According to many reports, it seems Tuesday will be the day the NHL announces that the Atlanta Thrashers have been bought bought and are to be relocated to Winnipeg. If not, then expect news on Thursday.
It will be a great day for hockey in Winnipeg and in Canada. But let us not forget, it is a sad day for hockey fans in Atlanta. Yes, the NHL product has failed twice in Dixie, for a variety of reasons. But we should not forget that there are a great number of hockey fans there. Today is not a great day for them, and they deserve our respect.
Here's a few more thoughts:
- As great as this is for Winnipeg, I have to wonder about the long term viability of a team there. Some reports suggest they need to receive revenue sharing to operate financially. And they've already tried turning to government for financial help. This despite a strong Canadian dollar and the richest man in Canada owning the team.
- As long as the dollar stays strong, NHL hockey in Winnipeg should survive. But eventually, though not likely any time soon, we have to assume the dollar will tail off again. I do not know what the magic number would be, but can small market Canadian teams operate with a 90 cent or 80 cent dollar?
- I know there have been some suggestions that the relocated team will be called the Manitoba Moose. The Moose are a great AHL entity. But I have to believe everyone wants to see the Winnipeg Jets back. Let's do it right.
- I wonder if Dustin Byfuglien still has that big fur coat? He's going to need this winter.
- I know Bobby Hull has embraced his Chicago Blackhawks past of late. Let's hope he does the same in Winnipeg. You know Dale Hawerchuk, Thomas Steen and others will.
- I thought this story about the growing battle over NHL/Winnipeg related domain names was interesting.
- By the way, that image above is actually a cover for a great book called The Winnipeg Jets: A Celebration of Hockey In Winnipeg. I highly recommend it.
Always felt a kinship with the other non-traditionals like y’all, Florida, Tampa, and Nashville. To see y’alls team taken away so unceremoniously is depressing for Southern hockey fans everywhere. My condolences.
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