Atlanta Thrashers

Atlanta Thrashers

NHL Team
team_name = Atlanta Thrashers
bg_color = #4C82C3
text_color = #FDB231

conference = Eastern
division = Southeast
founded = 1999
history = Atlanta Thrashers
1999 - present
arena = Philips Arena
city = Atlanta, Georgia
media_affiliates = SportSouth
WCNN (680 AM)
team_colors = Ice Blue, Midnight Blue, Bronze, Copper, Gold, White
owner = Atlanta Spirit, LLC
general_manager = flagicon|USA Don Waddell
head_coach = flagicon|CAN John Anderson
captain = "Vacant"
minor_league_affiliates = Chicago Wolves (AHL)
Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL)
stanley_cups = None
conf_titles = None
division_titles = 2006–07

The Atlanta Thrashers are a professional ice hockey team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are members of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). Since their inception, they have played their home games at Philips Arena. The Thrashers have qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs once in their seven seasons in the NHL, during the 2006-07 season.

Franchise history

Atlanta was awarded a NHL franchise on June 25, 1997. This marked a return to Atlanta, Georgia by the NHL. The old Atlanta Flames team departed for Calgary in 1980 and became the Calgary Flames.

The nickname "Thrashers", after Georgia's state bird, the brown thrasher, was selected from a fan poll. "Thrashers" had actually been runner-up to "Flames" for Atlanta's first NHL team and Philips Arena, the Thrashers' new home, was built on the site of the former Omni, which had been home to the Flames.

The newly-formed Thrashers selected Patrik Stefan with the first overall selection in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. They played their first game on October 2, 1999, losing 4–1 to the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the New Jersey Devils. Captain Kelly Buchberger scored the franchise's first goal in the loss.

On September 21, 2003, the team was sold to a group of Atlanta Spirit, LLC by Time Warner, along with the National Basketball Association's Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta Spirit consists of Bruce Levenson, Ed Pestkowitz, Rutherford Seydel, Beau Turner, Michael Gearon, Sr., Michael Gearon, Jr., Felix Riccio and Steve Belkin. That same month brought tragedy as just five days later, star forward Dany Heatley crashed his Ferrari in a one-car accident that seriously injured him (broken jaw and arm, sprained wrist, torn ACL and MCL) and severely injured Thrashers center Dan Snyder, who died five days later due to infection stemming from the accident. The Thrashers dedicated their 2003–04 NHL season in Snyder's memory. Heatley's blood alcohol content was far below the legal limit, but his combination of speeding (he was driving an estimated 80 miles per hour) and recklessness led to criminal charges (eventually settled with three years' probation and a penalty of community service).

Thrashers players wore black patches with Snyder's number, 37, on their jerseys. At the end of the season, Heatley requested a trade for personal reasons. Heatley was traded to Ottawa in a move that brought Marian Hossa, a four-time 30 goal scorer at the time of the trade, to Atlanta. At the end of the 06–07 season, Hossa had made his mark as the first Thrasher to score 100 points in one season, eclipsing Ilya Kovalchuk's franchise record of 98 points.

The Thrashers clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in team history in the 2006–2007 season, while also capturing the first division championship in franchise history. They were swept 4–0 in the first round of the playoffs by the New York Rangers.

2003–04 Season Recap

Led by captain Shawn McEachern, the Thrashers jumped quickly out of the gate with some notable highlights. Ilya Kovalchuk scored eight goals in the first seven games, including two hat tricks, one in a 7–2 rout of the Chicago Blackhawks and another in a come-from-behind victory against the Nashville Predators. Those comeback victories became a recurring sight throughout the season, including shocking upsets against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins, and the Ottawa Senators, as well as wins from games against the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Islanders.

Eleven games into the season, the Thrashers were alone in first place atop both the Southeast Division the NHL. Although they continued to play well, they could not keep up with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the eventual Stanley Cup champions, or other teams in the league. The absence of Heatley and a lack of depth started to appear. Boxing Day 2003 marked both a bright and dark day for the Thrash. On that day, Heatley skated for the first time since his car accident with Snyder, but it also marked the last win for the Thrashers before an extended losing streak. From December 28 to February 11 the Thrashers went a dismal 1–17–3. However, fans were entertained regardless of the team's struggles. Kovalchuk became only the second Thrashers' player to score in the NHL All-Star Game (after Heatley), an exciting overtime 4–1 win against the Vancouver Canucks.

While the Thrashers' playoff hopes were done for the year, they still played on and ended up finishing second in the Southeast Division and tenth in the Eastern Conference, only a handful of wins away from the playoffs. Kovalchuk ended up tying for the league lead in goals (41) with Jarome Iginla and Rick Nash. Goaltender Kari Lehtonen started his NHL career with four wins in four starts, including one shutout.

2005–06 Season Recap

Before the start of the 2005–06 season, the Thrashers picked up many veteran players in the hopes of making the playoffs for the first time. They signed Mike Dunham, Peter Bondra, Bobby Holik, Jaroslav Modry, and Scott Mellanby. They traded Dany Heatley on August 23, 2005, to the Ottawa Senators, in a blockbuster deal for forward Marian Hossa and defenseman Greg de Vries.

The 2005–06 season saw the Thrashers win a club-record 41 games, even with numerous goaltending injuries. Only a few minutes into the first game of the season, Lehtonen pulled his groin, an injury that would keep him out for a good portion of the season. Veteran backup Mike Dunham, an experienced number-one net minder, stepped in, but also promptly injured himself only a few games later; this left only prospects Michael Garnett and Adam Berkhoel to mind the nets. Journeyman goalie Steve Shields was signed, but he too was injured within ten games. On April 6, Lehtonen was run into by Tampa Bay's Chris Dingman, injuring him yet again. The remainder of the season was left to Dunham. Garnett was injured in a game against the Washington Capitals. Dunham, who had started the game but was relieved by the young rookie after poor play, was forced back into action in the third period.


"For a complete overview of the 2006–07 season, see 2006–07 Atlanta Thrashers season"

October 13, 2006, the first official event on the new SportSouth was a National Hockey League game between the Atlanta Thrashers and the Carolina Hurricanes. The Thrashers ended up losing 4–3, giving the Hurricanes their first win of the season. On April 24, 2007, team captain Scott Mellanby announced his retirement. On October 17, coach Bob Hartley was fired after an 0–6 start.

January 27, 2008, The NHL All-Star Game was played for the first time in Philips Arena matching the Eastern Conference All-Stars vs. the Western Conference All-Stars with the East winning 8–7 on former Thrasher Marc Savard scoring the game winner late in the 3rd period. Savard spurned Atlanta for a 2–year deal with Boston after the 2005–06 season but was cheered on by the crowd the entire night. The game was originally scheduled for the 2004–05 season but due to the lockout, 2008 was the next available date.

Team colors and mascot


The current team colors are ice blue, navy blue, red, and gold. In 2003, the NHL decided to switch home and road jerseys. In 2007, Reebok came out with the new jerseys. It is now called a RBK EDGE jersey, and the piping has only changed for the Thrasher's jerseys. [cite web|url=|title=NHL 'quacked' up with hockey jersey switch|first=Kristofer|last=Karol|publisher=State News|date=2003-01-27|accessdate=2006–08–30] Atlanta unveiled its new third jersey, red with white and gold trim on October 10, 2008. [cite web|url=|title=Thrashers Unveil Third Jerseys|date=2008-10-08|accessdate=2008-10-10, including a photo timeline of Thrashers jerseys.]


The team's mascot is Thrash, a Brown Thrasher.

tatistics and records

Individual records

Regular season

*Most Goals in a season: Ilya Kovalchuk, 52 (2005–06), (2007–08)
*Most Assists in a season: Marc Savard, 69 (2005–06)
*Most Points in a season: Marian Hossa, 100 (2006–07)
*Most Penalty Minutes in a season: Jeff Odgers, 226 (2000–01)
*Most Points in a season, defenseman: Jaroslav Modry, 38 (2005–06); Tobias Enstrom, 38 (2007–08); Alexei Zhitnik, 38 (2006-07)
*Most Points in a season, rookie: Dany Heatley, 67 (2001–02)
*Most Wins in a season: Kari Lehtonen, 34 (2006–07)
*Most Shutouts in a season: Kari Lehtonen, 4 (2006–07), (2007–08)

eason-by-season record

"This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Thrashers. For the full season-by-season history, see Atlanta Thrashers seasons"

"Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes"

NHL awards and trophies

Calder Memorial Trophy
*Dany Heatley: 2001-02

Rocket Richard Trophy
*Ilya Kovalchuk: 2003-04 (shared with Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames and Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets)


The Atlanta Thrashers are broadcast on cable television on SportSouth, which is available in many Deep South states. Until October 13, 2006, SportSouth was known as Turner South. In 2006-07, the channel will broadcast about 75% of the team's schedule. Outside of the league's contract with NBC, the team has no broadcast (over-the-air) TV contract; thus, games are only available on television to fans with cable or satellite.

Radio coverage includes play-by-play of all games on 680 The Fan -- an AM sports station in Atlanta. The station is the flagship of a network that includes 18 stations. Most are in Georgia, but there are two affiliates in South Carolina and one in Scottsboro, Alabama.


JP Dellacamera TV Play-by-Play
Darren Eliot TV Color Analyst
Dan Kamal Radio Play-by-Play


ee also

*Atlanta Flames
*List of NHL players
*List of NHL seasons
*List of NHL franchise post-season droughts

External links

* [ Official website of the Atlanta Thrashers]

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