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12-29-2012, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
You're right about the bolded: only an idiot would say that.

The merger was originally met with a collective, "Wait, what?" in the business world. What AOL was doing at the time wasn't really relevant; it was universally recognized as an extremely bizarre and needless move. That's not with hindsight, that was at the time.
Yeah, I definitely remember the puzzled reaction to that announcement. It wasn't some huge shock when AOL turned out to be a bad investment.

IMO, Atlanta is a tough nut to crack sports-wise. The NHL's real screw-up was not the Thrashers, but letting the Flames leave. That set hockey back 30 years in the southeast, particularly in the media where the Flames would eventually have ended up on regional broadcasts. As usual, the NHL ended up being the latecomer to Atlanta after the Hawks, Falcons and Braves had developed multi-generational roots in the city. So I can agree to a point that the franchise would always have been fighting uphill. But this idea that Atlanta rejected hockey, that they wouldn't have supported a competently-run team, is nonsense. The Thrashers could have made money, and their presence in a regional hub as part of the Turner media empire could have elevated the NHL. The way it ended is yet another example of the stupid, counter-productive ownership decisions that have plagued the league for the past 60 years.

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