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Dealing With The Loss Of The Thrashers

from Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

The following are excerpts from interviews and emails regarding how Thrashers fans are coping six months after the announcement that the NHL team was sold and would relocate to Winnipeg:

“We’ve since adopted a coping mechanism consisting of describing Winnipeg as a 19th-century town that is just now gaining access to things like indoor plumbing, electricity and automobiles.”—Krista

“I feel like an entire aspect of my social and personal life is gone. The winter sport I’ve grown to love, I can barely bring myself to watch on TV anymore. The pasttime I enjoyed exposing my friends to and making new friends at disappeared overnight.”—Lauren


These are hockey fans, just like us.  Just imagine how you would feel if your home team moved away.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Savage Henry's avatar

The Atlanta Spirit Group (what’s left of it) is a garbage organization, and the NHL’s handling of this is shameful.  I’m a Red Wings fan, and a hockey fan, but not an NHL fan.  The NHL went to court, and laid a 9-figure sum on the table to buy time for the team in Phoenix, but wasn’t willing to put forth any similar effort in Atlanta.  *#$%@& you, Bettman.  *#$%@& you, NHL.

Posted by Savage Henry on 12/13/11 at 09:50 PM ET

Savage Henry's avatar

Also: I don’t have any ill will towards the players, or the fans in Winnipeg.  I can’t bring myself to root for the Jets, but I don’t hold any grudges towards them.

Posted by Savage Henry on 12/13/11 at 09:51 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Atlanta should get an AHL team.The NHL does not draw in ATL, and didn’t last time it was in town, either.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/13/11 at 10:44 PM ET


I never wish losing a franchise on any city. I am always amazed at how easily some so called hockey fans love to trash some cities ability to support hockey.  While Atlanta was in a bad spot with ownership, it doesn’t mean they had bad fans. You can name a lot of NHL cities that struggled at one time or another, but you don’t give up.  Just a reminder of cities that were deemed to be bad hockey towns and were threatened with moving or actually did move:

Atlanta (2), Phoenix, Miami, Tampa, Dallas, Denver (2), Carolina, Kansas City, New Jersey, Long Island, Quebec City, Winnipeg, St. Louis, Hartford, Nashville, Bay Area, Pittsburgh (3), Edmonton, Columbus, Minnesota.

(#) indicates number of times threatened to move or did move.

Posted by timbits on 12/13/11 at 11:43 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

I feel terrible for the Thrashers fans.
Hockey is the best sport, and to lose your NHL team would be devastating.

Posted by w2j2 on 12/14/11 at 12:44 AM ET


Growing up in northern Minnesota and living in Atlanta I may be giving away may age to noting that I have now lost 3 home teams (North Stars, Jets, and recently the thrashers).

As a hockey fan I had a choice of picking another team (Preds, Canes, Bolts),..or staying loyal to the team I have come to know and like.  As hard as it is to follow them closely I remain a Jets fan (am streaming the Wild game as I blog).

I harbor no ill will to Winnipeg.  Ms Golden, quoted in Viv’s article, is ignorant of the situation or very immature (or both).  Atlanta was cursed the second time with the NHL by the dirtbag ownership group know as the Atlanta Spirit.

Winnipeg is a great city.  I love the Jets.  And they just beat the Wild in a very hard-fought complete game.

Posted by HookyBob from Atlalnta on 12/14/11 at 01:08 AM ET


Boohoo.  We don’t all have a team in our front yard.  16,000 empty seats at $20 a pop?  $@#@ you Atlanta.  If you lost your team and can’t even bring yourself to watch it on TV, then you are really not feeling it.  I watch 3 games a night.  If the NHL was in my city selling seats for $20 I’d be there with 5 homeless dudes every game.
Glendale has tried to prevent a move, while Atlanta did nothing.  Yeah it sucks, but there are only 30 teams….they can’t be everywhere, pissing away money.  The whole city of Winnipeg is watching the game, not just the 2000 people who paid AHL prices.  How can you compare that?

Posted by tuxedoTshirt on 12/14/11 at 04:19 AM ET

Primis's avatar

For all the mistakes Spirit made, yes Atlanta fans dropped the ball as well by not coming out to games.

Atlanta should get an AHL team.The NHL does not draw in ATL, and didn’t last time it was in town, either.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/13/11 at 08:44 PM ET

Oddly enough they basically have an ECHL team right now and probably could also support an AHL team at the same time.

Posted by Primis on 12/14/11 at 09:12 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

Atlanta would be a GREAT market for a minor league team. There are a lot of northern transplants, and AHL tickets are way more reasonable. A family can go out on a Friday night, get GREAT seats and refreshments for under $100.

I live in the Cleveland media market, and our AHL team occasionally outdraws Columbus’ NHL team. Our arena is bigger as well. Still, the NHL does not see Cleveland as a destination market due to the poor economy and saturation of other professional sports. It’s a shame, because Cleveland has always had a strong hockey tradition (The old AHL Barons have 9 Calder Cups - only Hershey has more).

I’d personally love to see Cleveland and Columbus flip teams, but it’s not going to happen. There’s too much downtown development built around the BJs for them to go anywhere. Besides, I don’t know if Cleveland hockey fans would shell out the $200 for glass seats when they find it difficult to shell $60 for the same seats for the minor league team.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/14/11 at 10:55 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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