Town Hall Meeting
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02-06-2010, 11:00 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Originally Posted by
any updates on what was said?
Hey ya'll! Just back from Phillips Arena! Guess what?? There was a REAL NHL quality hockey game tonight, and OUR TEAM was one of them!!!! Ha! I'm soooooo giddy! It was awesome! First really really fun night all season!
Great crowd and yes, everyone there (except for the drunken corporate geeks in front of us) knew who the "new guys" were and knew that Kovy was gone.....
Anyways, the town hall was exciting if not awkward for a while.
Levenson and Peskowitz and the President of Phillips Arena were all there. They let DW take the heat for most of the night.
Gotta give it to Waddell, he was pretty funny and self-depricating about himself and the team. If you have already heard about the Q&A, then pass the rest of my post, if not, I'll give some info.....
Valabik tore his ACL. He's toast for the year.
Bus ride was supposed to be 120 miles outta DC this morning to Richmond. It took until 2:00 or so. They left at 9 am. Waddell made a joke to Bergfors...he said, "welcome to Atlanta Thrashers."
The airport had one de-ice truck and 4 planes waiting. At 4:00, the airport was going to shut down, the team plane made a Kamikazi run to get off the ground before that.
Don talked to Grossman as early as April to get a feel for negotiations. He went to Kovy's house in June. They discussed who Kovy wanted DW to sign during free agency and who he wanted to trade for. It was totally Kovy's team. Money never came up. Kovy wanted to wait until the season started to decide about signing.
You all probably know the rest, nothing new.
The questions were really harsh with just one guy asking why the sausages were smaller at the arena this year!
One guy actually asked my first question in the Town Hall thread. Don, you are the face of the franchise, why do you suck....not his exact words, but that's what it was.
Waddell admitted mistakes were made. He totally misread Kovy. It was all about money and if he had known that early on, he would have probably traded him early.
He basically said firmly that Kari is as good as gone as soon as someone calls to see if they can have him. He didn't name names but he joked (and was funny) about how the guy that hasn't played is going to be the odd man out. He said seriously that the guys don't feel like they can count on him anymore. Hedberg is the room leader now along with Hainsey (nice fight by Hainsey tonight!). The bench went crazy.
He's talking to Kubina's agent already. He sat down with Armstrong last week and wants very much to resign both. Army may be the tougher sell (My guess based on his tone).
He hedged on Afinogenov. Said he had bigger offers from the KHL and took our offer instead. He said Max knows he is needed down the stretch and if he steps up (like tonight) he will consider making an offer to him.
DW did mention Moose was on the list of guys that needed to be re-signed too. Someone yelled Slater, DW said there was an order of priority.
Cormier was Dudley's choice and will be given every opportunity to be on the big club next year. I don't remember exactly, but I think DW said he would be in the lineup next year.
He mentioned that it was important to restructure the team as a team, not individuals, then he humorously caught himself and said, "well you guys like Dudley better so I'll tell you that HE thinks we should restructure the team....." That got a good laugh.
He said that if Kovy is unsigned on July 1, he would definitely call him.
The guys in the room are stepping up and talking more, taking more initiative and the atmosphere is very, very relieved. They were glad there were "changes" made.
Waddell was very complimentary of Kovy, but also mixed in about how the team was now happier? ( They showed it for sure tonight)
The crowd was incredible. They gave the new guys a standing ovation. People tried to get a BERGIE chant going after he scored. The kid was grinning ear to ear, especially at the end of the game when he was announced first star. He's going to be money the more comfortable he gets. He was tentative to shoot for the first period, plus.
Oduya was the 3rd star and he came out and applauded the crowd.
It was quite the lovefest for the team tonight. It was loud all night
OH YA.....someone asked about the coach not preparing the team to play 60 mins. DW agreed that he hated sitting and watching that and they have had many talks about it. He said he would just keep talking and keep us all down in the meeting until the end of the first period because we all knew it would be 2-0 at the end of it. (HOW RIGHT THAT TURNED OUT TO BE! lol).
Then Levenson spoke about getting letters and emails and info that people weren't going to buy tickets until DW was fired. (He sounded much different than the last time he put his foot in his mouth about telling people to get over it). He actually sounded concilliatory (spelling?) when he spoke! He said that he knew attendance would get better if he fires Don but he's known DW for a long time, trusts him, and wants to learn with him. That's why they hired Dudley to scout talent. (Actually, DW seemed much more relaxed tonight and maybe that's because all he has to do now is be the front man).
Levenson said he had no problem firing the Hawks GM and the new guy set about rebuilding the bball team. He wants to do the same with the hockey team and said that if he wasn't serious about hockey making it in Atlanta, he wouldn't have offered Kovalchuk 101 million dollars. With the $48 mil. they already paid him, he'd had made 149 mil. in his years here.
The 101 mil. is more than any of the Hawks contracts are worth. (That is actually impressive considering Bball gets TV money.).
At one point, someone was asking DW a question about how serious the owners were about keeping a team here and during the question, I noticed Levenson (who was standing near the wall at the time) actually bristled and shook his head, like "No, we DO CARE."
Anyways, the Town Hall actually gave a more positive outlook on the intentions that the franchise will exist here. That's what I was looking for. The gobbledy gook about the Kovy stuff didn't interest me, it was still bumbled and people let Don know it, that was good.
Well, that's enough of me, if you have other questions, ask and I'll let you know what else there was.....
Last edited by ThrasherMinion: 02-06-2010 at
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