Thursday, September 29, 2011

Razor's New Blog

It's sparsely updated for now, but I have a new blog going over at Jurisbrewdence. It is my personal ramblings about my interests, namely politics, the law, beer, whiskey, hockey, and college football.

Come on over if you want. Today's post is a primer for the next two weeks of beer festivals and celebrations around the Atlanta area.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Atlanta Spirit Settles Lawsuit

If you'll recall, the Atlanta Spirit Group filed suit against their former attorneys at super-firm King and Spalding alleging legal malpractice. The crux of the issue was that the language built into the contract to form the ASG and subsequently purchase the Atlanta Thrashers and Hawks was faulty in that it didn't allow for easy departure of one member of the group. The departure of Steve Belkin then lead to ambiguities over how and even whether the ASG could legally sell either one of the teams.

As was almost inevitable in a case involving this much money and the reputation of one of the biggest law firms in the country, the parties have decided to settle their dispute out of court.

The article doesn't detail the settlement, but does say that the ASG had been seeking over $130 million in damages and over $14.5 million in attorney's fees.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Entirety of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl Killed in Plane Crash


A passenger plane carrying a Russian ice hockey team to a season-opening match crashed after takeoff from a provincial airport on Wednesday, leaving 43 people feared dead.

Among those 43 was former NHL defenseman and Thrashers assistant coach Brad McCrimmon. Played with multiple teams, won the Cup with an impossibly talented and star-studded Calgary Flames team in 1989, wound up coaching the Thrashers and the Red Wings.

Other formers NHLers included the truly excellent Pavol Demitra and the truly solid Ruslan Salei, but we have to admit we're not comfortable with parochial and sectarian "people we're familiar with who've died" reactions to far-reaching tragedies. This is a horror and a misery for everyone involved. That should be a boring and obvious statement.

I'm sure most of us have wondered about this sort of thing from time to time (I know I have), thought about the possibility of an entire sports team being wiped out in one plane crash, etc. And sadly this incident isn't without precedent.

Anyway, my words are pretty worthless in this context. Life is tragic, which is why we have things like this and this.

UPDATE: Solid report and summary of events from the NY Times.

[cross-posted at Skid Bream]

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2011-12 Hockey Fantasia

The Blueland Chronicle isn't quite dead yet, no sir, not before we publish the final installment of Ten Gallon Dick. That won't happen for a little while, but in the meantime, what the hell, why not do another fantasy league?

You know the drill.

1) Go here.

2) Search for "Blueland Chronicle League."

3) Join that bitch. League ID: 23708. Password: hellowookies.

The draft is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday September 13th, at 8:00 pm. But you people know I'm flexible, so it can be Moved.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What's Next

Wow, this is still here. Hmm. Interesting. TBC just sitting here in the Internet like a case of New Coke.

Well hey, since we don't have a hockey team to write about anymore, you should come on and bring your reading eyes with you on over to this new project we've started. Even wrote a little letter for the kids that's essentially for anybody who's ever read TBC.

Just wanted to let those of you in the vastness of the Internets know that we won't stop writing just because our hockey team's dead.

On that note, hope you're all well. Cheers.

Rypian Dies at 27

Rick Rypien, who was to play for your Atlanta Thrashers Winnipeg Jets in the 2011-2012 season, was found dead in his home this week. He was 27 years old and there is no word as to the cause of his death. Mounties do not suspect foul play. Knowing Thrash, I do however suspect fowl play.

You may remember Rick Rypien as the classy Vancouver Canuck player who attacked a Minnesota fan this season for daring to say something to him as he was being ejected from a game.

No word as to whether Rypien knows he is dead, or just thinks he's in Winnipeg.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Talk Talk Talk

So the fine gentlemen who run Up the Pucks (a weekly podcast about hockey and punk rock) invited your TBC editor back for another rollicking episode. We talk about team allegiances post-Thrashers, college hockey, and other stuff. Listen here. It'll be good for your dopamine levels.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Conference Swapping

So Ye Olde Atlanta Thrashers now known as the Winnipeg Jets will be playing in the Central Division of the Western Conference in the 2012-13 season while the Detroit Red Wings will be moving to the Eastern Conference.

It was obvious that after this upcoming campaign the Jets would have to be worked into the West because the prairie town in Manitoba is much too far to the West to remain in the Southeast Division or even the Eastern Conference. Many of us here had been hoping and even expecting that this would mean a welcome move of the Nashville Predators to the Southeast Division to play with their neighbors in Carolina and Florida.

However, after reading the TSN story above, I discovered this new fangled thing they call a "map." To my astonishment, I found that not only is Detroit farther East than Nashville, it is actually to the East of Atlanta, as is Columbus!

So the knee-jerk reaction I had about the Red Wings getting favorable treatment just because they are an Original Six team will have to remain un-ranted. While it would have been nice to have two Southeast Division teams within a five hour drive of Atlanta and playing Eastern Conference schedules with convenient start times for television viewing, it does make more sense for the league to move Detroit East rather than Nashville.

Now we really need the Avalanche to experience a renaissance so that we can have Detroit/Colorado Stanley Cup Finals matchups. Seriously, how long before we can have that happen with Roy/Sakic in the front office of the Avs and Yzerman/Draper in the front office of the Wings?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

NHL Awards Predictions

A fine acceptance speech, we suppose, but not nearly as good as the time Nicholas Cage and Cher presented him with the 1988 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor (The Untouchables, dude).

Anyway, the NHL Awards are happening TONIGHT in Vegas. Is this all Jay Mohr does these days? This is not a facetious question.


Corery Perry
Daniel Sedin
Martin St. Louis

Who Should Win: Martin St. Louis
Who Will Win: Daniel Sedin


Roberto Luongo
Pekka Rinne
Tim Thomas

Who Should Win: Pekka Rinne
Who Will Win: Tim Thomas


Zdeno Chara
Nicklas Lidstrom
Shea Weber

Who Should Win: Nicklas Lidstrom
Who Will Win: Lidstrom


Logan Couture
Jeff Skinner
Michael Grabner

Who Should Win: Jeff Skinner
Who Will Win: Jeff Skinner, surely.


Pavel Datsyuk
Ryan Kesler
Jonathan Toews

Who Should Win: Ryan Kesler
Who Will Win: Ryan Kesler

Jack Adams

Dan Bylsma
Barry Trotz
Alain Vigneault

Who Should Win: Barry Trotz
Who Will Win: Dan Bylsma

The other awards bore me to tears, so I'll stop here.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Really good piece at Deadspin about the attempts of some to make the Vancouver-Boston Stanley Cup Finals into a proxy U.S. vs. Canada war. I won't quote from it because the whole thing is quite good and useful. Click on o'er.

For my part, I've never understood cheering for some random city (in this case, Boston) just because it happens to be within the borders of this gargantuan country. People in Seattle and Portland have far more in common with Vancouverites than they do Bostonians, and when you consider the other side of North America, you can easily understand why London, Ontario's Rachel McAdams is cheering for Boston.

Speaking of Rachel McAdams, go see the new Woody Allen movie. It's delightful!

There's also the inconvenient fact that most NHL teams are a mongrel hodge-podge of different nationalities. Are the Canucks a "Canadian" team even though only one of their biggest stars is Canadian (the others being Swedish and American)? What about Boston, which is one prominent American goalie plus a load of Canadians (including at least two guys from British Columbia! Should Milan Lucic and Mark Recchi be rooting for Vancouver?) plus a Slovak space monster and a Czech who's risen to the occasion? Should Lionel Messi join the Spanish national team? Etc...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Group Who Wasn't True North Wanted to Buy the Thrashers, Sez Report

Peering into our email box this morning, we found this, courtesy of Mr. Rawhide:

DALLAS — A bid has been made by a minority business group to purchase Atlanta Spirit, which owns the NBA's Hawks, the NHL's Thrashers and Phillips Arena, for $500 million, those bidding told USA TODAY.

The Spirit already are in the process of selling the NHL franchise to Winnipeg. When the Thrashers officially vacate, the bid then would be adjusted downward.

The CEOs of Global Wellington Financial Corp. and Oriana Capital Partners put forth a bid May 20 to acquire both teams and the arena before the 2011-12 NBA season. The new ownership group would be called W/C Holdings.

Well I'll be. Who knows why the Duke of Wellington would want to buy the Thrashers and the Hawks, especially since he's been dead at least 150 years.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dudley Gone, Ramsay...Who Knows?

What about Rick Dudley?

Rick Dudley, who was the general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers last season and signed a four-year extension in February, is out as general manager.

Not that surprising. And what of Craig Ramsay?

The decision to remove Dudley has to make head coach Craig Ramsay a little uneasy.

Ramsay said Saturday night that he has been contacted by True North saying there will be a discussion about his future coming up. However, his thoughts were with Dudley on Saturday night.

“It’s very sad“,” said Ramsay. “(Dudley) is a top flight hockey person and a long time friend.”

Ramsay certainly warrants an interview at the least, but Manitoba Moose head coach Claude Noel is certain to garner consideration for the job as well — if permission is obtained from the Canucks.

Haha, "Claude Noel." He'll probably turn down the job because his year-round Christmas shop takes precedence.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Misery Loves Company (But not the ASG, LLC Company)

So it has been four days since the guillotine dropped on us all. As bad as it was braced with our heads in that vice for three weeks anticipating it, the anticipated sting was no less painful.

Stats is hosting a "wake" for the Thrashers today at 11am at their location near Philips Arena. (Corner of Marietta Street and an unnamed side street across from the Embassy Suites.) They will be collecting your unwanted Thrashers gear to donate to charity.

Most folks can't make it all the way to downtown Atlanta during the middle of a work day (a lot can't make it in the evenings, either, so maybe the Thrashers should have played further out), but those that can will surely have a good time reminiscing and crying on one another's shoulders.

A more convenient event for most of us will be an informal gathering with Sir Rawhide at TJ's Sports Bar in Alpharetta Saturday night at 8:00. That event will feature a spirited contest between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins, brought to us live by satellite. At least one or two of your Chronicle staff will be there for one last hockey hurrah with Mr. Tiller and our fellow Thrasher fans. Come on out and make sure you have a designated driver or the number of a reputable cab company that you're reasonably sure won't violate your drunk ass on the way home.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fuck You

You might remember this ukulele-strumming lady from the Puck Bunnies song. Here she is performing a slightly altered version of jaunty Cee-Lo anthem "Fuck You."

Precious. Atlanta native Cee-Lo Green should be proud.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Exit Thrashers

...and now it's official.

As for this stupid ramshackle blog, we're (cheerfully) laying dynamite around TBC headquarters as we speak. But before we blow it sky high, we'll cover the Thrashers-to-Winnipeg fallout for a little while longer, offer our farewells and "where you can find us" Internet directions, and publish the final installment of a certain violent Western film.

One other thing: we hope you don't let this sports team relocation destroy your life. Life is known to throw people some very rough stuff, and you'll be very lucky indeed if losing your favorite NHL team is the worst that happens to you.

We know (from experience) how much a person can love a sports team, but ultimately it's just a sports team. It shouldn't be the center of your life, and you certainly shouldn't feel that your life has lost meaning and/or purpose now that the team is gone. And if you've been using fanatical devotion to a hockey team---and reading and typing about it on the Internet all the time---as an escape from unpleasant realities (a miserable job or relationship, general ennui or emptiness, etc.) you really can change your situation and do something actually fulfilling and meaningful. Changing your situation is hard, we know (especially right now in the realm of jobs), but it's not like you get another life. This is it.

If It Looks Like A Duck, Sounds Like a Duck...

The Tweet Machine has, pardon my Quebecois, fucking exploded this morning. According to 60 Minutes Columnist/Producer Bob McKenzie, there's an announcement in place for 11 AM CST/Noon EST to formally announce that this is done. Even some "Darren Dreger" guy is on a flight with the same guy who's buying the Thrashers going TO Winnipeg.

What does it all mean? Or, better question, when will STHs get their money back?

Either way, I guess this means I'm done here. Any of you who have been silent readers on this website should follow all of us on Twitter. You know, to "keep and touch" and all that shit.

I guess this is what the kids would call "closure." Hm.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Is Tomorrow the Day?

Various reports are claiming that a "The Thrashers are GONE, suckas" announcement is imminent. Some say an announcement could come as early as Tuesday. Which is tomorrow.

All of this means...well, we're not sure. People will probably continue to act shocked that the Atlanta Spirit and the NHL are ruthless buccaneers, and various fans will type things on Twitter about how they've been driven to excessive drinking by their Hockey Sadness. Your editor has a hard time relating to this sort of thing, mainly because he drinks too much anyway, Thrashers or no Thrashers. A binge inspired by the relocation of a hockey franchise is barely breakfast.

Anyway. What will be, will be.

Friday, May 27, 2011

(End Times) Bossa Nova

New-fangled and old school alike, to relax your nerves and accompany your tasty caipirinha. What else does one need on this sweltering Memorial Day weekend?

Remember our fallen team.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Anson Carter, blah blah blah....

Carter has issued a press release:

Anson Carter, Principal of Atlanta Sports and Entertainment (ASE), withdrew interest in acquiring the assets of the Atlanta Spirit Group in early 2011...

Preliminary discussions were held in early 2010 with the Raine Group, representatives for the Atlanta Spirit Group and as a result ASE decided not to proceed. However, ASE is now focusing their interest on other markets.”

As you can see, Mr. Carter withdrew his interest well before the Atlanta Spirit publicly stated it’s
[sic] ’sense of urgency’ to find a buyer/investor for the Thrashers in February. The AJC investigated Mr. Carter as a potential investor/buyer months ago. It should also be reiterated that talks between Mr. Carter and the Atlanta Spirit never moved past the preliminary stage. According to several people familiar situation, Mr. Carter’s interest never moved past the level of his group supplying it’s financial ability to complete such a purchase.

You would think a PR writer would be able to spell the possessive form of "it."

At any rate, there you have it. The comments section is a goldmine of charmingly-phrased and incisive questions. "Whut is the rain groyp?" and "Why do you get to decide what's news? I make news! Why, just yesterday my wife's pomeranian escaped..." are pretty much the gist of it. Petty, bitter, paranoid, resentful. People seem to crave fake uplift and reassuring snake oil.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Swallowing one bulb after another in the city of electric light"

No hard news today, but it's still the End Times.

What will writing energy be used for, if not for the goddamn Thrashers? What should writing energy be used for?

You live 'til you die

Prepare yourselves.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kasim Reed to Thrashers Fans: Nope.

Seems we have to interrupt the Bob Dylan birthday celebrations to type something about Mayor Reed's latest (and probably final) comments on the Thrashers situation:

Speaking to reporters, Reed said: “I think any time we lose a major sports franchise it is tough. It’s going to hurt the city, but we are going to withstand it just fine. We will get through it. We have a lot of positive things going on in the sports franchise space that I think we will be announcing pretty soon that will offset it a bit.”

This isn't surprising. I'm not sure that it's the Mayor's job to rescue the Thrashers at a time when Atlanta is trying to fix its decaying schools and find some sort of answer to the Transportation/Traffic question. And as someone who actually lives in the middle of this wacky city and not beyond the Perimeter (and as someone who voted for the guy), I'm not especially keen on the Mayor shoving aside all his other responsibilities to focus on the Thrashers.

The Mayor also had this to say:

“The Thrashers, as you know, are in an extraordinary position because of the amount of losses that are associated with the team,” ... “So we have not yet seen a path where we can reverse those losses fast enough. If you talk to the Atlanta Spirit ownership, they will share the same thing. It’s not a lack of the city being willing to step up and do something about it. It is a partner with deep enough pockets to be willing to sustain pretty significant losses. We have not yet had any of the individuals in our community who are prepared to take that on. But it has not been for lack of trying, believe you me.”

So contra Important Man John Kincade and puppyish J.B. Smith enthusiast Jay Clemons, there never have been serious local buyers.

I am a little curious about what "positive things" are planned in Philips Arena. As I've written before, I don't think making up for lost Thrashers revenue will be particularly difficult. Concerts are a sure thing, but what else might replace the Thrashers? Soccer? An upgraded venue for the Atlanta Roller Girl league? Chariot races? Gigantic games of chess?

"People are crazy and times are strange..."

Thought we'd take a break from all the Thrashers Angst to wish America's greatest living poet and songwriter a happy 70th birthday. To which Bob Dylan might say, "Don't get up gentlemen, I'm only passing through..."

We're going to forgo the 60's and 70's material and post this recent-ish masterpiece instead. It's actually one of your Chronicle editor's favorites. The lyrics, strangely enough, sum up my current attitude towards the Thrashers debacle almost exactly.

I’ve been walking forty miles of bad road
If the Bible is right, the world will explode
I’ve been trying to get as far away from myself as I can
Some things are too hot to touch
The human mind can only stand so much
You can’t win with a losing hand


Oh what the hell, let's just post a bunch of other Dylan songs/videos for an after-midnight musical feast.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Atlanta Spirit Don't Want To Be Exclusive Anymore

No, they want to see other people. Or maybe see no one at all, and sit in their offices overlooking downtown while they cross the i's and dot the t's on the deal with True North. Which means they'd technically be "seeing" True North, we guess. Haha, "seeing." What a euphemism!

Tim Tucker at the AJC reports:

The Atlanta Spirit ownership group is on the verge of selling the Thrashers, but it will be holding on to the Hawks at least for a while.

The Spirit and outgoing San Diego Padres owner John Moores agreed Friday to terminate Moores' exclusive negotiating period on a possible purchase of the Hawks, Spirit partner Michael Gearon Jr. confirmed.

"We no longer have an exclusivity," Gearon told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It was ended by mutual agreement after preliminary discussions."

Many have speculated that this means the Spirit were going out of their way to block any local buyers who wanted to purchase the Hawks, the Thrashers, and Philips Arena. Maybe. We don't think it's at all clear that there ever have been legitimate local buyers.

And "J.B. Smith" of Hollywood Stake fame doesn't count.