Damage control

After the Kovalchuk trade, GM Don Waddell published an open letter to the Atlanta fans on the Thrashers website.

You can read it here.

Thanks to some of my secret sources who hacked Waddell’s computer,  I’m now able to disclose 3 earlier drafts of this letter. The following is a Soft European exclusivity.

Version 1:

Letter to Fans from Don Waddell

Thursday, 02.04.2010 / 8:44 PM / News
Atlanta Thrashers

Don Waddell
Executive Vice President and General Manager
Atlanta Thrashers

That first draft was deemed interesting but for some reason, Waddell was advised to try to rework it and to use more words in order to appease the fanbase and to instill confidence back into the organization.

Version 2:

Letter to Fans from Don Waddell

Thursday, 02.04.2010 / 8:44 PM / News
Atlanta Thrashers

We’re screwed.

Thank you.

Don Waddell
Executive Vice President and General Manager
Atlanta Thrashers

This second draft was short and to the point, but apparently some guy in the PR department advised Waddell to elaborate a little on his feelings. So Don had to come up with another draft.

Version 3:

Letter to Fans from Don Waddell

Thursday, 02.04.2010 / 8:44 PM / News
Atlanta Thrashers

After several months of negotiations toward a long-term contract with forward Ilya Kovalchuk and his agent, we were unable to reach an agreement and elected to trade Kovalchuk and defenseman Anssi Salmela to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Johnny Oduya, Niclas Bergfors, Patrice Cormier and a first round draft pick in 2010.

We want you, our fans, to know that throughout the negotiation process, the Thrashers organization remained committed to offering Ilya a contract that exceeded those of the league’s best and highest paid players, and was commensurate to his skill level and performance history.

To that end, we offered that bastard $101 fucking million.

If we had satisfied Kovy’s insane greed, we would have had to play 20 AHL guys to stay under the freaking cap for the next decade. At the end of the day, we couldn’t close that gap and simply reached a point at which we couldn’t reasonably go any higher.

Just like you, we have no idea who the three guys we got are. We hope that Johnny and Niclas will quickly complement our team of budding young stars, highly-skilled veterans and elite players. We also look forward to having Patrice join us, as soon as he’s released from jail. Our goals for this season have not changed—to make and advance as deep as possible in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs—and we move ahead with a new sense of purpose that is energized by our continued climb in the standings as we position ourselves to compete with the best in the NHL.

Just kidding. We’re doomed.

We will maintain the option of bringing in more players that you don’t know, in addition to the ones that we have acquired in the trade, to make sure that we are fully unnoticeable for the remainder of the season and the postseason.

Fuck you Ilya. Break a leg at the Olympics. Literally. And we thank you, for your continued support, and look forward to your enthusiastic presence in Blueland to help drive us into the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

(Just kidding again.)

Don Waddell
Executive Vice President and General Manager
Atlanta Thrashers

Apparently, by this time, the PR department told Don it was perfect, and they would just “edit some typos” out of the text before publishing it. This is clearly what they did.

I think it’s always interesting to get a behind the scenes look at how NHL teams communicate with their fans. I’m glad we had that opportunity today.

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Posted February 6, 2010 by Grrrreg in Uncategorized

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