NHL Teams

Georgia Hockey Team NHL and Atlanta Expansion

By Debin Luitel / 25 September 2023 10:03 AM

Source : nhluniforms

Georgia NHL hockey teams were the Atlanta Thrashers and Atlanta Flames. There are rumors about potential NHL expansion in Atlanta.

The Thrashers were established in 1999 as an expansion team and were a part of the NHL until 2011. The team faced financial challenges and struggled to build a strong fan base, ultimately leading to its relocation to Winnipeg, where it became the Winnipeg Jets.

Both teams eventually relocated, with the Flames moving to Calgary and the Thrashers to Winnipeg, due to various reasons including financial difficulties and ownership issues.

The possibility of NHL expansion in Atlanta is a topic of ongoing discussion. The city’s large market size, passionate sports fans, and previous experience make it an attractive option for potential expansion or relocation.

However, any such decision would depend on various factors including market research, financial considerations, and the NHL’s strategic plans. 

As of now, while there are no concrete plans for an NHL return to Atlanta, the possibility remains a topic of interest among hockey enthusiasts.

Does Atlanta have a hockey team now?

No, Atlanta does not currently have a hockey team in the NHL. However, the city has a hockey team in ECHL, named the Atlanta Gladiators.

The Gladiators are a minor league ice hockey team based in Duluth, Georgia. They play in the South Division of the ECHL's Eastern Conference.

They play their home games at Gas South Arena, which is approximately 22 miles (35 km) northeast of Atlanta. The Gladiators are the ECHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators and provide family-friendly, affordable fun to Metro Atlanta.

Source : corebine

NHL Georgia Team over the years are the Atlanta Flames and the Atlanta Thrashers. The Flames were part of the NHL from 1972 until 1980 when they relocated to Calgary.

The Thrashers joined the league in 1999 but relocated to Winnipeg in 2011 due to financial difficulties and low attendance.

Despite these setbacks, Atlanta remains a large market with a passionate sports culture. There have been ongoing discussions about potential NHL expansion to Atlanta.

Although there are no official confirmations yet, there are signs indicating that the city could once again host an NHL team in the future.

NHL To Atlanta Expansion Ideas

There are ongoing discussions about potential NHL Expansion Atlanta. It is not imminent, but cannot be ruled out to happen in the near future.

The NHL’s deputy commissioner, Bill Daly, has expressed optimism that a third franchise in Atlanta would yield better results than the two previous failed expansion teams.

Daly believes that the challenges that led to the failure of the past teams can be overcome. Potential locations for a new team have been discussed, with Alpharetta and South Forsyth County being mentioned as possible sites.

The success of recent expansions, such as the Vegas Golden Knights and Seattle Kraken, has generated more interest from potential owners.

As for team names, while no specific names have been proposed yet, any new team would likely carry a name that resonates with the local community and reflects Atlanta’s culture and history.

Potential Team Names:

Atlanta Phoenix - The phoenix is a symbol of rebirth and resilience, much like Atlanta’s potential return to the NHL.
Atlanta Firebirds - This name pays homage to the Atlanta Flames, one of the city’s previous NHL teams.
Atlanta Thrashers Redux - A nod to the city’s most recent NHL team, the Thrashers.

Targeted Cities:

Downtown Atlanta - The heart of the city and a hub for sports, with venues like the State Farm Arena and Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Alpharetta - A rapidly growing city in the Atlanta metropolitan area with a strong community presence.
Duluth - Home to the Infinite Energy Arena, which has previously hosted hockey games.

Atlanta NHL Teams In The Past

Atlanta has been home to two NHL teams in history: the Atlanta Flames (1972-1980) and the Atlanta Thrashers (1999-2011).

Both teams eventually relocated due to various challenges, leaving Atlanta without an NHL team. Despite this, the city’s passion for hockey endures, and discussions about potential NHL expansion in Atlanta continue.

Atlanta Flames (1972-1980)

The Atlanta Flames were the first NHL team based in Atlanta. The Flames were part of the NHL from 1972-80 when they relocated to Calgary.

They played their home games in the Omni Coliseum and were members of the West and later Patrick divisions of the National Hockey League.

Source : pinimg

The Flames enjoyed modest success on the ice, qualifying for the playoffs in six of its eight seasons, but failed to win a playoff series and won only two post-season games total.

The franchise struggled to draw fans and, after averaging only 10,000 per game in the early years of 1979-80, was sold and relocated to Alberta to become the Calgary Flames.

Atlanta Thrashers (1999-2011)

The Atlanta Thrashers were the second NHL team based in Atlanta. The Thrashers were founded in 1999 and played in the NHL until 2011.

They were members of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference and played their home games at what is now known as State Farm Arena in downtown Atlanta.

Source : georgiaencyclopedia

The Thrashers qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs in the 2006-07 season, after winning the Southeast Division, but were swept in the first round by the New York Rangers.

What happened to the Atlanta Thrashers? In May 2011, due to financial difficulties and low attendance, the Thrashers were sold to Canadian-based ownership group True North Sports & Entertainment.

Atlanta thrashers moving to Winnipeg became the second incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets.

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