Atlanta Thrashers

2003 Atlanta Thrashers

The Atlanta Thrashers are not only one of the NHL's newest franchises, but also one of its most exciting. The Thrashers began play in 1999, the same year downtown Atlanta saw the completion of the Philips Arena, which is without a doubt one of the most sophisticated facilities in the NHL -- designed specifically for the Thrashers as well as the NBA Hawks, it offers unparalleled sightlines and state of the art amenities.

The Thrashers have an exciting fresh team, featuring Dany Heatley who in his young career has already won the All-Star Game MVP award and the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year. The Thrashers' philosophy of team building with a solid foundation of bright young stars is starting to bear fruit as they continue to improve on the ice every year. With Heatley and Ilya Kovulchuk and new coach Shawn McEachern, the Thrashers are a threat to score every time they cross the blue line.

Atlanta welcomed the return of the NHL in 1999 with the arrival of the Thrashers. Previously home to the Flames, Atlanta had been without an NHL team for nearly 20 years when the Flames were sold to a group of Calgary businessmen -- it's also odd that the name of the team remained the Flames because it was named after the famous fire of Atlanta started by General William Tecumseh Sherman in 1864 destroying the key southern city of Atlanta, which was considered the beginning of the end of the Civil War.

Although in two different conferences, there is something revengefully sweet about the matchups between the Thrashers and the Flames. You can be sure that all of Atlanta seems to to be on hand at Philips Arena for these home games.

Atlanta is one of the fastest growing cities in the country and boasts a rabid fan base and great teams. The Braves (Turner Field) can usually be found playing late into October. The Falcons (Georgia Dome) boast one of the NHL's most exciting players in Mike Vick. Sharing the roaring Philips Arena with the Thrashers are the NBA Hawks.

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