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Former Thrashers Goaltender Johan Hedberg Speaks Out On Team's Move, Ownership

Some have criticized Chris Mason recently, even with his recent comments in the AJC. Some people are even calling for the return of the previous back-up, fan favorite Johan Hedberg. Hedberg, known affectionately as "Moose," was with the Thrashers from 2006 to the end of last season. He's was an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, and is trying to figure out if he will return to the New Jersey Devils or if he wants to stay put in Atlanta, where his family calls home.

Moose and the Thrashers' franchise are indelibly linked in the minds of fans, and his comments made to Tom Gulitti of the Fire and Ice blog show that he appreciated his time here, and he still believes that hockey can work in Atlanta.

"I think it’s sad for the city." Hedberg told me today. "I believe this city can support a team and support it in a good way. Obviously, it’s been some chaotic years pretty much from Day 1 with ownership not being on the same page and I think that has hurt the franchise quite a bit...

"We’ve kind of made this sort of our second home for five years now and, obviously, the Thrashers were the reason we came here in the first place," Hedberg said.  "I know all the people involved. I know all the people working in the front office and in hockey operations and I know a lot of the fans around. They’re hard-core fans that really don’t want to lose the team. So, I would have feeling of (sadness).

"There’s no doubt this could be a good hockey city, but it needs to be done the right way. This ownership has never given it a chance to do that after it got off on the wrong foot."

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.