Thrashers fans are still sad about not having a hockey team to go see, obviously, but generally we’ve come to terms with the bad luck and incompetence that marred our beloved franchise. We understand (at least I do) that the sale and the move is strictly on Atlanta Spirit LLC, and that the folks in Winnipeg and True North weren’t purposfully trying to break our hearts. It was a business deal, and people in a city that I’ve always believed that the NHL shouldn’t've left got a team back.
What does bother me, and what bothers so many fans, is that the media is trying to expunge the Thrashers’ history from the Winnipeg Jets’ books, making some weird mish-mash of two franchises that only share Keith Tkachuk in common. The Jets’ original history followed the team to Phoenix, and the Thrashers’ history followed the team to Winnipeg. Announcers on US broadcasts have goofed numerous times and called them the Thrashers. That’s who they were. They did, in fact, exist, and aren’t too awful far removed from the team that’s in Winnipeg now. Hearing Bruins announcers say “The Jets haven’t been in Winnipeg for fifteen years!” drove me nuts on Saturday, because while a team that is named the Jets haven’t been in Boston in that long, this team was there twice last year and pretty much played the same then as they did on Saturday. There is no Teemu Selanne. Only Evander Kane.
I’ve called it a whitewash, one that both the ASG and the media have participated in. While it makes perfect sense for any and all Thrashers related things to disappear from Philips Arena, as ASG owns the copyright on the logo, etc., it was still tough to see. And now, the last reminder in the CNN Center that a team existed has been literally whitewashed.
Before (from @JoeYeardonPHT):
After (from @FINISHDAMISSION):
Oh well. At least we still have the hockey mask signs in the CNN parking deck to tell us where we parked our cars. Wait… no. I at least won’t probably ever see those again, because I’ll be damned if I set foot in Philips Arena while ASG is even remotely affiliated with it.
Hockey’s not dead in Atlanta, but apparently no one wants to remember the teams that went too soon. As a history teacher, stuff like this depresses me. To the victor goes the spoils, certainly, but you learn more about a situation by looking at both sides of the story. It’d be nice to have a side to look at around here.