REPORT: NHL open to an Atlanta Franchise

Published September 12, 2023 at 9:09 PM

REPORT: The NHL is considering bring an NHL franchise to Atlanta once more.

Third Time's a Charm?

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daley said the league does not have any imminent relocation or expansion plans but believes the Georgia capital could be a viable location for a new team.

"I think some of the challenges that we've seen in the past in Atlanta can be overcome,"

-Bill Daley told ESPN's Greg Wyshynski

The NHL seems to think that the scenario in Atlanta has greatly improved and could sustain a professional hockey team.

"I think times have changed pretty dramatically and the market demographics have changed pretty dramatically since the first time we went there and then again in 1999. I think a lot of bigger businesses are in Atlanta (now)."

With Atlanta already housing the Atlanta Hawks NBA team, the city would have an arena to house the potential new team.

"There are potential markets that may be suitable for NHL hockey, so our policy is really an open-door policy," he said. "If you are interested and have a plan, come see us and certainly we'll evaluate it from there. If it becomes something our owners are interested in, we can pursue it. Nothing has risen to that level currently, but that could change."

The Thrashers History

The NHL first entered the city of Atlanta in 1972 with the Atlanta Flames they played there until 1980 before eventually relocating to Calgary where they have been ever since.

The Atlanta Flames have an all time record of 268-260-108, with their best season coming in the 1979-80 with a record of 35-32-13. The Flames were never able to escape the first round in six playoff appearances.


The second time Atlanta housed an NHL team was in 1999 as the Atlanta Thrashers and then left the league in 2011 and became the Winnipeg Jets franchise.


The Thrashers held a 342-437-45-78 record in that span, with their best season coming in the 2006-07 season with a record of 43-28-11. However the team never found success in the playoffs and struggled to build revenue.
September 12   |   148 answers
REPORT: NHL open to an Atlanta Franchise

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