The Speaker of the House gavels open the State of the Thrasherville Union address. The assembled representatives take their seats as Rawhide makes his way to the microphone.
Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, dignitaries and everyone tuning in throughout the Thrasherville blogosphere…
The Atlanta Thrashers are well into the latter half of their eleventh season of play in the NHL. Last summer saw great change in the front office, coaching staff and roster…all of which led to an overall sense of hope from the fans as they entered into the current campaign last fall. And while there have been some stumbles along the way, this team has managed to maintain a playoff position in the standings for the better part of the first half of the season.
It is with that in mind, that I am proud to proclaim that state of the Thrasherville union is strong.
applause erupts from the assembled masses in the chamber
Together, the new GM and coach have made a New Beginning. But we have only just begun.
There clearly lays before us certain challenges and hurdles that remain in place for this organization to overcome. The team’s play of late has been stagnant, going just 4-8-4 in their last 16 games and winning just one time in regulation during this month of January. So as you can see, there is much work that needs to be done.
Of primary concern is our department of defense. Though they have performed admirably at times, they are allowing an alarming 34.4 shots on goal and allowing an far too many goals… 3.14 per game. In the last eight outing, no less than 35 goals have been allowed. That number rises to 37 if you count the gimmick shootout goal proved to teams winning in that manner.
This level of performance simply must not stand and must be addressed immediately.
Offensively, they are producing goals at a rate of 2.90 per game. That’s down somewhat from last falls numbers, but under the circumstances is still in the acceptable range. The same can be said of the 30.5 shots taken per game.
a smattering of polite, if not obligatory, applause
Health care has become a paramount concern at this time, specifically speaking the health of certain key players that have kept them out of the lineup of late. Once the likes of Evander Kane, Jim Slater and most recently Toby Enstrom and Andrew Ladd are able to return to active duty, it surely will go a long way to curing the ills of this squad right now.
But it’s clear that this team is in dire need of a collective shot in the arm. One that comes in the form a significant new deal which brings in a player or two that can help this team the second they set foot off the plane at Hartsfield/Jackson Airport.
And so, I call upon the office of general manager to move forward with negotiation with other NHL teams to see about procuring that which is necessary to remedy the lagging defensive indicators and help boost the GNP, (Goal Notching Production).
thunderous applause erupts from the assembled masses in the chamber
And I also call upon the ownership group to allocate funding so that the office of GM can do his job accordingly. Certainly there is room not only in the league-imposed salary cap budget mandates, but also the in-house budget that you’ve instructed the organization to operate under. This would-be funding is not just an investment needed for short-term gains, but for the overall health and prosperity for all of Thrasherville.
And the time to act is now!
applause once more erupts along with a few shouts of approval
While we are on the subject of the current collection of individuals that make up the Thrashers ownership group…
a member abruptly rises from his seat and shouts…”THEY LIE”!
the speaker gavels the chamber back to order
Please, please…let us maintain order and conduct ourselves with an air of civility. Yes, it is true that the ownership group have proven themselves to be less than truthful with the citizens of Thrasherville. And while all but a misguided few now see them in the less than honorable light that they now stand in, we must understand that they still control the purse strings of this organization. Until that changes, it is they that must understand that certain investments must be made if the team is to continue…with all due respect to Mr. Levenson…”moving in the right direction”.
But let my pleas for calm and rational debate not be mistaken as false praise. For if there is one thing we have learned over the last half-dozen or so years, it’s that the ownership group is not the answer to the problem. The current ownership group IS the problem.
leaping to their feet, the gathered throng explodes in thunderous applause and bellows out multiple shouts of approval
Lastly…but certainly not least…I want to address the citizens of Thrasherville. You have worked hard to show you support and undying loyalty to this team. You have shown up at games and spill your emotions out on a continuous basis. And you have endured many, many hardships and heartaches along the way.
The path over the last few seasons has not necessarily been littered with a multitude of success and we are still feeling the affects of some of the decisions brought forward by the previous general managerial administration. These are decisions that drove many away in anger and disgust.
Be we…the citizens of Thrasherville today…cannot escape history. We of this city’s hockey fan base and its current administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. The trial through which we pass will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation of hockey fans.
Will future generations look back upon us and ask why we failed to show up and represent our team, our franchise and our city well? Or will they look back at this time and see that we helped forge a unique bond with this team and together pulled one another through?
If we choose the latter, then when our children take their children to Thrashers games, they’ll be sharing with them the experience of the greatest professional sport on this planet. And then they will speak of us with pride, saying that we met the test and preserved for them their day in the sacred flame of NHL hockey in this fair city.
By: Bill Tiller – AJC.com Thrashers Fan Blog