Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hey Thrashers fans - Boo-hoo!

After 12 years of bleeding the NHL dry, the Atlanta Thrashers are finally calling it a game and heading to Winnipeg. Although my wish that the Coyotes would head back to Winnipeg/Atlanta heading to Quebec didn't happen, I have to say I'm rather thrilled that the Thrashers are mere days away from being tossed into the ash heap of history.

Go ahead, call me any name you wish. I couldn't care less.

Thrashers fans have been crying and whining for over a decade now that the reason the Thrashers didn't take off so well is because they didn't have a decent owner. Whatever. You've been making excuse after excuse after excuse about why your team never got off the ground.

"But we never got a major network deal made..." As I stated in my post in January, the city of Atlanta already knows that they had an NHL team; the city doesn't need a major network deal to tell them that.

"But, we have the 8th largest television audience in the US..." Maybe now you will finally understand that increased population does not equate increased attendance to NHL games.

"But, we never had a great team..." Uh huh. You losers had players like Kovalchuk and Hossa and you still sucked. This was a coaching issue, not a players issue. Dan Bylsma is up for a Jack Adams award. You know why? Because he was able to maintain a winning record with a depleted offensive core and its two biggest stars, Crosby and Malkin, were injured. He was able to pull the best playing ability from each member of the Pens this year. No coach in the Thrashers organization has done that. Stop making up excuses about why your team sucked ass.

I've had to endure listening to "hockey fans" like Phil Foley blather on and on and on about poor ownership, major network deals, the NHL Constitution and NHL by-laws ad nauseum, and I kept telling people like Foley that nothing is going to save the Thrashers. For one reason and one reason only -- the Thrashers did not -- listen to me, now -- did not have the fan base!

Case in point:

"One season-ticket holder, Jennifer Mann of Dunwoody, Ga., organized an effort to get fans to sign petitions to four of the largest corporations headquartered in the region, some of whom are team sponsors – Chick-fil-A, Home Depot, The Coca-Cola Co. and UPS. The rally started at noon. Shortly before 3 p.m., Mann guessed that they had more than 100 signatures. She estimated 250 fans attended. Another estimate put the number at about 300."

So, if you're a Thrashers fan, stop blaming the fact that the Thrashers have gone the way of the dodo on crappy ownership. The Thrashers have cost the league millions of dollars, and were a nuisance to the rest of the NHL and its fans. Not because they were good, but because they we're just absolutely sick and tired of looking at them.

300 people at your rally? And you wonder why the Thrashers left?

So a traditional hockey market returns in Winnipeg while an experiment by Gary Bettman utterly failed (shock). I say, I'm glad the Thrashers are dead. With any luck, the Coyotes, Blue Jackets, Predators, Lightning, and Panthers will follow suit as they're folded and sent to Quebec where hockey belongs.

And the best news about the Thrashers leaving is that Atlanta won't get another NHL team for another 30 years.

So, good- bye, Thrashers. Welcome back, Jets!

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