No body has asked but there is a reason why I am pushing so damned hard for the people of the ATL.
1) What happened to Thrash fans is utter BS. You were never given a chance. The team was basically aborted at inception and as a conservative minded person that is a sin to me. When you do something and take a chance you go 100% all the way. You make a commitment with passion.
2) Southern fans need to stick together. I'm an amateur historian/sociology. Just ask around these boards, I have a theory on how reconstruction created the sports culture of the south and influenced all of North America. Hell, reading the overly preachy novel 'Black Ice', you can come to the conclusion that Canada owes the south hockey. And now some carpetbagging Canadian SOBs are trying to steal our silverware again. I am a personal philosophy when you are a hockey fan you are not a part of a fan base but a family and family doesn't do this to family. The north stole the south's silverware in the civil war and it's about time for payback and guess what, the Cup is made of silver now isn't it?
3) I'll probably be the only one who mentions this because I can be pretty cold hearted and analytically. I think everyone is so damned scared to say it. Nashville will make out like a bandit with this. Fist off, the fee when split amongst the 29 other teams will be a little over 2 million dollars a team. The Atlanta move if solidified will pay for Shea Weber for the Preds. secondly, the potiential for a new group of fans to fill the Bridgestone arena might push the Preds closer to the ideal of a sell out every game. Also if Fox sports pulls their head out of their ass and puts the Preds in the Georgia market that makes the Preds Tv package that much more profitable.
4) This is personal. I know the people of Smashville. I know how they can be. I've walked in sight unseen and was basically adopted as a son. I know that when a Thrasher's jersey is seen a beer will follow. My hope is if there is a large group of Thrashers fans are seen the crowd gives them a standing O. It's what Smashville does.
You have had a twister of incompetency and apathy tear down your home and like good southern neighbors we are offering our own to help you out.
A. You are too nice. I'm happy to be on board with a fan base that wants support so badly just like we did in Atlanta.
2. May the Atlanta Spirit burn in hell for what they've done to us Thrashers fans.
D. I know that you guys are one of the teams that could benefit the most from Atlanta losing a team but you've been one of our biggest supporters and for that we are grateful. Expect a beer coming right back at you!
I'll admit that in the past I have been critical Atlanta for their supposed lack of support (I never wanted them to lose the team, and I think anyone with a brain knew that their success depended heavily on the on-ice performance...), but over the recent weeks, I've seen a lot of emotion and heartbreak out of our larger cousin to the SE. It just kills me to see y'all go through this, and considering how close we came to having the same fate a few years ago, us in Smashville can at least somewhat empathize with your situation.
I think it's a big blow, not just to our brothers and sisters in Atlanta, but to the South and the perception of Southern Hockey as a whole. This is one more thing that Sun Belt expansion detractors will point to as a reason why hockey "can't succeed" here. Unfortunately, many of those detractors fail to see the big picture, both with your team's impending departure (as well as the reasons why) and the enormous opportunity the NHL has if the game really catches on down here.
For the Atlanta fans, please, keep fighting the critics. Let them know you're there...because if there is one fact that is unfortunately lost on all of this, the Thrashers DO have fans, and passionate ones at that. Fight the good fight.
Couldn't have said it better myself BFC. Well done.
I'll add one more. For those that don't know, I'm still a young'un and play both high school and travel in the area. In most travel leagues, cities include Nashville, Birmingham, Huntsvile, and occasionally Memphis or Knoxville. Because of its huge population, Atlanta provides about half the teams for these leagues. If Atlanta doesn't get an AHL/NHL team soon and the kids lose interest, almost all of these leagues are gone. This move is not just a blow against youth hockey in Atlanta, but against the entire south-east. Many northern cities are completely self-sufficient at the travel level, so they don't understand the network of cities required to keep hockey down here afloat.
To those in Atlanta: don't let this sport die. If enough young people play and enjoy the game, it will never die because the interest will never leave. There is nothing that adds to a desire to watch the game more than playing it. If enough kids play it today, enough adults will want a team back in 20 years or so.
lol @ Canada being able to support 12 teams. 8? Sure, why not? 10? That's a stretch. 12?
Yes, doubling up Montreal and Vancouver is a great idea. Huge numbers of people are just going to completely drop their allegiances to the Habs and Canucks in favor of a new team! Not to mention that the Habs and Canucks owners aren't going to go for that...
I hate to see any team moved...but a massive shift like that will be very unhealthy for the NHL. The Canadians might get what they want, but at what cost? A massive pullout of the U.S. will be seen as the sports' abandonment of the fans here...and that will ultimately cripple the NHL.
Not to mention that if the NHL pulled out of that many markets at once, it would be a prime opportunity for a competitor league to move in, with hockey-ready arenas and fans already in place...