Thrashers, Oduya escape the island with two

Saturday night, coach Ramsay elected to skate Freddy Modin and Tim Stapleton when his Thrashers took on the Islanders. Taking their place at the press box buffet were Ben Eager and Nic Bergfors. Ramsay said that he made the move because he “wanted to bring some attention to the team that we didn’t play hard enough [Friday night]”.

While I did scratch my head when hearing of this shakeup…personally, I would have rather seen Bergie in there instead of Modin…I love the fact that we finally have a coach in here that insists on his players giving total effort all the time. If you don’t play hard, you don’t play at all.

And he doesn’t wait for several games to go by before enforcing that rule.

While celebrating his goal, Bryan Little points out a couple guys wearing tukes in the stands at Nassau Coliseum and asks, “Hey Evander, is that Bob and Doug McKenzie?” .(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

While celebrating his goal, Bryan Little points out a couple guys wearing tukes in the stands at Nassau Coliseum and asks, “Hey Evander, is that Bob and Doug McKenzie?” (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

Early on, however, it looked as though the message he was sending by making the moves was not bringing about the desired results. Following the loss to Colorado Ramsay’s Thrashers found themselves down 2-0 late in the second period to the NHL basement dwellers, the New York Islanders. Fortunately though…his players finally seemed to get their collective acts together and pulled off a 5-4 victory.

Call the win “ugly” if you will… but while I won’t argue that point with you, two points added to the standing are never aesthetically challenged in my view. I’ll take ‘em any way, shape matter or form that I can, thank you very much.

Just as the Thrashers escaped Long Island with the win, Johnny Oduya escaped an island of his own…Schnide Island. Oduya scored his first goal of the season at the 5:45 mark of the third period to tie the game at 2 apiece. But instead of just rowing away from the Isle de Schnide, he opted to crank up the outboard motor to get away from it as fast as he could. Just 1:18 after scoring goal number one, Oduya added a second one.

Left on the shore waiving goodbye is Ron Hainsey. He’s now the lone Thrasher regular remaining to get off The Schnide. Freddy Meyer and Tim Stapleton are still scoreless, but Meyer has played in just 6 games while Stapleton suited up for his first bit of action this season Saturday night.

Chris Mason saw his first action in four weeks. Last we saw him in between the pipes, he’d just allowed a sharp-angle goal to Washington’s Matt Hendricks just 1:11 after Andrew Ladd had pulled the Thrashers to within one goal. Mason stopped 26 of the 29 Islander shots faced to improve his record to 7-5-1.

The last goal he allowed was to Blake Comeau while Atlanta was trying to kill off an Anthony Stewart holding-the-stick penalty. It was the first power play goal the Islanders had converted since…since…since…ruffling through stacks of stats sheet…since…oh heck, I don’t keep track of New York Islander stats. But it’s been a while.

Bryan Little had what I consider the best goal of the night. Halfway through the third, with the score tied at 3-3, he snapped a faceoff draw up and over the left shoulder of an obviously surprised Rick DiPietro. It seemed as though there was a communications issue between his teammate in the faceoff circle and the puck was allowed to drop before he was set.

“I tried to make it seem like I was going to win [the faceoff] back,” Little said after the game. “I was trying to put it on net, to get a shot, and ended up getting a good bounce on it.”

“I’ve tried it before, but you need to have a bit of luck to get it through. I kind of caught them off-guard, and their goalie really wasn’t paying attention.”

Your other Thrashers goal-scorers were…Alex Burmistrov, who deflected in a Brent Sopel shot from the point, and Anthony Stewart who score Atlanta’s first goal of the night. Stewey knocked home a very nice pass from Sopel who had circled around the net and drew DiPietro far to his right, leaving the backside open.

Oh and, in case you didn’t hear, there were a thousand or so hockey fans from Quebec that made an 11 hour bus trip down to Nassau Coliseum to take in the game. Rumor has it they’d like to let the NHL community know they’d sure as heck-fire like another team up in their neck of the woods.

Who knew?

As you’ll recall, 15 years ago they saw their Nordiques bolt for the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. They then watched from afar as they went on to win 2 Stanley Cup there in the following few years. Sadly, we in Atlanta know what that feels like given the Flames victory in 1989 while in Calgary…so we can at least sympathize to a certain degree with all those ‘Diques.

Anyway, whenever the game clock ticked down to 15 minutes remaining in each period…one minute for every year hockey has been away from their city… the ‘Diques erupted in a loud symbolic roar to let the hockey world know they were there.

They do have five more years to use that ploy, but I don’t know what they’re gonna come up with six years from now when it’s been 21 years without a team in Quebec City…you know, where hockey “belongs”.


Anywhooo… while I don’t think they’ll be getting the franchise that’s stationed here in Thrasherville anytime soon, I don’t think they’re field trip to Long Island was a fruitless venture nonetheless. I mean, outside of getting to attend an NHL game in person, they certainly did make some noise and their presence was felt. And I’m certainly not going to take that away from them. That plus at least one of them wound with a real NHL game puck that was lifted up into the crowd late in the game.

I’m sure that’ll make a nice keepsake as the ‘Diques head back home to Quebec.

98 comments Add your comment

Mike W

December 12th, 2010
12:52 am

Not impressed with the play these past two nights. I respect everything Ramsay does, but I do not see why he put in Modin. I don’t like bashing our players, but I think Modin should be strictly for when someone is hurt.


December 12th, 2010
12:56 am

the “diques” love it lol


December 12th, 2010
1:00 am

Ugh. What a game. We had a Christmas party to go to and we kept edging to the door and then edging back to the TV. We missed dinner! But anyway, great finish — crazy!

I am so tired of listening to people whine about how Atlanta (Florida, Phoenix, etc.) don’t “deserve” teams. Give it up people. Focus on persuading the league to expand or something, not poaching someone else’s franchise. GRRRRR!

But, I really do think that if these people can go and make their presence felt, we can too — make it felt in the building. Even their group of, let’s say, 1,000, can make that kind of noise, we can too — and do it better. And with more class. Some of the comments I’ve read from Canadian fans about Southern teams and their fans have been downright rude and outrageous. They haven’t paid enough attention to Atlanta to even understand what this franchise has been through (and is still going through in the courts). Let’s show them — and all the naysayers — we do it better here in the South and get organized to rock the Philips! For me, it’s personal now! ;-)

In my college days we’d already be making T-shirts and raising hell. Let’s start now!


December 12th, 2010
1:12 am

Agree completely. I have no problem with them getting a team again, just not someone elses. Unfortunately alot of these “fans” are just bitter and selfish in that they really don’t wanna share their sport. It is personal now. the trolls on the blog forums are one thing when they attend a game in a mob and carry signs that say they want “my” team? that’s another. If I had the money for season tix id have them by now but rest assured I’m taking whoever i can to games when I can.

reality check

December 12th, 2010
1:37 am

For anyone still up and interested, there’s a replay of the game being shown now on DirecTV ch 635…

Mr. Heat Miser

December 12th, 2010
1:48 am

Note to Rammer – don’t sit the captain. Suck it Frenchies…….WE AIN’T GOING NOWHERE!!!!!!!!


December 12th, 2010
2:49 am

That goal of Little’s was just sick … puck drops, BAM!, net. And everyone stands around going “wha?”.

DiPietro did say after the game that he was still getting set when the puck dropped … he’d dipped his head to settle his mask, and when he looked up, the puck was in the net.

Oops …

As noted above, 2 pts is two points … and good teams figure out how to gain two points even when they’re trying to redefine the work “suckage” … tonight wasn’t near as bad as last night, but it’s nowhere near where we want to be.

Still … it’s two points now, and that can only help us later on.

BTW – did you notice we’re only 4 pts behind the caps now?


December 12th, 2010
2:50 am

whoops … let’s try “redefine the word” instead of work …

Marcus Valdes

December 12th, 2010
8:50 am

While I’m not crazy about how we’ve played the last two games, give the boys some slack. It’s a long season, and we can’t play the A-game 100% of the time. Ain’t gonna happen. But we still squeaked out a win on an off night and I’m happy!!!

The Real Thrash

December 12th, 2010
9:00 am

Way to start a new streak!


December 12th, 2010
9:17 am

To the “fans” from Quebec. This type behavior is not going to win you ANY love, ANYWHERE in this league. Tacky, classless, and completely ignorant. That is why your last team left you high and dry…..they didn’t even want to play there with “fans” like you. I say you have just alienated yourself even further from the NHL and all things hockey outside of Quebec. Maybe they should be banned for life.
On a separate note, a win is a win like has been said, but Ramsey can’t be happy with the lack of execution and the fact that the guys are getting away from what made them successful on their win streak. Dump……..check…..and when the other teams D gets tired of that, THEN you can get fancy. Until then, stick with it. Stewart’s undisciplined penalty nearly cost us a come from behind 2 points. While he is putting up decent numbers it is time for him to realize he needs to work harder when it is needed for the team, including a check now and then….. I have come to figure out he isn’t gonna use his size and wants to play finesse. Oh well.
Vancouver couldn’t help us any last night.

Spud Webb

December 12th, 2010
9:20 am

I love it, 2 points is two points….either way that is a game we would’ve lost in previous years, without a doubt. Ramsey knows what he’s doing and I trust him. Tough game friday w a LOT of chances, to come away w 2 the day after, i’m very, very happy and proud of this team. Month of for Mason, hard to believe, good showing in my eyes.
As for the Quebec folks, i couldn’t give 2 sh&ts as to what they think, want, say or do!!


December 12th, 2010
9:42 am

For those of you who didn’t get to see Bryan Little’s goal straight off the faceoff, I’ve posted a link to it above in the post. It’s a real beauty. I love the look on DiPietro’s face after it happened.

“What the….”

Also, the Puck Daddy story I linked to indicated it had been almost 8 years since the last time someone scored directly off a FO. Then it was Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux who beat Buffalo Sabres goaltender Mika Noronen. Not bad when a player gets to mentioned with the likes of Lemiex.

Tom Lysiak

December 12th, 2010
9:44 am

I hope Burmi’s hand is ok, but it was kinda funny seeing him in the penalty box after the fight…..with a bag of ice on his knuckles. Looked rather Boulton-esque…….

Also, Rawhide could you clear up a question on the pronunciation of ‘Diques???? Never mind, I’ll use the one I was thinking of.

Tom Lysiak

December 12th, 2010
9:46 am

The Bryan Little goal was awesome!!!! DiPietro was looking like he was asking for a mulligan.


December 12th, 2010
9:48 am

Tom Lysiak – Yeah, you know…’Niques, like as in short for Nordiques. Kinda like ‘Lanche is short for Avalanche…Wings is short for Red Wings…’Yotes for Coyotes…Hawks for Blackhawks…’Arks for Sharks…’Hers for Panthers :cool:


December 12th, 2010
9:48 am

Rawhide, you forgot to cover the fight of the century between warriers Burmy and Tavy…


December 12th, 2010
9:49 am

Next home game should have some signs reading “Hockey is where it belongs…..ya’ll. Now go back home to your NON-hockey town!”


December 12th, 2010
9:49 am

I’m fine with the Islanders moving to Quebec City. Their lease runs out in 2015 and the “Lighthouse Project” doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere. Their owner might be even worse than the Octocluster, and there’s just as much (if not more) pro-sports competition in the area.

Tom Lysiak

December 12th, 2010
9:49 am

I was with you all along Rawhide!!! Excellent blog as usual.


December 12th, 2010
9:54 am

Midfieldface-palm…DOH! yes, you are correct.

Ya know, like the Isles TV commentators said, that was really a pant-load of frustration coming out of Tavy. That is kid os sooooooooo good. I’d love to see what he could do with some talent around him.

Tom Lysiak – Uh-huh…figured so. And thank you for the kind words.

BlueSpark – I hear ya. But the organizer of the event… the head of the ‘Diques rally…sports radio host Vincent Cauchon said this to the New York Times prior to the game:

“We have a lot of respect for the New York Islanders and what they accomplished in the past — the N.H.L. needs the Islanders. But it would be great, awesome, if the Thrashers moved. Atlanta is a great sports city, but it’s not a hockey town. We’re not going to New York to tell the N.H.L. they didn’t do a good job going to Atlanta. We’re going there to tell them in Quebec it would work.”

Pretty clear which team the ‘Diques head is advocating snatching up there.

R. Stroz

December 12th, 2010
10:00 am

I’m sure the wifes of those Diques fans have enjoyed there “boys” being away from home for a few days so they could find some “real men.”

Tom Lysiak

December 12th, 2010
10:03 am

Also, I’m chuckling at the Craps five-game losing streak…..rockin’ a little less red these days.


December 12th, 2010
10:07 am

Rawhide: I understand their intentions; I was just pointing out that Atlanta is not the only troubled franchise. In the end, it’s a business. Wang can’t keep losing money any more than the ASG can. That said, there are probably more potential buyers for the Isles than for our poor little birds.

I need to put my money where my mouth is, I guess. But since the marketing department isn’t doing too well, I think a grass-roots effort is in need. Fight fire with fire.


December 12th, 2010
10:46 am

i see that kovy has a total of 5 goals and is minus 18.


December 12th, 2010
10:52 am

The toy drive tix vouchers are good way to get a few cheap trips to Philips in Jan. and if you can get a group large enough together….the unlimited drink and popcorn deal has tix for like $10. Those w kids just need to find another group with kids and get to a game! We found a family from our soccer team and will be at the game on the 26th with the kids! Plus whatever Mr. Rawhide has up his sleeve in Jan gives people a chance to get to some games for relatively little $$$


December 12th, 2010
10:59 am

The Little goal is really the fault of the Isles’ center. Its his job to turn around and make sure his goalie is set prior to getting into faceoff position. Especially with the Isles being at home and the road team must set first.

There are 3 teams in the NY metro area. Only the Rangers draw well. In my eyes, it is far more likely that the Isles would move over the Thrashers. That chance is small…but still better. The city of Uniondale has called Wangs’ bluff. Lets see what he does. Let us remember he courted KC just a few years back.

Go Thrashers! Time for some payback vs. the Senators!


December 12th, 2010
11:00 am

“You don’t play hard, you don’t play”. LOVE IT, LOVE IT. We’ve finally got a leader who know that true teamwork calls for equal contributions from all players. Dog it and you sit. Burmistrov will eventually win Selke after Selke. He’s listening to Ramsey and playing like he used to play.


December 12th, 2010
11:23 am

Not to mention as a center he should have been aware Little was on his shooting side and had his skate/leg positioned for a block of that shot too. No fault of the goalie there, although he will bear the brunt of it I am sure. Centers practice just such chances, and like Little said, it’s rare, especially at this level, that a chance like that scores. Great for him for seeing the chance and taking it! Get it to the net and good things happen! Please notice that Mr. Enstrom LOL

Hockey Biltong

December 12th, 2010
11:36 am

Fugly win. Great fight!!!
In the press around the continent, the tide has turned. Most published reports about the Thrashers acknowledge the teams’ turnaround and team concept and winning ways. With regards to the empty seats, they point out the fans extended bitterness towards a poor product put on ice by the owners.However, the writers are also asking, “when will the fans show up and support the team?”.

I ask all fans reading this. When will we have a packed house? I’m talking about a Monday or Tuesday or other unspectacular day? This team is the best one we have ever had…I’ve wathched all of them…this one is the best, bar none. So what will it take? A viral outburst? Picketing ex-fans houses?
Enjoy this teams success now!!! Do it! Buy some tickets and have a brutally good time, cause it bloody well is just that!!! This team is worth the cost of getting in.
Nuff said.

Hockey Biltong

December 12th, 2010
11:41 am

sorry, no spellcheck used in the post above.


December 12th, 2010
11:58 am

Rock the Red?? No. Bring it Blue!


December 12th, 2010
12:23 pm

Glovesave29 – great insight with your comment about the Isle’s center being at fault. That’s why I love this blog – I always come away smarter than when I started reading.

Rawhide – “the ‘Diques” – thanks for another orange juice spit-take on my laptop!! Keep up the great work.

R.Stroz – a WAY overdue apology for not replying to your question about my seats at the Montreal game – I didn’t get back on the blog after my post for two days.



December 12th, 2010
1:08 pm

A win is a win. I’m happy for it. But a loss to the Isles would have been a killer considering the way the team had been playing up to the Avs game. Effort needs to be better still against the Sens on Monday if the team is gonna come away with 2 points. Hopefully Bergfors will be back in there.


December 12th, 2010
1:09 pm

Weird game last evening…. Even the “thought” of losing to those guys is terrible.

Kept wondering why did the NYI announcer insist they were “beaten” by TWO flukey goals.
Don’t they COUNT too ? Last time I looked it was 5-4.

Not too impressed with Mason’s effort and little old zach was doing his normal standing around rountine…

But we did not quit and pulled it out. Let’s hope for another big win Monday. Love beating those
“canada” teams, most of which are NOT very good !!!!

As for the quebec people… STICK IT ! Go Away we could care less, you have ZERO hope and all…
you LOSERS can try to do is relocate us and a few other teams… Go get an expansion team and lose for ten years and let’s see how many people will show up at “your” games ????

Lastly, Has Everyone heard ENOUGH of this Washington TV Announcers on all the channels ?
Joe is not very good and this craig laughlin THING, is the absolute the NHL has on TV…
With pierre mcgire a close second I might add. I wish they would get rid of these two Terrible announcers, they Stink and laughlin is as big a GOOF as anyone I ever heard and that clangy voice, YUCK !


December 12th, 2010
1:34 pm

I’d trade Matt McConnell for Joe Beninati any day. Granted, I’d trade Matt McConnell for a bag of used pucks….


December 12th, 2010
2:19 pm

Maybe, … the “Diques” fans think the Thrashers are closer to being a Stanley Cup contender than the Isles, so … consequently … they’d prefer to get our club? Just tossing that out there. Either way, I doubt Quebec is getting an NHL franchise soon. The Islanders owner, Charles Wang, has publicly said that if he cannot get an arena deal in place, it’s his plan to relocate the Islanders. In short, Wang wants the citizenry to foot the bill for a new arena, but yet … it would be Wang who profits from that arena. Can’t blame Wang for ‘tryign.’ If the threat is real, and not just smoke being blown by Wang, then the Quebec fans should focus on the Islanders. The lease on Philips Arena isn’t up until 2019, which is 8 years away. From the looks of those disgruntled Quebec fans, they’ve been waiting 15 years, not waiting it to be 16 years, instead of “2019 is A-okay with us” signs, referring to the Thrashers.

I understand the sentiment in Canada. Atlanta represents the DEEP south, and one of the notches of the Football belt. They don’t think we’re a hockey city. I’d submit that … hockey hasn’t started in Atlanta until it has committed ownership towards winning the Cup. Then, and only then, could we honestly know if Atlanta is a hockey town or not. Back in the inaugural season, Atlanta sold out 38 of 41 home games. That was BEFORE hockey fans in this market figured out … that the ship was rudderless, serving to exist principally as schedule fodder for the other markets. Once proper ownership is installed in Atlanta, and every single Tier I player’s agent realizes that, “Hey, we should look at Atlanta. Their ownership is committed to winning,” then we can say … “Atlanta’s a bad hockey market. They’ve assembled a top notch roster, the team wins consistently, and still no one shows up to see them.” That’s what hockey fans, in the Great White North, want to believe. They want to believe … that no matter how GOOD our team is, no matter how successful out team might become … that it’ll still never sellout the building. I don’t believe that, at all. All this team … has ever, ever needed … was accountability. When people answer for wins and losses, and oversight and direction of the team, then the message is sent. It’s sent to fans. It’s sent to players. It’s sent to sports agents. It’s sent to sports writers. It’s sent to the Commissioner’s office. Shoot, even Dave Reid, of “On the Fly” would get it. That continues to be my wish. In Quebec, they’re argument is ostensibly …. we’ll GLADLY sit through a couple of 45-point seasons, while selling out the building. Yeah, sure ya would. By Year Three, you guys in Quebec would be booing your team out of the building, holding up signs that read, “We waited 16 years … FOR THIS?????!!” And do you really have the corporate sponsorship that an NHL franchise needs? How’s the economy in Quebec? People got a lot of surplus cash, that they’d like to blow on a team that finishes with 60-76 points every year? If so, then great for you guys. I just don’t believe it. The truth I believe … is that fans support a team whose ownership is trying to win, but they don’t support a team whose ownership isn’t trying to win. And who owns the ‘would-be’ Quebec franchise would determine how well or how poorly the Quebec-based franchise would become.


December 12th, 2010
2:25 pm

did not get to see the game last night…but was slowdeen really skating on a line with antro?? wow,that had to be painful to watch.


December 12th, 2010
2:43 pm

We got lucky last nite. But every team has a few of those games. Hope that Bergy and Benny are back. It will be a tough game up in Senatorsville! So i read your history lesson. Thats great and i even learned a thing or two. But it still sounds silly. When you use it daily. Sometime change is good. Other wise we would still be in bellbottoms and drivin Pinto’s.


December 12th, 2010
2:48 pm

Should move Vancouver to Salt Lake City, move Calgary to Birmingham, Edmonton to Houston,
Toronto to New Orleans, Ottawa to Richmond and lastly Montreal to Kansas City.

There is NO need for NHL teams in Canada, they are BORING to watch, NEVER WIN, Always
second best to U.S.A. teams and then those crap canada fans can form the canada Hockey League
and play all over Canada till their hearts’ are content.

Would be great, we could have the NHL in US and they can have the CHL in Canada.

Got sick of seeing the tsn reports about last night’s game. ALL they could lead with was those STUPID “fans”, not the game or result, but those Loser quebec “fans” How low is that ?
But then tsn is very very LOW on my radar.

World Be Free

December 12th, 2010
3:10 pm

Great to meet Paminiski Friday night! Another fine hockey fan from Buffalo.

My first criticism of Rammer-Friday night’s game plan against Colorado. Why in the world let a skating team like the Avalanche skate out of their own zone unopposed. Thrashers did not have the same luxury, the Avs had the forecheck on all night long. What’s worse, alotta curious could-be fans in the crowd Friday night probably walked away wondering what the fuss is all about concerning the Thrashers. Great P.R. opportunity missed.

I warned of a weekend letdown on Friday since we were playing 2 struggling teams over the weekend. The Avs and Isles (to a certain extent) played desperate hockey, one team coming out on top. Thrasher needs to stop reading their national press clippings since they have earned nothing yet. HIT SOMEBODY!!!!! The majority of this team went soft this weekend. Stewart is the guy that deserves a seat in the press box, not Bergfors.

Finally, Quebec fans. Now we see why the league wants nothing to with Quebec City. Nor-dick fans are the biggest crybabies in the history of the NHL, they deserved Michel Bergeron as their coach. The “we deserve a team” demand shows their entitlement personality. If you are moving the Islanders, move them to Winnipeg. At least the Jets fans have showed some class in the process. Quebec City fans remind me of the useless Air France workers you encounter at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris. I have yet to understand the source of their arrogance. The only war they have ever won is when they fought themselves.


December 12th, 2010
3:25 pm

I say start the WHL back up – Give all the teams to cities who want them. The Diques and Jets come back. Hamilton gets their team. Then give 3 teams to DEEP south based teams. Make every game between US and Canada based teams a “Battle Between Countries” Then do as Soccer does in Europe. Promote the stronger teams to the NHL, Demote the under-performing NHL teams to the WHL. That way it would be nice to have a season with no Leafs, Islanders or Oilers in the NHL (I can dream, can’t I?) Make sure all teams in both leagues are unable to relocate for a decade while trying this out. Both leagues pull from the AHL for call ups.
As the WHL grows it would move Hockey to more “Non-traditional” markets, grow the sport and stop all of this nonsense about cities “Not deserving teams” The thing our friends in the great white north seem to not understand is when non-hockey fans hear of your efforts to steal a struggling team it keeps them from seeing the game or learning the sport at all. That will come around to bite them in the @ss as Karma isn’t pretty when they learn their teams suck. Atlanta has not had a fair shake at success for one reason or another until now, even the commissioner knew that when Schultz interviewed him last season. If we have no filled arena after a shot at success like we have now, then there is a problem that needs to be addressed!
Anyone want to tear apart my lame brained idea?
Have a great Sunday, Thrasher Faithful :)

François Robitaille

December 12th, 2010
4:17 pm

Firstly, i’m french canadian, so, sorry for my english.

I think that some of you miss-understand the message from the Nordique-Nation.

They were there only to say that they want a team, nothing more.
They think that expansion is possible for Quebec and Winipeg.
They encourage the local team because it was the local team, only for that.
They wanted to show to Bettman that Quebec can be an hockey town
They wanted to show to investors that Quebec will fill the arena
They wanted to show to investors that they can make money in investing in building an new arena
They wanted to show that we did’nt forget The Nordiques

We like you all!!


December 12th, 2010
4:18 pm

HA HA HA!!! I love it when people talk about hockey towns. Let’s face it MOST markets in ALL of professional hockey ARE NOT TRADITIONAL MARKETS!!! Very few markets stateside were hockey hotbeds over 20 years ago or even now after decades of having succesful NHL teams. Seriously, go look at American born NHLer’s from 20 or more years ago or at our International rosters I betcha 90% of em came from both MN and MA. Over time we saw more and more talent coming from upstate NY, MI and so on, cuz it’s not our sport remember?

Hockey has a lot of things that won’t allow it to be as succesful as other sports and we might as well face that. First of all access to playing the sport is harder in the majority of the states as most of us don’t live in cold enough climates and have rinks all around us, not to mention how much it costs to play the sport…so working class and poor kids almost can’t play rec. league if at all let alone at a competitive level. I consider the ability for youth to play a team sport vital to it’s commercial success, but I might be crazy.

Then let’s face it, even going to NHL games can be ridiculously expensive too unless you get nosebleed seating, again leaving to working class on down the social ladder thinking twice about attending. In fact the NHL is second only to the NFL in average ticket prices (not by much) and there’s 66 more games in it’s season, CRAZY!!!

Hockey can not and will not become anything approximating a national sport in the US for the reasons I’ve stated. So far as most NHL franchises stateside, they have NO guarantee without perennial success that they’ll be profitable and takes attention from transplants and some locals with enough curiosity to give it a shot and become fans (which isn’t a safe bet).

If it was more viable, I’d imagine more Canadian and “traditional markets” would have NHL franchises than they do now. Just guessing. Again, the sunbelt has tons of northern transplants now and some of those up north now complaining about hockey down here might just one day find themselve living in say…Atlanta or Miami or Phoenix, whatever. I bet they’ll want an NHL franchise if and when they wind up here or there.


December 12th, 2010
5:13 pm

François Robitaille – Thank you for your candor. While you have sent us a nice (and appreciated) comment please know our issues are with your countrymen who say that teams like Atlanta do not “deserve” a team while you guys do. It gets old and frustrating, especially when we have had a team stolen before.
Now translated to french via google:
Je vous remercie de votre franchise. Alors que vous nous avez envoyé un gentil commentaire (et apprécié) s’il vous plaît connaître nos questions sont à vos compatriotes qui disent que des équipes comme Atlanta ne “méritent” une équipe pendant que vous les gars ne. Il se fait vieux et frustrant, surtout quand nous avons eu une équipe volés avant.


December 12th, 2010
5:52 pm

François Robitaille (and other Quebec fans),
Then how about doing so at a Toronto, Ottawa, or Habs game? I don’t think we misunderstand the signs that were held there about where hockey “belongs”. You want to get the attention of the league…..try a Capitals game, or a Penguins game. Otherwise it seems like fishing. This town has already lost hockey once because of bad management. Bettman realizes there is a gold mine here if it is done right. Go pick on another team, another city, and leave Atlanta alone. If you are a fan of the game, then you understand the feelings that the “fans” coming to one of our games elicit from us. Good luck getting a team but don’t do it at our expense. Now if Quebec is courting the Islanders…..than by all means make it known and again….good luck.


December 12th, 2010
5:54 pm

LOL didn’t see your post til after I wrote mine…..took some time between dinner and kids. How funny they sound similar.


December 12th, 2010
6:01 pm

Is the league better with teams in Winnipeg and Quebec City? Absolutely…just not at the expense of another market. As a business owner, I COMPLETELY understand the league’s desire to succeed in “non traditional” markets. You want to sell your product to the largest market possible. Atlanta at least deserves the opportunity to show it will support a good team that has owners that actually care about both the fans and the product. I think we will certainly show that we can. We are just the “team du jour”. First it was the Blackhawks, Penguins (twice), the Isles, Predators, Panthers, Coyotes…now it is our turn. We are winning, and the fans and the city are starting to pay attention to the team again. I am excited for good 2011 and a full house at the Bulb.

Francois – you seem like a level headed Quebecois…the Nords left because Le Colisee was built in 1949. It cannot support NHL hockey. The community will no doubt come out for games, but there is a lack of corporate support and the ability to get a new arena…so what has changed there? The federal and provincial gov’ts won’t kick in for one – so why would it work there? I am not asking to be a jerk, I honestly want to know it directly from someone who lives there. The Canadian blogs are filled with nonsense and you cannot have a civil conversation with anyone on this subject.


December 12th, 2010
6:09 pm

All good in the hood, Rob. Just shows we all feel the same way about the appearance of signs claiming we “don’t deserve” a team. I’m getting REAL tired of hearing it, as we all are here in Atlanta.
What bothers me most is the posters on on the 3 different stories about what happened in Lawn Guyland last night tearing us to shreds. One minute they praise us for actually having a team this year, next minute they say how we suck and all southern based teams “don’t deserve” the game. Makes me want the Thrashers to win the cup even more so we can all boast how the 6 teams in Canada don’t “deserve” the cup for another year!

Gwinnett Fred

December 12th, 2010
6:26 pm

1 – GOOD – 2 points is 2 points – period
2 – GOOD – Lots of character shown by going nuts for 4 goals in the 3rd period of the 2nd game in back to back nights, regardless the opponent
3 – GOOD – Least we forget, despite a couple lackluster outings, we are still 9-2-0 in our last 11 with losses to the Pens on the road (very forgivable) and the Avs, who beat the Caps last night on the road, so maybe that loss wasn’t as ‘horrible’ as first thought.
4 – GOOD – Being on a 9-2 streak with a 7 point lead over 9th place (THERE’S ONE FOR YOU BRENDAN – WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME WE HAD A 7 POINT LEAD TOWARDS A PLAYOFF SPOT??) and have the next 5 and 8 of next 9 against teams either below us or barely above us. Keep this streak going and Christmas will be very bright in BLUELAND.
5 – GOOD – With the Thirsty Thursday promotion, no excuse not to FILL THE PHIL Thursday against the team closest to us, the Canes, tickets are very affordable!!!!