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Atlanta Thrashers -> Ran into Don Waddell in the Sky Club this evening
 
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  ducksthrashers2002
 
December 18, 2011 6:11:45 pm
 
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Ran into Don Waddell in the Sky Club this evening
It was a good conversation and provided some closure. Nothing new but he really did feel like the league let us down.
 
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  ShutUp
 
December 18, 2011 7:06:05 pm
 
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quote:
Ducksthrashers2002 said...
It was a good conversation and provided some closure. Nothing new but he really did feel like the league let us down.



Can you provide some more info when you get a chance? Would be very interesting to hear about it.

 
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  Bongo
 
December 19, 2011 9:26:18 am
 
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Yes please. Not that you can believe a word that comes out of the cocksuckers mouth. I firmly believe he was adding and abetting ASG all the way to Winnipeg. Any hockey executive with a ounce of integrity would have told those cunts to **** off.
 
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  Pasimistic
 
December 19, 2011 5:44:20 pm
 
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I would have looked him dead in the face and said "Bobby Holik".
 
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  CheapSeats
 
December 19, 2011 10:07:33 pm
 
  Miss Stake

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meh - Waddel did what his bosses paid him to do. Maybe Waddel should have walked away, but how many owners would talk to him about another job in the front office if he did anything that hurt the owners? I doubt it was a**** of a lot of fun having to lie to fans for douchebag owners. He probably hoped that the league wouldn't let hockey fail here twice and would force ASG to keep the team in Atlanta.

But the NHL took the money to bail out Phoenix instead.

 
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  behind the net
 
December 19, 2011 10:44:58 pm
 
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You don't think that gargantuan failure could have fired his scouts after they managed to **** up too many 1st rounders, and don't even get started on the performance of 2nd, 3rd, 4th rounders under him as well.

Were the owners shitty, yes they were. If the team was any good on the ice, how much would it have mattered?

Waddell is just as responsible for this as the owners, he is the one who turned this franchise into a fucking disgrace on the ice. To hear him talk he wants you think he is some kind of victim. **** him. I don't think he even understands the major part he played in this, still in denial.

 
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  ducksthrashers2002
 
December 20, 2011 6:58:45 am
 
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quote:
shutup said...
quote:
Ducksthrashers2002 said...
It was a good conversation and provided some closure. Nothing new but he really did feel like the league let us down.



Can you provide some more info when you get a chance? Would be very interesting to hear about it.



Don saw me as he was stepping off the elevator into the club. He recognized me and came over to shake hands and chat for a couple of minutes.

My first question to him was, how in the**** do we screw this up? Now I know that some of you would have liked me to ask how he screwed it up, but sometimes you have to give people an out. He said that there really was just not enough time to put a deal together, and that if he had six more months, things would have been different. I asked him if ASG was completely to blame. He would not go that far. He noted that unlike some franchises, the team paid its bills, was not a ward of the league, did not have any owners in jail, did not declare bankruptcy, etc. He said they simply wanted out.

It was the Phoenix deal that really changed the timing. Until then they thought moving Phoenix to Winnipeg was a done deal and that they then would have time to work on finding a new owner in Atl. He said he felt the league, for some reason, had a favor to pay back to Winnipeg. I had the sense he was implying that if the owners did not jump on the Winnipeg deal, another troubled franchise would. He said he felt the league let us down in the Phoenix deal. They should have also worked harder to keep the franchise in Atlanta.

I pushed him a bit on the ownership. On this point he was very specific. He felt the owners officially lost the fans at the townhall meeting where (Levenson I believe) called someone a dumbass (I think that was the word).

It was then that I felt he engaged in a bit of revisionist history. He said that townhall meeting was the final straw and that they lost the core fans. He further said it was their intent to always cater to the hardcore followers. I disagreed with him. I reminded him of the first time he an I had a lunch meeting back in 1999/2000. At that meeting he asked me what did the team needed to do to reach out to the 4 million people in Atlanta in order to be successful. My response was it would be a huge mistake to do that. There were maybe 50,000 people in the area interested in hockey. His primary focus had to be to get 20000 of those 50000 in the arena every night. Any time, money or effort focusing on the other 3.95 million would be wasted if he was not able to keep the attention of the hardcore 50000. Once you had an established team with a winning tradition, only then should you spend time and money on further outreach.

Whether he agreed or disagreed with me, I can't tell. Like many others have said, one on one, Don is a pleasant person, although a bit of a "Shleprock" for those of you watched the Flintstones. I remain convinced that had he done a better job (or been more qualified), things would have been different. Still, he has always treated me with respect and has never avoided having a conversation with me when our paths have crossed.


 
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  Bongo
 
December 20, 2011 8:33:02 am
 
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I guess ASG didn't let him in on the phone conversations they were having with True North a year before this happened. Lying sacks of shit. Every last one of them.
 
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  Green Hornet
 
December 20, 2011 10:21:50 am
 
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I actually believe him on a couple of points Ś 1) The Phoenix deal changed everything, and 2) if we had another six months, the Thrashers would have a new local owner. Hell, I think if Phoenix had wound up back in Winnipeg, I don't know that it would've taken six months. I think it might've been as early as three months before the framework of a deal with a new local group had begun to take shape.

Beyond that, I agree with DT that he's engaging in some revisionist history.

 
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  kopykat
 
December 20, 2011 12:36:47 pm
 
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quote:
Green Hornet said...
I actually believe him on a couple of points Ś 1) The Phoenix deal changed everything,



it totally did. I still remember the morning after the Glendale City Council gave the go ahead to use PUBLIC money for a private business. I called my gf and said, "well, we're done like dinner."

 
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  CheapSeats
 
December 21, 2011 11:00:37 am
 
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No question the Thrashers lacked quality scouting. I always assumed a big part of that was the lack of Thrashers fans and alumni scattered around canada and europe like other teams. Something that just plain takes time to build. I think failing to embrace the ex-Flames that lived in Atlanta made that problem worse. I don't know who made that call, but it was a bad one.


But if you have a need to blame one particular person for killing the franchise, I'd go with Belkin for fragmenting owners, Levenson for being an incredible douchebag and alienating his core fans and Heatley for costing us the playoffs in 03-04 and a young, happy core of players way before I'd blame Waddell.

 
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  TheBrickwall
 
December 22, 2011 10:28:20 am
 
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quote:
CheapSeats said...

But if you have a need to blame one particular person for killing the franchise, I'd go with Belkin for fragmenting owners, Levenson for being an incredible douchebag and alienating his core fans and Heatley for costing us the playoffs in 03-04 and a young, happy core of players way before I'd blame Waddell.



Must be that "new maff" where 1 = 1 + 1 + 1

And who was here through the duration of it all? That's right, DW ("goaltending is way overrated") and his shitty little mock turtlenecks.


 
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  CheapSeats
 
December 22, 2011 2:38:53 pm
 
  Miss Stake

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quote:
thebrickwall said...
quote:
CheapSeats said...

But if you have a need to blame one particular person for killing the franchise, I'd go with Belkin for fragmenting owners, Levenson for being an incredible douchebag and alienating his core fans and Heatley for costing us the playoffs in 03-04 and a young, happy core of players way before I'd blame Waddell.



Must be that "new maff" where 1 = 1 + 1 + 1

And who was here through the duration of it all? That's right, DW ("goaltending is way overrated") and his shitty little mock turtlenecks.



I was saying if you want to pick JUST ONE, I don't know how you pick Waddell over one of those other 3.

 
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  COUSIN ELVIS
 
August 2, 2012 6:22:23 pm
 
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