Oh look, it's the Wall Street Journal with an AP report.
ATLANTA — Thirty years after losing the Flames, Atlanta's hockey fans are on the clock again.
The NHL wants the city to show better support for its winning team.
Atlanta fans who can remember the Flames' move to Calgary in 1980 don't have to be told what could happen if poor turnouts continue at Philips Arena.
The Thrashers, blessed with young talent, have a winning record but rank only 28th among 30 NHL teams in attendance.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press on Friday the league wants to keep the team in Atlanta. He says the team's owners must consider all options if attendance does not improve and they cannot find additional investors.
Oh fuck. Is this much-praised "Free Thrash" gimmick a final desperate push before we're all boxed up and moved to Canada? I hope so, if only because your Chronicle has unfinished business with a waitress/nursing school student in West Edmonton.
No, just kidding, as it happens we DON'T want the Thrashers to move.
Wait, there's MORE to this AP report? Yes there is:
“I can’t tell you how close or how far away we are collectively from having to consider alternatives and make a decision,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press on Friday. “But it has not been the best situation for Bruce and as a result it has not been the best situation for the franchise or for the National Hockey League.”
For now, Daly says the league has advised Thrashers owners to look only for investors who want to keep the team in Atlanta. But they have been hard to find.
One of the team’s owners, Bruce Levenson, says he has had no luck while looking almost two years for investors...
“His focus has been exclusively Atlanta centered and our hope has been and continues to be that he’ll be successful in finding an alternative that will keep this team in Atlanta for the long term,” Daly said. “That’s our preference.
“Having said that, and this is what I’d say to any franchise, not just Atlanta, there comes a point in time where if there is no alternative in terms of ownership or in terms of support in a particular market, you have to look at alternatives. That is just the reality.”
Friday news dump with a fucking vengeance. God, how depressing. But probably not anything to get too worked up about. Nevertheless, the Atlanta Spirit remain a shameful fuck-catastrophe.
In other hockey news: your TBC editor has a conundrum for you. Is "Gretzky" a good name for an L.A.-based cat or is it terrible? Either way, the cat is dead.