(And here we go again with more relocation talk.....)
Even with tremendous Stanley Cup Playoff action going on between the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning and the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks, many people’s attention has shifted to what is going on off the ice in Atlanta.
There has been lots of talk regarding the Atlanta Thrashers moving to Winnipeg and while I certainly feel for the die hard Thrasher fans, this would be the right move. I am not a Thrasher hater or anything like that and instead, am someone who is thinking realistically.
Hockey just wasn’t working in Atlanta regarding to the team. The team came into existence during the 1999-2000 season and since that time, have only made the Stanley Cup Playoffs once, losing in a four-game sweep to the New York Rangers.
Secondly, it seems like every time the Thrashers have a potential star/superstar player on their team, the club ends up losing them to another franchise. Dany Heatley went to the Senators. Marian Hossa went to the Penguins. Illya Kovalchuk went to the New Jersey Devils and Kari Lehtonen went to the Dallas Stars. These are players that the Thrashers’ could have built a team around and instead, they all wanted to go play elsewhere.
Lastly, hockey is not a priority in Atlanta. With teams like the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Falcons all having success, the Thrashers have lagged behind both in terms of team success (1 playoff berth) and fan support (73% of the arena filled last year).
Like I said, it will be a darn shame if it happens but in the long run, the Thrashers (at least that is the team name for now) need another home and the right move would be out of Atlanta.
The real blame going to the ASG (Atlanta Spirit Group) and Don Waddell who have both run this team into the ground. Sadly the best step is to move them and it is a resort that no one wanted to see but it is what it is.