Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Anxious Atlanta players in limbo awaiting word

  • Print

NO one is more anxious to officially learn the fate of the Atlanta Thrashers than members of the team.

The players have been given no indication one way or the other where they'll be playing home games next season, according to goaltender Chris Mason.

"They're not going to include us in any of the stuff and we shouldn't be either," Mason said Friday from his off-season home in Red Deer, Alta. "We'll know probably the same time or after everybody else knows, that's the way it goes.

"We're sitting on the edge of our seats waiting to see what's going to happen, too."

While one agent indicated that some Thrashers have been quietly told to make new real estate plans, Mason hasn't heard anything.

The 35-year-old signed a two-year lease on a place after agreeing to a contract of that length with the Thrashers last summer. He's played in six different cities during his pro career and is facing the possibility of moving once again.

"That's one of the very few things that is tough about the job," said Mason. "I'm fortunate enough to be playing hockey and that's one of the things that you just have to deal with. It's happened throughout a hockey player's career and that's just the way it goes.

"We've done it before, we'll do it again."

The prospect of potentially seeing the franchise move from Atlanta to Winnipeg has him divided. On one hand, Mason feels bad about the fans and team employees that would be left behind in Atlanta but it would also give him a chance to live out a dream.

"There's definitely things that would be really cool about it," said Mason. "Playing in Canada, for me, it's something I've always wanted to do. It would be really cool.

"Just playing in front of a packed house every night would be awesome."

The Thrashers were 28th out of the 30-team league in attendance last season, averaging just 13,469.

Playing under a new coach in Craig Ramsay and with a number of new players, Atlanta had a promising start to last season. However, a 6-15-5 swoon in the middle of the schedule doomed them to another year outside of the playoffs.

"Last year was just such a weird dynamic," said Mason. "You had the biggest turnover I've ever seen in a long time with players, you had a new general manager (Rick Dudley), new coaches. It was like a completely new team...

"I think moving forward this year everybody knows each other and I think it's going to be a lot different."

Mason played American Hockey League games in the old Winnipeg Arena early in his pro career and has some good friends in the city, but hasn't started making any plans to settle there just yet.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 21, 2011 C2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart: NDP Self-Destruction

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Aerial view of Portage and Main, The Esplanade Riel, Provencher Bridge over the Red River, The Canadian Museum for Human Rights and The Forks near the Assiniboine River, October 21st, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) CMHR

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who has been the Jets best defenceman so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google