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AROUND THE LEAGUE

Hartley Hired as Atlanta Coach

January 15, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

Bob Hartley was hired as coach of the Atlanta Thrashers, who hope the 2001 Stanley Cup winner can turn around a team with the league's worst record.

Hartley, 42, was fired less than a month ago by the Colorado Avalanche after a 10-8-9-4 start.

"At certain stages of your life, you need to challenge yourself," Hartley said. "I really think this organization offers me the challenge I need."

The Thrashers fired Curt Fraser on Dec. 26, and General Manager Don Waddell took over on an interim basis. The Thrashers are last in the Southeast Division at 12-25-2-4.

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Ottawa Senator owner Rod Bryden submitted a bid to reclaim the team to representatives of lenders and NHL officials. The bid, believed to be between $80 million and $100 million, will be reviewed, with a decision expected by Jan. 24.

Ottawa was granted protection Thursday under the Canada's Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, which is similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy regulations in the U.S. The bid included the Corel Centre, where the Senators' play. The team and arena combined have a debt of $360 million.

Most of the money will come from a co-investor, believed to be Nelson Peltz, whose New York-based Triarc Companies Inc. own Arby's restaurants.

Bryden would not comment on the co-investor, which was a condition of the deal, but said it was a New York-based corporation.

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A day after the Buffalo Sabres filed for bankruptcy, a judge approved a $10-million line of credit that the team can use for operating expenses.

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