Tag: Atlanta Flames

Jean Beliveau

PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Quinn, Beliveau pass away


In an eleven-day span, the hockey world mourned the loss of two iconic figures — legendary player, coach and executive Pat Quinn passed away on Nov. 23 at the age of 71 and, just over a week later, Montreal Canadiens icon Jean Beliveau died at the age of 83.

Beliveau spent parts of 20 seasons with the Canadiens winning 10 Stanley Cups. He added seven more Championship rings as a member of the club’s management team.

In total, Beliveau appeared in 1,125 games scoring 507 goals and 1,219 points while winning the Art Ross Trophy (1956), Conn Smythe (1965) and the Hart Trophy (1956 and 1964).

Beliveau retired following the 1970-71 season as the franchise leader in points, second in goals and the NHL’s all-time leading playoff scorer. He had his No. 4 raised to the rafters at the Montreal Forum on October 9, 1971.

Quinn broke into the NHL as a player during the 1968-69 season and appeared in 606 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Atlanta Flames. One of his most memorable moments as a player came during the 1969 playoffs, when he ran over Bruins’ legend Bobby Orr.

Quinn was forced to retire in 1977 due to an ankle injury but wasted little time getting back into the game, joining the Philadelphia Flyers as an assistant coach that same year.

During his first full season as head coach of the Flyers, 1979-80, Quinn led the team to a Stanley Cup final appearance where they were defeated in six games by the New York Islanders. After a stop in L.A., Quinn took a coaching job with the Vancouver Canucks where he led the club to a Stanley Cup final appearance in 1994. Quinn’s coaching career also landed him behind the bench in Toronto and Edmonton.

Internationally, Quinn coached Team Canada to a gold medal victory at the 2002 Olympics and won the World Cup in 2004. He also coached Canada to gold medal victories at the U-18 World Championship in 2008 and the U-20 World Junior Championship in 2009.

Tributes for both men came pouring in shortly after they passed.

Several of the organizations Quinn was involved wore a ‘PQ’ decal on their helmets, and the Canucks paid tribute with an emotional pre-game ceremony on Nov. 25th.

Beliveau’s body lie in state at the Bell Centre in Montreal over the weekend of Dec. 6-7 prior to his funeral on Dec. 10. Before the Canadiens’ 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks Dec. 9, the team honored their longest serving captain with an emotional ceremony of their own.

Report: Atlanta Thrashers’ move to Winnipeg is a done deal (Updated with denials)


The Atlanta Thrashers will indeed move to Winnipeg. That’s the report from Stephen Brunt of The Globe & Mail, although many people are denying it … including NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

If this report is accurate after all, then True North Sports and Entertainment succeeded in their goal of bringing an NHL team back to the former home city of the Winnipeg Jets. Brunt reports that an official announcement will be made on Tuesday and that Bettman will travel to Winnipeg to hold a press conference on that matter. That report also indicates that True North targeted the Thrashers all along, even though the Phoenix Coyotes grabbed most of the focus regarding relocation.

If Brunt’s report is true, there won’t be much suspense about the NHL Board of Governors approving the sale since they already “quietly approved the sale and transfer of the team” months ago.

The relocated Thrashers team would play at the MTS Centre, the current home of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. It’s unclear if the team’s mascot will change, although rumors indicate that True North would prefer not to use “Thrashers.”

Update: To little surprise, many outlets are reporting denials to this original report. TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution are among the respected reporters who said it isn’t official. Jeff Marek spoke with True North, who denied the report.

Another update: There’s at least one person backing up Brunt’s report: Nick Kypreos confirmed that the deal is done.

OK, so we know that the relocation is far from official, but let’s take a quick big picture look at the impact of the move if it does happen.

One second chance comes to an end while another begins …

We’ll get deeper into the bigger issues when (or if) this becomes official, but the interesting thing about this news is that it involves two markets getting second chances to make an NHL team work.

The city of Atlanta already saw one NHL team relocate to another market as the Atlanta Flames became the Calgary Flames in 1980. Even if people blame faulty ownership in both situations, it’s tough to imagine the city getting another NHL franchise anytime soon. Meanwhile, Winnipeg lost the Jets in 1996 when the team left for Phoenix to become the Coyotes during a tough time for the Canadian dollar.

Despite similar end results, the two markets are very different. Atlanta is a large American city that might not take to hockey off the bat while Winnipeg is a Canadian market that hopes to make up for its relatively small market with sheer puck passion. Ultimately, my guess is that the team’s new ownership and the quality of the city’s support will determine if this move will be a success. (If it actually happens, of course.)


Again, we’ll keep an eye on any reports that might refute Brunt’s piece, but the smart money is on this being true. Stay tuned for more news and analysis in the near future.