One NHL agent said ex-Bruins coach Mike Sullivan, John Tortorella's right-hand man in Tampa Bay, could be in the mix for the Atlanta job. Sullivan has USA Hockey ties to GM Don Waddell. Sullivan coached the Yanks in the 2007 World Championships. Waddell is a member of USA Hockey's National Team Advisory Group. If Sullivan lands with the Thrashers, he could lure Providence coach Scott Gordon, once his assistant with the P-Bruins, to Atlanta as his assistant.
Add this to two small items I know about the case for him and this opening, and I do think there's some actual fire here. The new Tampa owners are reportedly going to make a coaching change when they take over, so Sullivan will likely be looking for any kind of job soon.
Sullivan is said to be a thinking man's coach, and thus the type of guy who would be a good replacement to taskmaster Hartley. He was a checking center during his playing days, and is 40 years old.
Here are links to the AP stories from when he was hired and fired in Boston.