Clusterpuck; Continuing the Saving of Thrashers

Nearly 7 days ago rumors were abound in every direction regarding the potential sale and relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers. I chronicled my attempts to have my voice and opinions heard with the Atlanta Constituents Services, various Atlanta government agencies and even the NHL offices of Gary Bettman. I know I wasn’t the only one doing what I could in the fight to keep the Thrashers in Atlanta and am still aggravated with Bettman’s ability to talk out of both sides of his mouth (and rear orifices to boot) and his inability to give any assistance to those wanting clear answers and dispel any rumors or drama. Heaven forbid we get any kind of transparency from the commissioner of this major league sport…

Throughout the week reports came in about Winnipeg fans rallying outside of the MTS Centre in their finest early summer attire (long johns, 2 pairs of jeans, undershirt, turtleneck, sweater, hooded sweatshirt, fur lined hats and 3 pairs of gloves) and further reports came out of Atlanta. A large rally to be held on Saturday outside of Philips Arena in Atlanta was the plan; fans took to Twitter and exclaimed that this was indeed serious and that it was necessary to show up in droves full of pride, spirit and potentially a loud mouth and opinions ready to be shared and launched.

The team smartly continued with their plans for “Select-a-Seat” (in which season ticket holders choose their vantage point as part of their ticket package), after that some 300+ fans showed up to chant (and drink), share stories about their Thrashers experiences (and drink), show off Thrashers gear and collectibles with much pride (and drink), and even set a Jets jersey ablaze.

Perhaps, to me, the most poignant sign/information/opinion from this rally was this sign that was photographed by many, much to Bettman’s chagrin:

[Photo by Laura Astorian {}]

I love pointing out the contradictions people make, especially the ones who get paid the big bucks. Anyway, all I know is this; I really don’t want Atlanta to lose their Thrashers, their team, I’m aggravated by ignorance (nothing new), bothered by the lack of transparency in all of this mess, I support Atlanta and their fans 100% and I approve of hockey anywhere/everywhere/in every form – but this? This is getting out of hand. Guess we’ll just have to wait until everything is final to get any kind of truth.

Tags: Atlanta Thrashers Gary Bettman NHL

  • Ethan Foley

    Once again a real classy shot at Winnipeg and the fact that it’s cold there for a good chunk of the year. That’s real original. If you want to lash out, instead of taking out your anger over the situation on Bettman or Winnipeg’s climate, why don’t you vent over the fact that NO ONE in Atlanta’s business community is willing to step up and invest in its team. At least in Phoenix there is a prospective owner in Hulsizer (if you can call him that), and the city government is behind the team as well. What exactly is Bettman supposed to be doing for Atlanta, when there are no local investors willing to help?

  • Bob


    The statements you made are not entirely correct. There are investors willing to help keep the team in ATL. That group has publicly announced that they will _only_ purchase the Thrashers if they can also buy the Hawks and Phillips Arena. Atlanta “Spirit” has an exclusive negotiation agreement over the Hawks and Phillips Arena with the ex-owner of the SD Padres. Thus, the group who wants to purchase the Thrashers has effectively been blocked from the negotiation, so long as that exclusive negotiation over the Hawks and the arena is in place (and nobody has a clue on the time frame of exclusivity).

    It is Bettman’s responsibility as commissioner of the league to uphold the integrity and respectability of the NHL, and part of that means not having a bunch of teams go bankrupt and/or relocate.

    So to answer your question, Bettman should (and hopefully will) block a relocation of the Thrashers until the Atlanta “Spirit” have done either one of the following: A) Sold the Hawks & Phillips to the buyer in SD, which would or B) the exclusive negotiation period with the Hawks and Phillips expires, and there are zero qualified buyer of either all three entities exists or just the Thrashers.

  • Rob

    I love the reference to Winnipegs dress code. I guess when the local attire is socks & crocks, while wearing your sisters hot pants, and a wife beater t-shirt is the accepted norm anything would seem a little silly.

    • Jennifer Metzler

      Yup, you know me (and the rest of St. Louis’ residents). Oooh, don’t forget the either missing teeth or the gold capped front ones!