In a shocking twist (sarcasm), the Thrasers-to-Winnipeg deal was officially announced on Tuesday.
In light of this disappointing decision, here are the people I feel most bad for (in no particular order):
1) Thrashers employees and game day staff whose employment situation is severely impacted. Too often, these individuals aren’t given the proper respect when considering multi-million dollar transactions.
2) The players. While Andrew Ladd was diplomatic in his comments, you’ve got to feel for guys who committed to playing hockey in Atlanta (especially the ones that recently committed, i.e. Dustin Byfuglien), and are now uprooting to a cold, desolate city in Canada.
3) My 17-month old son. After being raised in a hockey family outside of Boston, I was hoping to do the same for him. At least his first – and only – professional game in Atlanta was shared by his grandfather – my dad – who was the driving force behind my love of the game.
4) Thrashers fans. And I don’t mean the ones who’d go to a game or two every season (though you have my sympathy, since I am one of them). But by “Thrashers fans,” I mean the ones who have been season ticket holders since day one. The ones who attended every game, in good years and bad (mostly bad), donning their jerseys and scarfs and heckling the opposing goalies.
5) Jeff Schultz. Dude’s been all over this story and has rightfully been hammering the Atlanta Spirit, Commissioner Bettman and the NHL. Where will he turn his attention to now?