Another chance for Atlanta Spirit to do the right thing

Last weekend the Atlanta Thrashers held their annual Select A Seat event at Philips Arena. Many fans here and across the NHL world saw this as little more than a farce in light of the news that the team could be stripped from Georgia and jettisoned to Manitoba.

As you’ll recall, I made a request of the current team owners to call off the event if the deal was in fact “done” and it simply is a matter of time before an announcement is made. I opined here that I firmly believed the Atlanta Spirit was simply looking for cover, knowing the turnout would be held down given the circumstances and they could then point to that as reason why they have “no choice” but to sell to TNSE. Thus, asked them to “do the right thing” by canceling it if they knew for a fact what so many here suspect, that the team is indeed gone.

Yeah, I know. Asking the most disingenuous and apathetic ownership cluster in professional sports to do the right thing is much like asking politicians to run a campaign free of mud slinging and personal attacks distorting their opponent’s record… but I figured it was at least worth a shot, eh?

But they have yet another opportunity for the Spirit Boys do right by the hockey fans in Thrasherville, if the end is near for NHL hockey here. And it would be something that wouldn’t even affect the wallets of the AS, LLC to do.

Randy Novak penned this open letter to the Atlanta Spirit, LLC and posted it up at Bird Watchers Anonymous. In it, Novak makes but one simple request here of the owners… he wants to see Dan Snyder’s #37 jersey officially retired.

“My purpose today is to plead with you to do at least one right thing in this transaction for the fans. It’s not something that’s going to cost you much, if any, money, but it is something that will build some goodwill with the Hockey community in Atlanta.

Before you sign on the bottom line and send the team to Winnipeg, I plead with you to retire Dan Snyder’s # 37 jersey and ask that the league and the new owners honor this retirement when the team relocates.”

Novak’s request and his delivery is, in my opinion, spot on. Regarding the Snyder situation and the possible retirement of his number, there is no need to rehash the “whats” and “what ifs” surrounding the current ownership situation. There have been pointing of fingers in blame leading up to this, and there will be more in days to come should the team make it’s way to Winnipeg.

But in the spirit of decency, respect, honor and dignity, this is something the AS, LLC should not just give serious consideration to, it is something they should do and announce immediately. If they do, then I know all of us will stand as one and applaud such a gesture to Snyder and his family.

Even though no one has worn the #37 jersey for the Thrashers since Snyder’s untimely death just prior to the 2003-04 season., the organization has opted to not officially retire it and hang it from the rafters. The only time the subject was even remotely addressed by the team since was when Rich Peverley was picked up off the waver wires in January of 2008. While playing with the Nashville Predators he wore #37 but chose to use #47 when informed of his former number’s significance here.

So once again, Atlanta Spirit, you have been shown how to do the right thing here in regards to the team and it’s fans. We anxiously await your response.

136 comments Add your comment

Badger Bob

May 25th, 2011
11:00 am

Badger Bob

May 25th, 2011
11:03 am

And heck yes, Rawhide!

Ron Mexico

May 25th, 2011
11:03 am

If they can figure out some way to make money off it or link it to the Hawks, they’ll do it.

Honor The Snyder Family

May 25th, 2011
11:06 am

Stay or leave, we have to RETIRE 37!!!!


May 25th, 2011
11:06 am

Should’ve thrown Heatley in jail for his stupidity.

Tom Lysiak

May 25th, 2011
11:17 am

Well, that would finally be one thing they could truthfully claim as “the right thing to do”. Look at the complete body of work, from the way they artfully dodged David McDavid right through to these negotiations. Rankin Smith’s family will forever be indebted to lose the title of “worse owners in the history of Atlanta sports”. Hands down.


May 25th, 2011
11:18 am

Rawhide… are asking the occupants of dysfunction junction to be human beings. The way they have treated the fans and the team since they purchased it, is a disgrace. They care not for anything or anyone but themselves. Do you REALLY think they are going to give a crap about retiring the jersey of a player they did not care about, playing for a team they did not care about?

I’m sorry that the only thing you did in writing this blog post is waste some of your precious time….something that you will never, ever, get back. Oh, and you are also reinforcing what a$$#*!es they really are.

I am so sick of these jerks and our greedy Commissioner (who at one time I held in greet esteem for being a “Fans Commissioner”) I just can no longer stand it. The blew smoke up our rear ends saying they were negotiating with a local group and blew even more smoke about the sale of the Hawks….no one in their right mind would buy a basketball team with a lockout looming….do they think we are all stupid? Oh, yea…I forgot. They do.


May 25th, 2011
11:18 am

While this would be nice I really do not see thsi happening…will the Peggers do the same? Hard to say but the award has crossed my mind and I have wondered how the family feels about all of this?

Randy Novak

May 25th, 2011
11:19 am

Thanks for the re-post Rawhide. I hope the ASG does the right thing for once.


May 25th, 2011
11:22 am

The new ownership will not want any links to Thrashers. As a last ditch effort I emailed the Governor Deal since the the Atlanta mayor does not care if the Thrashers leave. I got this response below, so I called him and voiced my opinion. I hope others do as well.

Governor Deal has received your e-mail and appreciates hearing from you. You will receive a direct response from him shortly. With the very high volume of messages and mail, we hope you will understand if there is a delay in responding. If this is an urgent or time-sensitive matter, please call us directly at 404-656-1776. Again, our thanks for your comments and input


May 25th, 2011
11:23 am

Athrashersfan13 – While I understand your frustration, I certainly do not see this as a waste of any of my time. Do I hold my breath that the Spirit Clowns will ever to right by Thrashers fans? No. I may have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night.

However, the only actions I can fully control are my own. And as long as I hold the keys to this blog I will continue to do whatever I can for Thrasherville. Calling for this action is, IMHO, the right thing to do.

What the Great Octocluster do in response…well, they have to answer for that.

Randy Novak – It was but my honor to repost it. Thank you for penning this open letter. You did a great job with it and I thank you for doing so.

Mr. Heat Miser

May 25th, 2011
11:24 am

Nothing right will be done, and it will be a travesty. An eternal shame on the organization.

JK Sockey

May 25th, 2011
11:27 am

Quit digging this up every year adn a half, let the guy RIP.

Mr. Heat Miser

May 25th, 2011
11:29 am

Put a sock in it sockey. Loved burning your banner!

Hockey Mom

May 25th, 2011
11:30 am

As a Winnipegger, I would not have an issue with Snyder’s Thrashers jersey hanging in the MTS Centre should the ASG not do the respectful thing and do it in Atlanta.


May 25th, 2011
11:32 am

well, isn’t it time for something to go right? but they won’t do it. you know why? because if / when the t-birds leave, they’ll be stuck with the reality that basketball just doesn’t sell well traditionally in this town. those slime-ridden no good idiots, how does one MISTAKENLY buy a hockey team, drove what was once valued at several hundred million into the ground. now there’s this thing on facebook saying Anson Carter wanted to buy the team, and he had the money! I plan on piping the lads through on the internet, but still, it could have worked here.

well when they finally offload the HAWKS, maybe someone will relocate a team here. Why / how did the NHL not vet these idiots? this is going to drag the league down. I mean what voting populace full of right-thinking adults will vote for an arena now?


May 25th, 2011
11:33 am

Nice job Randy.

While I too do not think the Spirit bast#ards will do the right thing for us EVER, I agree in calling them out on this. I’d love to hear what they would say in response to this request, but I know they do not have the C.O. Jones to do so.

I know it. You know it. And the Thrasherville people know it.

Oh and JK Sockey, you are complete and total moron. You deserve to go to Winnipeg and freeze with the team.

please dont send us JKsockey!!!!

May 25th, 2011
11:40 am

I agree w/hockey mom…I am sure any TRUE wpg hockey fan would respect the jersey if it didn’t hang in ATL…but rightly it should hang in ATL…..
But please don’t send us ANY JK SOCKEYS…we have our fair share!


May 25th, 2011
11:43 am

Considering the state of the situation, think we have jumped the shark on this one.

Unfortunately we have no relevance anymore to make demands, requests, or proposals. Everything just comes across as whining at this point.


May 25th, 2011
11:51 am

I think that would be a very nice gesture indeed, but I don’t see it happening. I am skeptical that Carter has the $$, by himself, to pony up for the team.


May 25th, 2011
11:53 am

Excellent suggestion – Dan Snyder needs to always be remembered and honored. It is truly the least that “they” could do.

Thanks so much Rawhide as always for taking the time and putting forth maximum effort on behalf of Thrasher fans. And for making us think…..


May 25th, 2011
11:56 am

If #37 is to be retired, it should be and must be done in Atlanta. One of the things that po’ed Winnipegers off to no end, was when the Coyotes started to honor Winnipeg Jets players that had NEVER even been to Phoenix. Some say its an honor, well its not, its a slap in the face.

Side note: When the Coyotes honored Thomas Steen ( played his whole career in Winnipeg ) they put up a picture of Anders Steen ( some slug who stopped for a cup of coffee ).

Dan Snyder was part of the Thrasher’s family and should be honored as such. Phone ASG and tell them what you want. If ASG refuses, then it just shows thier true colors.


May 25th, 2011
11:57 am

I think it’s time to lock’er down Judy….

We miss #37

May 25th, 2011
11:58 am

I’ve wanted the Thrashers to officially retire the number 37..though no player wore it afterward. Dan Snyder is what a “Thrasher” should be, not the biggest, but willing to do what it took, he is sorely missed..especially by those of us who saw him in the IHL and weren’t surprised at all that he made it to the NHL. I saw Snyder go after Barry Dregar was like an ant attacking an elephant, Dregar was obvioulsy a heavyweight and made short work of “bird legs” but Snydy had more guts than most, the Thrashers needed more players like him throughout the organization.

This kid would have at least wore the A for Atlanta had tragedy not struck, I’ll never forget him beating up Sean Avery before Avery was so well known, and then Avery was at his funeral, they respected each other. It’s sad that so much is literally lost with this franchise moving, even the Dan Snyder Award, the charity work this team does, all of the people behind the scenes. Hockey here has been tainted by the powers that be, we see greed and lust for a team from up north, people indifferent to the hearts of fans here and it’s a shame, the NHL, the ASG, TNSE…all indifferent with nothing but dollar signs in their eyes, the exact opposite of Dan Snyder and how he played and what he stood for. He was a Thrasher and he is still missed.


May 25th, 2011
12:05 pm

Not only YES, but HELL, YES! And it would be nice if Winnipeg could see fit to continue the tradition of honoring Dan Snyder by handing out an “unsung hero” award each year. We shall see…


May 25th, 2011
12:06 pm

@J-Man for your post on the previous blog saying that “hockey is ruining my life” – I would argue quite the opposite. It saves me from the absolute drivel that exists on most TV channels, including the bore of regular season MLB, preseason NFL (don’t have to worry about avoiding that this year), the gamut of reality shows and the same old depressing News (definitely will watch Seinfeld re-runs though, but don’t go out of my way to). In addition to being quality TV it is an excellent sport to play and keeps you in fantastic shape. I average about 1.75 games a week, am 34 and am in way better shape than pretty much everybody I associate with and can still go full bore and play a whole game with no subs on playoff night (2 games, an hour rest) when our team is short on people. Yeah, it sucks and have even yacked once after we won the final, but I can do it. I don’t know if you have ever played, but those who have know that that is akin to sprinting for 3 hours. Try and lace’em up sometime and work off those cheeseburgers.

So the long-and-short of it – I don’t think it has destroyed anybody’s lives here, just pained our hearts, and that was done by A$$G = non-hockey fans.

Don Waddell

May 25th, 2011
12:09 pm

Sounds like a terrific idea to me. I’m doing all I can Atlanta.


May 25th, 2011
12:12 pm

Mr. Rawhide, this is an important question to bring forth since it is near to the heart of every supporter of this ex-city franchise. I do hope many voices will be heard in solidarity for this immortal cause. If you permit, with your grace and understanding to include my query since I fear it may have been lost in transition to your new blog. But I feel in need to share amongst one and all.

Why doesn’t the “tin-foil cup guy” say anything about the current situation ? Why is he silent ? Where is thee ? Where is the tin-foil cup ? Why are these questions not being asked ? Why are we not seeking the answers to these questions ? Do any one of my brothers or sisters in the cyber sphere know the truth ? Was the tin-foil cup but a replica of an olden quest toward the revival of a modern holy grail ? Or was the tin-foil cup but a reflection of mere amateur enthusiasm from a mere amateur fan base skating away on the thin ice of a new day ? Vive la feuille d’étain !!! Vive la feuille d’étain !!! Vive la feuille d’étain !!!


May 25th, 2011
12:13 pm

This is the right thing to do. RIP Dan Snyder. You’ll always be an ATLANTA THRASHER.


May 25th, 2011
12:20 pm

The Thrashers ownership “do the right thing”????????

HAHAHAHA… that’s a good one. Thanks for the laugh, but Atlanta Spirit, LLC hasn’t done
one single right thing during their entire existence. Had they… we might not be losing our
second NHL franchise (both due to poor ownership)


May 25th, 2011
12:24 pm

Don’t worry. As a good gesture to the Atlanta Fans and their Franchise History, we will retire that jersey at the MTS Centre if the Atlanta owners will not.

Stan Drulia

May 25th, 2011
12:32 pm

I bet the “Atlanta Spirit” group thinks Dan Snyder is a rookie goalie in Moose Jaw… they don’t care about anything concerning this team – first and foremost – our history.


May 25th, 2011
12:36 pm

Oh those Shark’s fans are steamed! Hard to tell if that was icing or not, but to me it looked like the faceoff shouldn’t have been in the zone. Crazy good game to watch though.


May 25th, 2011
12:38 pm

Good idea. And another thing … stop charging fans for tickets on their credit cards without sending a letter to them telling them what is going on!

Sage of Bluesland

May 25th, 2011
12:42 pm

I think the ASG has “more important” things to do than these types of things….such as dot some “i’s” and cross some “t’s”….and start the tagging of inventory in preparation of a move….


May 25th, 2011
12:50 pm

Agreed about the retiring of the number. As for the sale, it is a done deal. Bank on it. Anson Carter isn’t even in the picture.


May 25th, 2011
12:56 pm

ADD JOHAN “MOOSE” HEDBERG to the growing list of personnel citing the ownership as the problem in Atlanta. ARE YOU LISTENING BETTMAN? On the NJ Devils Fire and Ice blog, he said the fans never had a chance with this group. He goes on to defend Atlanta as a good hockey city. He calls the situation SAD.


May 25th, 2011
1:01 pm

2mins, Thomas Steen played for Grums, Leksand and Färjestad in Sweden before ending up in Winnipeg.

Anders Steen, (who I know), is while not Thomas, no “slug” and was actually a good player.

Tom Lysiak

May 25th, 2011
1:11 pm

In keeping with the shady dealings of this whole sale, doesn’t anyone else think it is weird that an “exclusive negotiating period” was never announced with TNSE and the losers? It was made public on that John Moores “deal” for the building rights and the Hawks. Was this to allow them freedom to negotiate with any local buyers? Or was it because the deal was long done and they think people are too stupid to notice? Seems like another question the league and ASG should answer.


May 25th, 2011
1:25 pm

@Tom Lysiak, I see that too, in spades. While most people on here is saying that the deal is done, I am starting to have my doubts about that.

**Neki’s Tin-Hat Time**
(This is my own personal opinion about this)

I was thinking that deal was going to be done around Yesterday or Today during to the Banks being closed in Canda for their holiday. But something happen on last Friday, that may change the whole picture, if we can read it.

When ASG pull out of the exclusive negotiating period with John Moores for the Hawks and Phillips, it was very strange because if a company wants to keep the team and building rights away from other local buyers, would they would have extend that period until after the Thrashers deal was finalize.

To me, I am thinking there is another party out there that wants all three (Hawks, Thrashers, and Phillps) and probably have better money then True North. Then you have that issue between Betterman and ASG about extra money outside of relocation fees.

At the end, Thrashers days in Atlanta is almost done because not of the fans (Jets fans needs to remember this), it was the ownership and NHL that did this.

For that orginial question, it should be a YES, but it determine what TNSE wants.


May 25th, 2011
1:27 pm

Since ASG is batting 0 for infinity on right things, I think it is safe to say that they will not do the honorable thing. I am beginning to really hope that we do not have a lame duck season to deal with next year.


May 25th, 2011
1:34 pm

It would be nice gesture, but I think that would have made more sense if it were done in Atlanta.


May 25th, 2011
1:35 pm

Wiped from existence. I feel like Dr. Brown, from “Back to the Future.” It’d be a nice gesture, but it should have been done years ago, where Thrasher fans could see it, rather than fans in Winnipeg, who don’t know who Dan Snyder was.

Is ASG Bargaining in Good Faith?

May 25th, 2011
1:39 pm

Tom Lysiak

May 25th, 2011
2:05 pm

If the leak hadn’t happened on Thursday, wonder if the announcement would have happened yesterday, as was leaked? Could the delay just be some “shucking and jiving” to cover some you-know-whats???? Trying to discredit the leak and illustrate that the deal was not final yet??? Bet somebody wasn’t happy……

Badger Bob

May 25th, 2011
2:53 pm

Excerpt from an e-mail response from Dan Corso of the Metro Atlanta Chamber dismissing requests for them to get involved:

“It’s a much bigger issue than a sports council alone can influence.”

My e-mail didn’t ask them to do it “alone”. More duck and cover and shifting of blame…


May 25th, 2011
3:07 pm

Retire 37 AND name the MVP award after TR Benning. Not unheard of for a team to honor it’s past – even in another city or even league. The original Colorado Avalanche logo was not supposed to have blue in it – but it was added to honor the Quebec Nordiques. The New Jersey Devils were named in honor of the team from the old EHL. The Flames assistant captains wear the A in the style of the Atlanta Flames. TNSE has really followed the rules here – seem like a group of honorable people. Lets hope they see the positives here and make the move. We will still always have the upper hand over Winnipeg – they don’t have a Widespread Panic consecutive sellout banner in THEIR building!


May 25th, 2011
3:11 pm

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell NO!

Some of you may get that.

Red Light

May 25th, 2011
3:16 pm

Atlanta and Winnipeg do have a shared history of playoff futility.


May 25th, 2011
3:18 pm

playoff? playoff? 4 games does not a playoff history make