It’s funny how not having a decent record over your franchise’s history can lead to rumors of re-location. I mean, just look at the Columbus Blue Jackets. Rumors abound!
Wait, what – they don’t? They’re in a “traditional Northern United States Market?” Ohh, ok.
There’s something about the untraditional that scares people. There’s even something more scary about something untraditional with even a modicum of success potential, and people know that if the Thrashers get going and have solid season a few years in a row, they’ll be a hot ticket in Atlanta, and they won’t be able to have the rumor roundups.
It’s much more fun for the guys on Sportsnet to throw out speculation that the Thrashers are having cash flow problems (according to Don Waddell in about a million interviews and at a couple dozen town halls says no – we’re in the black) and are in danger of moving. The ownership situation, which even Gary Bettman called out as just a clusterfark, gives people who would love nothing more than to see the Thrashers fail an out to back up their claims of sale and moving.
It’s no secret that the Atlanta Spirit are looking for a new investor – for both of their teams. They hired Goldman-Sachs to find one for them in August. The Hawks and Thrashers, though, are a package deal thanks to naming rights being attached to both teams remaining in Philips Arena. They leave, Philips leaves, and good luck figuring out how to get a new sponsor in these awful economic times.
Despite the fact that the Winnipeg rumors were squashed like a bug earlier this year, some people really really feel that the Thrashers are a done deal here and are on the move to sunnier pastures – like Seattle.
You’re kidding, right? You lost this to OKLAHOMA CITY.
Sunny Seattle? Yes, the town that couldn’t even keep a professional basketball team due to the state telling them no, we won’t upgrade your arena – and the fact that no one else wanted to help either – expects a hockey team to want to move there. Seattle is Winnipeg South, I’m sorry. Outdated arena, small-ish population, no sponsors. Yep. That would be perfect. Apparently Ken Campbell of The Sporting News feels this way and tosses out relocation rumors left and right for the teams that he doesn’t feel need to remain in their markets: Atlanta, Nashville, and still Phoenix (shockingly Tampa bay and Florida weren’t tossed in there).
The Seattle News-Tribune makes their case for why they’d be the perfect place by mocking Atlanta and by making fun of the players’ notability in the league.
Does Nik Antropov’s name ring a bell? No? What about Maxim Afinogenov?
If you’re unable to distinguish Antropov from Afinogenov, I’m going to assume you’re not familiar with Niclas Bergfors, Pavel Kubina, Vyacheslav Kozlov, Ondrej Pavelec and Johnny Oduya, either.