Hockey Headlines

Friday, 10 June 2011

Face It: They're Dead

I continue to receive emails from Chris C. who seems to believe that there is a window of opportunity for someone in the Atlanta multi-billionaire community to save the Atlanta Thrashers. I understand what Chris is experiencing as I was a part of the thousands of Winnipeggers who bought "shares" in the team in order to try to keep the Jets in Winnipeg in 1996. But the cold, hard reality needs to set in: they're dead. The Thrashers will not return to Atlanta for any reason for the upcoming season. Stop sending me emails because that thought is completely delusional.

Chris also sends these emails to a variety of people from all walks of life. There's an email address for the following people on his list: Gary Bettman, Bill Daly, Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed, various reporters from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, many people from CBS Atlanta, about two dozen various reporters across North America, and a few Thrashers bloggers. Rather than explain why these emails are nothing more than spam, I'll show you what was sent in this last email. If you remember, HBIC debunked a number of "facts" that Chris presented in a video just a few weeks ago. Here's today's correspondence:

The fans in Atlanta deserve to know more about this USA Today story that hints a buyer wanted to keep the Thrashers in Atlanta. It may be nothing, but it is worth doing some digging. The NHL does not vote to make the move final until June 21 - so there is still a crack in the door.
Now, you might be asking what kind of information that USA Today, a highly-respected news organization, may have dug up. Well, here's the article that he linked on his email, and it begins in a very bad way since the article is an NBA article. What may have caught Chris' eye was the byline:
"A bid has been made by a minority business group to purchase Atlanta Spirit, which owns the NBA's Hawks, the NHL's Thrashers and Phillips Arena, for $500 million, those bidding told USA TODAY."
Interesting. Slightly false since the NHL has already announced the sale of the Thrashers to Winnipeg's True North Sports and Entertainment, but interesting none-the-less. The very next paragraph, however, contains this line:
"When the Thrashers officially vacate, the bid then would be adjusted downward."
That's right: not IF, but WHEN. So while the NHL still has to rubber-stamp the purchase made by True North Sports and Entertainment, the Atlanta Spirit Group still holds the deed to the Thrashers while the NHL goes through its motions to approve the sale.

I can tell you that the NHL is fully and completely backing this transaction, Chris, so don't hold your breath for too long. The new Winnipeg franchise has already hired a general manager that had a pretty good job with another NHL club. I'm quite sure that if you're going to hire a general manager, the sale of the Thrashers is going through.

That season ticket drive that sold 13,000 season tickets in a matter of minutes? Yeah, the NHL seems to like that idea. That "little barn" in Winnipeg that everyone was so concerned about? Seems as though the NHL likes that place too.

If you want to save thrashers in the Atlanta area, Chris, I'm all for it. I'm an environmentalist and I believe that we, as humans, should be able to save animals rather than helping them go extinct. The Atlanta Thrashers, though, will not be saved no matter how much help you want to give them. If you want to save birds, join the American Bird Conservancy because the Blueland Thrashers are gone.

Sorry, Chris, but please stop spamming me. I'll be happy to treat you to a game if you come to Winnipeg, but the Thrashers have flown the coop for the very last time in Atlanta. It's time to embrace that.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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