This weekend was already expected to be a very busy one for my family and I. Tomorrow my youngest tax exemption’s JROTC academic team will compete for the national championship, Sunday is his graduation baccalaureate and after that is over we’ll motor down to Savannah. We head there for a college campus tour scheduled for Monday, after which we will make our way back home that evening.
He then graduates Thursday morning, so as you can see this is a very busy time in my household.
I tell you this for a couple reasons. 1). This is why I will not be able to join you all tomorrow at the tailgate party put together by my good friend “Kracker” and, 2). Because of the news that broke last night in the Globe and Mail, I wanted to give you forum to discuss this as the story unfolds over the weekend.
As I’m sure you all have read by now, in the latest twist and turn of this roller coaster ride known as The Thrashers Relocation Saga, last night Stephen Brunt of The Globe and Mail reported that the Atlanta Thrashers were indeed moving to Winnipeg. Brunt says this deal was approved by the NHL board of directors months ago.
“…sources in Winnipeg suggest that the Thrashers had in fact been the primary target of potential owners Mark Chipman and David Thomson all along, and that some months back, the NHL board of governors quietly approved the sale and transfer of the team, pending the negotiation of a purchase agreement between Atlanta Spirit LLC, the Thrashers’ owners, and True North.”
As expected, the league and TNSE as well as other sources quickly refuted this story setting in motion yet another round on the ”Thrashers are moving…no they’re not…yes they are…no they’re not…” roller coaster.
But given the timing, and that this news leak doesn’t come from an internet-based site created solely for the distribution of fabricated stories, I have to say I think this one could pass the smell test.
I mentioned timing because this Saturday at Philips Arena is the scheduled Select A Seat event in which fans are invited down to pick out season tickets and/or simply locate where the seats are that they’ve already ordered. Representatives of the Atlanta Spirit sales and marketing department will be on hand to take your orders.
However, with news breaking that the team is quite probably heading to Winnipeg…leaving Thrashers fans out in the cold…it isn’t hard to imagine that there won’t be a lot of people making their way to Philips to fork over money in exchange for tickets to games that may or may not take place.
And I’m quite sure there will be TV cameras on hand to record this to beam back to points north of the border.
See, if in fact the report in the G&M is accurate, then that means the NHL, TNSE and the greatest cluster flop of an ownership group ever to have been planning this relocation for months and this whole tap-dance of sending Don Waddell out to find possible buyers to keep the team in town has been a shame…and they need cover.
Also making the “timing” here interesting to me is the reports and whispers I’ve been hearing that those in charge of such things have already bugun the inventory, bagging and clearing out of all things hockey related down at Philips Area earlier this week.
So, if you were planning on scooting down to the SAS event or the tailgate gathering of fans I would urge you to continue to do so. Go have a great time with friends and fellow fans…looks like the weather will perfect for it.
But go prepared willing to get your face in a camera and politely let the world know what you think of this situation and the Atlanta Spirit, LLC… the Great Octocluster. Make signs if you wish and give the cameramen something worthwhile to put on video.
Don’t be rude…don’t be vulgar…don’t represent Thrasherville in a negative light. But let the hockey community know what you truly feel and who is directly responsible for the possible loss of this team here.
Finally, to the members of the AS, LLC I make this challenge. If the reports are true and you have been plotting and scheming for months to rip this franchise from this community, then cancel the Select A Seat event scheduled for tomorrow. Do not continue this ruse…this deception…this scam …this tease one day longer. Do not accept a single dollar for tickets to games for a season you know will not happen in Atlanta.
In short, do the decent, honorable and upright thing…for once…and let the fans know today the truth of the situation. Don’t give an eager media looking to depict the turnout misrepresent the reality of the situation.
That way, you can at least say you were up-front and honest with us if even just this once in your disastrous seven years as owners…and Saturday afternoon can be a time of support, remembering and good-byes for those who plan on gathering at the Gulch.
Somehow, given the history, I’m not holding my breath that the honorable thing will be done by the Atlanta Spirit, LLC, (Lies, Lawsuits and Contempt).