Time for our annual trip to Thrasherville’s NHL team adoption center

One of the nice things about subscribing to the NHL Center Ice package is that fans in the east can follow teams out west…and vise-versa I suppose. Given that we only get a chance see west teams once, maybe twice, a year when the Thrashers play them, Center Ice provides fans of the sport with a great way to follow them throughout the season.

Though Eric Staal was able to get this shot past him, Kari Lehtonen has had success with his new Dalas Stars team so far this season (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Though Eric Staal was able to get this shot past him, Kari Lehtonen has had success with his new Dallas Stars team so far this season (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

One of the things I wind up doing is picking one or two teams in the Western Conference to watch consistently…or “adopt”, if you will…and follow their progress through the NHL campaign.

Some of you have made your way to Thrashervillefrom cities like Chicago, Detroit or some other Western Conference town. So for you the choice is always an easy one. But being a semi-native Georgian…lived here most of my life…I hold true loyalties to just one team, the Thrashers Anyone else is but a passing fancy.

But for a number of seasons, my adopted team was the San Jose Sharks. They’ve iced very good squads throughout the years, consistently jockeyed for playoff positioning and usually played a very entertaining style of hockey.

But last fall I moved away from the Sharks…partly because of so many playoff disappointments, partially because of Dany Heatley and partly because, well, I just wanted to find a new team.

To that measure, I began watching the Chicago Blackhawks closely. I’m certain I wasn’t alone in that given how good they were coming into the season. It was the “chic” pick, I suppose.

But as things turned out, I was able to follow them all the way to the Stanley Cup. And when Byfuglien, Ladd, Eager, Sopel and Torchetti made their way here last summer, it was as if familiar faces were heading to town as I had kind of gotten to know them and had an appreciation for what they brought with them.

Which west coast team will you be adopting this season?

  • Anaheim (4%, 6 Votes)
  • Calgary (8%, 13 Votes)
  • Chicago (7%, 12 Votes)
  • Colorado (12%, 19 Votes)
  • Columbus (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Dallas (8%, 13 Votes)
  • Detroit (9%, 15 Votes)
  • Edmonton (5%, 8 Votes)
  • Los Angeles (9%, 15 Votes)
  • Minnesota (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Nashville (10%, 16 Votes)
  • Phoenix (7%, 12 Votes)
  • San Jose (3%, 5 Votes)
  • St. Louis (5%, 8 Votes)
  • Vancouver (9%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 164

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So now that we’re roughly a quarter of the way through this season, and we have a few days between games, let’s take our annual trip down to the Thrasherville NHL Team Adoption Center and see if there’s one you’d like to adopt from the west coast. Of course, maybe some of you have already picked out a favorite. Either way, I’d like to know which one(s) you’ve chosen and why.

As for me, well…I’m torn between a couple of them.

First there’s the Dallas Stars who are trying to work their way back to the playoffs after failing to qualify last year. They are doing so without longtime star and fan-favorite Mike Modano and with former Thrashers netminder Kari Lehtonen. Kari has done pretty well for himself in the Lone Star State, currently with a record of 13-7-2, a .915 SV% and 2.59 GAA. Maybe a little change of scenery was just what the doctor ordered for Lehts, eh?

Like the Thrashers, Dallas as been getting some very balanced scoring as four players have 9 or more goals and four have 20+ points on the year. Brad Richards leads the way with 12 goals and 19 assists going into Wednesday night’s action in Chicago.

The Stars are currently atop the Pacific Division, but Phoenix is right on their spurs.

The other squad that’s caught my attention is the Edmonton Oilers. Not because I think they are going anywhere soon, but I’m curious to see how that franchise works themselves back into a contenting team in the season’s to come.

They certainly are seeing dividends already from taking Taylor Hall with last summer’s first overall draft pick. He’s scored 9 goals and 6 assists already and he’s really going to be something special in this league as he grows and matures.

Edmonton is currently showing some signs of improvement over last year’s disappointing showing. Prior to dropping a 3-2 loss in a shootout to the Anaheim Ducks, the Oilers had rattled off four straight and are now 6-2-2 in their last 10 games played.

Oh yeah…and there’s always the Flames. I guess I’ll always keep an eye on what they’re doing given their Atlanta roots. I especially like watching them play homes games…that sea of red jerseys is nothing but impressive.

115 comments Add your comment

ben

December 8th, 2010
10:25 pm

first daytwah or oil

:)

December 8th, 2010
10:49 pm

I don’t really like any of the Western teams. I go for the Panthers (which I guess is kind of bad since they’re in our division) as a secondary team.

hoosier_hoser

December 8th, 2010
11:05 pm

Rawhide!

Different thought — Is there any way to pickup broadcasts of the Chicago Wolves. I’ll have to program “Chicago Wolves” into my TiVo. I would much rather watch Pettersson than Heatley.

Nate

December 8th, 2010
11:23 pm

‘Hawks – Been following them since ‘07. I see no reason to change now. Their match-up with the Thrash earlier this year was a dream game for me and I’m glad I was able to attend.

cousin Eddie

December 8th, 2010
11:27 pm

Have to go with Phoenix. I’m a sucka for underdogs, plus they are very entertaining to watch.

Brendan

December 9th, 2010
12:22 am

Every year, I pick two (2) Western Conference teams to follow on Center Ice. My first team is the Los Angeles Kings. I think this team has been very patiently built for over half a decade. Now, at long last, they have made the playoffs and are poised to return, probably with home ice for a round or two. The second Western Conference team is the Phoenix Coyotes. Again, this is a franchise that has two (2) total playoff series wins to its credit, dating back to 1979-80, when they were the Winnipeg Jets. It’s a tough call, every year, for me. Last year, I picked the Kings and the Wild. I gave a lot of thought to the Columbus Blue Jackets this year. We look at them (Blue Jackets) as a ‘measuring stick’ to our own situation, here in thrasherville. Historically, I like the Nashville Predators. I was very tempted to pick them, too.

But, for this season, I truly feel the Kings and Coyotes are deserving of support, for their many years of suffering and planning, to get where they are now. It’s nice to see those clubs able to make a splash in free agency. Good for them! I’d love to see a Kings-Coyotes CF. I am hoping the Minnesota Wild make the playoffs, as well as the Nashville Predators. I’d love to see the Edmonton Oilers escape the lottery draft this season. For many native Atlantans, I think there’s still sentiment for the Calgary Flames.

SomaAtl95

December 9th, 2010
12:27 am

A few years ago it was the Ducks and Wings, last year was a 3 way tie between the Hawks, Sharks, and Yotes. All 3 teams had some exciting post season games and watching the Habs climb their way up in the East (with PK Suban no less) made my blood pressure rise, so I followed the west during the playoffs. The Sharks were fast, the Hawks had the swagger (and I really wanted the Marion Hossa story to end because it was getting really old) and I liked seeing the Yotes battle their butts off and had a full arena of fans – for a few minutes those team poachin Canadians had to eat crow and see a full crowd in Glendale and I’m sure it led to Molson abuse.
Cup final was Hawks all the way – Atlanta swept the Flyers last season and I was ticked that a team we could shut down last season was in the final. If last years squad had not given up key games late in the season (cough, BOSTON, cough) we could have had that “Miracle” chance.
This year we don’t need a Miracle. We finally have a team.

Nix

December 9th, 2010
12:49 am

The first hockey team I ever saw live was the Atlanta Flames down at the Omni. Now that they’re in Calgary, I still root for them, so long as they’re not playing us.

scottbravesfan

December 9th, 2010
2:12 am

I usually keep an eye on the Stars and I’ll root for the Preds as well. Got to root for the other southern teams to do well.

FormerIslesFan

December 9th, 2010
6:26 am

I tend to keep an eye on the Preds as well. I think there is a certain kinship b/w the Southern teams, especially the ones that the Canadian media is threatening to move whenever possible. I also find the Preds fans that come to the Bulb to be some of the nicest hockey fans of the opposing teams to have in our building (if we have to have them at all!!). Having a cousin and a brother-in-law in Nashville also helps. Lastly, if there is any team in the West that I’m going to get a chance to see live (i.e. “Road Trip”), it’s the Preds. Their building is fantastic (both the buidling itself and its location) and if you get the chance to go there, especially for a Preds/Thrash game you really should!

World Be Free

December 9th, 2010
7:39 am

Colby cheese has been playing better since coming back from injury. Also, on Shea Weber, he had a nice cross check on Zetterberg at the end ot the Wings-Preds game last night. Weber is an RFA after this season, I wonder if anyone will go after him if he does not resign with Nashville before July 1?

Kinda funny watchjing Criosby “mix it up” last night a little, then have Goon Goddard come in to his protection. Sid, if you are going to try and be tough in any way, at least make an effort to back it up. Goddard has little place in today’s game cuz he can’t do anything but fight.

Anyone see the end of the Philly/San Jose game last night? SJO comes back, Philly scores in OT but the goal went into the net .01 seconds after the buzzer. Sharks win in OT.

World Be Free

December 9th, 2010
7:42 am

I adopted Edmonton, having “followed” Chicago and Calgary in previous years. I like the Oilers young team, they are making a move forward and that’s good to see. Taylor Hall is going to be a star.

Hip Czech

December 9th, 2010
7:52 am

Last year I sort of adopted the LA Kings because I thought there were some similarities with the Thrashers (I guess there still are, they both ‘lost’ out on Kovalchuk :-) ).

However, I’m just not getting the same feeling for LA this year…some teams are right out – Detroit and Chicago, most I don’t really care about. This year I’m picking the Preds also for the southern kinship and similar team makeup – no superstars, just blue collar hard work.

Colorado would probably be the second choice, with Vancouver the team of choice of the ‘cup favorites’.
Colorado

Mike W

December 9th, 2010
8:12 am

I agree with cousin Eddie, Phoenix. They can relate to the Thrashers. Attendance, ownership problems, all that.

thebighairybeast

December 9th, 2010
8:26 am

I always have a place in my heart for the Ducks. I was first turned on to hockey in High School when I went to a knights game. Having no NHL team in Atlanta at the time, the NHL had just added Anaheim. So they became my team. Faloon, Selianov, Noonan and other superstars graced the Ducks those early years. Then they got Kariya and Selanne and were really fun to watch.

I also keep an eye on Nashville. Been to a few games up there. Good people and fun times.

BlueSpark

December 9th, 2010
8:26 am

WBF – SJO @ PHI was crazy. I turned it on in the 3rd just in time to see it go 4-1 PHI, much to my chagrin. Stepped out of the room and came back and it was 4-4. SJO inning in the SO after having that OT goal disallowed was priceless.

I only pick a Western team once the playoffs start, probably because I don’t have Center Ice. I’m not sure who it will be yet. It WON’T be Detroit, or Colorado. It’s usually not Dallas, but I have a soft spot in my heart for stendek’s sworn enemy, Sorry Letemin.

LAC

December 9th, 2010
8:46 am

I have attended a number of St,Louis games over the years, first at the Checkerdome and later at the new arena, whatever name it is this year, it’s been three so far I think.

So I have a mild interest in watching them, plus having met Dan Kelly, who was OUTSTANDING,
I enjoy how the Blues cover their games on TV and I enjoy listening to John Kelly call the games.

Darren Pang does a good job and Bernie Ferderko is a good color guy.

I wish we would get between the benches once in awhile… Would be interesting.

And I Still have an interest in the Flames, albeit it’s been 30 years… Yes 30 years since cousins did
what he did, The BASTARD ! Remember… The Flames were the FIRST team with Atlanta connections to Win it all. Always remember Cliff Fletcher saying after the Stanley Cup Win,
“I hope all of our fans in Atlanta are enjoying it as much as we are here”. Great !

Monkey

December 9th, 2010
8:50 am

Even thought we dropped CI this season…I still keep an eye on my Old Flame.
Was a fan when they were here and still love that Flaming A logo: Calgary Flames.

World Be Free

December 9th, 2010
8:56 am

We are all dancing on Kovalchuk, but I have a feeling Ilya is going to get hot at some point this season. Just a hunch.

Rawhide

December 9th, 2010
9:03 am

Nix – Nice to see a post from you again, my friend. I hope you’ve been well.

Different thought — Is there any way to pickup broadcasts of the Chicago Wolves. I’ll have to program “Chicago Wolves” into my TiVo. I would much rather watch Pettersson than Heatley.

hoosier_hoser – Hmmm…I dunno. Let me see if I can “effort” that information for you.

Last year I sort of adopted the LA Kings because I thought there were some similarities with the Thrashers (I guess there still are, they both ‘lost’ out on Kovalchuk).

Hip Czech - :lol: Har-har-har-har…

Lastly, if there is any team in the West that I’m going to get a chance to see live (i.e. “Road Trip”), it’s the Preds. Their building is fantastic (both the buidling itself and its location) and if you get the chance to go there, especially for a Preds/Thrash game you really should!

FIF – The Blueland Chronicle boys and I did the Nashville roadie last January. It was right after the snow storm that hit that area…quite a time. There were several hundred Thrashers fans that made that trip, most taking the bus up there then returning right after the game. But the five of us stayed behind and hit just about every honky-tonk bar on the way back to the hotel.

A good time was certainly had, needless to say.

However, I still have Tennessee detectives showing up at my door with pictures of Big Shooter asking if I know of the whereabouts of this gentleman.

…shrugs…

What happens in Nash-vegas, stays in Nash-vegas.

iamtheratio

December 9th, 2010
9:19 am

On Feb 3rd we play Calgary in Atlanta. If fans wear their old Atlanta Flames jerseys, which team are they rooting for? :D :D :D

Zombie Steve

December 9th, 2010
9:20 am

The Kings were my favorite team as a kid; before the Thrashers existed. This was mainly because of the Luc Robitaille and Wayne Gretzky tandem back in NHL ‘94

Dung Waddell

December 9th, 2010
9:35 am

Oh no….my sign just blew away.

Does anyone have a crayon and a piece of paper?

Rawhide

December 9th, 2010
9:48 am

Hey gang…when you make your way to Philips tomorrow night, remember to bring an unwrapped toy for the Thrashers Operation Homefront Georgia, which assists families of our service members and wounded warriors. Any donations will be greeted with a voucher good for tickets to any game in the month of January, (while supplies last).

You can also make donations at any metro area Kia Motors retailers.

Big Shooter

December 9th, 2010
9:49 am

Rawhide – Glad to see you haven’t given me up to the authorities that easily…

R. Stroz

December 9th, 2010
9:53 am

Big Shooter – There’s still time.

Rawhide

December 9th, 2010
9:55 am

Big Shooter – If one of us goes down…we all go down. I’m just glad no one was taking pictures.

Guyman33

December 9th, 2010
10:17 am

Last night on “NHL on the Fly”, the Thrashers had 3 of the top ten goals of the week played, all called by the great Dan Kamal. I must say that Dan Kamal is by far the best play by play man out there, and I grew up with Jiggs McDonald and the Flames. Nobody comes close to his calls. Thanks Dan.

Hoof Arted

December 9th, 2010
10:20 am

I like what they are doing in Colorado. They didn’t take 4 or 5 years to get back into the playoff picture after missing the postseason a couple years back. Good looking team they are.

Hope we can get 2 points again from them tomorrow.

Mrs. Zoomo

December 9th, 2010
10:24 am

San Jose for no other reason than that I love their jersey. Teal is one of my favorite colors and there is just something about that shark biting the hockey stick in half. Yes, I know this is a typical woman’s reponse.

AtlFlamesFan

December 9th, 2010
10:28 am

I usually wear my Flames jersey to games. However, to avoid any misunderstandings, I will be wearing my TrueBlue when the Flames are visiting.
My heart will always be with the Atlanta Flames, but they no longer exist.
Go Thrash!

Alan R.

December 9th, 2010
10:30 am

We are all dancing on Kovalchuk, but I have a feeling Ilya is going to get hot at some point this season

Unless the coach gives Kovalchuk the green light to do whatever he wants, he’s not going to capitalize on anything.

Joe Friday

December 9th, 2010
10:30 am

‘Hawks. Grew up on Hull, Espo, Mikita, Magnusen, then Larmer, Savard, Secord et al. I figure if they survived Dollar Bill, we can survive these Dollar Bill wannabes. Here’s Buf in a fine singing appearance doing the old intro song they did before Dollar Bill took them off TV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R16i-6cjsaI&feature=related

and of course the only two words that matter to a Hawks’ fan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1BFfTf8MNE

Was watching their tilt last night and saw Jeremy Morin pot his first NHL goal. Kid’s going to be a good one, he may stick with the club even after they get healthy.

Joe Friday

December 9th, 2010
10:31 am

whoa, what’s this?:

Joe Friday Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Rawhide

December 9th, 2010
10:39 am

Joe Friday – I think it was the multiple links….shrugs…I dunno.

Anywhooo….the comment was set free.

Mrs. Zoomo – Yeah…typical! :cool: But that’s OK.

Looking forward to sitting with you, Zoomo and Lil Zoomo tomorrow night in section 204. What row did Karin put ya’ll in?

Guyman33 – I totally agree with you about Dan Kamal. He’s the best in my book. And he is truly a genuine character….just as nice and approachable as can be.

Can’t say enough nice things about The Grand Kamalian.

da' boomer

December 9th, 2010
10:43 am

Guyman33 – I second your Jiggs and Kamal comments. Used to take my radio to the Flames games and listen even though I was there
Sort of like the Blues as my 1st exposure to hockey was in the late 60s (yikes!) listening to Dan Kelly and Gus Kyle call their games on KMOX.
It’s hard, but I like the Sharks. My 10 yr old nephew play Pee-Wee hockey at their practice facility and has met pretty much the entire team, got autographs,etc and they are all great guys. They even took time during the playoffs last year for this, too. All except that ginormous douche Heatly. My sister says he NEVER has any interaction with the kids and always sneaks out the back or hides until everyone has gone.
Follow the Preds, too. I have friend in Nashville and we always do a home and home. Good building & great downtown area for pre & post game fun.
GO THRASHERS!!

Rawhide

December 9th, 2010
10:46 am

BTW…I like how every team has at least one vote up there.

Mrs. Zoomo

December 9th, 2010
11:00 am

Hey Rawhide – because of our late order, our tickets are at Will Call – but our t-shirts arrived yesterday!

Tom Lysiak

December 9th, 2010
11:06 am

I do like Dan Kamal, but I have to say to me there was nobody better than Jiggs calling a game. I bought a pocket radio just to take to games at the Omni so I could also listen to Jiggs. I love the old-school Flames logo on Opies mask, as well as the shout-out to Phil Myre. Like someone else mentioned here, I will always pull for the Flames……except when we play them. Now I bleed blue. Go Thrashers!!!

FormerIslesFan

December 9th, 2010
11:07 am

Not trying to make this a Jiggs McDonald lovefest, but I totally agree that he was/is one of the best. I grew up and Isles’ fan (Duh5) and I always remember the combination of Jiggs/Eddie Westfall calling the Isles’ games during the Dynasty years.

Rawhide

December 9th, 2010
11:08 am

Mrs. Zoomo – Gotcha. Well, either way me and my fam will see you and yours down there. Remember to circle Jan. 14 on your calendar too. We’ll be doing something similar that night as well…

Dandylions

December 9th, 2010
11:16 am

I’m just glad no one was taking pictures. Are you sure? And, is it Friday yet?

Rawhide

December 9th, 2010
11:19 am

And, is it Friday yet?

Dandylions – Well…it is in Australia :grin:

da' boomer

December 9th, 2010
11:19 am

and speaking of the Flames….I am living for the day when I get a chance to sneak up behind Tom Cousins and giving him the ultimate kidney punch. I know he’s and old man, but he stole my youth.

Tom Lysiak

December 9th, 2010
11:23 am

da’ boomer – Best of luck with that!!!

moriler

December 9th, 2010
11:39 am

Born in MI, and I was waving a broom in ‘97 when the Dead Wings got rid of the moniker for good, so yeah, the choice is an easy one for me. :D

moriler

December 9th, 2010
11:41 am

plus, I was at Philips for the (blowout, of course) Game 2 of the opening season, wearing my Wings jersey and a Thrashers cap I had bought on the spot :D Kinda miss the days when it was OK to do that, honestly — everyone knew we needed all the transplants to come watch :)

Jason

December 9th, 2010
11:41 am

Come playoff time, I tend to pull for Western Canadian teams (Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary) more than anyone else. Since I have an Atlanta Flames jersey on my list of things I am asking Santa to bring for Christmas, I would probably lean more towards them.

Dwayne

December 9th, 2010
11:50 am

Hey Cousin Eddie, are you wearing your white shoes, green double knit slacks, white pull over sweater with the black dickey to the Thrasher game tomorrow night??? I sure hope so!!!

Alan R.

December 9th, 2010
11:50 am

everyone knew we needed all the transplants to come watch

We still do, really. Only, those transplants need to come out on a more consistent basis. ;)