The Hitting Zone

The NHL just makes it up as they go along, why can't we?

Thrashers to Winnipeg IS Happening.

Late Thursday Night Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail published an article that stated the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers are being purchased by a Winnipeg Group which plans to relocate that team to the Manitoba capital city.  There was rampant speculation, a slew of denials and by the end of the evening both Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet and ESPN’s Sportscenter were willing to confirm the report.  Its just a matter of a Board of Governor’s vote which won’t be a hurdle.

Lets just go ahead and go with the Bettman is mad it broke so quickly, as evidenced by his reaction reading his Blackberry at the Boston/Tampa Bay game,  and Winnipeg will play games but a confirming press conference will depend on the whims of Napoleon prognisis.  The Thrashers have played their last game in Atlanta.   I have family ties to Atlanta.  Wife was born there and loves her native city.  Brother and my father-in-law and his family all live there.  I’m still not sad this move is happening.  First of all this is good for Hockey.  Winnipeg will sell out the venue every night in support of their team, which should be called the Jets once again.  The NHL was subsidizing a franchise that was losing money year in and year out in a failed attempt to get hockey to catch in a southern market.  The Braves are the wife in that market.  The Falcons are the hot mistress and the Hawks are the awkwardly attractive third cousin that no one wants to admit they have feelings for.  The Thrashers were the ugly finger-nail biting crazy uncle that no one wanted to sit next to at the reunion.

Look I am sad for the very small base of loyal fans that followed the team down there but the bottom line is they were inflating attendance numbers to make it look better and even then it was ugly.  There was no market interest.  The Thrashers had to compete against a vastly more popular football team all fall and a basketball and baseball team winter into spring.  Atlanta is a fickle sports town as it is.  The darling Braves had problems selling out playoff games after a run of successful seasons.  Hockey just wasn’t a fit there and this experiment proves that.  No offense to the city but the move to Winnipeg is a win for everyone apart from the small subset of Atlantans who cared about this team.

A profitable team in Manitoba means the NHL won’t have to bail it out at the end of each season or press the local citizens into doing so as they are right now in Glendale.  More revenue means there is a chance for the cap to rise and that benefits my team.  I know the pain of almost losing my hockey team.  The Penguins were on the brink for some of the same reasons.  I don’t envy the feeling true Thrashers fans are feeling tonight.  As an NHL fan I am very happy tonight.

Written by ozman51

May 20, 2011 at 12:38 AM

2 Responses

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  1. Heard that the Thrashers are still selling season tickets with one being sold today. Unreal.


    May 20, 2011 at 10:59 AM

  2. […] I first did a write-up on the news that Winnipeg was going to receive the Thrashers my brother commented on it via […]

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