First and foremost. Business is Business is Business. And I have never been more confused as to a string of events in my life.
Let me peice this together for you, and see if when writing it out, it starts to click in a little bit.
There are two distinct answers to why this deal fell through. Either, or even both could be 100% correct... but let me state this, a Signed contract was forwarded to the NHL and NHLPA by the ottawa senators. Here is where the fun part starts. So was a contract from the Thrashers. This is where everything gets clouded. The NHL is to process transfers on a per receipt basis. What I hear is that Ottawa called the NHL office on Sunday afternoon to ask for the Agreement to be made null and void, as they had been told by the Williams camp "Not to send the contract, they agreed to another elsewhere... they wanted the deal voided, and Ottawa relented." The Atlanta deal passed through, where the Ottawa deal was nixxed. The second is that Ottawa and Atlanta had sent the contracts to the NHL but Atlants was processed first, thus giving the deal to Atlanta.