I don't care what you think of non-traditional market hockey or Gary Bettman, this week is an abject horror for Thrashers fans. These are hockey fans who, mind you, have been through 11 years of mostly abuse and misfortune.
Imagine if the Islanders were actually launched as an expansion team in 1993-94 -- no 1993, no Cups, no Torrey, no Hall of Famers: Given their run from '94 to '01, imagine what people would say about fan support under that series of derelict owners and mismanagement?
Now in Atlanta, even the backup goalie is practically kicking them while they're down.
More Thrashers/Winnipeg Rumbling
- Speaking of what the Atlanta sports fan market is really like, this was a fantastic read at SBN-Atlanta.
- It looks like the Hawks (that's NBA...which is basketball...which is a sport played by tall people) and the building could be sold before the Thrashers -- but in any case, no deep-pocketed guy wants the hockey team in Atlanta. Sounds like they'd be called the Manitoba Moose if they move.
- This is a claimed summation of a radio interview (so take that for what it's worth), but in any case you know a bunch of Thrashers dirty laundry will come out if they leave. 'Cause people aren't happy with how that circus has been Milbury'd. Do you get the feeling that lengthy lawsuit that kept the warring owners mum was the only thing keeping a lot of laundry from getting out?
- The few but not minor hurdles that could prevent a move.
But We're Not Like Them...Right?
- First very minor procedure in the Nassau Coliseum referendum was cleared. [7th Woman] The salient line in the Newsday piece was this bit of hyperbole from County deputy Rob Walker: "The Islanders are ready to leave here tomorrow. They were being wooed by other areas last week." Um, no.
- Join the social media campaign: IPB list | Facebook effort by these guys (Carey and Alex) on Twitter
- Nino Niederreiter is power skating and tweeting. (Not at the same time, I suspect.)
- Nino hopes to take the next step with the Isles [Compton story at nhl.com]
- For gandering only: HF's organizational rankings of 21-30 and 11-20 must mean the Isles are in 1-10...but you knew that.
- This list of great playoff series includes two memory-lane writeups on the Isles of '87 and '93. [FanShot]
- What does this Druce-ian playoff run mean for Sean Bergenheim and his near-minimum wages?
- From the wayback machine: Never Say Die-landers attempt comeback vs. Philadelphia (1975). [For you whipper-snappers, we used to have newspapers, which were printed on this thin substance that came from wood. And they used to run ads for mobile homes, which were ways to pile your whole family into a car that you lived in for the whole vacation...and you'd eat powdered milk 'n stuff.]
Other NHL Links
An author talks about Derek Boogaard and a book he was working on with him. | And Prospect Park weighs in on the taste(lessness) of that Post story disclosing that Boogaard had sought help from the league's counseling program.
Sharks-Canucks...in anagrams. | Speaking of Canucks, I found it really funny that Roberto Luongo blamed his puck gaffe on a broken stick. Uh, yeah. | Is that series about to descend into a war of diving accusations?
Pasi Nurminen must've really celebrated that Finnish gold medal. That's a quality landing right there.
Stop Paying Less Extravagant Prices and Let Us Rip You Off: I Twitter-ranted about this yesterday, but I just find it highly offensive that the NHL can lecture fans about how counterfeit merchandise is unethical and "hurts" local merchants, when the NHL and its partner in inferiority RBK have designed poor-material (and often ugly) replica jerseys that cost $115, when CCM's predecessors were more durable, more comfortable, looked nicer, and cost between $60-$75. If the NHL never elected to jack the price up for a crappier product, I imagine people wouldn't be turning to cheap Chinese knock-offs.
Or put it this way: I am in the age demographic (if not income bracket) the NHL targets, yet I've bought less merchandise since they started hawking RBK for a big markup with a drop in quality.