Lots of talk these days about how to fix our forever-underperforming hockey team.
Lots of all-CAPS calls to "FIRE ANDERSON" and "FIRE WADDELL."
The odd bits of praise of the team for not finishing in the bottom 5...yet.
The occasional morale-boosting blog post, reminding us that there are some things to be hopeful about, and admonishing us not to lose the faith.
The occasional text message, like the one I just got from Big Shooter, that reads in its entirety: "We need CBJ, MN, CAR, NYI to win and we need to lose. That happens and we could have number 1 pick in the draft."
What to do? Well. First, let's put on our thinking helmets (and goggles).
Now then. Let's proceed:
Your TBC editor cannot disagree with the calls to remove Waddell from the GM position. As I've stated more times than I care to think about, Don Waddell has achieved some fine things, many mediocre things, and some disastrous things. In other words, he's not all Bad. Nonetheless, even if he were a reasonably decent GM, sometimes you just need a new regime. You need, in another words, a top-to-bottom purge of the front office. Because the biggest problem with the Thrashers isn't even Waddell, though he is a regrettable symptom of the problem.
And the problem certainly isn't that we haven't had enough high draft picks.
The problem with the Thrashers is this: the folks who own the team aren't willing to pay enough money for quality scouting. By "quality" I mean thorough and wide-ranging, like the Red Wings or the Sharks or the Devils. You know, the kind who find those players in rough corners of the world (like Saskatoon and Maine) who are good but overlooked, and therefore cheap. Waddell doesn't hire good scouts, but then again the owners don't put up the money for a decent number of good scouts.
There. Glad I could clear that up that for everyone.
Moving on: whoa hey, it's spring-and-summer now, isn't it? That means playoff hockey, which is cool, and something that your Chronicle will cover thoroughly I'm sure. It also means a lot of other stuff too: the Braves (which your Chronicle editor will be witnessing in person tomorrow night, hooray!), the French Open and Wimbledon, and best of all the World Cup. It will be grand.
That is all. Except for one thing: I'd like to take this opportunity to officially announce my bid to become the new general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers. I'll work for very little money, and I'm sure the Spirit will be down with that. I'll use whatever funds they appropriate to hire not new scouts but a brand new scouting-for-scouts corps, an elite new kind of diplomatic/espionage service that will search the world for good-but-overlooked-and-therefore-cheap scouts who will find the Thrashers good-but-overlooked-and-therefore-cheap players. SORTED.