I wonder if Vince Lombardi could have motivated this Thrashers team

Maybe you’ve already heard this, but there was this little football game played Sunday out in Arlington, Texas. It came complete with Roman numerals attached to it’s name, the Black Eyed Peas played during it’s one and only intermission after Christina Aguilera sang our National Anthem beforehand.

And she almost even got all the words right and in their correct order.

In the end, it was the Green Bay Packers getting the better of the Pittsburgh Steelers by the score of 31-25. As such, the Packers will return home with the trophy named after their great, late coach…Vince Lombardi.

As I watched the closing moments, my thoughts turned back to our hockey team and wondered if Lombardi…one of the greatest coaches and personalities in all of professional sports… would have had any words of advice and/or encouragement to offer up to the Thrashers were he still with us. They are struggling through some very difficult times and if there was ever anybody who might be able to properly motivate this squad, I’m sure he could have.

To the players themselves, Lombardi might remind these guys that, “Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit”.

Too many times this winter we have witnessed a number of players in Thrasher blue mentally fold up their tents and break camp long before the final horn. This usually happens sometime in the mid-to-latter stages of the second period when faced with adverse situations. As such, all it takes is s bad goal or an ill-advised penalty to turn a 2-1 game into a 9-3 or 6-1 disaster.

Maybe these guys are of the mindset that they have to play a perfect game in order to win. Thus, when one mistake, miscue or bad break occurs…they allow that to become the beginning of the end. But, as Lombardi once said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence”.

Chasing excellence. Now that’s a fine model to use as an example, I’d say. It sure beats the heck out of what they tend to chase now… forwards who just beat them with the puck while carrying it through the defensive zone. And if they did actually apply this to their work ethic, then maybe they’ll find out for themselves what Mr. Lombardi discovered so long ago, that “the harder you work, the harder it is to surrender”.

While other professional sports franchises are owned by those who show a burning spirit to win, the Thrashers are owned by the Atlanta Spirit, LLC (Curtis Compton)

While other professional sports franchises are owned by those who show a spirit to win, the Thrashers are owned by the Atlanta Spirit, LLC (Curtis Compton)

“Winning isn’t everything”, Lombardi also once said. “But the will to win is everything”. And if coach Craig Ramsay feels he has anyone on this squad that lacks such will, then they should never see the ice in a Thrashers uniform again.

Speaking of the good coach… Like Lombardi half a century ago with the Packers, it’s his duty to actually lead and motivate this Thrashers team. In the latter half of his first season as an NHL head coach, Ramsay seems to be having his share of difficulties getting 60 minutes of play from those suiting up for games and maybe some words of wisdom could be of help here as well.

”Coaches who can outline plays on a chalkboard are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their player and motivate”, Lombardi opined. And I’m sure that’s true for coaches on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field as it is for the man behind the bench near the frozen ice of Philips Arena.

On more than one occasion, Ramsay has indicated that the biggest stick he has to get his players attention is ice time. You work hard and give full effort, then you play more minutes. Logic would dictate that the opposite is true as well. But given some of the recent mid-game surrenders, threatening to place them on the bench for more minutes than usual doesn’t seem netting the desired effect from some.

Coaches must be good motivators. And it’s a part of the job that I feel coach Ramsay needs to find a new sense of enthusiasm for if he’s to be successful at his job here. If not, then another quote by the former Packers coach could come into play.

“If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm”.

To general manager Rick Dudley, I think the best piece of advice that he could draw from Vince Lombardi is “The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have”.

Now, at face value, that might seem like I’m saying the Thrashers GM should expect this team to find it’s ay back to winning with the players currently on the roster. But that would not be less than correct.

In fact, it is painfully clear that even with the return of such key players like Toby Enstrom and Jim Slater, this Thrashers team needs some help. It’s the kind of help that can only come via a trade and Dudley simply must find a way to sure up the defense and bolster the offense.

But Dudley and Co. are limited in the fact that the current ownership is hardly the kind to open up the checkbook and give the man they’ve charged with icing a contending team the full means to do just that. Like the man who held the post before him, Dudley will have to find a way to make due with the resources availed to him…which is much akin to trying to dine at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse on a Burger King budget.

Regardless, he simply must get the job done…and done to a degree far better than his predecessor.

Impossible, you say? I’d remind you of another phrase credited to Lombardi: ”We would accomplish more things if we did not think of them as impossible”.

And finally, as for the owners we in Thrasherville have been “blessed” with…maybe Lombardi could have dropped this little piece of 411 on their collective consciences.

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”

See…the most aggravating part about being a Thrashers fan during the current reign of the Atlanta Spirit, LLC, (Lies, Lawsuits and Contempt), is that they don’t seem to have entered into this business with the will to be winners. To any sports fan, that type of apathetic disposition is simply unacceptable.

After all, “If it doesn’t matter who wins and loses, then why do they keep score?”

Adding to the spirit of angst toward the ownership cluster is the info-bomb that was dropped on Thrasherville just last month. In the filing the paperwork for their latest legal excursion, they admitted that they have looked to sell…or to use their words, “dispose of”… the Thrashers for six years.

Of course, the only thing around here that needs to be disposed of and kicked to the curb is this out-of-touch, sue-happy cluster-flop of an ownership group. But I digress…

However, as long as they do hold the title to the Thrashers, I don’t think it’s too much for what’s left of the paying fan based they haven’t yet chased away to expect…no, demand…that they actually display an ounce of intestinal fortitude required to be in the professional sports business. They need to man-up now and allow Rick Dudley to make the upgrades needed for this playoff push…even if that means parting way with some of the money stashed aside for their lawyers.

I know that runs counter to what the Spiriteers seem to think professional sports franchises are purchased for, buying and then quickly flipping them for a quick profit. But hockey fans…like basketball, baseball and football fans… all share the belief that sports are played to win. And owners who lack the testicular fortitude to do whatever is required to see to it their teams are winners need to find something else to invest in.

Deal with that, Mr. Levenson.

By: Bill Tiller – AJC.com Thrashers Fan Blog

157 comments Add your comment

Brendan

February 7th, 2011
1:01 pm

Glovesave29, Kessel didn’t seem amused by being picked last in the All-Star Game. And when he returned from concussion problems, in the first game back, the opposition went right after him with a hard, high hit. I get the impression that Phil Kessel isn’t especially well-liked in the NHL. A chip on his shoulder? I don’t know. Good player, though. Lots of skill.

Joe McGrath

February 7th, 2011
1:02 pm

Iron–I agree, and I think Bettman is learning from past mistakes. Before all the other owners sign off on a sale (after accountants and lawyers have gone over proposed new owner’s documentation with a fine toothed comb), the potential owners should sit at the end of a loooooong table and take questions from the other owners. Questions should be kept pretty simple: ” What surface is hockey played on? How many points is a goal worth? What is offsides? What’s the Origianl Six?
If these questions had been asked of our current owners, they would have never gotten approval for the sale.

Thrashers

February 7th, 2011
1:05 pm

Hey Bosses, can we get some help please??? Slates went out and we have went down hill ever since. We never thought he would be the straw that stirs Bruce’s drinks.

LAC

February 7th, 2011
1:12 pm

levenson could not clean up hair on Jerseylicious he is simply THAT STUPID.

What will show up tonight Some offense, or improved defense. I’d like to see a smothering forcheck for once…

Sage I’m with you all the way, I get a kick out of this cliff guy. The ONLY time he says anything is
to attack YOU after you post a comment, either positive or negative… He must be Pig Nose Petrowski on the blog.

Atlanta 4 Toronto 3 in OT tonight.

j nes

February 7th, 2011
1:12 pm

Don’t “subsidize Sage’s incompetence” by responding to him.

Brendan

February 7th, 2011
1:12 pm

Rawhide, you know I must confess that … Bruce Levenson is actually a pretty good interview. I thought he handled a lot of my questions with style and grace. Who’d've thunk it?

Brendan

February 7th, 2011
1:14 pm

Rawhide, do we want to start taking submissions for the “Guess the date Waddell gets his contract renewed contest.” If I’m not mistaken, his contract is up this June. Can someone double-check that?

World Be Free

February 7th, 2011
1:15 pm

No way on Kessel, I think he is overpaid for what he brings to the table. Plus the Leafs gave up too much to get him so they will want too much in return. Bad deal by the Leafs, though I agree on giving up #1 and prospect for Beachie and Versteeg. I think the Leafs will want more.

Not Blind

February 7th, 2011
1:27 pm

Do the Panthers have anybody that would be a good fit here?

Not Blind

February 7th, 2011
1:30 pm

On motivation – I think far too many of these guys are fine with sitting. The pay is the same either way.

HP Drifter

February 7th, 2011
1:36 pm

What ever happened to Exelby ? Is he even in the NHL anymore ?

Cliff Fletcher

February 7th, 2011
1:42 pm

Hey lac, let me ask you one question; your buddy sage says we are all fools for buying tickets and supporting the team, basically putting down everyone on this blog-do you agree? nobody questions where the fault is with the team, it’s at the top. and yes i do post on other issues he just happens to be an easy target.

Rawhide

February 7th, 2011
2:18 pm

HP Drifter – XLB was not re-signed by the Leafs and became a UFA last summer. He was invited to try out with the New York Rangers but was released on September 27.

On November 26 he signed a 1 year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks. They then assigned him to the Rockford IceHogs, their AHL affiliate.

John

February 7th, 2011
2:25 pm

My favorite Lombardi quote is “This is a football.” during halftime of a super bowl where the Pack were getting clobbered. They went on to win. “This is a hockey puck…”

Kessel is a horrible idea. He’s the classic example of a kid who should have stayed in college, was way overhyped from the beginning, and even fell several spots BEFORE he was drafted. The only reason people still pay attention to him is cause he was drafted to a HUGE market team (Boston) and traded to an even bigger one, and it was a stupid trade. It gives Boston people more reason to talk about themselves, which they love doing, and hockey people more reason to hate on Toronto, which they love doing even more.

And this “subsidize the owners” argument is pretty moot. Let’s face it, nobody goes to Thrashers games. OK, maybe 8,000 people. In pro sports numbers, that’s “nobody.” This franchise is annually in the bottom 3rd of attendance, and with this ownership group, it would be like that in most markets. People need to go to games, show other potential buyers that this market cares, and it will be more attractive to people wanting to keep it in Atlanta. Who would buy this franchise now?

Someone needs to remind Winnipeg, Quebec, et al that they had hockey teams and already lost them. Just like Atlanta. So if Atlanta doesn’t get a fair shake and a second shot, why should they?

This team, on paper, is really good. Buff needs to come back to the player they traded for, and Bogosian needs to remember why he was a rookie of the year contender way back when. The notion that this team is “hopelessly lost” without Enstrom and Slater is pretty far-fetched…yeah they miss toby and he’s fun to watch, but they should still be able to score goals when they have more people on the ice than the other team. 29 other teams manage to do it without Enstrom.

Sage of Bluesland

February 7th, 2011
2:27 pm

“Hockey fans will always want to go to NHL hockey games. While you and I agree 100% on where the core of this organization’s problems originate, total lack of support is not the answer IMHO. I’d rather have 18K people in the arena chanting “SPI-rit-GROUP-sux…clap…clap…clap-clap-clap” than the empty, cavernous facility that they do indeed deserve. As for the league stepping in to do something about this mess? Ahhhh, the hockey gods could only love us so much.”

RH–In the theme of your very premise of this blog, what on earth would the MOTIVATION be for the ownership to do anything different IF the arena was full of people??? The only answer I can think of is, “Laugh [at YOU] while they deposit your money in their bank account.”

There is no other answer.

We have a confirmed pattern of (un)care for a business product, which has an ‘entertainment’ factor associated. Businesses fail all the time for not listening to the consumer….We are well on the way as it is.

It is what it is. I have learned one thing by actually listening to some of the sheep: They aren’t Thrashers fan. They are ‘NHL’ fans. They do not have the best interests of the Atlanta Thrashers when they make their economic decisions….They only have their own selfish NHL-driven interests in mind. I don’t have a problem with that, necessarily–but I don’t want to hear the corresponding griping, lamenting, and soul-searching questioning from some weak-minded lambchops who have supported it, thus encouraging the ownership.

I’m a fan of the Atlanta Thrashers first and foremost; all else is secondary to that–and they are in dire need of ‘correction’. I guarantee you a couple of weeks of extremely sparse attendance will cause a ripple-effect all the way to the league offices…

That’s the beauty of the market–FIX IT or it will be fixed for you. This abomination we are currently ‘forced’ under is completely unacceptable….well, unless you’re there to see the other team…

Rawhide

February 7th, 2011
2:40 pm

I’m a fan of the Atlanta Thrashers first and foremost; all else is secondary to that–and they are in dire need of ‘correction’. I guarantee you a couple of weeks of extremely sparse attendance will cause a ripple-effect all the way to the league offices…

Sage – Then why have we not already experienced a “ripple-effect” in the NHL front office? Last I checked…unless there are 10,000 fans in the arena coming disguised as empty seats…we’ve already had more than a couple weeks of sparse attendance.

Look…no one wants the Thrashers bought and taken away from the Great Octoclutser any more than I do. But as I’ve said before, any such potential buyer has to see that there is indeed a hockey-loving market here in order to properly motivate him to choke up the money. Empty seats don’t do that and only serve to play into the inaccurate stereotype formed in the minds of so many up north.

kj

February 7th, 2011
2:43 pm

Before y’all wish for Dustin Penner, better check out his reputation for not staying in shape and taking shifts/games off. You might get an initial effort from the guy but he’ll just settle back in as no more effective than Antro and I don’t think we need another inconsistent forward. At least with Versteeg you get some grit and honest effort.

moriler

February 7th, 2011
2:49 pm

Quoted from SOB: RH–In the theme of your very premise of this blog, what on earth would the MOTIVATION be for the ownership to do anything different IF the arena was full of people??? The only answer I can think of is, “Laugh [at YOU] while they deposit your money in their bank account.”

Sage, just because you may understand numbers doesn’t mean you understand people — quite the opposite, in fact. You’ve fixated your mind on motivations for the owners that they simply don’t have — specifically, that they want to keep the team, run it, and make money off it. You have no evidence supporting your assertion of these motivations, and the latest lawsuit provides evidence directly countering your assertion; specifically, they have been trying to sell the team for a long time.

Nobody will buy a team whose fans don’t show up, except someone who wants to move them to a place where fans will show up. It’s that simple. So sure, boycott all you like — but the only purpose it serves is to drive hockey away from Atlanta. You claim to be a Thrashers fan — then you should listen very closely to me, because I _do_ know how business owners think. ;)

You also make another assertion you have no evidence for: you think that simply no-showing will make something happen at the league offices anytime soon. You’re way off base there — Bettman is not going to step in until at least another half-season passes. Case stories as evidence: Nothing has happened in Florida. Nothing is happening in Columbus. Nothing is happening on Long Island. Nothing is happening in Colorado. Nothing is happening in any of the markets with crap teams where people aren’t showing up to the games, in fact, except for Phoenix — and that was because the team was actively broke, as in “out of money” broke. The ASG isn’t broke. No-showing Thrashers games won’t make them broke. They have plenty of money floating around, and they will for quite some time.

Smoothie

February 7th, 2011
2:52 pm

Ay carumba.

Pass on Kessel please.

Sopes back to CHI for some young players they can’t afford, namely Skille and Beach or how about some kid named Morin? LOL I know GVH will like this idea as he’s always been a big proponent of getting Skille.

If, in fact, CHI is serious about bolstering their blueline (as offered up by Dave Pagnotta of The Fourth Period), and perhaps even their bottom 6, then why not help them out? Sopel’s family is in CHI and from every indication, he wants to get back to them as soon as possible. CHI’s has $45 M committed to 9 players and that’s before big raises to Seabrook (going from $3.5 to $5’s in all likelihood), Sharp (@ $3.9 and going up, up and away after this season) and Kopecky, Hossa’s buddy and valuable utility guy. Perhaps Duds can even swing a deal for the guy we wanted all along, Patrick Sharp. Just throwin’ this out there for discussion:

Sopel, Bergy and Kulda in return for Sharp, Morin and Skille?? Anyone?

moriler

February 7th, 2011
2:54 pm

Smoothie: Chicago’s GM just laughed in your face.

Red Light

February 7th, 2011
2:56 pm

I think it wise to remember who the landlords will be, if and when any potential Thrashers sale is consummated. Double entendre?

Smoothie

February 7th, 2011
3:05 pm

moriler – now that is a “sage” post. Wiser words perhaps have never been spoken on this blog in such an, ahem, economical fashion. With the Thrashers hemmoraghing money, the ASG has a nifty little thing known as an operating loss tax deduction, although I reckon they can no longer carry forward the losses (I believe that runs out after 4 or 5 years unless the law has changed).

But why on earth, to use Sage’s words, would the ASG be so quick to unload part of their operation when it fills 41 dates of the calendar, guarantees them $9+ M a year for naming rights revenue and helps them potentially absorb operating profits from the other entities in the form of an overall operating loss? Now they can throw more money at litigation and try to recoup some of these losses that probably aren’t nearly as big as the reported $150 M when you combine the 3 segments of their enterprise.

The NHL will step in when the time is right and I don’t think a “boycott” is going to be what gets Bettman’s attention. With an expiring CBA on the horizon, the closing of the PHX saga, and the sale of the Sabres, I think Gary has his hands full right now. And the prospect of a new TV deal (negotiations begin in March) will give Bettman even more reason to protect the 8/9th biggest TV market in the country — a market that happens to be home to hundreds of thousands if not a couple of million “ex-pats” from the Northeast and Snowbelt.

Yours is a convenient theory you have Mr. SOB, but unless you have intimate, insider knowledge, then I doubt it really carries much water.

Diego from Lilburn

February 7th, 2011
3:05 pm

Smoothie, that would be the trade of a lifetime!

I hate to say it, but I think Sopel’s biggest talent is taking the puck from behind (or above) our own net and making a perfect centering pass for whatever player on the other team happens to be crashing the net. :(

Diego from Lilburn

February 7th, 2011
3:06 pm

p.s. – I really need to get my mind out of the gutter. I thought that “pick-up-sticks” comment was a polite eupemism for something much dirtier!!!

Smoothie

February 7th, 2011
3:09 pm

Yeah, Sharp is a reach, but Dudley might be willing to part with even more should Bowman even entertain offers for Sharp. He will likely garner $5M plus for his next contract so CHI may be exploring options that make sense well beyond this season. Of course, they can always wait until the summer to re-sign Sopes and then entertain offers for pricey veterans to create space. We shall see.

moriler

February 7th, 2011
3:12 pm

Smoothie: Agreed, let’s not even get started on how the ASG can cook the books and turn any losses into a gain somewhere. But that would be implying something for which I have no evidence. Perhaps they’re just soaking all those operating losses out of their own pockets *cough*.

No, the real answer is the obvious one — they bought the Thrashers in an “up” economy being carried by a war, intending to flip them to another owner, while retaining the Philips arena rights, the Hawks, _and_ those 41 guaranteed days per year the Thrashers played there — without having to bother running a hockey team. Excellent business move on their part if it had succeeded; it’s always better to be the landlord. Belkin’s stunt put a wrench in those works, the economy tanked before they could get it resolved, and now they are piiiiissssed and stuck with a team they can’t really run competently. The crap trades in 06-07 were designed to get the team in the playoffs, make it look like a good deal, and get a purchaser “right then” — nobody bit because they got swept in the first round and everyone could see that the ASG had mortgaged the future. By ‘08 everyone knew the economy was going into the crapper and the smart ones were moving their stuff onto safe investments… and let’s face it, a hockey team in the South is definitely what one would call a ‘risk’.

moriler

February 7th, 2011
3:14 pm

Smoothie: That’s the thing — Sharp is not going anywhere unless a star or early first-rounder is packaged with some other tasty assets. :) I’m afraid we’ve gotten almost everyone Chicago was willing to let go — haven’t done very badly at all, IMO, but we’re gonna have to look elsewhere. If the price comes down for Penner or Versteeg, either of those would be good, but we can’t let that first-round pick go anywhere, it’s our only way to restock the larder.

Smoothie

February 7th, 2011
3:15 pm

Diego – you are grossly undervaluing Sopel’s value as a 3rd pairing shutdown guy. He’s had a few rough games, and his minutes have to be managed closely, but he’s far better than any of the trio of Leddy, Hendry and Scott that is a combined -4 with only 1/2 the blocked shots of Sopel. As for Bowman’s willingness to trade, it boils down to their desire to repeat as champs. Their core is set, but Sharp may be tradeable when you dangle a guy like Bergy, a prospect and a #1 pick, which I forgot to add into my above scenario. Need more caffeine still.

Smoothie

February 7th, 2011
3:20 pm

moriler – the horrible economy is yet another factor in the poor attendance of casual sports fans throughout the city. It has affected far more than just the Thrashers as the Falcons were still selling individual games and packages late into the season for a 13-win team, the Braves could only sell-out a couple of late August and Sept weekend series against the Phillies and the Hawks attendance is almost as miserable as SOB’s redundant posts about something that is purely conjecture, but proffered out to fellow bloggers as hypothetical gold.

New2TheThrash

February 7th, 2011
3:27 pm

I went to my first Thrashers game the other night against the Flames and I had a complete blast. I know they sucked it up towards the latter half of the game, but they still have some pretty loyal fans. I’m trying to get season tix and ATL spirit seems to want to rail me on price for a team that isn’t doing that good. I’m new and all, but I already love the Thrashers…but why does the Spirit group not seem to give a crap about new fans? I know the team needs money but damnnnn

ZAvalanche

February 7th, 2011
3:28 pm

Moriler – Colorado doesn’t suck, but thanks for the mention. They have the most man-games lost of any team this year – plagued by injury, big time. As I have said before, Thrashy needs a solid stay-at-home D man. Until they get that they don’t have a chance.

moriler

February 7th, 2011
3:29 pm

Doesn’t help that the tickets are artificially overpriced in a foolish attempt to ‘recoup’ losses, either. My roommate, g/f, and I used to routinely hit the weeknight games in the lower bowl (116-117), but those prices are simply too high to ever draw the casual fan in. Compare to single-game Braves tickets behind the first-base bag (relatively comparable seats) and you’ll see– sure, the Braves have twice as many home games, so they can afford to set prices lower, but the fan perceives it as a single game, whether it be hockey or baseball. And to the fan, it just means that hockey is freakin’ expensive. Not a way to encourage attendance.

moriler

February 7th, 2011
3:30 pm

ZAv: I was thinking attendance, not team quality. You guys have had trouble putting buns in seats too, haven’t you — despite that run of Cups in the late 90s?

Sage of Bluesland

February 7th, 2011
3:37 pm

Interesting thoughts, Moriler….Hmmmmm….If this franchise is nothing more than an offset, then that should be the name on the front of the sweaters….

The Atlanta Accounting-Offsets.

I can’t support anything coming even close to that type of operation.

Only fans of the visiting team should be in the stands…and RH, I mean ‘extreme’ boycotting, where there are only 2,000 fans of the OTHER team in the stands.

If an organization is not playing to win, then what is the point? Vince is spinning in his grave whenever the subject of the The Atlanta Accounting-Offsets comes up…

Rawhide

February 7th, 2011
3:38 pm

New2TheThrash – If you are new to the Thrashers, then chances are you are new to this blog. So…welcome.

As for season tickets, honestly I wouldn’t worry about it right now. They’ll be seats to be had when you do decide to take that plunge.

In the mean time, if you are looking for a good deal on tickets to an upcoming game the Thrashers have offered up readers of this little online forum a nice deal for the Sunday Feb. 13 game against Carolina. For $26 you can get a seat in section 203 or 204. Those are normally $39. And you also get a replica jersey to boot.

If you’d like to try out another Thrashers game…and I do recommend it…call Karin at 404-878-3781, tell her you want in on Rawhide’s ticket deal for the 13th and she’ll hook ya up.

Diego from Lilburn

February 7th, 2011
3:40 pm

Smoothie, I hope you are right about Sopes. If I see one more pass straight out in front of the net I swear I’ll call a travel agent and buy him a ticket home!

Also, new motivation: Anyone giving less than 100% has to be tied to a chair in the locker room and forced to listent to Christina Aguilera sing the national anthem between each period.

Zooler

February 7th, 2011
3:48 pm

Thrashers will not make significant trade, unless they give away the significance to the trading partner. Thrashers will not make playoffs. Re: Arhtur Blank buying team….. Falcons are the new braves. good in regular season, terds in postseason.

moriler

February 7th, 2011
3:54 pm

Sage: “If an organization is not playing to win…” Oh, dear. There are a number of teams in every league who are owned by people who have no intent to ever try to win. They didn’t call Chicago’s old owner “Dollar” Bill by accident.

But you can see it in the NFL, too. The Raiders, Redskins, and Lions are obvious — ever wonder why Barry Sanders retired in his prime? The Jaguars and Bills, maybe less obvious, and the Panthers are heading down that road.

NHL teams, it’s a bit trickier, but you can look around between 7th and 15th place in each conference and see some who are being run the same way. Just enough activity to keep themselves nominally competitive, but never any real effort made to develop a solid organization. The only thing you can do if you’re a fan in those circumstances is pray for new owners. Just ask Raiders fans — they’re gonna be boned until the old man finally dies.

Big daddy C

February 7th, 2011
3:56 pm

On the subject of going to games—I no longer pay to go to thrashers games and will only go if I get free tickets. I would rather watch the game at home on tv than pay to go to the game and buy all the overpriced concessions. I used to have season tickets for years, but I can no longer justify paying for a game. Not with the current ownership, president(Waddell) situation

Rawhide

February 7th, 2011
4:00 pm

Also, new motivation: Anyone giving less than 100% has to be tied to a chair in the locker room and forced to listent to Christina Aguilera sing the national anthem between each period.

Diego from Lilburn – Nice idea…unfortunately I believe the U.S. Constitution does expressly forbid anything that would be considered “cruel and unusual punishment”.

Ok gang, per C-Viv….”The Thrashers will go with the same lineup and line combinations. That means Eric Boulton will be the healthy scratch for the fourth straight game”.

That means the line combos once again are…

Ladd-Little-Bergfors
Kane-Antropov-Stewart
Cormier-Stapleton-Thorburn
Modin-Burmistrov-Peverley

Just…damn.

moriler

February 7th, 2011
4:06 pm

Crapburgers. I don’t like Burmy being buried down there with Modin, it tempts him to try to “Do it Himself” too much.

Brendan

February 7th, 2011
4:07 pm

Diego from Lilburn: “Demasiado doloroso, mi amigo. Es terorismo.”

Brendan

February 7th, 2011
4:08 pm

How ’bout we sit Peverley and play Boulton?

moriler

February 7th, 2011
4:12 pm

I’d really like to see Burmy center that third line where he’s covered by a couple big guys, honestly — and neither Cormier or Thorburn _totally_ have hands of stone, they just need accurate passes. But I guess having a 4th line of Modin-Stapleton-Peverley would drive too many fans to the beer vendors.

Smoothie

February 7th, 2011
4:20 pm

Seems rather obvious the 4th line is a desperate attempt to showcase Modin for a trade. Shining up that turd I guess. At least Burmy has been much better of late and maybe Pevs is due for a goal finally. Maybe he can hit the twine instead of the post this time.

Hoof Arted

February 7th, 2011
4:27 pm

Drop Stapleton from the lineup, move Cormier to center the 4th line, move Pevs to the third line and add Bolts to the 4th.

Ladd-Little-Bergfors
Kane-Antropov-Stewart
Burmistrov-Peverley-Thorburn
Modin-Cormier-Boulton

There, that fixes it.

Brendan

February 7th, 2011
4:34 pm

The word euphemism has been prevalent into today’s blog. Good for us!

Joe McGrath

February 7th, 2011
4:49 pm

Who would you rather have: Jonathan Cheechoo or Stapleton.

R. Stroz

February 7th, 2011
4:55 pm

Ramsay better wake up.

I imagine most of the locker room would rather see Boults dressed instead of either Modin or Stapleton.

This is the type of decision making which will cause Ramsay to lose the locker room.

Thrashers

February 7th, 2011
4:58 pm

We will win tonight.