Billboards On Skates? Not A Fan

Eli Manning, the Super Bowl winning quarterback for the New York Giants, has a bit of a dilemma. See, the team he plays for…the one that pays his salary… went and sold ad space on their practice jerseys to Timex. Problem is… Eli endorses Citizen watches.

So what’s Manning going to do about this situation? Well, according to Darren Rovell of CNBC

“Manning’s jersey has the patch on it and news crews might be able to film the small patch – 3½ inches by 4½ inches – from afar, but for this practice and all future practices, Manning is not expected to give Timex much love due to his conflict of interest. We’re told Manning will do interviews before practice in a t-shirt and will take off his pads for any interviews after practice”.

Well…I guess that takes care of that, huh?

Now, what does any of this have to do with the Thrashers and/or the NHL? Well, I’m glad you asked me that my friend.

Reading this story reminded me of a particular topic that has circled around the hockey world for some time now. It’s the one about possibly granting corporate sponsors the ability to place their logos on NHL team jerseys. If this is allowed, it would help generate more revenue for the teams and the league. It would also, in my opinion, simply pollute some of the greatest jerseys in professional sports.

Certainly, this isn’t a new idea as European hockey and soccer leagues allow such advertisement on the uniforms of their teams. Depending on the sport and the league, you could see jerseys with a single, large logo of a sponsor on the front of the uniform…or a smattering of smaller logos scattered all over it.

Needless to say…I’m not a fan of the idea.

(AP modified photo)

Don't we get enough of this alongside our interstate highways? (AP modified photo)

Obviously, corporate sponsorships are a necessary aspect of professional sports and the placement of product ads can be found all over the place. From the naming of arenas and stadiums…to ads on the boards and hanging from inside of them…to the word “official” stamped on everything from the teams airline to jock-itch powder…franchises in each league generate a lot of dough by selling space for advertisement. And certainly these ads help bring enough money for the teams and offset ticket prices and run the business end of the organization. So I’m not suggesting that there isn’t a place for logos, ads and sponsorships.

TV…fine.

Radio…no problem.

Billboards along I-75…blocks the natural scenary, but OK.

Internet sites…hey, it keeps the surfing the net free of charge, right?

Like I said, advertisement is fine in it’s place. But what I am asking…hoping… is that such a place not be located on the jerseys. That’s all. The last thing in the world I want to see is the ice surface at Philips Arena looking more like a mini NASCAR track than an NHL hockey game.

I was in a sports store the other day looking at soccer…I mean, football… jerseys from teams in England and Germany. there isn’t a one of them that isn’t displaying some type of corporate logo on the front of the jersey. I couldn’t help but wonder if the fans that bought and wore the shirts were supporting, say, Manchester United or AIG…just sayin’.

That plus the Manning story kinda got me thinking about how a Thrashers uni would look with…oh, I don’t know…a big Coca-Cola or Home Depot or Delta or maybe even UPS logo plastered on the front as the team’s crest. Then, of course, the Thrashers logo would be relegated to a small patch on the shoulder.

In a word…yeck!

See…I like Home Depot, dropped many-a-coin there since becoming a homeowner. I fly Delta whenever I travel…never had a problem with the airline. I enjoy the occasional Coca-Cola and I use UPS whenever I need to send a package.

Again…I like those companies.

But I am a fanatic of the Atlanta Thrashers. And that’s the logo I want to see on the front when watching them play. And when I buy a new jersey, I want the logo of my team to be on display, not necessarily some product or service that I may or may not use…or may or may not even like.

Besides, I think it’d just look tacky as hell…but that’s just me.

Now, I honestly don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to think that we’ll soon see the day when a small logo could be added to NHL jerseys for a corporate sponsor…much like the Kroger patch on those worn by the ECHL’s Gwinnett Gladiators. I suppose it’s inevitable…where there is a dollar to be made, a dollar will indeed be made…whether I, or anyone else for that matter, like it or not.

I hope it doesn’t, but if and when such a day should ever come, I hope the league officials will temper their enthusiasm and desire for the extra money that could be generated by advertisement with the wisdom and foresight of not allowing the sport to degenerate into nothing more than “Ads on Ice and turn the players into ”Billboards on Skates”.

216 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

August 5th, 2009
1:06 pm

FIRST, this space available for sale to Buzilla.

Alan

August 5th, 2009
1:19 pm

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Buzilla in CT

August 5th, 2009
1:23 pm

I went to high school with Darren Rovell. His brother Brian Rovell was in my year. Darren was two years ahead.

Just thought I would share…

GaVaHokie

August 5th, 2009
1:23 pm

Doesn’t bother me any as long as there is still hockey… hell… if Home Depot will pay the entire $56 million in salary, I’d call them the Home Depot Thrashers… they just happen to play in Atlanta.

It’ll be just like Little League where your team is the name of a local business.

Tom

August 5th, 2009
1:25 pm

Great points Rawhide.

(This comment brought to you by the fine team members of Taco Mac where you can see every televised Thrashers game and enjoy a huge selection of beers. Taco Mac, your hometown pub in 17 locations.)

Smoothie

August 5th, 2009
1:29 pm

http://thrashersrecaps.blogspot.com/2009/07/where-does-antropov-fit-in-team.html

I should have known it was too close to “ranallo time” to post a new entry on a “stale” blog (not to say the conversation was stale mind you). Anyway, once again, check out the link above for a good read on Antropov and how the giant RW likes to do his scoring damage. If he can replicate these numbers (in terms of where on the ice he scores his goals) playing with Kovy, then I think we will all be quite happy with the potential production of our top line.

EOB – I agree with you. To answer the question the blogger poses at the end of the piece, I say PEVERLEY!! I was very impressed with Rich’s ability to get back on D to “protect” his linemates from a possible 2 on 1 either developing or leading directly to a goal.

Buzilla in CT

August 5th, 2009
1:31 pm

by the way, Blueland is an extension of what you’re saying Rawhide. It took a few years but eventually Phillips weaseled their way into the colors of the Thrashers jersey already. The blue lettering of the “Phillips” logo looks pretty similar to all the same color blue from our “new” blue jerseys. If you remember, my tag name used to be ‘Buzilla Baby Blue’ in protest of these new blue jerseys that I have always hated and really hated because of the fact that it was corporate sponsorship that made them a reality. I miss the old maroon jersey with the ultimate warrior logo on the front. That, to me, is the one true pure Thrasher jersey. I never liked the big “Superman” logo on the white jersey(I have also heard it called the Coffee cup logo since it looks like a bird stirring his morning cup of Joe) and I don’t like anything about the blue jersey’s other than the word “Atlanta” down the sleeve. The only reason I own one was because I won it in a fan video contest.

This was longer than I expected. Sorry.

Buzilla in CT

August 5th, 2009
1:32 pm

$5 for first R. Stool

The Earl of Bud

August 5th, 2009
1:39 pm

Smoothie, it’s Lindy Ruff’s classic combo – a sniper, a banger and a passer. Peverley would fit perfectly for those two as the passer.

Bill Tiller, we are in the South, shouldn’t we go the way of NASCAR? Just kidding. Check out the top photo puck daddy used for this article: http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Moving-forever-closer-to-advertising-on-NHL-jers?urn=nhl,179465

Finally, I think of when the Vancouver Grizzlies moved to Memphis. FedEx, whose corp HQ is in Memphis, wanted to buy the naming rights to the team. They would be called the Memphis Express, complete with new logo. But David Stern put the kibosh on it and we have the Memphis Grizzlies instead.

Toby

August 5th, 2009
1:46 pm

Man…I can sure go for a basket of wings while I shop for my laptop…

Rawhide

August 5th, 2009
1:56 pm

EOB – The New York MLS team have the same thing happen as what you were describing with the Memphis Grizzlies…they are now known as the New York Red Bulls.

Tacky!

Thrashy Thrashy

August 5th, 2009
2:01 pm

It’s entertainment. Entertainment generally is overladen with sponsorship. I’d rather not see ads all over the unis, but if the teams can make some cash off of it, why not?

GaVaHokie

August 5th, 2009
2:02 pm

What if I told you, you could replace your entire roster of players with just ONE player? It shoots, it scores, iit fights, it will block shots… it even shoots T-shirts!

It’s the Hockey Bot 3000

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3263/3140308944_03f2330630.jpg

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 5th, 2009
2:03 pm

If allowing corporate sponsors a tiny piece of uniform gave struggling markets like Atlanta, Nashville, Florida, Phoenix, etc, a chance to compete monetarily with the big dogs, why not allow it? A salary cap limits spending, but allowing sponsorships provides added revenue for teams who struggle at the gate, filling the corporate suites, etc., which ultimately allows for salary parity across the league.

I should say now that I don’t believe for one second that the NHL will ever become a commercial on skates like the foreign leagues have (it should be recognized that those foreign leagues are dying for any money they can find, where as most NHL teams are swimming in money). If any sort of logo creep appears on NHL sweaters I would expect it to be small patches somewhere on the shoulder (like where the numbers appear on the Buffalo uniforms).

Speaking of on ice advertisements, doesn’t the 4 advertisements around the faceoff circle, the billboards strung along the ice itself, and the now compulsory scrolling advertisement on the LED board in the stands make you think that corporate creep is already in full effect?

Again, I wouldn’t care if it was the Home Depot Thrashers of Atlanta and the uniforms were bright orange…if that was the only way the team was financially able to stay in Atlanta, so be it. I don’t believe it will ever get to that point in the NHL, and I agree that I wish (for traditions sake) that logos never bust their way onto the uniform, but I can live with it if it were to unfortunately happen.

Futbol uniforms are definitely not a problem compared to international hockey sweaters… http://www.football-wallpapers.com/wallpapers2/real_madrid_10_1024×768.jpg — to me one medium sized logo isn’t too bad.

The Earl of Bud

August 5th, 2009
2:13 pm

BT, I forgot about the Red Bulls, of course soccer isn’t at the top of the memory bank.

ranallo10 (in AT), while yes, the struggling markets might get a little more $$ by doing this, but once they do it so will the O-6 teams and then the great divide still exists.

But if the Thrashers win some playoff games this year, shouldn’t they be the Delta Thrashers and not the Home Depot or Coke Thrashers? After all that would be a change.

GaVaHokie

August 5th, 2009
2:18 pm

Now, if the money from Timex became so lucrative to the Giants that it forced them to trade Eli Manning because of his Citizen endorsement… then maybe we have a problem.

R. Stroz

August 5th, 2009
2:20 pm

Smoothie – In reference to your earlier post, it’s always important to be effective in the crease.

(This thought has been brought to you by the makers of Viagra)

R. Stroz

August 5th, 2009
2:26 pm

Alexei Zhitnik was invited to the Russian Olympic team camp. No Joke.

(This comment was provided by Krispy Kreme donuts)

Jacques Strapp

August 5th, 2009
2:27 pm

Mr. RStroz, if ze Viagra deed indeed sponsour ze Thrashiers, they could then say zat zee team is gitting bigger, stronger with ze faster reaction time.

Don Waddell

August 5th, 2009
2:29 pm

Alexei Zhitnik is going to be a big part of Russia’s Olympic team.

Alan

August 5th, 2009
2:35 pm

Zhitnik was only invited because he makes a good practice pylon.

(ADVERTISE HERE! 1-555-ADVERT1!)

Smoothie

August 5th, 2009
2:46 pm

R Stroz — nice one buddy! Can always count on you for a few zingers to wake me up from my desk stupor. LOL And I noticed that particular peculiarity on the Russian invitee list as well. Perhaps Zhitty has finally woken up from his on-ice stupor and has returned to being an effective puck mover once again. Doubtful, but it is the KHL where the talent level is a bit lower. Then again, he is probably expected to be the perfect practice pylon around which to skate, through which to shoot and off which to pocket-pick.

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 5th, 2009
2:57 pm

EOB — The salary cap already keeps those free spenders in check. Allowing for more revenue would just pad their pockets, while it would make the lower end teams more competitive. The problem, however, is that the cap is directly linked to league revenue. If Atlanta makes more money all teams in the NHL benefit from it by sharing said revenue and by the rising of the cap.

Until the link between salary cap and revenue gets broken the highend teams will gain from an increase in ad revenue generated.

fes

August 5th, 2009
3:02 pm

I would not purchase another hockey jersey if sponsor logos were added. Feel free to add them to the multitude of colored practice jerseys though.

The NHL has an advantage over several other leagues by placing ads along the boards and around center ice. MLB has taken notice and increased their ads along walls and the green screens behind the plate that can display whatever they want it to (which seem to always say sponge tech regardless of the city, wtf). The Braves have also been advertising on the stairs in the section behind home plate.

five_hole

August 5th, 2009
3:13 pm

Bill, I’m surprised that you’re coming out against the free market. Isn’t it the right of the owners to sell the space on goalie masks, jerseys, whatever, to the highest bidder? Revenue, revenue, revenue. Who cares about aesthetics?

Seriously, this has been in the making for decades. Stadiums used to be named after owners (Wrigley field, Commisky park) or simply the team (Dodgers stadium). Then corporate ownership took over, and how we have corporate names plastered everywhere. I fully expect them to sell advertising space over the men’s urinals and women’s stalls.

Is it the case of “We need more in order to compete”, or “We need more because we don’t have enough now”? I would argue that if you put a competetive team here that could win consistently, there would be enough revenue to make a reasonable profit, and my proof is the other teams with winning records.

Personally, I hate billboards on the highways, and I really hate the idea of sports jerseys being loaded up with Nike/Coke/Verizon logos.

five_hole

August 5th, 2009
3:17 pm

I almost forgot my favorite Jeremy Roenick moment. Anyone else remember the playoffs, when Darrien Hatcher hit Roenick with an elbow to the face & shattered his jaw in 6 place? Roenick was out for the rest of the game, but came back the next night with the birdcage helmet and played the rest of the series. I’ve been a fan of his ever since.

I’ll miss you Jeremy.

The Earl of Bud

August 5th, 2009
3:24 pm

ranallo10 (in AT), I am confused by your replies.

“If allowing corporate sponsors a tiny piece of uniform gave struggling markets like Atlanta, Nashville, Florida, Phoenix, etc, a chance to compete monetarily with the big dogs, why not allow it? A salary cap limits spending, but allowing sponsorships provides added revenue for teams who struggle at the gate, filling the corporate suites, etc., which ultimately allows for salary parity across the league.

This made me think you are for these ads as it will help close the gap between high end and low end teams.

“Until the link between salary cap and revenue gets broken the highend teams will gain from an increase in ad revenue generated.”

This now makes me think you are against it. Which is it?

Pam on Weck

August 5th, 2009
3:26 pm

They can feed me all the logos they want on the free promotional items (i.e. Hair Cuttery mullet wig, Nuvox team flag). However, if I have to pay for the merch, it better be clean.

The Earl of Bud

August 5th, 2009
3:29 pm

Ultimately I think that there is a line that won’t be crossed, even though we keep getting closer and closer to it. I brought up the Memphis Express example earlier that may be done by a league like the MLS, but not the big 4. I also think back to the Spiderman bases fiasco. These ads on jerseys crosses the line, but we will continue to see other ways exposed.

Pop quiz – what was the first stadium/arena to have it’s name sold to an outside company? Wrigley was a company but the Wrigley family owned it so that doesn’t count.

fes

August 5th, 2009
3:38 pm

EOB: Busch stadium

The Earl of Bud

August 5th, 2009
3:40 pm

fes, the Anheuser Busch family owned the Cardinals when they did that, so that was not technically an “outside company” but like my Wrigley example.

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 5th, 2009
3:44 pm

EOB — I can understand (and state) both sides of an argument and not be “for” or “against” it. That’s the beauty (and complexity) of having an opinion…I’m “for” Atlanta and other struggling markets having almost every opportunity afforded to them in order to remain afloat without having to move their franchise to another city. I’m “against” the uniforms in the European leagues because the purist in me despises seeing a uniform littered with a plethora of advertisements.

If someone gave me the choice between the Atlanta Red Bulls or the Kitchener Thrashers, I’d pick Red Bulls immediately.

Rawhide — I find it interesting your statement about the MLS Red Bulls because one thing I appreciate about the Red Bulls invasion is that their franchise shows only ONE advertisement. The Red Bulls Salzburg (Austrian hockey and soccer teams) is only one advertisement, Red Bulls. When compared to the logo plastered teams, that one advertisement is definitely much more pleasing on the eyes.

If the Austrian teams could afford to field a competitive team WITHOUT the need for advertisements, they would do it. If an NHL team cannot field a competitive team without advertisements, it should be within their rights to at least broach the subject of selling logo space on their uniforms.

The purist in me wants it to stay within reason, so as not to make it appear as if the NHL is whoring itself out for the almighty dollar.

Rawhide

August 5th, 2009
3:44 pm

EOB – My guess would be the Great Western Forum in L.A.

ranallo – Like I said, I really would have no issue with a small patch…I just would hate to see the entire front sold out to corporate sponsorship. As for the Red Bulls…I get your point, but I’m still not too keen on a team being bought by a company and changing their names as such. I know stadiums and arena do such…but that’s where I draw the line.

I also have an issue with Chick-Fil-A renaming the “Peach Bowl” the “Chick-Fil-A Bowl”….but that’s a whole other issue entirely.

Five_Hole – J.R. will be missed…on the ice and for his quotes.

The Earl of Bud

August 5th, 2009
3:53 pm

ranallo10 (in AT), I am not saying you are for or against the revenue idea, I don’t know if you think it will help low market teams or hurt low market teams. In one sense you said the ads will help low end teams compete, then you said any new ads will only help high end teams (unless there’s a break between revenues and salary cap). So how will these ads help a team like Atlanta if the ads only help high end teams (“Until the link between salary cap and revenue gets broken the highend teams will gain from an increase in ad revenue generated.”)? That’s where I am confused, does it help us or hurt us?

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 5th, 2009
3:53 pm

RH — You’re right, there is a line. If that line is crossed I would rather it go the way that Red Bull has brought it and let the entire sponsorship be purchased, as opposed to the piecemeal uniforms you see on the other teams.

But to me one logo, in a relatively non-obtrusive location, is within reason. Center mass is obtrusive, but I would say shoulder or pant leg isn’t too annoying.

GaVaHokie

August 5th, 2009
3:57 pm

Excellent question EOB… was it Rich Products?

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 5th, 2009
4:05 pm

EOB — That was my attempt at conceeding the downside to my first statement. I know there is a weakness in the current CBA which would make any form of revenue generated by a low market team “hurt” them in the scheme of things (i.e., increased league revenue = increased salary cap).

I don’t know enough about the specifics in the CBA to explain it thoroughly, but basically I see the “catch” being that if Atlanta raises their revenue too high, they lose out on a large chunk of revenue sharing dollars. If they raise it beyond the mid market level, their revenue is positively impacting the league revenue bottom line, which is where the revenue sharing numbers come from (overall revenue across the board). If Atlanta’s increased revenue also increases the leagues, the cap gets raise, and Atlanta is then possibly placed back into the “low income” bracket of teams as they stand currently.

I’m not sure exactly if it will help or hurt the team, but as I said before if it comes down to moving the team or taking on advertisements (assuming the team cannot afford to do otherwise), I would live with the advertisements to keep the team in Atlanta. Clearly the New York Red Bulls agree.

five_hole — I understand your opinion, but how does that explain the New Jersey Devil’s of the league? The win consistently but yet cannot sellout. Likewise the Toronto Maple Leafs never seem to win, but always seem to sellout. The biggest obstacle I see in your opinion is “consistently win”, because there is no proof that Atlanta can do so without more money in their coffers. I would say in a market like Atlanta’s, you need winning to sustain a team…however, you need money to sustain the ability to build a consistent winner. Thus, there needs to be an infusion of money before the team can get to the point of self-sustainability.

Right now there are no money bags on the horizon for this franchise…what happens if the money never arrives to build the team to a sustained competitive level?

The Earl of Bud

August 5th, 2009
4:06 pm

GaVaHokie got it, although knowing there are some Buffalo guys here might have helped him. The Patriots actually had one in place at the same time but it didn’t go through all the way. In the early 70’s, Rich Products bought a 25 year lease for Rich Stadium’s name in Buffalo, now known as Ralph Wilson Stadium since the lease expired. I think they paid around a million $$ for the whole 25 years. That won’t get you 1 year’s worth for a stadium today.

The Earl of Bud

August 5th, 2009
4:11 pm

ranallo10 (in AT), got it now. I’ve got a database running, always some excel worksheets going and lotus in addition to having these hockey blogs open, so sometimes I get a little confused. I definitely don’t think they will cross that line though, but if need be then I will bite the bullet.

GaVaHokie

August 5th, 2009
4:29 pm

EOB… I cheated. :) But I found it one my own… that was a tough one to research. I learned a lot along the way.

Like the Patriots stadium issue… that was supposed to be Schaefer Beer, but it got dropped for “family value” issues.

five_hole

August 5th, 2009
4:31 pm

ranallo10 (in AT) It does seem to be a “Catch-22″. And yet teams do manage to develop winning trends and change their fortunes. And New Jersey and Toronto not withstanding, I maintain that the traditional methods of getting revenue work, and “outside” revenue would not be diverted to things like increasing team payrolls.

Bruce Levenson

August 5th, 2009
4:42 pm

We need more liquor company sponsors.

Their motto could be “We’re on our way to drinking out of the Stanley Cup.”

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 5th, 2009
4:58 pm

five_hole — My point about New Jersey and Toronto is that though they are outliers, there is no “normal” market one can point to as a model for success. Most NHL hockey teams either have a history of winning, tradition, or simply luxury of location that feed their fans the passion to go to games. Atlanta has basically none of those (arguably they have tradition, though it’s not pushed by the current regime). There is no coincidence that the non-traditional markets like Phoenix, Atlanta, and Florida are struggling to make money, while the markets swimming in tradition have little problems if any (the only exceptions I can think of are Pittsburgh and Buffalo).

To get Atlanta fans to come to games the team must win, and win often. To get the team to win the ownership needs to commit themselves to fielding a competitive team. They (owners) don’t need to spend max cap, but they need to spend more than 28/30 for the duration of the season in order to feign interest in fielding a competitive team. Then they could also prove their interest by holding many of the original crew accountable for the continued failures.

But in the end, I feel this team needs more money in order to build a successful team that will drive the team to consistent sellouts and higher season ticket sales.

The turnover rate in the ASG’s sales department shows me they know nothing about what they’re doing wrong, and truly think a different sales pitch will draw more fans.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to diverty the topic to the ASG. My whole point is that if the ASG (or another NHL ownership situation) cannot afford to field a competitive franchise, they should be allowed to look for more advertising space if it will bring in more revenue and be spent properly to improve the franchise (not necessarily bigger player salaries, but allowing for better scouts, coaches, facilities, marketing, etc).

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 5th, 2009
4:59 pm

I need to proofread more often…what does “diverty” mean?

Bruce Levenson

August 5th, 2009
5:10 pm

diverty, ranallo10 has been drinking with me.

Pam on Weck

August 5th, 2009
5:35 pm

A bank sponsor could advertise a penalty-free checking account.

Pam on Weck

August 5th, 2009
5:49 pm

EOB – Funny. I didn’t even know Rich Stadium was named for Rich Products. And I marched the halftime show there twice with my high school band!

ThrasherFan

August 5th, 2009
5:49 pm

America isn’t suited for logos on Jersey’s yet. In Soccer it works because it’s been done for so long. I can’t imagine a soccer jersey without a sponsorship tag on it. It’s a way to generate revenue for the teams around the world.

I will also say that European and world ticket prices for soccer games are NOWHERE near what we pay in this country for a sporting event. You can get into a match for 15 dollars in most places and part of that is because of the shirt sponsor.

I can hardly afford a set of tix to a hockey game so if they want to advertise and bring down that cost, do it!

rightshot

August 5th, 2009
5:51 pm

Welcome to the ice, your Atlanta, Home Depot, Bank of America, Nike, Mercedes Benz of Atlanta, Heineken, AT & T, Weilend Homes, Taco Mac, Phillips Electronics, Bud and Bud Ice, NHL.com, AJC.com, Kauffman Tire, McDonalds, I’m Loving it, The Golf Channel, Redwing Shoes, Ace Hardware, No there is no conflict of interest there, The new movie “Slapshot 10, The New Ownership” in theaters April 1, 2015, Ford Trucks, Built Ford Tough, Yahoo.com, Bruce Levenson and his new company Spirit Brewery, maker of both the all natural “Spirit Beer” and the smooth and refreshing “Iced Bull Beer” available at concession stands now, Scottrade, Delta Airlines, Starbucks There’s a Starbucks near you, probably within ten feet, The city of Snellville, Everybody’s Somebody in Snellville, and the guy up in section 411, Thrashers !!

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 5th, 2009
6:08 pm

Hmmm, I’m suddenly finding myself thirsty, hungry, and in the mood to fly somewhere to do some house work…how strange.

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 5th, 2009
6:12 pm

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/78/Ice_Hockey_goalkeeper_Irbe_of_EC_Red_Bull_Salzburg.jpg

I’d argue this looks no worse than several sweaters currently worn in the NHL, including Atlanta’s third uniform. I love the helmets.

Brendan

August 5th, 2009
6:42 pm

Imagine a “Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific” logo on a Thrashers uniform? Would people fly into hysterics over a Cialis, Levitra, or Viagra patch? It makes the old Twister Sister music video for, “We’re not Gonna Take it (Anymore)” video statement seem obsolete. “IS that a PLEDGE PIN!! On YOUR UNIFORM???!!!!”

Brendan

August 5th, 2009
6:43 pm

TwisteD Sister, even. Obscure 80’s metal reference there. My apologies.

[...] on the jersey advertising front comes this post from Bill "Rawhide" Tiller over on AJC’s Ice Man blog, who loathes the idea of logos on the sweaters … but: Now, I honestly don’t think [...]

Glovesave29

August 5th, 2009
7:23 pm

It’s inevitable…there will be advetising on the uni’s. I don’t like it, but it is going to happen. When I got into this sport, the ice and dashers were free of advertising…so we’re already heading in that direction.

Brendan…that was ORIGINALLY from Animal House. Niedermeyer (Mark Metcalf) was reprising his role for the video.

World Be Free

August 5th, 2009
7:43 pm

What the hell do you people do with your time?

Pam on Wick-OK, which high school band? My son marched HS band for the Falcons-Titans game at the Dome a few years ago. I hauled equipment, it was fun.

To the subject, you see old NHL games (mid 1980’s) with white boards in the areans, no advertisements. Today, it looks really strange seeing all white, we are so accustomed to advertising. So what’s a little patch or two?

I watched the Swedish league games when I was in Norway. Not only do they have advertisements on the unifroms, but the entire faceoff circles are painted with company logos.

I have no problem-let’s the get revenue before it goes to that non-sport, Poker!

World Be Free

August 5th, 2009
7:47 pm

Can Hooters be our main sponsor, please?

sisu

August 5th, 2009
7:51 pm

World Be Free

August 5th, 2009
8:05 pm

Slater already plays like he has over both eyes.

[...] on the jersey advertising front comes this post from Bill "Rawhide" Tiller over on AJC’s Ice Man blog, who loathes the idea of logos on the sweaters … but: Now, I honestly don’t think [...]

Your Mammy

August 5th, 2009
9:15 pm

European hockey jerseys are a prime example of advertising gone way too far.I collect game worn jerseys, the Euro/Russian jerseys are so dreadful littered with all kinds of ads. They look like the crap those cyclist wear in the Tour De France. I wouldn’t buy one as a collector, even it if it were $20 and worn by Kolvachuk. NHL needs to stay the classiest major sport their is, and not become the crap like the NBA and the NFL have turned into.

World Be Free

August 5th, 2009
9:32 pm

Manny, I agree, Euro jerseys are “trashy Euro” for sure. Pacteches or advertising much small would be acceptable. The leugue is looking for a much needed injection of cash for all teams.

Rawhide

August 5th, 2009
9:34 pm

Rightshot – I love it!!!! The only thing I would change is that I’d put ajc.com first :lol:

Your Mammy – Nicely put…and welcome!

Sisu – EXACTLY!!!

Brendan

August 5th, 2009
10:05 pm

Good call, Glovesave29. I had forgotten that about Animal House. If it’s inevitable to have advertising on a jersey, I hope to at least prolong it a little. Ask yourself this question: “Would you buy an AUTHENTIC Thrashers jersey with a corporate sponsor on it?” Or even a replica jersey, with a corporate sponsor on it? If your answer is, “no,” I bet some people in NHL sales and marketing would take note of that rather quickly.

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 5th, 2009
10:30 pm

No, but I don’t buy a replica or authentic jersey already…it doesn’t matter to me that the uniform is “untainted” by advertising (forget that little Reebok slug).

Brendan

August 5th, 2009
10:54 pm

That is BLASPHEMY!! Guards, Seize Ranallo at once!!!

I kid. I tease. I still don’t have the powder blue jersey. I just don’t like it. I don’t have the red one, either. I have the white one, and the “stylized T,” classic jersey from the Inaugural season. I still like that jersey a lot.

Sara

August 6th, 2009
1:41 am

You guys are forgetting the virtual ads on the netting they are doing as well. ICK! I loathe and despise the thought of advertising on the jerseys. And as Puck Daddy had said, that is hopefully an area where the NHLPA can put their foot down and say not only no, but HELL NO!

Brendan – sales and marketing will care only in the event that lost revenue from merchandise sales exceeds revenue generated by selling the advertising in the first place. Now, that might be the case, but honestly, as much money as the jersey’s bring in in sales, the advertising possibilities for 30 teams has to be greater.

BTW, speaking of the parity argument. For one thing, you have to consider whether or not these advertising deals would be League-wide or not. Honestly, each team probably would need to do their own to work through those potential conflicts of interest. I highly doubt Coca-Cola would be pleased to see a Pepsi logo on the Atlanta hockey team’s uniform. Or Philips happy with Sony logos. etc etc. And as soon as you start getting into individual deals, the parity will vanish. Advertising placed on a Red Wings jersey or Pittsburgh jersey or Toronto jersey (teams that either sell out games a lot or tend to show up on national broadcasts regularly) can fetch a much higher price than those on a Coyotes or Panthers jersey. Which means once again the haves can rake in bigger bucks than the have-nots.

Riceowls8891

August 6th, 2009
7:57 am

Brendan – There’s nothing obscure about Twisted Sister. I had that album.

GaVaHokie

August 6th, 2009
8:52 am

Ranallo… you do bring up a good point… Would Reebok want all that advertising obscuring their logo?

I wonder what the specifics of the Reebok contract with the NHL is?

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 6th, 2009
9:04 am

“that is hopefully an area where the NHLPA can put their foot down and say not only no, but HELL NO!”

30-60 goalies formed a group that proposed advertising on goalie equipment to the NHL. Clearly the players know that advertising could positively impact their salary. Why would the NHLPA be against making more money, especially the obvious possibility of raising the league minimum salary by a hundred thousand dollars (US) or more?

“Advertising placed on a Red Wings jersey or Pittsburgh jersey or Toronto jersey (teams that either sell out games a lot or tend to show up on national broadcasts regularly) can fetch a much higher price than those on a Coyotes or Panthers jersey. Which means once again the haves can rake in bigger bucks than the have-nots.”

Yet there is a salary cap in place which limits their avenue to spend directly on the player salaries. Those teams already spend a ton of money on their franchise, why limit their potential to make a profit? More money could mean cheaper tickets, which benefits the fans. The teams that DO NOT make a bunch of money already have the most to gain from opening advertisement spots on their uniform.

And there is always a conflict of interest…any good marketing department is able to balance the pros and the cons of each offer. Besides, if Pepsi offers more than Coke, who cares if Coca-Cola is unhappy? If Sony offers Atlanta the most money they simply point to the naming of the arena and say “if you want to replace our arena naming rights and pay for the cancellation fees of this contract, you’ve got a deal”.

If advertising was unfair to the big market teams and impossible to balance competitive interests within an arena, don’t you think there would still be white boards and the only logo painted on the ice would be the team’s insignia?

GaVaHokie

August 6th, 2009
9:27 am

What ever happened to the Thrashers “Powertel” Power Play?

Do the Falcons still have the “Ford Drive Zone” instead of the “Red” Zone?

Pam on Weck

August 6th, 2009
9:34 am

WBF – Though I was born in Buffalo and frequented the area, I was mostly raised in Jamestown. Sooooo, the Jamestown “Red Raider” Marching Band. I graduated in ‘89, so it was just the beginning of the “Kelly” years and it was still Rich Stadium.

The best story I have out of it was there we were sitting behind the end zone and a stray football came flying after the extra point. A friend of mine stood up and caught the ball between his cymbals. Classic.

Lee

August 6th, 2009
9:38 am

the goalie should be wearing the billboard at turner field: drilll one here!

Natalie Taylor

August 6th, 2009
10:01 am

The Keys to the Game, brought to you by Viagra:

1) The Thrashers must maintain consistent pressure for a full sixty minutes.

2) The Thrashers must avoid losing control of the game by not giving up the puck prematurely.

3) The Thrashers need to control the crease area in order to maximaze their scoring opportunities.

And those, are your Keys to the Game.

The Earl of Bud

August 6th, 2009
10:14 am

“while the markets swimming in tradition have little problems if any (the only exceptions I can think of are Pittsburgh and Buffalo).”

ranallo10 (in AT), Buffalo may play the “small market card” from time to time so as to not spend the $$ on big free agents and increase their bottom line, but they have never been hurting. The only time they were in trouble had nothing to do with the team or the city, it had everything to do with the fact that the owner from that year is currently sharing a residence with Bernie Madoff under strict supervision. They rebounded from that quite easily.

“sales and marketing will care only in the event that lost revenue from merchandise sales exceeds revenue generated by selling the advertising in the first place.”

Sara, I was going to say something similar but got off track as that easily happens around here. I think they will be hurt quite a bit by the loss in sales.

Pam on Weck, I remember exactly where the bands sit and can totally imagine that happening. I didn’t put 2 & 2 together for awhile on Rich either and that was even after Rich’s bid for the MLB expansion back in the 90’s when his name was everywhere.

Hu Flung Poo

August 6th, 2009
10:21 am

Harro Frashers fans!

Alan

August 6th, 2009
10:22 am

Ah, I see the self-anointed center of attention has awakened!

five_hole

August 6th, 2009
11:13 am

This is America, where revenue is king and screw the aesthetics. If the NHLPA is offered a pice of the advertising revenue, they will go with the flow.

Toby

August 6th, 2009
11:34 am

Jason Williams signed in Detroit. HA!

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 6th, 2009
11:46 am

“Buffalo may play the “small market card” from time to time so as to not spend the $$ on big free agents and increase their bottom line, but they have never been hurting”

That’s not exactly what the NHL is claiming when it comes to moving a team to Hamilton. Buffalo’s territory relies heavily upon Canadian fans, according to the NHL claims. Why would that make me think the team is solvent?

Obviously you know more about the Buffalo market than I do, but the team has seemingly always been tight with the wallet and has had ownership problems in the past which makes me think of them immediately when finding outliers to the “traditional” hockey clubs who had monetary troubles.

Alan

August 6th, 2009
11:56 am

Toby, I’m disappointed by that news. Alas, it should have been an easy decision for Jason. It was either Detroit or Russia.

Ga Southern Eagle Fan

August 6th, 2009
12:03 pm

First Federal sponsers the team…every time the Eagles get a first down the stadium announcer and the radio man holler ” another Eagle first federal first down” annoying beyond all hell. can not do anything about it in person, but when i am in my car, i turn the sound off everytime i hear “another”

Russian

August 6th, 2009
12:05 pm

OK. Jason will play for Detroit. I do not care. Now Malhotra is not going to Detroit. He can think about Thrashers offer for $2 mln.

Natalie Taylor

August 6th, 2009
12:12 pm

Hardees should become a Thrashers sponsor, so I can tell everyone how much I like to sink my teeth into a big piece of meat.

World Be Free

August 6th, 2009
12:17 pm

Great story Pam, playing at a Bills’ game must have been wild. The cymbal catch must have been something to see! I was a Bills’ crazy fan until I moved here in ‘95. I am old enough to have remembered seeing Bills’ games in War Memorial Stadium, Calvin Murphy twirling the baton for the Niagara University Marching Band.

The Falcons put us up in the top rows in the end zone when we did the Falcons-Titans game in 2004. Tough feeding 235 kids in the upper deck!

Sabres games are almost always sell out. They have already cutoff selling season tickets this year, the year of the poor economy in an “economically depressed” city. Sabres’ TV games have a huge viewership, so advertising revenue is good. I think their lease with the city is good too. So all this garbage about being small market is just that.

The only reason we are talking about putting a team in Hamilton is because Baisillie wants to put a team there. As I said before, Hamilton is not a major league city, it’s not even a minor league city. We might as well put an NHL franchise in Springfield, Missouri.

Natalie, thanks for the keys, especially us old guys. Add one to your list-contact your doctor immediately if the game last more that 4 hours.

Alan

August 6th, 2009
12:34 pm

Natalie, you’re cringe-worthy already as it is. There’s no need for you to try any harder!

World Be Free

August 6th, 2009
12:35 pm

I favor having some form of advertising ont he player’s jerseys. It is going to happen sooner or later so why fight it.

Do you think Depends could design hockey pants for older players?

Hu Flung Poo

August 6th, 2009
12:38 pm

The Gladiators were sponsered by Atlanta Oral and Facial.

I laughed so hard I wet myself a little

Alan

August 6th, 2009
12:42 pm

Depends: For those times you got so s***faced on the bus. Never worry about pissing all over yourself if you get thrown to the boards again!

GaVaHokie

August 6th, 2009
12:43 pm

OK. Jason will play for Detroit. I do not care. Now Malhotra is not going to Detroit. He can think about Thrashers offer for $2 mln.

Nah… he’ll try Edmonton next, THEN the Thrashers. :)

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 6th, 2009
12:46 pm

“harder”…good pun.

WBF — Had someone other than Balsillie been favoring a move to Hamilton, do you think the same defenses for Toronto and Buffalo would be made (i.e. territorial rights)? If everything works out so well for the team monetarily, why are they in the bottom 10 of payroll for the past three seasons?

Unfortunately I cannot shake the misconception that Buffalo is a “struggling” (I use that term very loosely) market compared to Detroit, Toronto, Montreal, etc. Cheap ownership tells me (a) fans are subsidizing a poor product by purchasing tickets at full price while watching a team paid half-price, or (b) the team is struggling monetarily despite the outward signs of a strong hockey market.

Like I said though, it can obviously be a complete misconception on my part, and continually fed by the NHL comments and hockey analysts I’ve read for the past few years.

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 6th, 2009
12:57 pm

For the love of all that is holy, why can’t the Thrashers do something like this:
http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=286932 (for those that don’t want to read, the Blues hired Belfour as a goalie consultant)?

World Be Free

August 6th, 2009
1:05 pm

Your take on Buffalo is not too far off, I just think it is as dire as other make it. Detroit, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Philly and a few others are the elite NHL franchises, alot more solid than Buffalo if for no other reason than they reside in larger markets. Nobody other than Balsillie has ever considered placing a franchise in Hamilton. Jim is the king of Hamilton; like having your own little outhouse.

GaVa-you hope this gets us some movement on Manny soon. I have been trying to keep my yap shut on this one.

Hu-makes sense, ay?

GaVaHokie

August 6th, 2009
1:13 pm

ranallo… Belfour’s a drunk asshole… no thanks.

WBF… I know how you feel. :) … but if we start the season with Malhotra/Reasoner/Armstrong as our Checking Line, I’ll be super stoked.

Rawhide

August 6th, 2009
1:19 pm

Ranallous Maximus – Very interesting! I would love to see Moose become one for us…if not an all-out goalie coach…in the not-too-distant future.

GaVaHokie

August 6th, 2009
1:20 pm

Ranallo… concerning Ed Belfour.

On October 20, 2000, Belfour plead guilty to a misdeamenor charge in which Belfour was subdued by police after a woman he was with became frightened by an intoxicated Belfour in a Metro Dallas hotel room. While under arrest and being transported to the local division, he allegedly offered Dallas police officers one billion dollars for his release without charges. He apologized to the Dallas Stars organization and police officers involved and was charged $3000 for resisting arrest.

Belfour was arrested on April 9, 2007 outside of a South Florida nightclub with Panthers teammate Ville Peltonen and was charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer without violence. He was released the same day from Miami-Dade County jail on $1,500 bond.[7]

Also questionable… ;)

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2643880

The Earl of Bud

August 6th, 2009
1:28 pm

ranallo10 (in AT) your claims of “ownership problems” in Buffalo are extremely exaggerated. They had the Knox brothers own it from conception until the mid 90’s, then Rigas owned it, then Golisano owned it. The Knox brothers owned it for decades without any problem, Golisano is doing quite well, but Rigas pulled an Enron type scandal at Adelphia cable (his primary business) and thus is why he is in the same jail as Bernie Madoff right now. So to say “ownership problems” in Buffalo is completely off base, they had an owner who got caught in trouble with his cable company and that had nothing to do with the Sabres organization or the city of Buffalo’s market size. Does Golisano pinch pennies to increase his bottom line? Yes. But he went to back-to-back conference finals so he gets away with it for now.

To go off of World Be Free’s points, the Sabres have a cap already on the number of season tickets sold and a waiting list for next year. They have the #1 Nielsen TV rating among US teams. Not only are they #1, but they are widely ahead of the rest of the league. Here are the top 5 teams and look at the gap between #1 Buffalo and the rest of the top 5 teams:

Buffalo 8.9
Pittsburgh 5.7
Detroit 3.3
Minnesota 2.6
Philly 2.1

The Earl of Bud

August 6th, 2009
1:37 pm

ranallo10 (in AT) as for Belfour, don’t forget that we used to have Andy Moog as a goalie consultant. I know that was awhile ago but just thought I’d throw that in there.

GaVaHokie, I’ll be stoked too. Now that Detroit signed Eaves and Williams we should be the front runner for MM.

Electrolux Vacuum Cleaners

August 6th, 2009
1:40 pm

Andy Sutton, you get paid $3 million per year and you still suck!

(This message brought to you by Electrolux Vacuum Cleaners on behalf of Buzilla and Rone)

Pam on Weck

August 6th, 2009
1:46 pm

WBF – I also moved here in ‘95 (on April 1st).

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 6th, 2009
1:55 pm

Hokie — The point wasn’t about Belfour’s off ice problems, it was about how nice it would be for a qualified individual such as Belfour should be brought in to coach/consult with Atlanta’s goalies. I don’t care if it was Belfour, Roy, or any other people you can scrounge up from the long list of a-hole goalies…so long as they’re a qualified individual who will focus on improving the game of Lehtonen and Pavelec (and future goalies), I’m happy. Weeks isn’t getting it done, in my opinion.

EOB — I understand your points, but with all of that being said Buffalo is still in the bottom 10 in team salary over the last three years. Where is all of that revenue going, if not towards the team?

You’re arguing the merits of the Buffalo fans, and I’m simply saying that the ownership group(s) have projected “cheap” for the last few years. With all of those dedicated fans Buffalo has not won a Stanley Cup, yet ownership hasn’t committed more to winning one. Clearly the Buffalo owner(s) are content with being good but not the best.

Buffalo has a rich tradition on their side, which you are arguing (and I’m not denying), but what I’m saying is for the past 3 years Buffalo has been an above average team with a below average payroll, and ownership doesn’t seem to mind.

To me it’s a “problem” when a tradition rich hockey market penny-pinches despite the appearance that the team is in a strong hockey market. As I said it’s either fans enabling the ownership by paying full price for half price commitment, or the market is weaker than it appears to us fans (the people on the outside).

Despite the Nielsen ratings and your recital of the past three ownership groups (no offense, I don’t really care about them), I still have the admitted misconception about Buffalo. Buffalo has fans that will go to the ends of the nation to annoy the hell out of the home team fans, but for all of that dedication to their team the ownership group seems content riding the round 1-3 playoff revenue every year all the way to the bank.

World Be Free

August 6th, 2009
2:07 pm

June 95 for me

The Earl of Bud

August 6th, 2009
2:14 pm

“the market is weaker than it appears to us fans (the people on the outside)………Buffalo has fans that will go to the ends of the nation to annoy the hell out of the home team fans”

Now it all makes sense. You’re upset because some Buffalo fans were able to cheer louder than you were at a game so you will retaliate by saying they are a weak market.

People this is hockey. We aren’t watching figure skating and if someone screams at one of our players, there is nothing stopping us from screaming louder. Philips Arena seats 18 thousand. If a couple of hundred of them cheer for the opposing team we should be able to drown them out. But don’t complain that their fans are annoying because they cheer louder.

If they are louder than us in Philips then shame on us.

Alan

August 6th, 2009
2:39 pm

Now it all makes sense. You’re upset because some Buffalo fans were able to cheer louder than you were at a game so you will retaliate by saying they are a weak market.

Sense. You’re not making any.

GaVaHokie

August 6th, 2009
2:42 pm

ranallo… understood… if Lehtonen would just pay attention to Moose’s conditioning, we’d be fine.

As far as “in game” focus… yeah, not sure what the answer is.

GaVaHokie

August 6th, 2009
2:44 pm

Oh, by the way… my last post was brought to you in part by… “The Moose Unplugged”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynVw7qC-44U

Viking

August 6th, 2009
3:11 pm

Back in the day, my Swedish home team Färjestad was closely associated with the local coffee brand, which had purple with yellow accents as their colors. The players and even the arena was purple and yellow! At the time, the ads were pretty subdued. Everyone was happy. But one year a bank managed to cameleonize the players into something green and white with an oak tree adorning the outfit – to the displeasure of many fans. However, later we were back to coffee and everyone was happy again! Nowadays they are wearing green…

Here is a fight between Sheldon Souray (in Löfbergs coffee colors) and Niklas Kronwall: (Click on the picture to start the movie)

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://habsinsideout.com/files/hio/img/farjestad.jpg&imgrefurl=http://habsinsideout.com/2007/07/they_miss_souray_in_sweden_too&usg=__pslqVpeBr51RPm6cDitq-ccmDSw=&h=937&w=650&sz=197&hl=en&start=5&um=1&tbnid=K0sYDX-4It5vIM:&tbnh=148&tbnw=103&prev=/images%3Fq%3Df%25C3%25A4rjestad%2Bhockey%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26um%3D1

If dress ads would help reducing ticket prices and get us couple of good players, I would put up with the ads. As long as they are restricted and be in harmony with the rest of the design.

R. Stroz

August 6th, 2009
3:17 pm

GaVaHokie – Great link on the Moose machine.

I need to buy one of those machines for protection while walking in downtown Atlanta after games.

GaVaHokie

August 6th, 2009
3:50 pm

I need to buy one of those machines for protection while walking in downtown Atlanta after games.

I need one to keep the neighborhood cats from crapping in our garden and flower beds.

lee

August 6th, 2009
3:51 pm

very good points rannallo!

GaVaHokie

August 6th, 2009
4:25 pm

Okay… since there isn’t much to talk about, here’s something to ponder over. I was just noticing that Vancouver re-upped with former-Thrasher property, Guilleume Desbiens.

I was looking at his career stats… look what moving away from Chicago/Gwinnett to another system in Manitoba did to his stats.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?id=3550

He didn’t even play a full season with Chicago/Gwinnett combined, so there must have been some “scratches”.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it makes you ponder how a big physical RWer might fair in an Anderson offensive system.

A27

August 6th, 2009
4:35 pm

The Hell with Buffablow and there stupid fans. Hated them in Hartford and even hate them more down here. They act like they won the Stanley Cup and can talk all kinds of crap. But in truth the Sabres are like the Bills chokers. The only fans that I dont mind taking a ribbing from at Phillips are Wings, Devils, Tampa, fans, atleast there are not as moronic and as annoying. Oh and WBF and the rest of the posters from the upstate New York region, this is not a jab at you guys you seem cool. Its more directed to the tards that show up at Thrasher games. Plus my wife and inlaws are all from ROTchester and I never hear the end of it from them about the BananaSlugs and the Bills… Anyway back to Thrasher hockey. Hope we can get MM and I dont mind Ads on jeresys. Sorry for my rant.

The Earl of Bud

August 6th, 2009
4:46 pm

A27, all we have to do is yell louder and the problem is solved. Given our numbers and the fact that a lot of transplants have converted to the Thrashers, I don’t think it will be a problem. I can’t imagine a couple of hundred away team fans outcheering the home crowd at a football game in Athens, so why does it happen in Philips?

rightshot

August 6th, 2009
4:47 pm

How weird would it be to have both a Viagra ad and an ad for a pregnancy test together on the jersey. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, “The team is working hard and getting results.”

Alan

August 6th, 2009
4:50 pm

Things that make you go “Hmm”:

According to one of the country’s top sociologists, interest in the National Hockey League has been declining over the past two decades, with the game’s largest proportion of fan losses occurring among teenagers. The University of Lethbridge’s Reginald Bibby says his findings debunk the myth of “hockey-mad” Canadians, and call into question the game’s endurance as our national winter sport.

(This post sponsored by Bubba’s Waffles and Fish Bait)

R. Stroz

August 6th, 2009
5:15 pm

rightshot – That’s a good one.

Along the same lines, that would give the Thrasher management mantra of incremental progress new meaning.

Darren Eliot

August 6th, 2009
5:30 pm

The Thrashers are moving in the right direction.

(This message brought to you by the makers of Viagra)

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 6th, 2009
5:47 pm

Hokie — I noticed Desbiens got re-signed too, thought I’d leave it alone. But, since you bring it up, I’m still a bit disappointed he wasn’t re-signed. Desbiens is a scrapper, plain and simple, but apparently Manitoba was able to tap into his ability to put points on the board. I don’t expect him to be anything more than a fourth line winger, but a fourth liner who can play in the crease and fight like Desbiens does…that’s rough.

EOB — Seriously?? This was a conversation, not a pissing contest.

Brendan

August 6th, 2009
5:51 pm

You WNY transplants got here just in time to see Atlanta’s only major professional sports championship. They say “timing is everything!” Lots of Buffalo conversation lately. My $0.02, I don’t know what the truth is. But my snooping on Golisano tells me … they guy’s got untold financial resources. Why the HECK aren’t they spending to the MAX CAP limit? Especially since you Sabre fans are reporting massive “sellouts” and “waiting lists” for Season tickets. Something doesn’t add up. I have ZERO DOUBT that Buffalo hockey fans are super knowledgeable and are of the “die-hard” variety. So, to hear there’s a waiting list for Season Tix doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. But … if the arena’s soldout, and the owner is a billionaire, why doesn’t the team have a MAXED cap? Follow up question, why does the Buffalo market “seem,” (heavy emphasis on SEEM,) to have trouble retaining players?

Before someone chimes in to say there’s nothing to do in Buffalo. That’s false. Even past Niagara Falls, which, if done properly, takes three days, in and out itself, there are other things to do in Buffalo and Western New York. If I’m a Canadian hockey player, why WOULDN’T I want to come to Buffalo? It’s a stone’s throw from the border. Without having to sell your house, you could manage to play for Toronto in your UFA years. It’s probably a little charter flight from Buffalo into Pearson Int’l, in Toronto, to connect to any other major Canadian City? I repeat, if you’re a Canadian, used to cold weather and snow, why wouldn’t you come to play in Buffalo? Unless the answer is … because the ownership isn’t committed to player retention? It doesn’t make sense. People in Buffalo support that team. If the arena is soldout, it’s getting the MAXIMUM REVENUE that it can, barring raising prices. The owner is a frekkin billionaire. What’s the hold-up? Why did BOTH Drury and Briere leave??? That’s insane. One of them has to stay. I don’t care which one. But one of them DOES. I think they should have kept J.P. Dumont and Mike Grier, too. Why do these guys get away? They weren’t Tier I guys, demanding the moon and stars. McKee, fine. Let him go. He asked for too much, anyway. Campbell? Sure Campbell is ridiculously overpaid. But I have to wonder what was going on in the offseason of his contract year? Why wasn’t a proactive contract tendered? And if not then, why not by Christmas, at the latest? I think, with no proof, that Campbell could have been had for $5 million a year, for as long as Buffalo wanted him, had they jumped all over him EARLY. Again, this doesn’t add up. Players want $7 million off the Sabres, for some reason. Drury, Briere, Campbell, even Vanek, got their “$7 million cap hit salaries.” I don’t blame Buffalo for exercising prudence with how it spends its money. That’s fine. Every good organization should. But why do players get away from the Sabres? There’s got to be a reason, no? It’s something. What ISSS that “something?” Is is a “lack of vision?” I wouldn’t think that. GM Darcy Regier is a good GM. Is it “lack of financing?” Billionaire ownership. I doubt it’s that. Is it a “lack of commitment” towards pursuing the Cup? Shrugs. I don’t know. I’ll put that in the “maybe” category. Why … do … players … leave Buffalo? Is it that, they don’t think they’ll get the money when they hit UFA status? If so, that’s a problem. It speaks to “commitment.” And “vision.” And “ownership.”

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 6th, 2009
5:53 pm

Hokie — I assume you differentiated my “re-signed” between Vancouver (former) and Atlanta (latter).

Brendan

August 6th, 2009
6:14 pm

Sara, I think you’re right. The advertising revenue would far exceed any jersey sales losses, due to corporate logos on them. But my cynical side tells me, that someone in a position of authority would step up to say, “I have an idea. The jerseys sold to the public shall NOT contain the corporate logos; this way … they’ll actually buy them.” Hey, who would want to miss out on revenue? The game sweaters would have the corporate logos. This way, the most revenue that could be generated would be generated.

World Be Free

August 6th, 2009
6:35 pm

Ranallo-I agree with your comments on Buffalo being cheap-they are. Not so sure I agree with the annoying fans comment; not that I am partial, I just don’t think it is accurate. But I respect your opinion.

World Be Free

August 6th, 2009
6:39 pm

A27 thanks for your thoughts, hoping you won’t be such a doink on your next post. Go Thrashers

The Earl of Bud

August 6th, 2009
8:48 pm

Brendan, you hit the nail on the head. Buffalo is very attractive for NHL players & coaches. That’s why on 1 street in a particular Buffalo suburb Scotty Bowman, John Muckler & Daryl Sittler all live next to each other. Someone else lives on it and joked “his” neighborhood won XX Stanley Cups (the joke being that he didn’t win any of them, everyone else did). A couple of my buddies from high school live up the street from Rick Dudley (so be careful what you say about us Buffalo transplants).

Anyways, Golisano is a very good businessman, many believe he has visions of turning a hefty profit more than winning a Cup. On another blog, and I can’t tell you where, but I did a rundown of all the players the Sabres let go. With the exception of 1 or 2, all were overpaid free agents and almost all were busts on their next team. So Buffalo was smart in that sense. As well, they did hold onto some expensive guys which doesn’t get mentioned as much. So there’s that argument also.

In the end, Golisano just went to back-to-back conference finals and he probably has 1 more year before he has to cut the purse strings loose again. Unless of course they make the playoffs this year. Also, they have some young studs coming up that can make things interesting and their core players are pretty much in their 20’s still. Roy, Vanek, Pominville, Miller, Stafford, Connolly are all young and are all signed long-term.

ranallo10 (in AT) I am sorry for the pissing match but I am so sick of people here complaining about loud Buffalo fans. If only I can get Philips to be as loud as that high school football game I went to down here it wouldn’t be an issue. If Thrashers fans don’t like loud Sabres fans then they should easily get drowned out.

World Be Free

August 6th, 2009
9:23 pm

Everyone should be happy that visiting fans frequent Thrashers’ games, regardless of the team. We need to build the fan base to the point that there won’t be any seats left for visiting team’s fans.

The Earl of Bud

August 6th, 2009
9:35 pm

World Be Free, keep in mind too that those visiting fans are buying tickets, beer & hot dogs that will go to help us signing Kovalchuk. To paraphrase someone else here (“If someone gave me the choice between the Atlanta Red Bulls or the Kitchener Thrashers, I’d pick Red Bulls immediately.”): If someone gave me the choice between the Atlanta Thrashers with a few visiting fans or the Kitchener Thrashers, I’d pick the visiting fans immediately. Sorry ranallo10 (in AT), I had to say it. And as you say WBF, our base should be big enough that we don’t have to worry about them.

Get The Puck Out

August 6th, 2009
10:37 pm

I don’t mind yellin from an opposing fan. That’s just passion for thier team. It’s the drunks mindless dribble that really gets under my skin. If i bring my family to a game i want them to enjoy it to the fullest. Not listen to someone spit and slobber, spill beer, etc, etc. Not only do you listen to this but you have to worry about gettin mugged or worse when you leave. I’ve had really good times at games but i’ve also had inconsiderate people make a game i love not so much fun.

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 7th, 2009
5:07 am

WBF — I don’t think ALL Buffalo fans are annoying or obnoxious, I was singling out those that are. Get The Puck Out gave a few examples of those that I do consider to be more of a nuisance than a hockey fan.

Every team has such fans, unfortunately the quantity and voracity of the ones from Buffalo leaves an indelible mark in my brain which forces me to rank those fans high on the list of obnoxious NHL fans. Though, I’d say Philadelphia fans take the cake.

got a dollar?

August 7th, 2009
5:58 am

r stroz: you can hire a homeless man to escort to your car for a dollar.

World Be Free

August 7th, 2009
6:22 am

Ranallo-no problem, you always have good opinions so I can buy this one.

I have to say, Leaf fans are the worst fans because they are obsessed with their team. Toronto talks hockey 24-7, 365 days a year. They haven’t won the Cup in 42 years, which for them is like not having sex for 42 years.

Toronto is the only team that sells out every game for a lousy team, which is what they were the entire time Harold Ballard owned them. Ballard would be the first to admit that, Pal Hal didn’t care of the Leafs won, people still bought tickets and stood in line.

Happy Friday folks-Braves blew it again!

World Be Free

August 7th, 2009
6:27 am

Get The Put Out-if this stuff bothers you (as it does me), then you obviously have never been to a hockey game in the old Boston Garden or Philly Spectrum. Toss in Rich Stdium (AKA Ralph Wilson Stadium) or the Meadowlands, anywhere near the end zones. I would not take my family anywhere near those places.

I really haven’t found any Thrashers’ games to be too bad when it comes to drunks. Maybe I have been lucky.

All I can say is that I am ready for the season to start today!

GaVaHokie

August 7th, 2009
8:02 am

I believe everyone in Philips Arena was a fan of another team before the Thrashers came to town… the trick is getting fans to shed their “other” jerseys for a permanent Thrashers jersey.

I gave up my Red Wings jersey in ‘02-’03 when Kozlov came to the team.

I would guess about 50% of the people on this message board switch out their Thrasher jersey once or twice a year for Buffalo, Philly, Detroit, Rangers, Islanders, etc… and that’s being modest.

I just find it disgusting that someone who cheers for the Thrashers all year would put on a Rangers jersey, turn to a Thrashers fan in the stands and say “hell yeah, we’re kicking your ass tonight”.

DWTOO

August 7th, 2009
8:35 am

Good Point Hokie – Most Thrahser fans are transplants who started as fans of their original home town team. I started out that way – until the second ever Thrasher game – a 7 – 0 pasting by the Red Wings. The way the Detroit fans acted that night you’d have thought they won the Cup. At that point I had the revelation – “You don’t want to act the jack@#$ they are”. So now the original team is second and I bleed BLUE!

Think we’ll always have that problem in Atlanta tho’ – look at Braves, Falcons, etc. Whenever a rust belt team comes to town the crowd is always full of their fans. If things are so great in Chicago, NY, Pitt, Buffalo, Philly – MOVE BACK. You live here now, this is your home, these are our teams.

Lewis Grizzard had a wonderful line for those who insisted their hometown was better: Delta’s ready when you are!

Dwayne

August 7th, 2009
8:49 am

I grew up in Philadelphia, I am still a fan of the Phillies, Flyers, Eagles and 76er’s. But I live in Statesboro Georgia now. I am a Thrasher, Brave, Falcon and Hawks fan FIRST. I would never disrespect my Atlanta teams by wearing Philly stuff to any game. Can’t wait for the puck to drop!!!!

Tom

August 7th, 2009
9:28 am

Why are there so many Buffalo fans in Atlanta? It is all in the numbers:

Buffalo 1950 — 580,132
Buffalo 2008 — 276,059

Atlanta 1950 — 331,314 Region — 997,666
Atlanta 2007 — 519,145 Region — 5,626,400

In Buffalo you have the die hards. They are long time residents who have never cheered for another team. All they know is Buffalo sports and it is a generational glue that helps hold people together in a very bleak city.

In Atlanta we have come from all over. The fans of the Thrashers are first generation. We do not have the long time history and odds are have been fans of other teams before we arrived here and CHANGED our allegiances.

So the passion we see from Sabres fans is partially for the team, but it is also a homecoming for the former Buffalo residents who have migrated to a better life but miss their home. The results are tribal and more passionate that most and it is purely understandable. They are back with people they share a common history with.

(Disclaimer, I married a girl from Buffalo and visit her family regularly in the city. I actually like the city. )

(This post sponsored by Delta Air Lines. We have 5 nonstop flights to Buffalo daily on full sized jets. Check our website for details and remember to book ahead for extra savings when visiting the Western New York region. Delta Air Lines and Northwest, the World’s Largest Airline. )

The Earl of Bud

August 7th, 2009
10:08 am

Most of you seem rational. Only 1 post here describes enemy fans as running through Philips Arena looking for wheelchairs to tip over. I just don’t see that happening so let’s not exaggerate. On that note, no sports game in my life was ever worse than my first or second year here and the Omni was imploded but Philips not built yet. So the Hawks were playing in the Dome that year. They made the playoffs and played the Knicks. $#@% even ESPN said on Sportscenter that it was a home game for the Knicks. I have never heard a home stadium get that loud let alone an away teams’ fans, and keep in mind this was the Dome. Worst. Game. Ever. But they bought a ticket and had a right to yell as loud as they wanted and I never felt threatened.

I am a Thrasher fan first (I hope you can tell by my posts) even though I still follow the Sabres. But I just can’t get into the Falcons the way I watch the Bills. And I don’t claim to be a Falcons fan either so I hope that makes it ok.

This post brought to you by Ted’s Hot Dogs, The Anchor Bar, La Nova Pizza, Gennesee Cream Ale, Charlie the Butcher, the Maid of the Mist and anyone selling sponge candy.

Smoothie

August 7th, 2009
10:13 am

Tom – great post! Well done sir, well done!

DWTOO & dwayne – I could not agree more. I grew up a Sabres and Bills fan, but I am die-hard Thrashers and Falcons now because I have an attachment to the city and of course the team because of players like Kovy, Moose, Kozlov etc.

Of course, I did not grow up in Buffalo or WNY, my dad did. But the attachment I had was through my father. Now, it’s all about the connection with the “hometown” team and fans.

I can understand why Sabres and Wings fans love to unite as a group when their real hometown team comes to town. I will not begrudge them their allegiance because we need their support the other 39 or 40 nights a year.

However, I just can’t love the Sabres anymore because 1) my connection with ATL and THIS team is so much stronger and 2) too many Sabres fans act as though hockey fandom is their natural birthright and that arrogance is what offends a lot of “Thrashers first” fans.

Hu Flung Poo

August 7th, 2009
10:17 am

Herro! I rub the Frashers. Dey skate pretty. I see Errin Anndrews video and make me happy #1 fan.

(these comments brought to you by Who Flung Poo Inc. a Yun Poon Tang subsidiary)

Dwayne

August 7th, 2009
10:30 am

Hu Flung Poo…you funny haha, not funny queer…..

Alan

August 7th, 2009
10:31 am

If I went on about the Red Wings as much as the Buffalo Contingent™ goes on about the Sabres, I would be strung up and hanged from the rafters at Philips.

(Brought to you by China Palace XCVIII! Now serving General Meow’s Kitten!)

The Earl of Bud

August 7th, 2009
10:52 am

Brendan, since you asked about Buffalo’s player retention, or lack of, this article might be another clue. Although I disagree on Spacek (and Antropov) 2 of the top 5 overpaid free agents this summer are former Sabres. Should they overpay to retain? That has been the case with a lot of the other guys that have left town.

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/27453-Screen-Shots-Worst-UFA-signings-of-2009.html

GaVaHokie

August 7th, 2009
11:04 am

All the “Contingents” typically shut up when they get their asses handed to them by the Thrashers… we just need that to happen on a regular basis to where it’s an embarrassment to wear any other jersey besides an Atlanta one.

For the longest time, the Thrashers were merely a team for northern hockey fans to get their “fix” of hockey… I’ve said on numerous occasions that I believed that was the early business strategy.

Build a winner, and the “contingents” should slowly fade away.

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 7th, 2009
11:14 am

There has been a surprising amount of leniency for the Buffalo discussions. I agree that had it been a Detroit discussion the Not-So-Dynamic Duo would’ve been here to stamp out that conversation after the first few posts.

The Earl of Bud

August 7th, 2009
11:26 am

What’s wrong with talking about another team here? None of the “contingents” are saying that Buffalo is the greatest team and we are all saying that they have problems due to a cheap owner. Most of all, we are all Thrashers fans first and I can clearly say the “contingents” have made far more posts about the Thrashers. It’s summer time and we can only talk about Zherdev coming to Atlanta for so long before it gets old and if we talk about hockey long enough eventually we are going to drift into talks from around the league. Moreso, what happens with some of these other teams can effect the Thrashers. Keep in mind some of us “contingents” have posted links about Jason Williams going to Detroit.

This post was brought to you by Paychex

Alan

August 7th, 2009
11:37 am

What’s wrong with talking about another team here?

I could point you to a particular post where I mentioned the Hudler situation (a situation, mind you, that could have implications on every NHL team) and got berated for it; However, I have the feeling that you know exactly what I’m talking about.

What I learned? There’s everything wrong with talking about another NHL team.

Talk Sabres on the Buffalo blogs.

GaVaHokie

August 7th, 2009
11:55 am

What’s wrong with talking about another team here?

It’s summer free agency… I don’t see any problem talking about other teams. It’s pretty much open season. Who’s making what moves? What moves do you like? etc.

Once the puck drops though… ;)

Dwayne

August 7th, 2009
12:12 pm

ok then, i wanna talk about Mike Vick….not

The Earl of Bud

August 7th, 2009
1:10 pm

Alan, I have no idea what you are talking about. If you have a problem with some other posters, take it up with them, not me or any other members of “the contingent”.

Dwayne, if Mike Vick can lace ‘em up, by all means lets talk about him. Can he put the dog biscuit in the basket?

GaVaHokie, thanks while we don’t always share the same opinions you always seem to have some good hockey input.

This post was brought to you by Buffalo Wild Wings where the game’s always on.

Rawhide

August 7th, 2009
1:15 pm

Sidney Crosby will be celebrating his birthday today by bringing the Stanley Cup to his hometown.

This post was brought to you by Johnson’s No More Tears baby shampoo and Planters Nuts.

Brendan

August 7th, 2009
1:23 pm

EOB, I cannot deny that some, several, maybe even “many” of the Sabres discarded, got OVERPAID to play elsewhere, in unrestricted free agency. That is, “situation normal.” GM’s almost always wind up paying through the nose for free market talent.

But my point is … why do they slip away? Before you say, “Because they’re not WORTH $7 million,” and be right about it, consider this: “Why weren’t these players LOCKED UP, PROACTIVELY, when the opportunity first presented itself, at a discount?” Therein, to me, seems to lie the issue. Why does Buffalo see these players reach the point of “no return?”

I was tempted to say, “let or allow,” but that’s not the correct word. Obviously, the players hold the cards, in terms of pending UFA status. If they want to leave Buffalo, nothing can PREVENT it. Hossa was bound and determined to leave Atlanta, for example. That’s the player’s right. But with billionaire ownership, and a very capable GM in Regier, I cannot UNDERSTAND, for the life of me, why Buffalo didn’t approach Campbell, Drury, Briere, Dumont, etc., etc., etc., when they could be signed for cheaper, during the offseason?

Obviously, my whole post is speculative, but I do have to wonder if Drury, Briere, and Campbell couldn’t ALL have been locked up for $5 million, on July 1, of the final year of their respective contracts? Again, this speaks to “intent.” It speaks to “vision.” It speaks to “ownership.” Something is wrong. Why do players … want to leave … the Buffalo Sabre organization? Maybe it’s Larry Quinn? I don’t know who he is, truthfully. Who gave Larry Quinn any authority? If it was Golisano, then Golisano needs to wake up. Buffalo has an excellent coach in Lindy Ruff. That’s my opinion. I welcome other viewpoints on that. I also think Darcy Regier is a very good GM. I welcome counter viewpoints on that, as well. I’d call Regier, “upper echelon.” So, I hardly think Golisano needs to clean house there. But if there’s some “meddling middle management” preventing Regier from doing his job, it should be removed. HUGE SPECULATION NOW, but I’d wager that Regier tried to re-sign Drury, Briere, Dumont, Campbell … and hit a brick wall with ownership. If that’s true, and I have no way of truly knowing that, then that’s what’s wrong. Let the GM … manage the team. That’s what he get PAID FOR! “Oversight” of the team is the purview of the GM. Get out of the way, and let Regier manage, is what I’d tell Golisano. I’d say to him, “Mr. Golisano, sir. It’s your job to fork over the money. That’s all you really have to do. After that, you leave the rest to Darcy Regier. If you don’t like the results, fire him. If you don’t trust his judgement with YOUR MONEY, fire him. But don’t PREVENT him from doing his job. Enable him. He needs money for PROACTIVE contracts to maintain team chemistry and the continuity of roster, and ‘team vision.’ That’s what I think you should do. Obviously, you were on the right path in 2006 and 2007. Get back on it. If Larry Quinn is the problem, fire him!”

GaVaHokie

August 7th, 2009
1:42 pm

Dwayne, if Mike Vick can lace ‘em up, by all means lets talk about him. Can he put the dog biscuit in the basket?

I’m still waiting to see who my 2nd favorite NFL team, or possibly (and most likely) 1st favorite UFL team, is going to be. :)

I can’t help it… while he let me down big time as a human-being, i still like watching him play.

That’s all I have (and will) say on the subject.

The Earl of Bud

August 7th, 2009
1:45 pm

Brendan, players don’t want to leave Buffalo. If you got a $2 mil raise for your same job in St. Louis, you’d take it too. So it’s not that players want to leave the city, it’s that they get more money. For the players you mentioned, Drury could have been signed for around $5 mil as he stated he wanted to stay in Buffalo but Regier didn’t get it done.

As for whether it is Regier or Golisano that is holding things up, many believe it is Larry Quinn who should not be involved in hockey ops. But that is a problem that goes all the way back to the Muckler/Nolan saga. From what I read from up there Golisano is moving out of state and may let the hockey people handle things more so we will see what happens. It may take this whole season and the effects of next season’s free agency to see if things have really changed. My guess is that it’s Larry Quinn under the orders from Golisano but WBF or Pam on Weck may differ. And if Quinn is holding things up on orders from Golisano, don’t expect him to get fired. I think he even has minority interest now.

Alan

August 7th, 2009
1:48 pm

Alan, I have no idea what you are talking about.

Of course you don’t.

This post was brought to you by Johnson’s No More Tears baby shampoo and Planters Nuts.

I have it on good authority that Huggies is fighting with Pampers for sponsorship rights on this post as well.

(This post brought to you by Endo Pharmaceuticals, makers of Percocet)

The Earl of Bud

August 7th, 2009
1:52 pm

“I’m still waiting to see who my 2nd favorite NFL team, or possibly (and most likely) 1st favorite UFL team, is going to be.”

GaVaHokie, JP Losman of the Buffalo Bills has signed with the Las Vegas franchise of the UFL.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4346612

Buzilla in CT

August 7th, 2009
2:00 pm

I hope Vick gets signed to the Hartford Whalers

Alan

August 7th, 2009
2:01 pm

Adam Proteau (THN writer, all-around D-bag) has listed his top five worst free agent signings.

Guess who is listed.

The Earl of Bud

August 7th, 2009
2:10 pm

I’m sure you guys have all heard by now about Vick going to UGA?

GaVaHokie

August 7th, 2009
2:15 pm

I hope Vick gets signed to the Hartford Whalers

Is the Hartford UFL team really going to be called the Whalers, or are you joking?

GaVaHokie

August 7th, 2009
2:16 pm

EOB… I heard the same thing, but on the UFL site, it shows that they signed Tim Rattay with no mention of Losman.

The Earl of Bud

August 7th, 2009
2:21 pm

GaVaHokie, that link is from ESPN so it has to be credible.

“Is the Hartford UFL team really going to be called the Whalers, or are you joking?”

I don’t know what the team is going to be called, but Ted Cottrel, former defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills, is going to be the head coach.

Hu Flung Poo

August 7th, 2009
2:43 pm

The Hartford team isn’t coming until year 2 of the UFL. I don’t think they picked a name yet. It’s a combined NY/Hartford team. I have to agree with you GAVA Pokie. If Vick gets on that team I will go to a game an watch. He was the most exciting player in the NFL. Just not the brightest or morally coherent.

This message was brought to you by Ron Mexico

Ron Mexico

August 7th, 2009
3:27 pm

Does The Earl of Bud have a job or is he just a blog hog?

This message brought to you by PETA

Glovesave29

August 7th, 2009
3:31 pm

Why don’t we just get the teams to wear green jerseys at home, and the TV can superimpose different sponsors onto the jerseys for each game, each period…hell, even every shift. I can see it now, Kovy flashing down the wing, looking for the seam to exploit and break in on the opponent net, the words “Congratulations on your Bar Mitzvah, Robert – love Nana and Pappa” across his chest.

Sean Avery can be sponsored by Lite Beer from Miller, ’cause it’s ubiquitos and has no taste.

Get The Puck Out

August 7th, 2009
3:40 pm

Has anyone even heard a squeak about Kovy’s contract yet?

Get The Puck Out

August 7th, 2009
3:43 pm

Oh yeah – the original Thrashers jersey always looked best to me.

Tony C.

August 7th, 2009
4:11 pm

Anybody remember that Powerade commercial from a few years back that showed Vick as a winger with the Avalanche???

R. Stroz

August 7th, 2009
4:19 pm

For those of you who follow the Dead Wings, Jason Williams is getting 1.5 million on his one year contract.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?id=11850

Midfield

August 7th, 2009
4:51 pm

Perhaps, they should put ads on players’ undershirts. Once in a while they’d pop up during fights, or, soccer style goal celebrations.

Tony C.

August 7th, 2009
6:36 pm

Ok my bad it was a nike commercial.

Anyway, Urlacher and Vick on a line with Sakic….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMsHTsEHnWE

R. Stroz

August 7th, 2009
6:56 pm

Speaking of Buffalo fans, Tony C. do remember running into any jerkoff Buffalo fans? I think that guy is still going the other direction.

The Earl of Bud

August 7th, 2009
7:14 pm

“Does The Earl of Bud have a job or is he just a blog hog?”

I guess I’m just a blog hog. I’ve never seen your name before, are you new? Welcome to the blog. You’ll see there’s plenty of other posters besides me as you read more.

“Tony C. do remember running into any jerkoff Buffalo fans?”

R. Stroz, how can you complain about Buffalo fans when you use crass terms like “jerkoff Buffalo fans”? If a fan in a Sabres jersey called someone a jerkoff at Philips Arena, would everyone here be up in arms about rude Buffalo fans?

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 7th, 2009
8:03 pm

Funny, Vick shot righty…

I think it would’ve been more fitting had his team been playing against the Coyotes or even the Hamilton Bulldogs. Michael Vick, 2 years for roughing.

Alan

August 7th, 2009
8:09 pm

R. Stroz, how can you complain about Buffalo fans when you use crass terms like “jerkoff Buffalo fans”?

Duke of Miller Lite, based upon my experiences with Buffalo fans in general, I see absolutely nothing wrong with what he has said. If you take offense to how a good many fans rockin’ the yellow slug act, then perhaps you should do something about it.

Or alternatively, you can sit here and play the victim for an entire fanbase that has been content with coming into Philips and crapping on the local fans for years. This appears to be your chosen path.

Apologies to the “good” Buffalo fans, of course. I think there’s three or four of you out here in the Atlanta area.

R. Stroz

August 7th, 2009
8:19 pm

Well EOB, while sitting with a few friends before a Thrasher v. Buffalo game last season, a jerkoff Buffalo fan and his friend came up to a person at our table in the food court area in CNN, put his finger in one of the people’s faces at the table, and stated that he was wearing a queer jersey. When I responded to said Buffalo fan with no more queer than yours, said Buffalo fan said “what are you going to do about it b!tch.” As soon as I stood up, the chickensh!t walked away running his mouth the entire time.

I would say that qualifies as a jerkoff Buffalo fan. Would you like a few more incidents?

This isn’t to say that all Buffalo fans are jerkoffs, but they do seem to show their backsides. After the same game, a few of the jerkoff Buffalo fans were taken off to jail after getting into a fight at Taco Mac.

Since you brought up the subject of new bloggers, even though not directed my direction, where did you blog before joining us?

The Earl of Bud

August 7th, 2009
8:41 pm

R. Stroz, seeing as that fan does not appear to be here now, you are only making yourself look like the bad fan. To refer to “jerkoff Buffalo fans” is no more fair to myself, World Be Free, Pam on Weck, Smoothie, Smitty than it was to you that night when someone treated you wrong.

By repeatedly using a crass term, you are unjustly classifying every Atlanta Thrasher fan and I don’t want to be put in that category as “showing my backside” even though I did no such thing.

Be the bigger man and don’t bring the battle here where no Buffalo people are looking for it. This goes for the Toronto, Philadelphia, New York, Detroit and every other team’s fans as well. If they act like jerks, leave it at the game, don’t make all Thrasher fans look equally as crude on our Thrasher blogs.

DWTOO

August 7th, 2009
8:50 pm

Like anywhere else there are good fans from Buffalo – the Sabres fan that post here all seem decent -but I’m sorry EOB the Sabres have attracted the worst. We tailgate in the Gulch and damn near every fan that roams over is a jackass. The Carolina fans always bring BBQ – Buffalo fans a big mouth. Hopefully some of you guys will show up and prove us wrong.

DWTOO

August 7th, 2009
8:54 pm

Be sure to go to tsn.ca to see the picture of Crosby in the armoured personnel carrier carrying the Stanley Cup!

fes

August 7th, 2009
8:55 pm

If Vick ends up in the UFL, the Orlando Sentinel have the rights to him. They are coached by Jim Haslett, a man that is quite familiar with Vick.

The Earl of Bud

August 7th, 2009
8:57 pm

DWTOO, I think every team has good and bad fans. I’m just saying that calling people “jerkoff” makes us look no better, so why stoop to their level and make us look bad too? Now if you post that we should trade for Heatley, then I might get in your face like that guy did to R. Stroz. Besides, you wouldn’t catch me in Philips with a Sabres jersey so don’t expect me to prove you wrong on that count. Only Thrasher logos for me in that building.

The Earl of Bud

August 7th, 2009
9:00 pm

“Be sure to go to tsn.ca to see the picture of Crosby in the armoured personnel carrier carrying the Stanley Cup!”

DWTOO, if I were around Crosby, I would want a well protected cup too.

Yeah that was bad, after that one I am outta here.

Alan

August 7th, 2009
9:06 pm

R. Stroz, seeing as that fan does not appear to be here now

…is inconsequential to the point he was making. Stop moving the goal posts.

To refer to “jerkoff Buffalo fans” is no more fair to myself, World Be Free, Pam on Weck, Smoothie, Smitty than it was to you that night when someone treated you wrong.

WBF, Pam, Smoothie and Smitty are good people. The jerkoff Buffalo fans are not. Slight difference.

R. Stroz

August 7th, 2009
9:21 pm

No, I’m not the bad or crude fan, I’m the fan that stood up for the Thrasher fans. I’m providing a concrete example as to why many Thrasher fans have developed a disdain for Buffalo fans. That’s not to say ALL Buffalo fans are jerkoffs. It’s just to make the point that more than one blog poster than A27 has experienced problems with Buffalo fans.

Since I know Smoothie and actually discussed the incident with him after the game, he is well aware of the situation. We discussed the behavior of the Buffalo fans after the game at length. Also, World Be Free and I discussed the same situation on an earlier blog.

You should read what the VP of the Thrasher fan club says about Buffalo fans.

http://bluelandroar.blogspot.com/2009_03_29_archive.html

BTW, where did you blog before joining us?

World Be Free

August 7th, 2009
9:23 pm

ASG just gave that d-bag Marvin Williams $8+ mil a year to sit on the bench. Can we be assured that Kovy will get what he is worth? Let’s hope so

No further word from Manny Malholtra assuming he received a competitive offer from the Thrashers in the time frame noted in several media outlets. Move on to others, like Dom Moore, Mike Greer and such.

Finally, on this Sabre fans stuff and all that. I have been a Thrashers’ fans since day one, a Sabres fan for 39 seasons. I am a fan of both teams and have a tough time “cheering” for one or the other when they play. I just hope for a good game and let the best team win. I also believe other Sabre-Thrasher fans on this blog feel the same way.

I have been in a dozen NHL arenas throughout the years, some nice, others not so nice. To characterize one set of fans as “the worst” based on limited exposure is pretty ignorant or maybe not all together accurate.

I had my new Thrashers jersey on during the late season BUF-ATL game last year, attending the game with my family. Another Thrashers’ fan sitting behind me spent the entire evening smashed, shouting obsenities and calling Thomas Vanek a pussy for wearing a face shield. I did not have the heart to tell this gentleman that Vanek was playing with a broken jaw. I have more examples, but don’t care to share them at the risk of being like some of your nice folks on today’s post. We all hear it at games, NHL, College Football, NFL even MLB games.

The only was we will get visiting teams from dominating our home games is to get people to buy tickets and fill the stands with Thrashers’ fans.

Another subject please, Mr. Tiller.

World Be Free

August 7th, 2009
9:34 pm

Brendan-Sabres do not negotiate with their players during the season, team policy. So if the player is not signed long term before the start of the season you can rest assured they will be traded at the trade deadline or walk by the end of the Sabres season.

You can go back to the 70’s to find the first example-none other than Rick Dudley. Dudley could not get an extension, so he signed with Cincinnati of the WHA during his last season in Buffalo. Duds went out and had a 30 goal season, played hard every shift. At the end of the year, he moved on to Cinci, much to the dismay of the Buffalo faithful.

I realize this example goes back to the WHA days, but it is an example of their lack of effort when signing key players. Atlanta had the same issue when you look at guys like Marc Savard. Let’s hope that’s the last example we will have to refer to for some time.

There are alotta ex-NHLers residing in metro Buffalo, mostly because of the close proximity to Canada. Most players don’t want to leave, but also know Sabres management will not pony to keep them there. To add insult to injury, Sabres’ management finally changed their ways and signed Pominville, Hecht and Tallender to long term deals. My point-they locked up the wrong guys long term!

Let’s have some Thrasher news! I am getting excited for the upcoming Thrashers’ season.

Smoothie

August 7th, 2009
9:56 pm

Thanks Alan for lookin out for me while I was outside lilting in the heat playing golf today. Looks like y’all are having some lively debate about Slug fans. Fun stuff.

Don’t get me wrong, I generally love Buffalo folk (in fact I will be sitting next to a Sabres fan — Thrashers fan 78 games a year — for 13 games this year), but I hate to say that I’ve had more run ins (three) with Sabres fans than I had in five years as a Vick-loving, black and red bleeding, drunk off my ass, die-hard season tkt holding Falcons fan. In fact the only near fight I got into was with an arrogant Saints fan who had more to drink than me that day.

I really think Sabres fans should direct their anger towards Sabres mgmnt for 1) their overall cheapness and failure to re-sign Drury and Soupy and 2) their decision to desecrate one of the best uniforms in all of sport for first a red, silver and black travesty and then a feeble attempt at a hip and fresh take on the blue, white and gold I fell in love with as a kid growing up in eastern NY.

I love the passion of Sabres and Bills fans but they really do have a bad habit of forgetting their manners when they walk thru the turnstiles clad in their slug-covered AHL uniforms.

Brendan

August 7th, 2009
10:42 pm

WBF, that’s a bummer for Sabre fans. I have never understood the policy of “not negotiating during the season.” Whatever happened to the concept of “wait-n-see?” I can understand indecision. (I sound like a song by Boston!) Truly, I can. If you’ve got some player, like a Kari Lehtonen or Tim Connolly, that is often injured and a question mark even after the return, I can see not wanting to be proactive. And waiting until Christmas or New Year’s Day to make a decision. But if what you’re telling me is … that Buffalo Sabre management/ownership makes its decisions in July for the season that will be ending in April of the following year, and resuming in October, they must have some kinda ‘Crystal Ball.’ Shaking my head. Don’t the Sabres want to save some money? Don’t they want to retain players?

For me, the whole deal is … if you draft a guy … and YOU LIKE ‘IM, you lock ‘im up. Early. Proactively. At a discount. Go long on the years, if you must. I felt terrible for Buffalo when I read that Edmonton was trying to poach Vanek. The Oilers’ offer was egregious. It turned out to be relatively okay, down the road. But had it not been for that RFA offersheet, would Thomas Vanek be a Sabre today? Vanek was drafted in 2003, if I recall correctly. He’d be hitting that UFA market pretty quickly, had he not been locked up, by a matched offer. When it comes to guys like Stafford and MacArthur Park, Buffalo’s got to show a little faith in their scouting department. And if they’re still unsure, wait until Christmas to make of the contract year. Then sign ‘im. By rule of law of averages, some of those proactive contracts will be a bust, as you say, WBF. (”We locked up the wrong guys.”) But it’s probably going to work out more times than it fails, if the scouting department and player development is working properly.

But to take a hardline stance like, “not negotiating during the season” is the first thing I’d change, if I were the owner of the Buffalo Sabres Hockey Club. That seems like a “no-brainer.” To fail to recognize the importance of continuity of roster and team chemistry, from a contractual standpoint, seems like a glaring error. Buffalo is hardly the only organization to go 30 or more years without a Cup, but this contract policy does help explain a few things. I’d always believed Buffalo struggled because it was a small market, trying to compete against the Detroits, Chicagos, Montreals, Bostons, Phillys, and New Jerseys of the league. If what I’m hearing is true, it’s more like … it’s its own INTERNAL MACHINATIONS that are the root cause of why the Sabres are Cupless in their history.

R. Stroz

August 7th, 2009
11:03 pm

WBF – I wouldn’t worry about the Marvin Williams(or as Hawks fans call him Duck Man)contract. Most of the money for that contract came from the savings on the Bibby contract.

Kovy’s contract money is probably still safe, but as far as the Thrashers adding more payroll, well, that may be out of the question now. Lets hope Kovy is happy with what the Thrashers already have on the roster as the likelihood of Malhotra, Pyatt, Zherdev, or Crazy Legs Max being signed just decreased.

The combined payroll of the Hawks and Thrashers hasn’t changed much over the last few years.

R. Stroz

August 7th, 2009
11:38 pm

WBF – Now, back to your original question, Which would you take?

A) Malhotra

B) Zherdev

C) Other – Other Player

D) Wait Till Next Season

I’ll give a flow chart type answer of sorts:

If the Thrashers aren’t Malhotra’s “sloppy seconds” choice combined with Kovy, Antro, and Hainsey saying nyet and no to Zherdev, take A.

If the Thrashers are Malhotra’s “sloppy seconds” choice combined with Kovy, Antro, and Hainsey saying yeah to Zherdev, take B.

If the Thrashers are Malhotra’s “sloppy seconds” choice combined with Kovy, Antro, and Hainsey saying nyet and no to Zherdev, take C. And with choice C, I’d make a run at Pyatt. The young man could use a change of scenary as his fiancee died in a car accident last season. Pyatt was not involved in the accident.

The next, and more difficult decision occurs if Malhotra wants to play in Atlanta combined with Kovy and company wanting Zherdev, as this decision is based on a risk/reward ratio. Malhotra is a known quantity; whereas, Zherdev, mainly due to age, is a wild card of infinite proportion. The only player on the Thrashers who has played with both is Hainsey.

If Kovy said I’m not re-signing with the Thrashers unless you bring Zherdev, bring in Zherdev, if affordable. If Kovy wants Zherdev, but isn’t demanding Zherdev, I’d seek Hainsey’s advice as the swing vote.

Then there is choice D. Do nothing, wait till next season when teams will be forced to dump salary due to a lower salary cap and poach the other teams players. However, no one knows what will be available.

Brendan – you should be proud of the length of this post.

(This post has been brought to you by Cliff Notes)

Sara

August 8th, 2009
12:20 am

If I polled every other Thrasher fan I know about which team had the crappiest fans – every last one is going to say Buffablow. No other team’s fans comes to this arena with as much attitude as they do. Does that mean all Buffalo fans are bad people – no. But they seem to have the greatest percentage of d-bags in their totality. Heck, all you have to do is read through this entire blog to see how many different people have said Buffalo fans are the worst and not because they are loud and vocal.

Not that that prevented me from flirting with the really cute Sabres fan in front of me in the concession line last time they played here. ;)

And I’ll second Alan on the whole “Red Wings discussion on the ajc blogs” thing. I’ve gotten “hollered at” on multiple occasions for bringing them up – nevermind it either a) was a statement that pertained to the current discussion at hand or b) was play-offs/off-season when talk tends to gravitate to what’s going on in general around the League. Nevermind I have never once done it in a way that was hateful toward the Thrashers. Heck, I even had Stroz wipe his nose on my Wings Championship shirt once. :p

I’ve never thought it was a big deal to have two teams that a person cheers for. You have love for something, and that doesn’t generally just go away. I’ve never had any problem giving my whole support to both the Wings and the Thrashers. I love it most when they play each other cause I get to spend the entire game happy – I cheer for every goal, every big save no matter who does it and all I hope is that each game goes to a shoot-out so both teams get at least a point and I get a little more hockey nirvana (though if god forbid they ever met in the finals I’d probably drink myself into a stupor). And I don’t have a problem with fans from other teams coming to Philips in support of their team cause I’ve done it as both a Thrasher fan and a Wings fan (not to mention if they want to contribute to Kovalchuk’s salary, that’s fine by me). But I don’t ever talk smack to the home fans and I don’t gloat. In fact, I’ve always gone out of my way to be complementary of their team, fans, and city. And that’s all I would ask of other fans in return.

Sara

August 8th, 2009
12:22 am

Oh, and the above post was brought to you by Little Caesar’s Pizza. :p

World Be Free

August 8th, 2009
9:03 am

Sara-I think the entire discussion has gone on too long. In addition, I am just not buying the crying from some of other bloggers. And it’s not because I look through the discussion with “Sabre-colored glasses”. I sent a few of the messages to my buddies in Buffalo and they just laughed. After years of dealing with opposing Canadian (Montreal/Toronto/Ottawa/Quebec City) fans in the Aud, we just learned to live with it. Add Dolphin and NY Jet fans in the Ralph. I just think the subject has bought on way too much drama.

The REAL problem with Sabre fans is that they makeup 50% of the fans that attend most Sabre-Thrasher games at Blueland. The numbers are just a lot greater than any other visiting team for our games. There are alot of us transplants that have gone over the wall and escaped western New York.

Finally, congratulations to Ralph C. Wilson Jr. for his 50 years of dedication to professional sports. He should have gone into the Pro Football HOF 15 years ago.

Brendan

August 8th, 2009
9:10 am

R.Stroz, yes I am proud of your lengthy post. Make ‘em all like that. I don’t know why this blog doesn’t like the talk about the Red Wings, but does seem inclined to discuss the Sabres. My guess is … Atlanta feels like it’s sort of in the same boat with Buffalo, as a smaller market team, just trying to its “fair shot” at winning a Cup. Whereas, perhaps, Detroit has every advantage, and the bloggers just wash their hands of talking about it.

Personally, I don’t mind talking about the Red Wings. They’re one of the most storied franchises in the league, and serve as an excellent blueprint for other teams and GM’s to follow. Sara once mentioned how “you just don’t question Ken Holland.” And I’d love for Atlanta to experience what that is like, one fine day. I’d love to have “total faith, unwaivering” in the way the Thrashers business is run. Needless to say, I don’t experience that. But I can appreciate what Ken Holland has done with the Red Wings. His decisions, overall, tend to be the correct ones. And, some things, like a player defecting to another league, are out of his hands. I try to avoid words like, “let or allow” a player to leave. When a player controls all the cards, it’s HIS OPTION where he plays.

UFA and even RFA status, to a certain extent, is one of those slippery slopes where, as fans, we get UPSET if things don’t go the way we’d like. I can remember when I was hopping mad that Kovalchuk’s agent, Jay Grossman, had DW by the short hairs. And I actually found myself, as a FAN, BLAMING Grossman for simply doing his job. That’s right. I got MAD at him for making a living! It’s HIS JOB to get the most money out of the Atlanta Thrashers that he can, for his commission and his client.

At some point, some blogger is going to pose the question, “Did we OVERPAY for Kovalchuk?” Assuming his re-signs with Atlanta. Allllright. It’s a fair question to ask. We’ve been debating whether or not is was RIGHT for the Sabres to rid themselves of Drury, Briere, Campbell and their ridiculous salaries. Would Atlanta be RIGHT to let Kovalchuk walk, if the UFA price paid by another team for him were $10-11 million? Orrrrrrrrrrrrr, was it RIGHT for Atlanta to pay WHATEVER THE PRICE was necessary to keep him, “for player retention/continuity of roster purposes.”

Discuss. :)

Brendan

August 8th, 2009
9:18 am

The Sabres-Thrashers games of the past, like the Maple Leaf-Thrashers games, have been some of the best in Atlanta’s brief existence in the league. I look forward to the Maple Leafs and Sabres at Philips Arena, maybe most of all. After that, I like the rivalries with the Capitals, Bolts, and ‘Canes. Panther games never particularly excited me. I can’t wait to see Ovechkin come, when the Capitals arrive. It’ll be interesting to see if they start Varlamov or J. Theodore.

I see Olaf Kolzig is still un-signed. If the Capitals do trade Theodore, I wonder if they’d bring back Ollie the goalie to be the backup?

Smitty

August 8th, 2009
9:20 am

If you wonder why Buffalo fans are so loyal all you have to do is look at Ralph Wilson. Unlike the first Cleveland Browns or the Baltimore Colts he has kept his team in one of the smallest markets in the NFL. The Falcons seem to be on the right track with Arthur Blank. As for the Sabres and Thrashers, their upper management and ownership must have gone to the same school.

World Be Free

August 8th, 2009
9:20 am

Stroz, I don’t know what to do. I have been both positive and negative about Malholtra. Positive, because I think he could help us more than any other available UFA. Negative because of the time it has taken him to decide or find a better situation. I am worried about commitment.

Commitment is what got the Thrashers to where they were the 2nd half of the season. If you take the 2nd half and double the effort into a full season, they would have been in the playoff hunt. They were fun to watch after January 1. So are we going to commit more to Malholtra than we have to Reasoner? IF what’s reported is accurate, then this would be the case. This is my issue with Malholtra. The players aren’t stupid. Successful teams reward their players and bring in character players who are equally committed.

Zherdev has burned bridges in 2 placed, Columbus and New York. The only reason teams are looking at him right now is based on pure talent. But who is going to bring this talent out, or get him to play 82 games + playoffs? That’s a big if that some team will probably gamble on, I just don’t know who. Can Kovy effectively kick him in the butt?

I am still a big Mike Grier fan. I have liked his game since he broke into the league. He’s Travis Moen from the right side; sorry to see Moen go to Montreal. You gotta have grit and toughness and MG has what it takes.

Brendan-you see the Sabres’ picture for what it is. We can look at Buffalo as the bad example of how to do it. Then look at Detroit as how you recognize your good players and lock them up long term. Wait and see doesn’t work in the NHL; the closer a player gets to UFA status, the more leverage they have to get the best deal out there. July 1 is the standard bearer date for overpaying guys and players like to be overpaid. Wouldn’t you want Brian Campbell’s contract? Nobody put a gun to Chicago’s head.

How 2nd class is Buffalo? Teppo Numienem was one of their leaders 2 years back. He gets into some health issues and the Sabres suspend him so they wouldn’t have to pay his salary. How low class is that? If you were a tier 1 or 2 UFA, would you want to go to a team like that? They deserve what they got with Vanek, left him out there so somebody could offer him an offer sheet. Now they are doing the same with Stafford. Just plain stupid.

Which is why I like what the Thrashers have done with guys like Toby. A good example of how you lock your young guys up for the future-it’s called commitment. You ask it of the players, why not management?

Brendan

August 8th, 2009
9:34 am

Generally-speaking, the worst fans I’ve run into were Flyers fans. But, I’ll say in total fairness, that I know several Flyers fans, personally, and they are the very knowledgeable, “die-hard” types, who conduct themselves at least “adequately.” Next up, Ranger fans!

Honestly, I sat in a row with a guy who reminded everyone around him that, “I’m from New York City” twenty-two (22) times during the event. As if “being from New York City” made him smarter or more distinguished than those around him. And before you say, “Well, after six beers, whattaya expect?” This guys didn’t have a “sip” of booze all night. No slurred speech. No glassy-eyed stares. He was just his own P.R. machine that night. I felt horrible for the woman with him that night, who mostly just wanted to crawl under a rock, God Bless her. It might have been a “blind date.” From HELLLLL. We also call those, “set ups.” In every sense of the word. Buffalo fans? Well, they love their Sabres. Live and die with them. Perhaps they do cross the line every now and again. I haven’t run into the lot of Sabre fans you guys have; I’m sure they’re out there.

The single most annoying night I ever had at Philips Arena was with a fan of the Dallas Stars, sitting one row behind me. Nursing a beer from the 1st period, he managed slurrr “Go Stars!” 150 times. It sounded like, “Schtars.” I seriously wanted to switch seats. People commented, “Somebody get a usher.” But, what had the guy seriously done wrong? He didn’t throw anything. He didn’t hit anyone. He didn’t use foul language around children. He wasn’t even screaming loudly. All he did … was manage to be the single most annoying person at Philips Arena that night. That’s not against any rules or laws.

Brendan

August 8th, 2009
9:48 am

WBF, I posted about Brian Campbell and overpaid salaries in an earlier post this morning, but it got gobbled up by SPAM filters, I guess. But basically, I ask which is worse, “losing the player” or “overpaying for him?” And then I asked, “Will people say Atlanta OVERPAID for Kovalchuk,” if he re-signed here? And, as a follow up, I asked, “If some other team paid $10-$11 million for Kovy, would you sit there and say, ‘he’s not worth that kind of money, Atlanta was RIGHT to let him walk.’”

What the heck, I’ll even throw this out there for discussion. If Kovy gets $11 million from a DIFFERENT TEAM, out there on the open market, on July 1, 2010, and Atlanta takes the $11 million it ‘earmarked’ for Kovalchuk and lands three UFA players, each paid $3.5 million, each good for scoring between 27-32 goals a season, would you say Atlanta was wise. In that example, Atlanta fielded an entire line … for the cost of one (1) player. And that line produced 81-90 goals, which will certainly be more than Kovalchuk’s 2010-11 production, barring something phenomenal. Would the argument then become how much more Depth and Balance Atlanta now had? Or, would the discussion be about “how much further back the Thrashers organization stepped … by losing Kovalchuk?” Or … about how losing Kovalchuk is the supposed death knell for the franchise? Sometimes, perhaps, it makes SENSE to overpay a player, to keep the momentum of what you’re trying to achive … on the right path. In the case of Kovalchuk, perhaps his presence will be what helps to attract other Tier I players to the Atlanta market.

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

August 8th, 2009
10:03 am

Mr. Brendan, your 9:10 am post has been freed from Blog Purgatory.

Everyone, I must say…almost 200 comments on a blog entry in early August is very impressive. Nicely done everyone!

Keep the discussion going one this new blog entry.

Consider this your official Ranallo Warning!

R. Stroz

August 8th, 2009
10:27 am

R. Stroz

August 8th, 2009
10:27 am

World Be Free

August 8th, 2009
11:46 am

Brendan, when I was in high school, I got into an argument at a Flyers-Sabres game in Buffalo game with “adult” Flyers fans. They were just passionate fans. The game ended in a 6-6 tie, very exciting game. What I remember most from that game was a guy sitting next to me in his 3 piece business suit. He was so drunk he slept sitting up until there were 2 minutes remaining in the game!
Been to Flyers games in the Spectrum-too scary did not wear a Sabres jersey! Got snowed into Boston and went to a Bruins-Habs game. 6,000 people showed up in flannel shirts, drinking beer the entire game. Montréal Canadian fans are absolutely brutal to ANY fan that wears an opposing jersey, even to women. So there’s all sorts out there for sure.
Overpaying players-the problem with overpaying players today is the impact on the salary cap. This is the issue with Brian Campbell. Not that “Soupy” is a bad player, he just restricts the Hawk’s ability to keep their team together. From my experience, I think it is worse to lose a player than overpaying him.
Kovy means so much to this franchise. I think losing him would be far worse than overpaying him. This is not to say anyone will pay him $11M, but I think he means too much to us. The way he played after being promoted to captain, I think he is worth it. None of us would be optimistic about the future if the team had not played so well in the 2nd half of last season. Kovy and Anderson deserve most of the credit for the improvement.
Let’s use Drury/Briere as familiar counter examples. Both players were overpaid when they left Buffalo as free agents, we all agree on this fact. But where has Buffalo been since they left as free agents? Nowhere near the conference finals or even in the playoffs. They were to go-to guys in Buffalo, especially when the games were close. You can make the same argument about Marc Savard here or Zedeno Chara in Ottawa. There are key players that drive franchises that must be identified by management and locked up for the future. Drury, Briere, Savard and Chara were all keys for their former clubs.
You made another point about taking the $11M and investing the $$$ on other players that may bring back similar value in goals. I think if you lose Kovy you will have a tougher time getting players to come here, regardless of the money. We already have a tough time drawing Tier 1 talent with Kovy in out lineup. Players are smart enough to perceive good clubs (ones with a chance of winning) from bad clubs. We need to develop the good club reputation before Atlanta is considered a prime destination for free agents.
The Atlanta Braves are a classic example of a team that went from average status to a preferred destination for UFAs and then back again. Now they have fallen back to average, making it harder to get UFAs. D. Lowe is a prime example; they had to overpay him to get him to come to Atlanta. Lowe wasn’t on the Braves’ radar until after other UFAs crossed Atlanta off their lists.
Keep Kovy, develop a winning reputation and continue to build around him through the draft and strategic free agent signings.

World Be Free

August 8th, 2009
11:46 am

Help me Trixie

Jameson

August 8th, 2009
12:04 pm

Well, I suppose if Kovy winds up walking, we could always get Coke to be the main jersey sponsor and change the team name to the Atlanta Zeros.

Brendan

August 8th, 2009
4:52 pm

WBF, that was a nice post. Good perspective. See, I love this about our blog. No yelling and screaming. Just people talkin’ about hockey, and speculation. Ya know, the hallmarks of a good blog.

The Earl of Bud

August 8th, 2009
5:40 pm

WBF I have to agree as well, but that shouldn’t surprise. But I do have to say, Ottawa did go to the Stanley Cup Finals after giving up Zdeno Chara. Now as for giving up other defensemen Joe Corvo, Wade Redden, Anton Volchenkov, Andrej Meszaros, even Tom Preissing, all from that Cup finals team, well now you know why they didn’t go to the playoffs last year.

World Be Free

August 8th, 2009
8:16 pm

Thanks Brendan and I agree about keeping things civil.
EOB-I think letting Chara go was the beginning of the slide in Ottawa. Like the Sabres, Ottawa had no plan of how to drive their future, which is why they are where they are today.

I cannot wait for the season to start-enough baseball!

The Earl of Bud

August 8th, 2009
9:38 pm

WBF, we are just going to disagree on this one. I admit letting Chara go is tough, but again they did go to the Stanley Cup Finals without him. Their slide came from losing 5 of their top 6 defensemen from that Cup Finals team. Corvo, Redden, Volchenkov, Meszaros and Pressing. Losing all of them is why they suck now, not because they lost Chara who they won without.

The Earl of Bud

August 8th, 2009
9:52 pm

Brendan, I also liked your comments about keeping things civil. I have received some name calling and I didn’t care for it. What was odd is I never addressed the guy in a post when he started bickering. Maybe since Tiller started a new blog the 3 of us can keep this conversation going without worrying about it getting unruly. Then for other stuff we can keep posting on the current one.

While I have you two here, you have to watch replays or clips of the HOF ceremony tonight. Buffalo fans dominated that thing. I know they had two candidates, but they showed up in full force.

Brendan

August 9th, 2009
6:47 am

That doesn’t surprise me, I’m convinced that Buffalo fans are very passionate. Imagine if Golisano would grab a live microphone, before a packed house, and proclaim, “I promise to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to win a Stanley Cup right here in Buffalo,” like Rutherford Seydell did on “Opening Night,” in 2007, at Philips Arena, vs. the Capitals.

World Be Free

August 9th, 2009
7:59 am

Brendan, I remember when Bills’ fans hated Ralph Wislon I went to a ceremony at Rich Stadium in the early 80’s when Wilson was booed off the filed. So Buffalo fans can be low class too.

it’s only when Wilson commited to winning did Bills’ fans start to cheer him, now they love him for what he has done for 50 years.

The Earl of Bud

August 9th, 2009
3:20 pm

WBF remember they sucked for a good chunk of the 70’s and the early 80’s had those 2-14 seasons which is why they had the chance to get Bruce Smith #1 overall. But like your comment earlier, they went from doghouse to being a premier destination back to doghouse this last decade. They can still get big names a la T.O. but they need to get to the playoffs badly this year.

Brendan, Wilson I can hear saying that but never Golisano. Both of these teams can be sold any day due to Wilson’s age and Golisano’s not being a real hockey guy to begin with. I doubt he would sell now though because the value is still rising and selling a year too soon would be a huge mistake.

Brendan

August 9th, 2009
10:41 pm

I hope Golisano holds on to the Sabres. With 41 sellouts a year, he shouldn’t be hurting, financially, over this particular asset. I saw that he gave to Rochester, NY-based schools, mightily. And he funded some Science Center for Niagara University, for a hefty chunk, as well. Hopefully, that Niagara Hockey team will see some of that money. I forgot how much, exactly, Golisano gave, but I remember it seemed excessive. Why not put that money into the Sabres?

The Earl of Bud

August 10th, 2009
10:02 am

Brendan, the Niagara Hockey team won’t see a dime of that $10 mil. I have an extremely far-fetched conspiracy theory that I don’t even want to share because it is worse than doubting the moon landing, but the Niagara hockey program is going to tank. Ok I’ll say it, I wonder if Golisano’s $10 mil had anything to do with the University’s executive decisions to pull back on the hockey program. After all, if they would’ve grown as they have been and were planned to, it would’ve competed against those 41 sellouts. I’m sure you don’t know much about Niagara U. but the administration killed what could have been a jewel.

Brendan

August 10th, 2009
11:29 am

That’s a shame, then, for the Purple Eagles Hockey program, moving forward. I see them every so often in the NCAA Tournament. They seemed to be moving in the right direction.

The Earl of Bud

August 10th, 2009
1:16 pm

Yeah, every player who spent all 4 years there has been to the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately that is going to come to an end as the University does not want to compete and opted to lose scholarships and go into a lower conference and not expand the arena as originally planned.

World Be Free

August 10th, 2009
9:13 pm

That arena the Purple Eagles play in is real nice. I went to a couple junior games there 2 years ago.

Golisano and Ralph Wilson-not in the same league. Ralph was a trail blazer as an owner, Golisano is just along for the ride.