I’ve sat here for the last hour or so, trying to figure out how to start this post.
Y’see, the whole summer I’ve nursed a sympathetic anger toward a lot of people–fans mostly, but also a city and an organization.
Yeah, I’m mad that the Thrashers left Atlanta. I’m even more angry that the fans are being blamed for it by morons, and that the former owners of the Thrashers are a bunch of tools that couldn’t even get the fuck out of their own collective way.
See, I’m going to dish out some education to you twatwaffles that have been sackdancing on the heads of the fans in Atlanta: the team didn’t leave because the fans stopped going. The fans only did the same thing that fans on Long Island and in Boston, Vancouver, Chicago, Edmonton, Calgary, Detroit, and a bunch of other “real hockey towns” have done in the past:
They refused to support ownership that didn’t have the slightest interest in winning anything. Real funny how that happens–ownership makes clear they don’t want to win, fans say “F U” and stop giving them money. Hmmm, gee, I dunno. Apparently it’s only acceptable to you arsebiscuits if fans of a Northern team vote with their feet and wallets. If we do it here in the Dirty South, then we’re just a bunch of dumb hicks who don’t deserve a team.
Let me tell you what happened, why the NHL busted their asses to not move Phoenix and to not move Pittsburgh:
Their owners give a damn. Atlanta Spirit couldn’t say the same thing. They’re a bunch of incompetent fools (and I’ll gladly say that to their faces) who not only couldn’t be arsed to try putting together a competitive team, but they also deliberately torpedoed attempts by Tom Glavine to get an ownership group together to buy the Thrashers by saying “If you want the Thrashers, you have to buy the Hawks from us too”–knowing full well that nobody at all would agree to invest if they had to accept a two-fer.
Then along comes True North, and Atlanta Spirit says “SURE, WE’LL SELL YOU JUSTTHE THRASHERS!” And in so doing, they give the middle finger to the fans in Atlanta. And idiots in Winnipeg and elsewhere do their little sackdances and agitate for all southern teams to be contracted, because…well, because they’re idiots.
Fuck y’all haters, and fuck all y’all’s double standards. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, and I’ll keep saying it.
I will never call the Thrashers what the rest of the League is calling them. They are, and will always be called in this space, the Atlanta Thrashers. I hope they win even less than they won in Atlanta. I hope the fans leave the MTS Centre miserable every night because the other 29 teams in the NHL have come into their house and run the score up on their team. And I hope that the Hurricanes, the Lightning, the Predators, the Panthers (of ALL teams!) and the Capitals win about 5 Cups each before the Thrashers make the playoffs again, just as an extra little “F U” to the Moron Brigade. And I hope they all beat the Sabres to do it, too–just because it will amuse me to hear the more unhinged Sabres fans crying “DEY TOOK OUR CURRRRRPS!!“.
In conclusion, I’d just like to say:
Fuck the ‘Peg. I’ve been there, it’s got nothing but Ukes and a Mint.
We’ve all heard it by now: The Coyotes’ owner has filed for bankruptcy and, in response, the NHL has exercised the clause in their loan agreement that allows them to assume control of the team. Jim Balsillie has put forth an overpay of an offer (US$212.5Million) with a stipulation that he gets to immediately move the team to Hamilton before the ink’s even dry on the bill of sale.
Ugh. This is all going to be just chock full of Bad Craziness. Nationalistic lines have been drawn; Fans from Canada and the northern US are clamouring for every franchise south of 39° 43′ 20″ N be ripped up and moved or contracted outright, branded as “a failure”. Phoenix fans and the NHL are digging in for some serious trench warfare. Phoenix is being held up as an example of everything that is wrong with the wave of southern expansion that started under John Ziegler and continued under Gary Bettman; I disagree with this.
Is Phoenix as a franchise in trouble? Yes. It’s sad, but true; the ‘Yotes are in serious trouble and may not survive much longer in Phoenix. But does it mean that southern expansion is a complete failure? Tampa, Carolina, and Anaheim would definitely beg to differ. Atlanta, Nashville, and Florida would beg to differ too–their travails are no different from what the Islanders, Blackhawks, Bruins, and even the Sabres have (or in the case of the Bruins and Sabres, had) to deal with; bad management that’s more interested in profit over results (or, if you’re the Sabres, a crook for an owner–see “Rigas, John”), and crap seasons that have driven all but the most die-hard of die-hards away. And yet, because of their geographical location, Atlanta, Nashville, and Florida are regularly targeted as “failures” and calls are made to move them.
Which brings us to Jim Balsillie, who apparently feels that he can do whatever he wants because half the planet has a Crackberry. I’ve ranted in the past that he should be allowed to be an owner; I still think that he should be allowed to be an owner, because I think that in the long run an enthusiastic owner will be good for the NHL.
HOWEVER: The Forms Must Be Obeyed. I get that he wants to give a team to the folks in Hamilton, and I am OK with that. But it’s not going to get done by trying to do an end run around the NHL and trying to use bankruptcy proceedings to force a sale. It’s not going to get done by putting up a website and holding press conferences and fighting with the rest of the owners to try to force his way in. That’s my issue with the guy. Yes, he’s been honest about what he wants to do with any team that he buys, Cup-winner status be damned. But Jim Balsillie has got to learn to work with the NHL rather than against the NHL.
As for the Coyotes? *sigh* If they absolutely have to move, then I think that they need to go right back up to the ‘Peg rather than to Hamilton. It would be the right thing to do.