Atlanta’s history with the National Hockey League (NHL) has been a bit shaky.
Starting with the Flames in the 70s and ending with the Thrashers in 2011. NHL teams have come and gone partly because of the appeal and the support for the sport was just not there.
Atlanta still has ice hockey
♦ The Atlanta Gladiators thrill the area hockey fans.
The Atlanta Gladiators are a professional minor league hockey team in Duluth, Georgia, part of the Atlanta Metropolitan area.
Their inaugural season was in 2003-04. The Gladiators have been in the playoffs nine times, won three division titles and one conference championship during the team’s history in pursuit of the league championship, the Kelly Cup.
The club plays in the ECHL Southern Division, the nation’s premier "AA" hockey league and are the affiliate of the Eastern Conference Champion Boston Bruins.
Atlanta Gladiators play a 72-game schedule with all 36 home games played at the Infinite Energy Arena.
The Gladiators have established an unrivaled commitment to excellence, maintaining a distinctive reputation for providing fun, friendly, family and affordable entertainment.
The Gladiators are consistently ranked as one of the best “Things to Do” in the Atlanta Metro area and across the North Georgia region.
The Flames played in Atlanta from 1972 to 1980. The Flames’ tenure in Atlanta had moderate success with six playoff appearances in their eight seasons. The Flames struggled to draw a crowd. They were sold in 1980.
The Flames relocated to Calgary, Canada. Nine years later they would win the Stanley Cup.
The Thrashers began play in the 1999–2000 season. The Thrashers qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs only once, during the 2006–07 season in which they won the Southeast Division.
In May 2011, the Thrashers were sold to a Canadian-based group. They moved the franchise to Winnipeg, Manitoba and renamed them the Winnipeg Jets.
Will Atlanta get a new NHL franchise?
One issue is going to be where a new Atlanta NHL team is going to play.
The State Farm Arena, formerly named Philips Arena, was renovated and it now appears to be focused on being a basketball-only facility.
If another NHL team is coming to Atlanta, they can play in the Infinite Energy Arena, where the minor-league Gladiators play.
It only has 11,000 seats but other teams like the Winnipeg Jets play in a 10,000-seat arena.