Caniacs Are Welcome Guests In Thrasherville

Most of the time when we discuss visiting fans infesting Philips Arena, we aren’t speaking of them in glowing terms. We’ve all experienced the obnoxious supporter of the away team who has made his way into Philips Arena to root on…insert name of NHL team not named Thrashers here. Sometimes they have traveled from afar to see their team play in Atlanta. Sometimes these are people who live in the area who, under normal circumstances, pull for the home team but when the team representing the town they grew up in pays a visit…they revert back to they original allegiance.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

There are good and bad fans from each team of every sport, no doubt. Atlanta has their fair share of both sets as well. Normally, though, it’s the one’s who tend to peeve us off the most that we pay the most attention to and gripe about. But rarely do we opine about out-of-town guests that have that special ability to openly support their team while in hostile territory without smearing the good name of their hometown by their actions.

Among these fans are those who reside in the great state of Min-EEE-soh-TAH! Ya know, maybe that there are a few grade-A, USDA-prime jerks in that state… but if so, I’ve yet to meet one. They love their hockey, love their state, and love to chat it up with ya if you’ve the pleasure of sitting next to one.

Do I really like Minnesota fans? Oh YAAH…you betcha!

San Jose and Nashville fans are held in high regard by yours truly as well. Problem is, as is the case with the Wild, being Western Conference dwellers we just don’t get to see enough of them to develop that “friendly rivalry” thingy.

You might even be surprised to learn that I’ve never had any real problems with Rangers and Islander fans. Oh, I’m not ready to go off and pick out curtains with any of ‘em…but most of the one’s I’ve crossed paths with are very knowledgeable hockey people, love to have fun, yell to the top of their lungs for their New York team of choice but will laugh with you about whatever in between periods.

So, if you think I have issues with those from NYC and Lonnnnn-Gisland…fuhgeddaboutit!

However, there is one set of out-of-towners that I actually look forward to when they pay Thrasherville a visit. Heck…some of them I actually flat out like! They are the hockey fans that come from the Tar Heel state, our neighbors in North Carolina…the ones that refer to themselves as Caniacs.

Maybe it’s because we share a southern heritage and lifestyle with one another. Maybe it’s because so many of our kids have played one another while on travel hockey teams. Maybe…just maybe…it’s because they, too, have experienced some of the less-courteous type guests in their barn and have simply decided to not be that set of fans.

Either way, I just always seem to have a great time when the Hurricanes are in town and I get a chance to mingle with some of those fine folks.

Oh sure.. they yell, holler and scream and generally go nuts for their team…and they just love to walk out of the place with a big, fat hairy smile on their face if they are carrying 2 points away with them. I mean sure, who wouldn’t. It’s just that, win or lose, they don’t feel the need to play the “jerk” card during the process.

Last winter, about 150 or so local fans moseyed their way up I-85 to Raleigh to watch the Thrashers take on the Hurricanes at the RBC Center. They had a blast…despite the outcome, (a 2-0 loss). One of the reasons that they had such a good time up there was because of their interaction with the hometown Caniacs.

The outing was so enjoyable, in fact, that the Atlanta Thrashers Fan Club is planning other such outings this season. One of the co-founders of the club, Sean Grace of the Blueland Roar, said to me recently, “I like those folks and have nothing but good things to say” about our friends from Carolina.

A month after that roadie, Hurricane fans returned the favor as scores of ‘em rambled down our way for a Canes/Thrashers game. Oh, and I’m happy to say we returned the favor of sending them home with no points thanks to a come-from-behind 5-3 win.

heheheheheheheheheh…excellent!

Anyway, as I was hanging with the Nasty Nest crowd down in The Gulch prior to the game, I noticed a swarm of red jersey-clad hombres making there way toward us. Dozens of Hurricane fans that had blown into to town that day took up the Thrashers fans offer join the Nesters for the pre-game tailgate party festivities.

We chatted about each others teams, the Canes playoff push, the Thrashers good play of late, certain players, other NHL odds-and-ends, ate, drank, played bean-bag toss…basically had a fantastic time with some fantastic people.

When the time came, we entered into Philips to yell for our respective teams…and even at each other a little bit. Afterwards, we yucked it up a bit outside, bid them a happy and safe trip home and said our farewells.

Classy bunch of hockey fans, those Caniacs…and I look forward to more fun with them this season.

97 comments Add your comment

Toby

September 3rd, 2009
7:48 am

First

…but they stole my Whalers (and Karmanos is a jerk)…

Nope…hate ‘em

World Be Free

September 3rd, 2009
7:49 am

Hey BT, we should be happy other teams’ fans show up for games. They are buying tickets to support OUR team as well. Let’s hope more Thrashers fans show up games this year, so we can keep the other teams out!

Great to see a Sabres’ fan be able to say first!

World Be Free

September 3rd, 2009
7:50 am

Toby-you beat me! I wrote too much.

I remember the Sabres/Whalers games; they were always good games in either city. Saw Chris Pronger play as a teenager.

Toby

September 3rd, 2009
8:16 am

Big Adams Division rivals!!

World Be Free

September 3rd, 2009
8:17 am

Luongo deal is done-can Kovy’s be far off?

Glovesave29

September 3rd, 2009
8:25 am

Well Toby, you will be happy to know that NHL 2K10 offers the Whale as one of the teams you can select. It even has “Brass Bonanza” playing in the background. It also offeres the Jets, Nordiques and North Stars…not sure about the Flames, Rockies and Scouts.

The Devils are also bringing back their “christmas tree” red and green jersey this year as a special event for St. Patricks Day.

ranallo10 (in AT)

September 3rd, 2009
8:46 am

you will be happy to know that NHL 2K10 offers the Whale as one of the teams you can select

I guess they have to do something to draw fans because their game play doesn’t.

Bob

September 3rd, 2009
8:47 am

‘bean bag toss’ is called cornhole, sir.

GaVaHokie

September 3rd, 2009
8:50 am

Sigh… I think I actually have more Caniac friends than Thrasher friends… growing up in Virginia, a lot of my friends ended up in Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte. We always get into email banter the day of the game.

… the only negative Hurricane story I have is from my friend Jay (Leafs fan)… he drove up to Raleigh for the Eastern Conference Finals the year the Leafs played Carolina. He got pelted by a few beers… but whatever, it’s the playoffs on enemy turf… to be expected. Didn’t bother him any.

Get The Puck Out

September 3rd, 2009
8:51 am

Hey Rawhide heard anything about Kari’s condition?

Glovesave29

September 3rd, 2009
8:56 am

Gava – and that’s where we southerners are different. We don’t waste beer.

World Be Free

September 3rd, 2009
8:59 am

It the beer is a Budweiser, you are not wasting it by throwing it at someone!

Eklund has Zhedev and Afinogenov coming our way. Hope he is wrong about Max.

Rawhide

September 3rd, 2009
8:59 am

…but they stole my Whalers (and Karmanos is a jerk)…Nope…hate ‘em

Toby – Then you have a “pass” on this one.

we should be happy other teams’ fans show up for games. They are buying tickets to support OUR team as well. Let’s hope more Thrashers fans show up games this year, so we can keep the other teams out!

WBF – This is true, sadley. Of course, continued good play from last spring will go a long why toward more fans showing up.

bean bag toss’ is called cornhole, sir

Bob – So noted and logged sir!

Hey Rawhide heard anything about Kari’s condition?

GTPO – No, but I have no problem with that. I would hope that the team would keep such issues close to their chest. But the invitation to Manny Legace to training camp cetainly gives cause to the speculation that there is at least a concern. A little insurance there never hurts, eh?

Glovesave29

September 3rd, 2009
9:07 am

WBF – Miller, Bud and Coors do really, REALLY suck, but it’s still beer (barely) and shoiuld be treated with the necessary reverence (and this coming from a beer snob, too!). Gotta think those anti-American Toronto hockey fans are drinking Labatt or Molson – which are decent beers, and certainly better for drinking than throwing.

The ONLY time throwing a beer was “cool” to me was back in the Flames days. Anyone else on the blog go to the playoff game against Philly when moron ref Bruce Hood had a beer dumped on his head on his way to the locker room at the old Omni? The walkway went along those corner overhangs, so the target was easy to hit.

MashaPlayer7

September 3rd, 2009
9:07 am

Toby – I cried watching the last Whalers home game. Then I moved to Atlanta the year the Thrashers came :) Now I would just like to root for a winning hockey team sometime in my life.

Dandylions

September 3rd, 2009
9:08 am

Love your blog Rawhide, but does anyone proof-read it for you. What is “with a big, face hairy smile on their face”?

Toby

September 3rd, 2009
9:13 am

LOL @ Brass Bonanza. I’m currently trying to download it as my ringtone as the rest of my family already has. Thanks for all the Whalers love. :)

Jeeze…I lost my Whale and, in the meantime, I’ve become a diehard Thrashers fan. So far = hockey fail :(

TableHockey

September 3rd, 2009
9:19 am

Rawhide – fully agree about the Wild fans. Sat among a big crowd of them at the 2008 game and they were really good people. Of course it helped that we won in a shoot-out.

Rawhide

September 3rd, 2009
9:31 am

Dandylions – It’s called editing one’s own work at 12:30 am, and being to stubborn to utilize the glasses the glasses that have been professionally prescribed, then setting it to post in the morning. :oops:

Thanks for the catch…and good to have you along.

ranallo10 (in AT)

September 3rd, 2009
9:40 am

Perhaps you should start paying Trixie to proof read instead of the other “administrative” work she does around the office.

GaVaHokie

September 3rd, 2009
9:45 am

I believe they were empty beer cups they were throwing at him… so even at their rudest, they’re polite enough to finish their beers first. :)

Rawhide

September 3rd, 2009
9:57 am

Ranallous Magnus – Proofreading is a part of her normal work duties…and she does keep me straight in that regard. However, she is on one of her 7 week-long vacations during the year…up in New York getting doing a little fall fashions shopping. I was left on my own, as you can see.

Midfield

September 3rd, 2009
10:11 am

If Zherdev and Afinogenov come to Atlanta, ASG will be forced to reassign Waddell as an assistant to the Assistant General Manager Kozlov and General Manager Kovalchuk.

World Be Free

September 3rd, 2009
10:20 am

Glovesave-Molsons and Labatts actually make coors and Budweiser for distribution in Canada. Their versions taste alot better then the toilet water we get in the U.S.

Tossing beer-I shared this story before. When I was in midget hockey, I played in an arena that had chicken wire instead of glass. Fans could spit at opposing players. I’d rather have beers tossed on me that spit.

Glovesave29

September 3rd, 2009
10:44 am

I think i’d rather be spat at than be pelted by the bags of vomit and piss that the Mexican fans threw at Landon Donovan when the US soccer team played there last month. To quote Eddie Murphy…”thas nasty boy, you nasty”

We used to play up in Knoxville when I played for the junior Flames, and those morons would throw coins on the ice…at 12 year old kids! Ever hit a penny while skating at backwards at full speed? It isn’t a pleasurable experience!

GaVaHokie

September 3rd, 2009
10:46 am

WBF… I thought Molson made Coors and Miller Lite.

Smoothie

September 3rd, 2009
10:47 am

Well, there you have it! If Eklund says it’s going to happen, then Zherdev and Afinogenov (’cha right, then monkeys will…) will not be coming to Atlanta. Talk about your king of jinxes! Of course, I have no issue with that as I don’t want Zherdev here…I’d rather see another depth signing to play some PK. We need one more guy in addition to Marty, Pevs, presumably Whitey and Slater. Armstron perhaps but I don’t think lateral quickness is his best attribute.

I would definitely tip my 40 ou King Cobra in honor of the now extinct Hartford Whalers…I used to love me some Pucky the Whale and Brass Bonanza!! I grew up going to games at the old Mall. Definitely my second favorite team next to the Sabres….ewww I feel dirty now.

World Be Free

September 3rd, 2009
11:10 am

GaVa-not sure, just know they make a better batch of beer than we do.
Smoothie-I get a kick out of Eklund, I read his stuff daily knowing that he has a lower battering average than Kelly Johnson or Jeff Blauser.

Tony C.

September 3rd, 2009
11:11 am

I think I’d rather have SlavaMatic than DW midfield!

Smoothie

September 3rd, 2009
11:22 am

WBF – I think it might even be lower than, gasp!, Greg Norton’s!!!

Original Coors isn’t that bad folks. And Budweiser is more than respectable. But then again, I don’t like “real” beer. I usually drink Bud Light. Which I can always get at Gorin’s for $2 per 12 ounces!!

Brendan

September 3rd, 2009
11:43 am

When I’m at Philips, and not driving home, I go with Guinness. What? I like Guinness. I think it’s a good beer. If a person is drinking for the effect, rather than taste, then IceHouse and its high alcohol-per-volume content is the way to go.

I will second Rawhide on the ‘Caniac fans. They seem to be pretty decent. I’ve been to Raleigh a few times now, and I can tell you they line the streets with Hurricane Team flags. It was good to see. The Hurricane fans support their team very well. I’m a fan of GM Jim Rutherford. I tend to root for SE division teams once the playoffs start, (provided the Thrashers are eliminated,) and probably enjoy watching the Hurricanes most of all. I’ve supported the Capitals at various times in my life, too. When they had Peter Bondra, in his prime, they were one of my favorite teams to watch play. Those Caps teams of the mid-1980’s were fairly decent. I think Mike Gartner was with them then. My favorite Cap goalie was Olaf Kolzig, who I never thought got nearly enough credit for what he meant to his team, throughout the hockey media.

kracker

September 3rd, 2009
11:45 am

gee, Bill, I’m gettin all misty-eyed.

ranallo10 (in AT)

September 3rd, 2009
11:56 am

The Vienna Capitals fans were throwing 1 Euro Cent coins (pennies) onto the ice during the playoffs this year. It’s sad, but I can’t imagine people would actually do it at a 12-year old’s game!

Toby

September 3rd, 2009
12:11 pm

Maybe Zherdev is farther away than we thought (though the quotes were from Zherdev himself). From Spector…

Craig Custance of The Sporting News claims there’s nothing close on a deal between the Atlanta Thrashers and Nikolai Zherdev.

Sara

September 3rd, 2009
12:11 pm

AM Twitter update:

kausatoday Just talked to Atlanta GM Don Waddell and he says he’s still confident he will re-sign Ilya Kovalchuk. They have traded offers.

Toby

September 3rd, 2009
12:12 pm

Wow…Sara and I are “live at the scene with updates”!! :)

Smoothie

September 3rd, 2009
12:17 pm

Sara, did you not see this one from Kevin Allen:

“Thrashers’ decision to bring Legace, Mark Popovic and Dan Fritsche to camp about having options. I believe Fritsche will make the squad.”

It’s going to be quite crowded at training camp come 9/16! Welcome back Popo! Remember how much folks liked Mark P in his few appearances back during the 2007-2008 campaign? Could Fritsche become our PK Specialist?

Midfield

September 3rd, 2009
12:17 pm

“usatoday Just talked to Atlanta GM Don Waddell and he says he’s still confident he will re-sign Ilya Kovalchuk. They have traded” baseball cards.

Sorry. Can’t help myself.

ranallo10 (in AT)

September 3rd, 2009
12:22 pm

How much longer until Twitter makes it’s way into rap songs?

“Awwww Tweet Tweet”

Toby

September 3rd, 2009
12:26 pm

I think it was that Russian article about Zherdev where it said that Kovy is returning to the states on the 8th. Hopefully that is when a deal gets done.

Smoothie

September 3rd, 2009
12:41 pm

More from Kevin Allen on twitter:

“The Thrashers are still contemplating Zherdev, but my hunch is that it’s not going to happen.”

Nate

September 3rd, 2009
12:50 pm

Rawhide – Couldn’t agree more about the Rangers fans. I made my way up to MSG back in March of ‘06 for a game on my birthday. I went back and forth with some guys around my own age the whole game talkin’ trash (all in good fun). The Thrashers won in OT and they couldn’t have been a cooler bunch of guys. We laughed, shook hands after they game, and they told me not to come back because I gave the Thrashers too much good luck. One of the best experiences I’ve had going to a pro sports game.

GaVaHokie

September 3rd, 2009
12:59 pm

Interesting… Dan Fritsche, you say. He’s a speedy guy. I wonder if Ron Hainsey had anything to say about that one?

Here’s a nice combo goal Hainsey setting up Fritsche.

http://www.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlp=8470639&event=CBJ73

Rawhide

September 3rd, 2009
1:00 pm

Kracker – Sorry bud, didn’t mean to make you so emotional…here’s a hankie.

Nate – That’s pretty much the way my experiences have been with them. Thanks for chiming in!

Sara, Toby & Smoothie – Good to know my cyber-field reporters are on the job today!

GaVaHokie

September 3rd, 2009
1:13 pm

According to James Mirtle… Eric Perrin may have signed with Avangard of the KHL.

http://twitter.com/mirtle

Sara

September 3rd, 2009
1:24 pm

GaVa – Ben confirmed that Perrin signing last night on Twitter.

Smoothie – I went out for lunch right after I posted that so Kevin hadn’t posted the other stuff at that point. Most interesting though… I’m telling you – Waddell is FREAKING about this upcoming season and is going for all the depth he can get into the system. He’s not about to have injuries screw the team’s play-off chances with so much at stake this year.

Sara

September 3rd, 2009
1:26 pm

Oh, btw, Ben also confirmed that Pasquale is in fact out for the prospect tourney. Josh Unice will be taking his place. Drafted in 2007 by the Blackhawks, they chose not to sign him in 2009 and he is now a free agent. More info on him here:

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/5059

World Be Free

September 3rd, 2009
1:29 pm

Smoothie-I forgot about Norton. Only Braves’ management would be dumb enough to keep Norton and send Brooks back to the minors!

aaron

September 3rd, 2009
1:31 pm

Rawhide – I’ll give you Rags & Canes fans… it’s those Pilthy… um, Philly fans that are a little too much to handle. True story: I have never been to an ATL/PHI game without watching at least 2 “fans” in orange & black being “escorted” out of the arena.

Brendan – Guinness is great, but a little heavy on the wallet. I like to start with a Guinness and wind down with a few Yuenglings, myself.

Toby

September 3rd, 2009
1:33 pm

Hokie…I believe Perrin is heading to the land of Vodka…

http://www.rds.ca/hockey/chroniques/281594.html

(in French, but I’ve seen this reported elsewhere too…)