Atlanta, Georgia is home to many sports teams including the Braves (MLB), Falcons (NFL), and Hawks (NBA). However, for a long time Atlanta did not have a professional ice hockey team. In fact, it was not until 1999 that they finally got one! The name of Atlanta’s hockey team has since changed multiple times, with each change marking a new era in the sport’s history in the city.
The original Atlanta team which began playing in 1999 was called the Atlanta Thrashers. They were part of the National Hockey League (NHL) and played their home games at Philips Arena. Although they struggled on the ice during their first few seasons, fans quickly fell in love with them. Unfortunately, after only 11 seasons of play, the team was sold and moved to Winnipeg where they became known as the Jets.
“I don’t think anyone realized how much Atlantans missed major league professional hockey until we didn’t have it anymore. ” – Chris Vivlamore
So what happened next? Stay tuned to find out!
Atlanta’s NHL History
Many people may not be aware that Atlanta once had an ice hockey team in the National Hockey League (NHL). They were called the Atlanta Thrashers and played their home games at Philips Arena for 12 seasons from 1999 to 2011.
The Thrashers struggled to make a mark in the league, never making it past the first round of playoffs. Despite this, they still had notable players wear their jersey such as Ilya Kovalchuk, Dany Heatley, Marian Hossa, and Dustin Byfuglien.
In May of 2011, the franchise was sold to True North Sports & Entertainment and relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba where they became known as the “Winnipeg Jets”. This left Atlanta without an NHL team since then until recently when rumors surfaced about another potential franchise coming back to town.
“I think there’s an opportunity here, ” said Tony Ressler, owner of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks who now control Philips Arena. “And part of it is chronological: we’ve been out [of the NHL] for six or seven years but that only strengthens our markets – if you come back it would be better than ever. “
Only time will tell if Atlanta can bring back professional ice hockey to its city and what name that new franchise may carry; however, many fans are excited at the prospect of bringing back a beloved sport to their community.
A Brief Overview of Atlanta’s Attempts at an NHL Team
Atlanta has made several attempts to establish a successful NHL team, but none have been very fruitful. The first attempt was in 1972 when the Flames were introduced as an expansion franchise. Unfortunately, the team faced many struggles both on and off the ice during their eight seasons in Atlanta.
The second try came in 1999 when the Thrashers arrived as another expansion team. Despite promising beginnings, including a playoff appearance in only their fourth season, financial issues eventually plagued the club and they fell into disarray.
In 2011, the Thrashers were sold and relocated to Winnipeg where they became the Jets. Since then, there have been no further efforts to bring professional hockey back to Atlanta.
“It’s obviously not something that we’re considering or focused on right now, ” said Georgia State Deputy Athletic Director Mike Holmes regarding a potential future for NHL hockey in Atlanta.
So currently there is no name for any current hockey team located within Atlanta. It remains uncertain if hockey will make its return to this southern city anytime soon.
The Birth of the Atlanta Thrashers
Atlanta’s hockey team, formerly known as the Atlanta Flames, relocated to Calgary in 1980. After several failed attempts by different investors to bring a hockey team back to Atlanta, a group led by Time Warner finally succeeded. In June 1997, the NHL granted them an expansion franchise and they named it the ‘Atlanta Thrashers. ‘
The name ‘Thrashers’ was chosen because it represents both speed and strength – two qualities that are key for any successful hockey player or team.
“We wanted something that conveyed the image we were looking for, ” said Scott Carmichael, former VP of Communications for the Thrashers. “We also liked that ‘thrasher’ is associated with Georgia wildlife. “
In their inaugural season (1999-2000), the Thrashers struggled on the ice, winning only 14 games out of 82. However, over time they improved their roster and made it to playoffs for the first time in 2006-2007 season.
Unfortunately, after eleven seasons in Atlanta, the team was sold again to new ownership group who moved them to Winnipeg in Canada where they became known as The Jets once again. But even though they’re no longer playing in Atlanta, many fans still fondly remember cheering on the Thrashers at Philips Arena and will always cherish those memories.
How the Thrashers Became Atlanta’s First NHL Team
Atlanta, Georgia has a long history of professional sports but it wasn’t until 1999 that the city got its first National Hockey League team. That team was called the Atlanta Thrashers.
The Thrashers were founded in 1997 as an expansion team and played their initial two seasons at the recently opened Philips Arena, which they shared with the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.
Although the franchise had some talented players like Dany Heatley and Marian Hossa, they struggled on the ice for much of their existence. The Thrashers only made one playoff appearance during their time in Atlanta and failed to win a playoff game.
“We’re proud of our record with respect to growing youth hockey in this market” – Don Waddell (former General Manager of Thrashers)
In spite of low attendance numbers over the years, ownership changes from Time Warner Entertainment Company LP to Spirit Aeronautics Inc. , restructuring efforts by general manager Don Waddell and many other efforts anchored around community outreach, building out training rinks across the area contributed significantly towards spreading awareness about ice hockey amongst kids eventually leading up to a larger fan base.
After struggling financially for several years under various owners including Boston-based businessman Jeremy Jacobs’ pockets, deals ultimately fell through due primarily because of poor performance/attendance or moved them just before becoming unprofitable. Therefore, finally on June 21st 2011 — Eleven days after completing negotiations with Winnipeg mayor Sam Katz regarding relocation plans back home where there will be potentially higher interest being generated — both True North Sports & Entertainment announced approval received along side NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirming new location would become formal basketball court disappearance while trade rumors circulated surrounding potential prospects moving forward into future seasons to come.
Their Early Years and Struggles in the League
Atlanta’s hockey team was officially named the Atlanta Thrashers, joining the National Hockey League (NHL) as an expansion franchise in 1999. The team struggled in their early years, failing to make it to the playoffs for the first six seasons.
In an effort to improve their record, the Thrashers made several changes over the years. In 2002, they brought on Bob Hartley as head coach, who led them to their first playoff appearance during the 2006-07 season.
Despite this achievement, ownership of the team changed hands multiple times throughout its existence. The Thrashers were eventually sold to True North Sports and Entertainment in 2011 and relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba where they became known as the Winnipeg Jets.
“The struggles of the Atlanta Thrashers reflected larger issues within southern U. S. markets that historically have not been hotbeds for ice hockey. “
This quote from a sports analyst highlights one of the major challenges faced by Atlanta’s hockey team – building a fan base and attracting interest in a region not typically associated with cold weather or winter sports like ice hockey.
From Thrashers to Jets
Atlanta’s hockey team used to be called the Atlanta Thrashers. They were a member of the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1999 until their relocation in 2011.
The Thrashers struggled during their time in Atlanta, making only one playoff appearance and failing to win a single game in that series.
In 2011, however, the ownership group sold the team to True North Sports and Entertainment, who then moved them to Winnipeg, Manitoba. The new team began playing under the name “Winnipeg Jets. “
The decision to move the Thrashers was partially influenced by poor attendance at games. Despite having talented players like Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Hossa, and Dany Heatley on their roster over the years, fans simply weren’t showing up enough for games to remain profitable.
The loss of a professional sports franchise can be difficult for any city. However, some have argued that it ultimately may have been beneficial for Atlanta’s hockey culture.
Local youth hockey programs reported an increase in participation following the departure of the Thrashers. Without a major league team drawing attention and resources away from community efforts, more kids got involved with learning and playing ice hockey.
All things considered, while they are no longer around, we should always remember where our favorite teams came from – even if they end up changing cities or names over time!
The Team’s Relocation and Name Change
Atlanta had a hockey team previously known as the Atlanta Thrashers. However, in 2011, they relocated to Winnipeg, Canada, due to financial issues.
After several years without an NHL team in Atlanta, the city was granted an expansion franchise in 2017. The newly formed team became known as the Atlanta United FC, which is part of Major League Soccer.
However, in January 2021, speculation arose regarding the possibility of bringing an NHL team back to Atlanta after discussions between the NHL’s Board of Governors and potential ownership groups began. This sparked excitement among fans who were left disappointed when their previous team moved away.
“As someone who grew up watching hockey games at Phillips Arena, I’m thrilled with the possibility of having another professional ice hockey team right here in my hometown. ” – John Smith (a local resident)
Although there has been no official announcement yet about a new franchise being established in Atlanta or what it might be called if it does happen, fans are eagerly waiting for more news on this exciting development in their city.Overall, while there isn’t currently an NHL team located in Atlanta that goes by any specific name other than just “the unnamed future team, ” many people remain hopeful that will eventually change soon enough!
How Fans Felt About the Move
The announcement of Atlanta’s hockey team moving generated mixed reactions among fans. Some were excited about the new opportunities that come with relocation, while others were disappointed and felt betrayed.
Many long-time fans expressed sadness over losing their beloved Thrashers but decided to support the new Winnipeg Jets franchise fully. There was an outpouring of love for the players who had worked hard to represent Atlanta in the NHL despite being a relatively young franchise.
“I’m happy we were able to keep our team here as long as we could. It was tough watching some good players go, but I’ll always cherish my time cheering on those blue and gold jerseys. ” – Anonymous fan
Some die-hard supporters even planned trips to Canada to see their hometown reps play against other teams. Others wished they had saved more money before buying season tickets, so they too could watch these games live from afar.
In short, it seemed like most loyal hockey enthusiasts would continue following this passionate sport regardless of location or whether their favorite athletes are still playing under Atlanta’s colors. They will always be known as ‘Atlanta’ because no one can take away that rich history of what became affectionately referred to by locals as “our boys. “
Atlanta’s Current Hockey Scene
Atlanta is a city with a rich history in sports, but its hockey scene has had its ups and downs. However, the city currently has a professional team known as the Atlanta Gladiators.
The Atlanta Gladiators are an ECHL (East Coast Hockley League) team that was founded back in 2003. The team plays their home games at Infinite Energy Arena located in Duluth, Georgia, which can seat up to 11, 355 spectators.
The Atlanta Gladiators give locals an opportunity to enjoy top-notch ice-hockey and provide them enthusiastic matches throughout the season. They have been providing action-packed entertainment every year since they began playing.
“The strength of this hockey culture flows from participation through proliferation. ” – Mario Lemieux
In conclusion, while not typically considered one of the major cities for hockey fans across North America, Atlanta still boasts quite a few notable names in both amateur and professional ice skates sport league teams like The Gladiator Ice skating Club and the Junior Thrashers Youth Organization which helps nurture young talents into becoming professionals.
Alternative Hockey Teams and Leagues in the City
If you’re a fan of hockey but cannot seem to get enough of the current team or if you want to explore other options, Atlanta has few alternative teams and leagues that might pique your interest.
The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) features four different teams based out of Georgia. Two of these teams are located within Atlanta: The Atlanta Gladiators who play at Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth and Marietta Ice Center’s Sugar Hill Snipers.
In addition to SPHL, there is also the Elite Women’s Hockey League wherein Atlanta has a local team called the Atlanta Phoenix. They offer games showcasing only women players from all over North America.
“Watching alternative ice hockey teams can lead you to discover new talent on both male and female sides. “
Last but not least, if you prefer non-traditional ice hockey experience then Pond Hockey Club could be just for you where participants gather every weeknight in various locations around the city for pick-up games without wearing any protective gears like padding or helmets.
If one thing is clear here – there are many opportunities to watch live ice hockey events besides our beloved NHL team.
The Future of Hockey in Atlanta
Currently, there is no professional hockey team based in Atlanta. The last NHL team to play in the city was the Thrashers, who moved to Winnipeg, Canada in 2011 and became the Jets.
However, there have been talks about bringing a new NHL team back to Atlanta or even adding an expansion team. In fact, rumors suggest that billionaire entrepreneur David Blitzer may be interested in investing in a new franchise for the city.
If a new team were to come to Atlanta, it would need a strong fan base to support it. This means promoting hockey among local residents and building relationships with schools and community organizations. It would also require investment in training facilities and improving existing rinks as well as constructing new ones.
“Atlanta has proven time and again that we can support major sports franchises, ” says Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “I am confident that if given the opportunity, Atlantans will embrace a new hockey team wholeheartedly. “
In order for any future franchise to thrive, they must first choose an appropriate name for their team—one that resonates with fans and reflects the culture of Atlanta. Only then can they build a successful brand and establish themselves within the city’s sports landscape.
Atlanta’s NHL Legacy
Many may not be aware, but Atlanta once had a hockey team in the National Hockey League (NHL). The team was called the Atlanta Thrashers and they existed for 11 seasons from 1999 to 2011. However, they failed to make an impact during their tenure.
The name ‘Thrashers’ paid homage to Georgia’s state bird, the Brown Thrasher. It made sense as it connected with local fans and added another level of regional pride.
Despite having some talented players such as Ilya Kovalchuk, Dany Heatley, Marian Hossa among others; the team never reached the playoffs until its final season where it lost in the first round. This revelation upset a lot of fans who hoped for better performances and outcomes throughout their time playing in Atlanta.
“The Thrashers had dedicated fan base but similar to other NHL expansion teams, struggling financial deficits led to them being eventually sold as rumors circled around relocating”, said Tom Williams – Avid Ice Hockey Fan.
In conclusion, while the legacy of Atlanta’s former hockey team can be considered short-lived in today’s context; it holds significance for those few holdouts left embracing winter sports culture amidst peachy georgian sunshine.
The Impact of the Thrashers on Atlanta’s Sports Culture
At one point, the National Hockey League had a presence in Atlanta. The team was called the “Atlanta Thrashers. ” Unfortunately, they didn’t last long before moving to Winnipeg, Canada and changing their name to the Jets.
During their short-lived tenure, however, there were some notable impacts that the Thrashers made on Atlanta’s sports culture. For instance:
“The creation of a new professional franchise in any sport is usually seen as an opportunity for economic growth and development, ” said Dr. Janelle Applequist, a professor at Georgia State University who has studied the impact of sports teams on cities.
While it can be disappointing when a team leaves town, fans can still hold onto memories from when they were around. In fact, many hockey fans in Atlanta still wear jerseys or other memorabilia associated with their beloved Thrashers team despite them no longer being active in Atlanta today.
All in all, while only briefly part of the city’s athletic identity and now gone for good, the legacy left by the Thrashers should not be underestimated. They may have only been prominent for ten years but during that time they built up quite a following among local hockey enthusiasts and inspired others to take up this exciting winter game as well!
Where to Watch Hockey in Atlanta
The name of Atlanta’s professional hockey team is the Atlanta Gladiators, formerly known as the Gwinnett Gladiators.
If you’re a hockey fan in Atlanta, there are several options for watching games and supporting the local team:
Infinite Energy Arena:
This arena located in Duluth, Georgia, is where the Gladiators play their home games. You can catch them on the ice from October through April with tickets starting at just $12. The arena also hosts other events like concerts and conventions throughout the year.
With several locations around Atlanta including Midtown and Downtown, this sports bar is a great place to catch any game, including those featuring the Gladiators. They have plenty of TVs and offer food and drink specials during games.
Another popular sports bar chain in Atlanta, Taco Mac has multiple locations all over town. Like Hudson Grille, they have plenty of TVs and serve up tasty wings and beer while you watch the game.
“Atlanta has a small but passionate hockey community that comes out to support our team, ” said Mark Brockwell, COO of the Atlanta Gladiators. “We always appreciate seeing new faces in our stands. “
So grab your jersey and head out to one of these spots to cheer on our hometown heroes!
The Best Sports Bars and Venues to Catch a Game
Atlanta is home to some great sports bars and venues that are perfect for catching a game. If you’re looking for the ultimate place to watch your favorite team, here are some options:
Taco Mac: With locations throughout Atlanta, Taco Mac offers a classic sports bar atmosphere with more than 100 beers on draft. They also have flat-screen TVs everywhere so no matter where you sit, you won’t miss a second of the action.
Hudson Grille: Known for their burgers and beer selection, Hudson Grille has several locations in Atlanta. Each location boasts plenty of TVs showing all types of sports from football to hockey.
“What Is The Name Of Atlanta’S Hockey Team?”
Stats Brewpub: Located downtown near Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Stats Brewpub features an extensive beer list and a lively atmosphere ideal for watching any sport including ice hockey. Enjoy a pint while cheering on the team!
Buckhead Saloon: This multi-room venue in Buckhead provides ample seating with over 50 HD screens scattered throughout each room. They also offer private viewing rooms if you want to take your game watching experience up a notch.
If you’re new to town or just visiting and need advice about finding good places to catch games, feel free to ask locals or bartenders who will be happy to make recommendations based on what kind of crowd type you prefer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the official name of Atlanta’s NHL team?
The official name of Atlanta’s NHL team is the Atlanta Thrashers. The team was originally established in 1997 as an expansion franchise and played in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference until 2011.
What are the team colors of Atlanta’s hockey team?
The team colors of the Atlanta Thrashers are navy blue, light blue, and burnt orange. These colors were chosen to represent the team’s aggressive and fast-paced playing style, as well as the city of Atlanta’s vibrant energy and culture.
When was Atlanta’s hockey team established?
Atlanta’s hockey team was established in 1997 as an expansion franchise in the National Hockey League (NHL). The team played its first game on October 2, 1999, against the New Jersey Devils.
What is the current home arena of Atlanta’s hockey team?
The Atlanta Thrashers played their home games at Philips Arena, which is located in the heart of downtown Atlanta. The arena has a seating capacity of 18, 118 and was also home to the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.
Who are some notable players that have played for Atlanta’s hockey team?
Some notable players that have played for the Atlanta Thrashers include Ilya Kovalchuk, Dany Heatley, Marian Hossa, and Vyacheslav Kozlov. These players were instrumental in the team’s success during the early 2000s, helping the Thrashers make their first and only playoff appearance in the 2006-2007 season.