The Atlanta pipe burst unexpectedly while the NHL was trying to do damage control in phoenix. I don't think they saw it coming. The league didn't have the time or resources to save the Thrashers. Frankly they just couldn't be bothered since it was a 2nd chance franchise anyway that should've never been given that chance. That offseason the NHL could've legitimately lost two southern franchises in the same week. All their chips were already in for Phoenix so Atlanta left for greener pastures with no resistance.
i do remember the Oilers crises and how they were supposedly close to moving to Houston, still I think their case is more Pocklington than the Canadian dollar. Montreal and Toronto never had any issues, neither did Vancouver. Calgary maybe...but that's a big canadien city so they were never moving. Ottawa was still very new at the time.
If given a redo on 1992-1993 expansion...I think the NHL probably puts a team in Hamilton instead of Ottawa. They have had some trouble there but it hasn't been an abject failure. however Hamilton is in the golden horseshoe. It would have been a sure thing.
The league saw it coming for years. The Atlanta owners had been feuding and suing one another for a long time. They looked for buyers for a long time. It didn't happen so they sold the team to True North and that was that. Just like with Winnipeg - there were no buyers who were interested in keeping the team in Winnipeg.