim Afinogenow another winger was committed and the defensive row was reinforced with the Czech Pavel Kubina . The start of the season was positive overall, by the end of November the team had a record of 14 wins and seven losses. At the turn of the year, however, the team suffered a setback when the performance could not be preserved. On February 4, 2010, the Thrashers swapped Ilya Kovalchuk to the New Jersey Devils after the Russian had previously turned down an offered twelve-year contract that would have brought him a total of 101 million US dollars during this period. As compensation for the weighty departure, the franchise received defensive player Johnny Oduya , the two attackers Niclas Bergfors and Patrice Cormier and a first-round vote for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft .

The team's performance remained largely unchanged despite the extensive transfer business with the Devils. In the game balance from the trade deadline to the end of the regular season , there were exactly eleven wins and losses. As a result, the play-offs took place again without the Atlanta franchise. As a result, head coach John Anderson was removed from office in April.

Restructuring and financial problems (2010 to 2011)

Around two months later, Craig Ramsay was presented as the gang's successor. Likewise, the previous eleven-year general manager Don Waddell was promoted and Rick Dudley was appointed as the new GM. The change in the management team was also continued in the player staff. On June 24, 2010, an extensive transfer deal was completed with the Chicago Blackhawks . As a result, Dustin Byfuglien , Ben Eager and Brent Sopel , who had previously won the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks , were transferred to Atlanta. In total, the transfer deal involved seven players and two draft picks. A little later, the team also signed Andrew Ladd from Chicago, who was appointed the new team captain a few weeks later.

The Thrashers got off to a promising start to the season and led the Southeast Division in mid-December for the first time since mid-February 2008. Ultimately, however, the team missed the playoffs for the fourth time in a row. In addition, management confirmed on January 22, 2011 that the franchise had made a loss of $ 130 million over the past six years, fueling rumors of a possible sale related to the team's move. Had confirmation that the search for a new investor began, eventually followed in February 2011. In April 2011, reiterated the former baseball player of the Atlanta Braves , Tom Glavine , his interest to keep up with a newly formed group of investors the franchise in the city. Furthermore, the investor group True North Sports and Entertainment pursued the acquisition of the rights in connection with a move to Winnipeg, Canada . There, in 1996, the Winnipeg jets left the city for Phoenix . True North Sports and Entertainment was initially just as interested in acquiring rights to the Phoenix Coyotes .

On May 31, 2011 the sale of the franchise was finally announced, so that the team moved to Winnipeg in the summer of 2011 and ran again there as Winnipeg Jets .


Interior panorama of the Philips Arena
The exterior facade of the Philips Arena

The Thrashers have played their home games since they were founded in 1999 at the Philips Arena , an 18,750-seat, $ 213 million multi-purpose arena . Philips bought the naming rights to the arena during the construction phase and gave it its current name. The company will hold the naming rights for the arena until 2019 and will pay a total of 180 million US dollars for the entire duration of 20 years. This is according to the American Airlines Center of Dallas Stars is the second highest price for all NHL arenas.

The Philips Arena was built on the same site as the former Omni Coliseum , where the Atlanta Flames played in the NHL. The Thrashers shared the arena with the Atlanta Hawks basketball team .

Audience numbers and entrance fees

season Home

Number of spectators
1999/00 41 705.446 17.206 91.8%
2000/01 41 625.783 15,263 81.4%
2001/02 41 548.088 13,368 71.3%
2002/03 41 552,516 13,476 71.9%
2003/04 41 619.961 15.121 80.6%
2004/05 1 - - - -
2005/06 41 637,550 15,550 83.0%
2006/07 41 665.389 16,229 86.6%
2007/08 41 648.784 15,824 84.4%
2008/09 41 599,666 14,626 78.0%
2009/10 41 557,887 13,607 72.6%
2010/11 41 552.230 13,469 72.6%

1 season because of the NHL lockout 2004/05 failed

In their first season there was great interest in the new team and despite the high admission prices, the Thrashers had a previously unattained audience average. In the following years, the average attendance fell, and the 2003/04 season had bottomed out, which was also due to a further reduction in the entry price. The 2006/07 season saw the highest average attendance in the 21st century, when with 16,229 viewers per game, an average of over 86 percent of all seats were sold. In the following years, however, the audience response fell again.

A ticket cost an average of 45 US dollars in the 2008/09 season, an increase of three dollars compared to the previous year.

Owners and farm teams

The owner of the franchise between 2004 and 2011 was Atlanta Spirit LLC , an investor group that also owns the Atlanta Hawks' franchise . The group of investors had the purchase of the Thrashers cost around 80 million US dollars. Previously, the Thrashers were owned by media entrepreneur Ted Turner and his Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., which also operates the news broadcaster CNN .

season Farm team league
1999 / 00–2000 / 01 Orlando Solar Bears IHL
1999 / 00–2003 / 04 Greenville Grrrowl ECHL
2001 / 02–2010 / 11 Chicago Wolves AHL
2004 / 05–2010 / 11 Gwinnett Gladiators ECHL

Like all NHL teams, the Atlanta Thrashers also had several farm teams in lower-class leagues . The Thrashers had from the beginning of the 2001/02 season with the Chicago Wolves on a farm team that plays in the American Hockey League . The American Hockey League is declared as a minor league of class AAA and thus the highest possible level below the NHL. In addition to the AHL club, the Thrashers worked together with the Gwinnett Gladiators from the ECHL from the 2004/05 season .

Previously, the Atlanta Thrashers worked from 1999 to 2001 with the Orlando Solar Bears from the International Hockey League , who won the Turner Cup , which was last awarded during this time, in 2001 . Furthermore, from 1999 to 2004 there was a cooperation with the Greenville Grrrowl from the ECHL.

Economic development

season Value 1 Sales 1 Profit / loss 1
1999/00 138 59.9 +15.9
2000/01 134 58 +6.6
2001/02 134 58 +2.9
2002/03 110 57 −0.9
2003/04 106 59 +0.9
2004/05 2 - - -
2005/06 128 64 −5.4
2006/07 148 67 −6.5
2007/08 158 70 −6.0
2008/09 143 68 −2.0
2009/10 135 71 −8.0

1 All figures in million USD
2 season because of the NHL lockout 2004/05 failed

During the 1999/2000 season , the Thrashers generated revenues of $ 59.9 million and posted a profit of $ 15.9 million at the end of the season. In the following years, sales remained largely constant, but personnel expenses increased significantly. At the end of the 2002/03 season , a loss of 0.9 million US dollars was posted for the first time. In the 2005/06 season, the loss increased to 5.4 million US dollars. The losses in the following two years were similar. The decisive factor was the increased salary expenses for the team.

The 2008-09 season was also characterized by financial losses, although salary expenses had dropped by around 8 million US dollars. One of the reasons for the losses was the declining audience response, compared to the previous season, an average of 1000 fewer tickets were sold per home game.

The franchise's sales record dates back to the 2009-10 season when it recorded revenues of around $ 71 million.

Value of the franchise

When the franchise was acquired by Atlanta Spirit LLC , a group of investors, in 2004, the franchise was worth $ 106 million. At year-end 2009, the franchise was valued at $ 143 million. The team was worth $ 138 million in the 1999/2000 season. For the next three years, the value of the franchise remained largely constant, but dropped to $ 106 million by 2004.

The lockout saw an increase in value that peaked in 2008 at $ 158 million. In the following year, however, the value fell again.

Player salaries

season Spending on salaries
in millions of dollars
1999/00 21st
2000/01 25th
2001/02 28
2002/03 32
2003/04 33
2004/05 no data due to lockout
2005/06 42
2006/07 44
2007/08 47
2008/09 39
2009/10 46

Player personnel costs have increased significantly since the Atlanta Thrashers' first season in 1999. In the first season they started with personnel expenses of around 21 million US dollars. For the next five years, salary expenses increased by at least one million dollars each year.

During the failed 2004/05 season , the NHL introduced a salary cap per team, a so-called salary cap , of initially 39 million US dollars in order to make the team's strengths in the NHL more balanced.

Salary expenses for the 2005-06 season were $ 42 million. The spending record was hit in 2008 when $ 47 million was paid out for salary expenses.

External presentation


The logo of the Thrashers consists of a stylized red-backed mockingbird , which is depicted with a copper- and gold-colored hockey stick . The entire logo is again outlined in gold. The background of the logo is kept in midnight blue and ice blue. In addition, an alternative logo was used in the first season of the franchise and for the 10th anniversary of the team.

Jersey design

The Atlanta Thrashers wore a blue home shirt since 2007. On each arm there was a red, white and blue stripe that ran vertically. The chest area was marked by the team's logo. For away games, the Thrashers wore a jersey with a light basic color . In the design of the home shirt, the shirt was kept in white.

There is also an alternative jersey.


The official mascot of the Atlanta Thrashers was an anthropomorphic red-backed mockingbird (Brown Thrasher) named Thrash and the team's mascot since October 2, 1999. At home games of the Thrashers, it climbed from the rafters down to the fans. In addition to appearances at NHL games, it could also be booked for birthday parties, celebrations, hospital visits and charity events. His rival was Gnash , the Nashville Predators mascot .

Media presence

The Atlanta Thrashers' television partner was the local themed TV channel SportSouth , which broadcast most of the regular season games. The games of the Thrashers were commentated by Matt McConnell and former ice hockey player Darren Eliot .

In addition, thanks to the partnership with the Dickey Broadcasting Company, there was radio station 680 The Fan , which broadcast all of the team's games. A free radio broadcast was available on the Thrashers' official website during the franchise's NHL games.

The Thrashers produced their own program called Thrashers-TV , which was presented by Clear and published on the team's official website. All the games of the season were summarized, the best scenes were shown and commentated by the moderators. In addition, the moderators interviewed some players each time.

Achievements and honors

The banner to win the Southeast Division under the ceiling of the Philips Arena

Sporting successes

Division Championships season
Southeast Division 2006/07

The Atlanta Thrashers celebrated their only success in the 2006/07 season when they won the title of the Southeast Division for the first time . This was also associated with the first playoff qualification, but where the team failed in the first round at the New York Rangers .

In-team trophies

The Atlanta Thrashers presented five in-team trophies to their players.

The MVP Award was given to the best player of the past season. The selection was made by means of an internet vote, which was decided by the fan base. The trophy has been awarded since 2001, the first winner was attacker Ray Ferraro . In 2011 Andrew Ladd was honored with the award.

The Gilner-Reeves Award was made in honor of two police officers Stephen Gilner and Steve Reeves, who were killed on duty in 1999. The trophy was awarded to the player who united the greatest team spirit over the course of the season and enjoyed a significant influence on the team. David Harlock was the first to receive the award in 2000 . In 2011, Zach Bogosian and Jim Slater received the award.

The Georgia's Own Credit Union 3 Stars Award was given to the player who was nominated as the NHL Three Star - that is, Player of the Week or Player of the Month - most frequently during the season . The first winner of the award, which has been presented since 2000, was Ray Ferraro. In 2011 Ondřej Pavelec received this honor.

The Players' Player Award was given to the most service-oriented player of the past season. The winner was selected by means of player voting. The first prize winner was Denny Lambert , who received this honor in 2000. In 2011 Chris Thorburn received the award.

The Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy was an award given in honor of former player Dan Snyder . In a traffic accident - caused by his then teammate Dany Heatley - he suffered serious injuries to which he died a few days later. The award honored the player who fought for the team with perseverance and dedication. The trophy was presented by Snyder's father, brother, sister and nephew. The award was first presented in 2004, and the winner was Garnet Exelby . In 2011 Bryan Little was given the honor.

NHL Awards and All-Star Team Nominations

Award Surname season
Calder Memorial Trophy Dany Heatley 2001/02
Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy Ilya Kovalchuk * 2002/03
Second all-star team Ilya Kovalchuk 2003/04
All-rookie team Dany Heatley
Ilja Kowaltschuk
Tobias Enström
Niclas Bergfors **

* together with Jarome Iginla and Rick Nash
** also played for the
New Jersey Devils during the 2009/10 season

During the franchise's existence in Atlanta, a player from the Atlanta Thrashers managed to win one of the individual NHL Awards twice . In addition, one player made it into one of the all-star teams and four others into the all-rookie team .

The Thrashers started the 2001/02 season with the two rookies Dany Heatley and Ilja Kowaltschuk . Heatley won the Calder Memorial Trophy , for which Kovalchuk was also nominated, making it the team's first trophy winner. The following year Kovalchuk won the Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy as the top scorer in the NHL .

Ilya Kovalchuk was the only player who was elected to an NHL All-Star Team. Two years earlier he was on the all-rookie team with Dany Heatley. Tobias Enström succeeded in this after the 2007/08 season and Niclas Bergfors two seasons later .

NHL All-Star Game Nominations

A total of nine Atlanta Thrashers players were voted into the All-Star Game by the fans because of their popularity or nominated by the coaches because of their performance. In addition, five players took part in the YoungStars Game and two current coaches looked after the respective All-Star team as assistant coaches.

Petr Buzek was the first player in the 2000 NHL All-Star Game to represent the Thrashers in an NHL All-Star Game . The following year there was no Thrashers player in the squad, while there were two players in the NHL YoungStars Game with Dany Heatley and Ilja Kowalchuk . Kovalchuk was voted Most Valuable Player of the Game with six goals . In 2003 , Dany Heatley was the Thrashers' first goalscorer in the All-Star Game. With his four goals and one template he was also the MVP of the game. In 2004 the team was represented by Kovalchuk, who also met.

For 2005 the All-Star Game was planned to be played in Atlanta, but this was prevented by a lockout . After the game was canceled again in the 2005/06 season due to the Winter Olympics in Turin , the game did not take place again until 2007 after a three-year break. Marián Hossa represented the Atlanta team this year and prepared a total of four goals in this game. The 56th National Hockey League All-Star Game was played in 2008 in the capital of the US state Georgia . With Kovalchuk and Hossa, two players from the Thrashers' squad took part in an All-Star Game for the first time. Both signed the scorer list. In 2011 the two defenders Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enström were nominated. While Byfuglien came up for team Lidström and scored a goal, Enström missed the game due to injury.

Season statistics

Abbreviations: GP = games, W = wins, L = defeats, T = draws, OTL = defeats after overtime , SOL = defeats after shootout , Pts = points, GF = goals scored, GA = goals conceded, PIM = penalty minutes

season GP W. L. T OTL SOL Pts GF GA PIM space Playoffs
1999/00 82 14th 57 7th 4th - 39 170 313 1422 5th, Southeast not qualified
2000/01 82 23 45 12 2 - 60 211 289 1500 4th, Southeast not qualified
2001/02 82 19th 47 11 5 - 54 187 288 1290 5th, Southeast not qualified
2002/03 82 31 39 7th 5 - 74 226 284 1253 3rd, Southeast not qualified
2003/04 82 33 37 8th 4th - 78 214 243 1505 2nd, Southeast not qualified
2004/05 1 - - - - - - - - - - - -
2005/06 82 41 33 - 3 5 90 281 275 1344 3rd, Southeast not qualified
2006/07 82 43 28 - 7th 4th 97 246 245 1097 1st, Southeast Conference quarterfinals lost, 4-0 ( NY Rangers )
2007/08 82 34 40 - 2 6th 76 216 272 1077 4th, Southeast not qualified
2008/09 82 35 41 - 5 1 76 257 280 1244 4th, Southeast not qualified
2009/10 82 35 34 - 7th 6th 83 234 256 1045 2nd, Southeast not qualified
2010/11 82 34 36 - 5 7th 80 223 269 908 4th, Southeast not qualified
total 902 342 437 45 49 29 807 2465 3014 13685 1 playoff participation
1 series: 0 wins, 1 loss
4 games: 0 wins, 4 losses

1 season because of the NHL lockout 2004/05 failed

Franchise records

Ilja Kovalchuk is the most successful scorer in the history of the Thrashers


Surname number
Most games Ilya Kovalchuk 594 (in 8 seasons)
Most consecutive games Tobias Enström 296 (October 5, 2007 to January 22, 2011)
Most goals Ilya Kovalchuk 328
Most templates Ilya Kovalchuk 287
Most of the points Ilya Kovalchuk 615 (328 goals + 287 assists)
Most penalty minutes Eric Boulton 639
Most shutouts Kari Lehtonen 14th
Marián Hossa scored a total of 100 scorer points for the Thrashers in the 2006/07 season


Surname number season
Most goals Ilya Kovalchuk 52 2005/06
Most templates Marc Savard 69 2005/06
Most of the points Marián Hossa 100 (43 goals + 57 assists) 2006/07
Most points as a rookie Dany Heatley 67 (26 goals + 41 assists) 2001/02
Most points as a defender Dustin Byfuglien 53 (20 goals + 33 assists) 2010/11
Most penalty minutes Jeff Odgers 226 2000/01
Most wins as a goalkeeper Kari Lehtonen 34 2006/07


Abbreviations: GC = games, W = wins, L = defeats, T = draws, OTL = defeats after
overtime , Pts = points, Win% = win rate

Surname season Regular season Playoffs
GC W. L. T OTL Pts Win% GC W. L.
Curt Fraser 1999 / 00–2002 / 03 * 279 64 169 31 15th 174 .312 - - -
Don Waddell 2002/03 * 10 4th 5 1 0 9 .450 - - -
Bob Hartley 2002/03 * - 2007/08 * 291 136 118 13 24 309 .531 4th 0 4th
Don Waddell 2007/08 * 76 34 34 - 8th 76 .500 - - -
John Anderson 2008 / 09–2009 / 10 164 70 75 - 19th 159 .485 - - -
Craig Ramsay 2010/11 82 34 36 - 12 80 .488 - - -

* Change during the current season

With Curt Fraser as their first coach, the Thrashers bet on a man with no experience in the NHL. He had previously successfully coached teams in the International Hockey League . After the hoped-for success had not materialized despite some good young players, he was fired shortly before the end of 2002. General Manager Don Waddell took over the team for ten games until they found a new coach in Bob Hartley . Hartley was fired from the Colorado Avalanche during the season after leading that team to the Stanley Cup victory a few years earlier . In the 2006/07 season he was the first coach to lead the Thrashers into the play-offs. After a poor start to the 2007/08 season , with six defeats in a row, Don Waddell took over the team again. For the 2008/09 season , John Anderson took over the team. He previously coached the Chicago Wolves in the IHL and AHL for eleven years and led the team to the title three times during this time.

In April 2010, Anderson was removed from office after he had not reached qualification for the play-offs in two years with the Thrashers. In June 2010, the Canadian Craig Ramsay took over the position of head coach.

General manager

Surname season
Don Waddell 1999 / 00–2009 / 10
Rick Dudley 2010/11

The Thrashers bought Don Waddell out of his contract with the Detroit Red Wings and appointed him the club's first general manager. It enjoyed the trust of the owners for many years. Twice he temporarily took on the role of coach. In April 2010 Rick Dudley took over the position of General Manager, at the same time Waddell was promoted to President of the Thrashers. With the sale of the franchise in June 2011, Dudley's tenure also ended, as his four-year contract was not taken over by the new owners.


Team captains

In the history of the Atlanta Thrashers, there have been eight different players who have held the position of team captain.

Scott Mellanby was the captain of the Atlanta Thrashers for two years
year Surname
1999-2000 Kelly Buchberger
2000-2001 Steve Staios
2001-2002 Ray Ferraro
2002-2003 no captain
2003-2004 Shawn McEachern
2005-2007 Scott Mellanby
2007-2008 Bobby Holík
2008-2009 no captain
2009-2010 Ilya Kovalchuk
2010-2011 Andrew Ladd

Because of his exemplary commitment, the Thrashers had signed Kelly Buchberger and because of this quality, the team management appointed him first team captain. His successor Steve Staios preferred the body-hugging game. After he had also left the club, the experienced Ray Ferraro took over the "C" on his chest. After the third captain left the Thrashers towards the end of the season, the coaching staff decided not to assign the captaincy for a season. In 2003 Shawn McEachern was entrusted with the execution of this office. After the following season was canceled, the regular captain did not return to the following season. Scott Mellanby , who had previously been Florida captain, was the only one to remain in office for two seasons before retiring. Bobby Holík was then again one of the captains who left the team after one season.

The Thrashers then went into the 2008/09 season without a permanent captain, but with five equal assistant captains, before the Russian Ilya Kovalchuk was appointed the new leader on January 12, 2009 . He had held the post of assistant for the previous two seasons and became the fifth Russian-born and trained captain in NHL history. Kovalchuk filled the office but only a little more than a year, since he left the club on February 4, 2010 in a transfer deal. In November 2010, Andrew Ladd became the eighth and final captain in the history of the Atlanta Thrashers.

Members of the Hockey Hall of Fame

In 2013, US defender Chris Chelios - three-time James Norris Memorial Trophy and Stanley Cup winner - was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as the first person to work for the Atlanta Thrashers . Chelios, who played a total of 1917 NHL games, was signed by the Thrashers during his final season as an active player in March 2010. By the end of the 2009/10 season, he made seven appearances for the franchise from the US state of Georgia before ending his career. He was followed in 2017 by Mark Recchi , who was also only on the ice for one season for Thrashers.

Surname Recording date position
Chris Chelios 2013 player
Mark Recchi 2017 player

Blocked jersey numbers

So far, the Atlanta Thrashers have not officially blocked a jersey number, but after Dan Snyder's accidental death on October 5, 2003, the number 37 he was wearing was taken out of the list. In addition, the famous number 99 in honor of the Canadian Wayne Gretzky has been banned throughout the league since February 6, 2000 and is therefore no longer awarded to a player.

First-round voting rights in the NHL Entry Draft

The Thrashers picked Dany Heatley as their second first round pick

In the first four years of their existence, the Thrashers could alternately choose a player as first or second. In the 1999 NHL Entry Draft , Atlanta secured the Czech attacker Patrik Štefan . With Dany Heatley , Ilja Kowaltschuk and Kari Lehtonen , a player was selected three times in a row who was one of the regular players in Atlanta for years and had a decisive influence on the team during this time. Braydon Coburn was handed over to the Philadelphia Flyers to sign Alexei Schitnik, an experienced defender. Garnet Exelby (1999) and Tobias Enström (2003) were selected in a draft position over 200 and made it into the roster of the Thrashers.

Top point collector

The ten best point collectors in the history of the Atlanta Thrashers.

Abbreviations: Pos = position, GP = games, G = goals, A = assists, Pts = points, P / G = points per game

Regular season

Surname Item season GP G A. Pts P / G
Ilya Kovalchuk LW 2001 / 02–2009 / 10 594 328 287 615 1.04
Vyacheslav Kozlov RW 2002 / 03–2009 / 10 537 145 271 416 0.77
Marián Hossa RW 2005 / 06–2007 / 08 222 108 140 248 1.12
Marc Savard C. 2002 / 03–2005 / 06 184 63 133 196 1.07
Dany Heatley LW 2001/02–2003/04 190 80 101 181 0.95
Patrik Štefan RW 1999 / 00–2005 / 06 414 59 118 177 0.43
Tobias Enström D. 2007 / 08–2010 / 11 318 26th 145 171 0.54
Bryan Little C. 2007 / 08–2010 / 11 282 68 81 149 0.53
Ray Ferraro LW 1999 / 00–2001 / 02 223 56 91 147 0.66
Todd White C. 2007 / 08–2009 / 10 221 43 93 136 0.62


Surname Item GP G A. Pts P / G
Pascal Dupuis LW 4th 1 2 3 0.75
Keith Tkachuk C. 4th 1 2 3 0.75
Ilya Kovalchuk LW 4th 1 1 2 0.50
Niclas Haevelid D. 4th 0 2 2 0.50
Brad Larsen LW 4th 0 2 2 0.50
Greg de Vries D. 4th 1 0 1 0.25
Eric Bélanger C. 4th 1 0 1 0.25
Shane Hnidy D. 4th 1 0 1 0.25
Bobby Holík C. 4th 0 1 1 0.25
Marián Hossa RW 4th 0 1 1 0.25

Well-known former players

(Team membership and position in brackets)

  • CanadaCanada Garnet Exelby
    (2001-2009, D )
    In the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, selected only in the eighth round, the defender developed into a regular in Atlanta in the following years. In July 2009 he was given in an exchange deal to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
  • CanadaCanada Ray Ferraro
    (1999-2002, C )
    The attacker was the team captain from 2001 to 2002. In the 2000/01 season he achieved his best yield of scorer points and scored a total of 76 points in 81 games.
  • SwedenSweden Niclas Hävelid
    (2005–2009, D )
    Hävelid acquired the franchise in June 2004 in a barter deal from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The experienced defensive player was one of the top performers in Atlanta and also made an offensive appearance.
  • CanadaCanada Dany Heatley
    (2001-2004, LW )
    In his rookie season, Heatley made the leap into the main lineup of the Thrashers and was one of the most attacking players on the team in the years that followed. In August 2005, the franchise let him move to the Ottawa Senators at his request.
  • SlovakiaSlovakia Marián Hossa
    (2005–2008, RW )
    As part of the swap deal with the Ottawa Senators, Hossa joined the team in August 2005 and immediately formed a strong attack duo with the Russian Kovalchuk. In the 2006/07 season he was the first player in franchise history to reach 100 scorer points and qualified with the team for the first time for the play-offs.
  • Czech RepublicCzech Republic František Kaberle
    (2000-2004, D )
    Kaberle was signed in March 2000 in a barter deal by the Los Angeles Kings. In the following four years he was always part of the permanent staff and was an important defensive support for the young franchise. In the summer of 2004, he left the team and went to the Carolina Hurricanes.
  • RussiaRussia Ilja Kowaltschuk
    (2001-2004, 2005-2010, LW )
    Kovalchuk was selected by the Thrashers as their first overall draft pick in 2001 and developed into the most dangerous goal-scoring player in franchise history in the following years. He set a new record with 615 points. In his final year of play in Atlanta, he was the team captain.
  • FinlandFinland Kari Lehtonen
    (2003-2010, G )
    As a regular goalkeeper, he achieved a catch rate of around 91 percent during his time in Atlanta. With the Thrashers he made his first place in the finals in the 2006/07 season. After several injuries, Lehtonen was transferred to the Dallas Stars in February 2010.
  • CanadaCanada Marc Savard
    (2002-2006, C )
    Savard stood out in Atlanta mainly because of his good overview for the next man, especially as a template provider he distinguished himself. In the 2005/06 season he achieved a yield of 97 scorer points thanks to his 69 assists.
  • Czech RepublicCzech Republic Patrik Štefan
    (1999–2006, C )
    Štefan was chosen in 1999 as the first draft pick in franchise history. In the following years he received numerous assignments in Atlanta, but he was largely denied personal success.
  • CanadaCanada Andy Sutton
    (2001-2007, D )
    The robust defensive player was in 277 NHL games for the franchise in use and reached this in the 2006/07 season, the first entry into the finals. During his time in Atlanta he was set as a regular player.
  • CanadaCanada Yannick Tremblay
    (1999-2004, D )
    Tremblay completed five seasons in the jersey of the Thrashers and during this time he made an appearance with his offensive skills. In 300 NHL games he scored 107 points for the Atlanta team.


Web links

Commons : Atlanta Thrashers  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1., True North buys Thrashers, set to move team to Winnipeg
  2. ^, History of Atlanta Flames
  3. a b c d, ( page no longer available , search in web archives: Thrashers Franchise Timeline )@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  4. ^ The Associated Press: Thrasher's Name General Manager. In: June 24, 1998, accessed October 26, 2017 .
  5., Here are your Atlanta Thrashers
  6., Thrashers select Patrik Stefan No. 1 after trading up ( Memento from June 20, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  7., game summary from October 14, 1999
  8., ( page no longer available , search in web archives: Where are they now? )@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  9., Dan Snyder Memorial
  10., ( page no longer available , search in web archives: Remembering Dan Snyder )@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  11., Felony charge dropped for Thrashers star's plea
  12. ^, Thrashers Trade Heatley to the Senators for Hossa
  13., HOCKEY; Holik Takes His Experience to the Thrashers
  14., NHL ROUNDUP; Against Ottawa, Losses Mount for the Islanders
  15., Kari Lehtonen # 32 - G
  16., 2005-2006 Regular Season - Game By Game Stats
  17., Stats 2005/06 Regular Season Forwards & Defensemen
  18., Recap Saturday, October 7, 2006
  19., Recap Thursday December 7, 2006
  20., NHL ROUNDUP; Backup Goalie Makes Certain Devils Steam Straight Ahead
  21. ^, Rangers' Sweep Sends Atlanta South
  22., HOCKEY; Tkachuk Traded Back To Blues
  23., Thrashers fire head coach Bob Hartley
  24., NHL ROUNDUP; Isles Need Overtime To End 5-Game Slide
  25. ^, Dallas and Pittsburgh Trade for Offense
  26., Thrashers name John Anderson Head Coach
  27., Rangers Lose Antropov, but Could Come Out Ahead
  28., New Jersey Devils Ilya Kovalchuk acquire from Atlanta Thrashers
  29., After missing playoffs, Thrashers fire coach Anderson, make Dudley GM
  30., Wait is over: Craig Ramsay lands Thrashers' coaching job
  31., Thrashers make big splash leading up to NHL Entry Draft
  32. a b c d e f g h, Atlanta Thrashers Team Valuations 2009
  33., NHL Arena Naming Rights ( Memento of November 7, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  34., NHL ticket prices ( Memento of the original from May 16, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  35., NHL Average Attendance since 1989-90 ( Memento of the original from May 16, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  36., NHL Team Valuations: # 27 Atlanta Thrashers 2008
  37., Forbes NHL Report 1999-00 ( Memento of 22 November 2008 at the Internet Archive )
  38., Forbes NHL Report 2002-03 ( Memento of November 22, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  39., Forbes NHL Report 2005-06 ( Memento of 21 November 2008 at the Internet Archive )
  40., Thrash The Mascot
  41., Mascot Madness - Thrash ( Memento of the original from September 4, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  42., Thrashers and SportSouth Announce 61-Game TV Schedule for 2009-2010
  43., Thrashers On TV
  44., Thrashers Radio
  45., 680 The Fan - Atlanta's Sports Station ( Memento of the original from September 17, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  46., Thrashers-TV on the official homepage of the Atlanta Thrashers ( memento of the original from April 30, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  47., Player Awards
  48., Dandy Dany ( Memento from June 28, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  49., NHL All-Star Game MVPs
  50., Lockout claims '05 All-Star Game
  51., A Brief History of the NHL All-Star Game
  52., Sakic's four assists lead West; Sabers' Briere voted MVP
  53., Savard's goal with 20.9 seconds left lifts East over West
  54., Doomed by defensive deficiencies ( Memento from August 30, 2003 in the Internet Archive )
  55., Anderson ousted as Thrashers head coach
  56. ^ Thrashers name Craig Ramsay as new coach. In: June 25, 2010, accessed May 23, 2017 .
  57., Thrashers fire coach, name Dudley GM
  58., Thrashers' Dudley not retained as GM by True North
  59., Atlanta Thrashers Draft History