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.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy Rapture! Tweet Us If Anything Major Happens.

As we all know, none of this Thrashers-moving-to-Winnipeg stuff really matters because the Thrashers won't ever move to Winnipeg. They won't move to Winnipeg because the Rapture starts at midnight tonight (at least on the East Coast). In all probability, your TBC editor will be Left Behind, and who knows whether he'll be able to reach a computer amid the plagues and earthquakes and divinely-sanctioned mass slaughter.

If anything newsworthy happens this evening, we'll try to type important blog postings about it. If tonight is free of Thrashers-to-Winnipeg news though, well, enjoy the Rapture!

The following video will be our soundtrack for the apocalypse. It's the only way to go out.

As the man says, "That's the way I pat my baby on the butt."

Wait a second. Isn't it already May 21st from, say, Australia to Turkey? Has that part of the world ended already?

"I can't sing and I can't dance, but I can make romance YEAH."

1st sign of the apocalypse: The Thrashers move to Winnipeg.

2nd sign of the apocalypse: "Macho Man" Randy Savage dies.


Life Is Trouble.

Your editor was slightly out of the loop last night, so he's only now finding out about Stephen Brunt's Globe and Mail report:

An agreement to sell the National Hockey League’s Atlanta Thrashers to a Winnipeg group which plans to relocate the franchise to the Manitoba capital is done.

Sources confirmed Thursday night that preparations are being made for an announcement Tuesday, confirming the sale and transfer of the Thrashers to True North Sports and Entertainment...

As I tweeted a few days ago, True North investor David Thomson (Lord Thomson to you) owns an 85% stake in the Globe and Mail, so depending on how you look at it the report is either A) compromised by a conflict of interest, or B) probably accurate, because if any publication is the first to know it'll be the Globe and Mail.

Whatever the case may be regarding this particular report, I think it's safe to assume we're now witnessing the endgame. Heartbreaking, yes, but life is full of heartbreak. Feeling intensely about something---and many people do feel very intensely about their hockey team---means you're fully alive. Even when you're devastated. As Zorba says:

Thursday, May 19, 2011


By all accounts, the only reason this isn't done is because apparently every journalist has a different definition of what makes a deal "done." Apparently the word "done" means different things in the U.S. than it does in Canada.

We knew it was coming, but it honestly doesn't make it any easier.

I'm not sure where we go from here.

To be honest, I'm out of words.

J.B. Smith's New Venture Capital Firm Will PROFIT!!!!

The Hollywood Stake website is just marvelous. It looks like it was cobbled together in a day, and all of the text appears to have been written by William Shatner's secretary (loads of random words in ALL CAPS, for strange mega-emphasis). The overall vision ("PROFIT!!!!1!!!1!") is as empty and substance-free as you would expect (if you're a reasonable person).

There's also a locust flapping about, for some reason.

J.B. Smith Has a Press Release For You

And Marketwire has picked it up:

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - May 19, 2011) - Hollywood Stake is pleased to announce that venture capitalist and seasoned entrepreneur J.B. Smith has officially joined the company as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

It has also been announced that J.B. Smith has a sincere interest in ensuring the National Hockey League's Atlanta Thrashers remain in Atlanta. That news has sparked misleading media reports and releases as to Mr. Smith's professional and financial background. Smith plans to publicly address any concerns with the Atlanta media in the near future.

...and we're sure that'll clear everything up.

Hope? Fate? Rapture?


There is currently just one group in active negotiations with the Atlanta Spirit interested in purchasing the Thrashers and keeping the franchise in Atlanta.

The group, not from Atlanta, is working with team president Don Waddell. A deal is not imminent, according to Waddell.

“My job is to try to find a buyer who will keep the team in Atlanta,” Waddell told the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “As long as they keep taking my phone calls, I’ll keep working.”

Do you feel confident?

Autoresponse from Garry Bettman

In case any of you out there did not e-mail Gary Bettman at his e-mail address that obviously goes to some intern and definitely NOT to Gary Bettman, this is the auto response I received to the e-mail I sent early last week. The text of my letter was identical to the "Open Letter" I posted here at The Chronicle.

Begin Autoresponse:

Dear [RazorCatchPrey]:

Thank you for your e-mail. Commissioner Bettman sends his appreciation for
your interest in the NHL and your passion for the Thrashers.

As a League, we take all franchise matters very seriously because we
understand the emotional and financial investments you make in the game and
in our franchises. We make all reasonable and best efforts to maintain
franchises in their current locations, and we have approached the
Thrashers' situation no differently from that of any other franchise. We
have been working with the Thrashers' ownership for some time in quest of a
solution to their issues, and we continue to work with them because of its
importance to us and to you.

Again, we value your support of the Thrashers and the NHL. Thank you so
much for taking the time to write.


National Hockey League Public Relations

Doesn't that just warm your heart?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

J.B. Smith Not So J.B. Smooth

Jeff Schultz reiterates the implications of various reports about J.B. Smith (the long-awaited "Balkan"). Ever since all this stuff came out yesterday I've thought that the strangest aspect of the story was onetime Sports Illustrated writer Jay Clemons' sudden announcement that he was becoming Smith's PR man. As Schultz says:

Smith has been pimped by some as this shadowy, mysterious figure who was going to swoop in and buy the teams and arena and save the day. One of his mouthpieces is a guy named Jay Clemons, who has written about fantasy football for Clemons, however, now doesn’t hide the fact that he is Smith’s spokesperson. He has informed all on Twitter that all media inquiries for Smith can go through him.

So much for objectivity. At least now, he’s not pretending to not have an agenda.

Meanwhile, this J.B. Smith seems to be as much of a bullshit sideshow as I suspected yesterday.

I know how crushing this is, but I'm afraid it's time to let go.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More News From Nowhere

Some night music.

"The Balkan" Is Some Guy

(updated below continuously)

Forget Lil Jon. John Kincade has finally revealed the identity of his shadowy "Balkan":

Yeah, we've never heard of him either. A quick Google search turns up a bearded, affable-looking "J.B. Smith" who teaches music at Arizona State University (presumably not the same guy) and a "J.B. Smith" who manufactures "oil country tubular fittings, swages, and bull plugs" (who the fuck knows?).

I don't want to be rash, but I'm going to assume the reason we're now hearing this is because he's given up.

Oh, wait, apparently this J.B. Smith runs an equity firm called Equity 11. The more you know! Actually, he's no longer involved with Equity 11. IN FACT, Equity 11 doesn't even exist anymore.

Apparently this same J.B. Smith tried to purchase invest in the Steelers a few years ago. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article about it here.

INSTANT IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS: Your TBC editor isn't sure that this is necessarily something to be ecstatic about. No one knows for certain what's going on behind the scenes, but it certainly seems that the Atlanta Spirit have gone from wanting to sell all three of their possessions to wanting to unload just the Thrashers. Apparently this Smith character wants all three, while True North are interested in only the Thrashers. You can see where this is leading.

UPDATE:...and then there's the question of just how much money Smith's group actually has. Craig Custance summarizes the situation here:

An NHL source told Sporting News that the belief is Smith doesn't have the necessary financial backing to make such a significant purchase, and questioned the validity of Smith's group. In 2009, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Smith announced that he would be a major investor in the NFL' Pittsburgh Steelers but sources later told the paper that there were never negotiations between Smith and the Rooney family.

SOOOO this guy might not have the financial backing to pull this off. And he never even negotiated with the Steelers-owning Rooney family? Strange.

UPDATE: AJC reporting that the Spirit are definitely trying to sell the Hawks and the Thrashers, but separately, so as to maximize profits. Apparently "the Spirit and outgoing San Diego Padres owner John Moores are in an exclusive negotiating period regarding the Hawks and the Philips Arena operating rights." Fancy!

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: In the most bizarre turn of events in this whole Balkan saga, that Jay Clemons guy is suddenly (?) working for Smith. To be precise: he's quit Sports Illustrated to handle all of Smith's dealings with the media. I'm sure everyone in the Thrashers Twitterverse will now take everything he says with a grain of salt, not allow themselves to be taken for a ride by a PR man, etc. Right?

ANOTHER: This Winnipeg Free Press report is probably worth considering. Apparently all of J.B. Smith's money is "in China."


Oh, and now True North is appealing to the Manitoba provincial government to assume some of the debt on their arena so they can free up more money to buy the Thrashers. In other words: If the team does move to Winnipeg, they'll probably end up just as comical a money-suck as the Thrashers. OR who knows, maybe they'll benefit from the relative strength of the Canadian economy, with its moose-shaped bathtubs full of loonies.


The Falconer surfaces, seems attuned to reality:

At the end of the day, pro sports franchises are very expensive toys owned by wealthy individuals (or corporations) and if nobody wants to buy this one and keep it here, it will be moved.


As for buying this particular toy and keeping it in Atlanta, USA Today's Kevin Allen tweets this:

Lil Jon, is that you?

Will Lil Jon and Jerry Bruckheimer Save the Day?

Atlanta Business Chronicle:

The latest talk swirling around the financially ailing Atlanta Thrashers has the team possibly staying in Atlanta courtesy of – wait for it – Atlanta hip hop artist and producer Lil’ Jon and big-time film and TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer, reports Atlanta Business Chronicle broadcast partner WXIA-TV. Might sound a little out there, but Bruckheimer has pockets deep enough to buy the team and several others, and Lil Jon, a big success in hip hop, and who has made many new fans courtesy of his run on the most recent installment of “The Apprentice” television show, has loved Atlanta hockey for years going back to the Atlanta Flames.

So does 1 very loud rapper + 1 producer of countless horrible movies (though The Rock was pretty good, thanks to Sean Connery and an uncredited Quentin Tarantino/Aaron Sorkin script and Nicholas Cage at his goofy best) = SALVATION? No one can be sure.

Needless to say, we're all for this if it's an actual possibility. Lil Jon isn't exactly my cup of tea when it comes to Atlanta hip-hop, but maybe he could get Big Boi or Janelle Monae to be additional investors, which would be glorious. More importantly: he's a passionate hockey fan, so, uh, YEEAAAAAHHH.

And Jerry Bruckheimer. He could get Michael Bay to direct explosion-filled promos and commercials, and the Jumbotron would be full of clips from Con Air and Pearl Harbor. Every time the Thrashers score a goal, the arena sound system could play that Aerosmith song from Armageddon, or at least this clip:

"Goaltending is a myth."

Former Atlanta Flames goalie Dan Bouchard gave a remarkable interview to TSN radio last night. It's 11 or so minutes long, and well worth listening to.

It's full of revelations about both the Flames and the Thrashers, many of them centered around Don Waddell's refusal to recognize the Flames and include any of the former players in the Thrashers organization. This has long been common knowledge, but what really floors me is the fact that Don Waddell refused to give Dan Bouchard (Patrick Roy's boyhood hero, let's remember) a job as Thrashers goaltending coach, because, well, uh...????

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Call To Action, Of Sorts

Like so many Thrashers fans, I've become totally caught up in the overly hysterical and dramatic commentary that's come from the Twitter feeds of so many reporters (and non-reporters) in the last few days regarding the state of the team in Atlanta. In the day of rampant information sharing and social networking, it can be easy to get carried away with the truths, non-truths, and, in some cases, personal attacks on your intelligence and your general way of life. With this many emotions involved in a situation that people from all parts of the US, Canada, and abroad seem to have a vested interest in, it's difficult to have a rational conversation.

The bottom line is that, if you're reading this, chances are you've done your part to see this team stay in Atlanta. You've devoted your dollars, your time, and a part of your soul to seeing this team succeed in Atlanta. You've preached the gospel of how great it is to witness hockey at its highest level in person to as many people as you possibly can. With the news that ASG is looking to sell and is likely to sell to True North, we all feel let down and a sense of abandonment. It's only natural. We all feel betrayed, and it's not like the Atlanta Spirit ever seemed to put as many dollars, as much time, and as much of themselves into this team as we did.

But in the almost inevitable aftermath of the Thrashers, I guess I'm asking for the Thrashers community to continue to be just that. A community.

If we truly want to see the sport of hockey take hold here in Atlanta and the rest of Georgia and other parts of the Southeast, the responsibly falls not on the checkbooks and business practices of men and women who aren't ourselves. It will continue to fall on those of us who have seen all the good that can come from hockey, and the lessons that can be learned from the game and applied to our lives. I've never been a part of as passionate a group of people as I was at Thrashers games, and it was in the echoing halls of Blueland that I felt home. As much as the team drove me nuts at times, I've learned a great deal from Thrashers fans. Most of it hardly pertaining to hockey, but more to life itself. You know, the kind of stuff you see on a "Hockey Night in Canada" segment that ends with the dramatic slow-motion shot of an individual that overcomes and rises up and whatnot.

I don't know if there's any kind of "official" hockey fan club in Atlanta that doesn't pertain solely to the Thrashers, and I'm too weary from Googling false hopes pertaining to the Thrashers at the moment to see if that's the case. But the overwhelming message to take away from this situation is that despite The World's Worst Owners Ever, a Commissioner who used to "care," the jibes of fans in a city that I'll never travel to, and the "media" North of the Border, is that you do care. You absolutely give a damn, and you're not ok with this. So instead of sitting back and cursing other mens' actions, we should stand up and do something about this.

Instead of taking part in the Atlanta tradition of bitching about our sporting past, we should use this awful scenario to build on the future. I'm not a man of means (at least not yet), so lord knows I won't be building any ice rinks anytime soon. But maybe you are, or you know somebody who is. It doesn't cost $110 million to change your community. It just takes a few people with a common goal to get out there and make things better than they used to be. In our case, there's more than few people...there's a few thousand.

When the dust settles from this entire hullabaloo, I implore all of you who have or are having children to have them play hockey. Let the kids learn the lessons from a young age that so many of us had to learn in our 20s or 30s because we didn't have the chance to play the game as children. There's not many rinks, but there's some, and some's a hell of a lot better than none. There's also garbage cans in your driveway that can be used as goals, and there's kids down your block that would be interested.

They said if we wanted to keep the Thrashers at all, it would almost have to be a "grassroots" movement. It may well be too late for the Thrashers, but formally organizing ourselves as a collective would sure be a good way to start building a hockey foundation in Georgia for the future. The more of us who take the overwhelming negatives of this situation and somehow convert it to a positive, the better.

While You're Waiting for the Apocalypse...

Via Puck Daddy, a VERY important Thrashers-related news item guaranteed to bring you joy and refreshment.

Atlanta Spirit and True North in Negotiations, Probably Drinking Bulldog Amber Ale and Laughing


The Atlanta Spirit has begun negotiations with True North Sports and Entertainment on the sale of the Thrashers, which would result in relocation to Winnipeg, according to a person familiar with the NHL’s sale process.

A deal has not been completed and it is also not known how long the two sides have been negotiating. However, the fact that talks are on-going could mean the Thrashers would relocate to Manitoba perhaps as soon as next season.

What to do? Why not watch a film about Winnipeg and sadness?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Picture Shows

So here's a thing (a curious video making the case for the Atlanta Thrashers' continued existence and responding to various criticisms; it seems to be the work of Keep the Thrashers proprietor Chris Ciovacco):

At one point in the video, the mysterious narrator asks, "Is this about the integrity of the game, or MONEY?"

Surely no one will be surprised by the answer. All huge business organizations, at some point, engage in shady deals. They all engage in cutthroat practices of varying degrees of irresponsibility and destructiveness.* To think that the NHL, a gigantic business organization, is more interested in "integrity" than money is an example of touching idealism, I'd have to say. Your TBC editor wonders why people are suddenly shocked that a gigantic business operation doesn't care about them as Humans.

*Okay, maybe not ALL of them. But the phenomenon is hardly unknown.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Few Economic Notes on the Thrashers Apocalypse

- Back when it still existed, before it vanished into cyber-oblivion, I believe yesterday's post said something about how we're living through an era of desperate consolidation. The economy is in a strange/sad state where even popular companies are merging into other companies, or being sold off to some other company, or disappearing entirely if they have the misfortune to be a small operation. This is the scenario in just about every industry, from teevee to sports to energy to the Internet. Think NBC-Comcast, AOL-Huffington Post, etc.

Given this environment, the NHL might find a Thrashers relocation to be reasonably tempting. At the very least, it makes more (grim) economic sense than, say, expansion.

- A few people have raised the question of how the Atlanta Spirit are going to fill their pockets on those nights when the Thrashers used to play. Your TBC editor reckons they'll try to wrangle more concerts, which wouldn't be that hard, as the touring revenue (and its accompanying merchandising revenue) is now the main way artists and record labels make their money.

- A curious news item: the merchant bank that the Spirit have been using to find a buyer for the Thrashers, the Raine Group LLC, is currently helping News Corp in its bid to take over Formula One racing. What does this mean? Clearly, that the Thrashers aren't moving to Winnipeg. They're actually going to become a Formula One team.

Evil Blog Machinery Going Haywire


Yesterday the Blogger network was doing some sort of maintenance on its Blog machinery, and in the process several odd things happened, the most annoying being the disappearance of my post about the Mayor's comments about the Thrashers ownership situation. A large number of comments disappeared too, sadly, so your TBC editor just wanted you kids to know that he DID NOT delete any critical comments or incriminating posts; they just vanished into the cyber-ether, like Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

But What Does the Mayor Think?

So you've probably been wondering, throughout this exciting "Is the Thrashers a-movin?" news cycle, what your TBC editor's favorite current Mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed, has to say about a possible relocation.

AJC, folks:

Reese McCranie, spokesman for Reed, said Atlanta has not been approached by the NHL about making a financial deal such as Glendale’s. Even if approached, the city — in the midst of pension reform and possible layoffs in 2012 — would not consider it, McCranie said.

“We are aware that the ownership of the Thrashers is having difficulty and they may leave,” McCranie said. “The mayor has had robust discussions with business leaders in the metro region [who might] potentially buy or join a team of buyers to keep the Thrashers here.

“He has gone through extraordinary lengths to ensure that the Thrashers can stay in Atlanta, but at this moment there is not a deal on the table that we can present.”

DOOM AND GLOOM, Mr. Mayor, doom and gloom. Why do you insist on being honest about what's actually going on?

For whatever reason, your editor suspects the Thrashers will stay in Atlanta (for at least a little while longer), but he also sees that a relocation could be Feasible and even Tempting to both the Atlanta Spirit and the NHL. We're living through an era of desperate consolidation, comrades. Sales and mergers of even huge and popular companies is the order of the day in just about every industry (with smaller businesses/properties closing up shop forever). To expect the NHL to expand in this economy (so that everyone from Phoenix to Winnipeg to Atlanta can have a team) just isn't realistic.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Open Letter to Gary Bettman

Commissioner Bettman,

Thank you for your efforts thus far to bring NHL hockey back to
Atlanta and to keep it here. I know you have a lot of pressure from
north of the border to relocate our team to a snowier climate, and Iam writing to ask you on behalf of all of us who love hockey here to help us keep our team.

Obviously attendance has been an issue over the past ten years, but weproved in the only year that we made the playoffs that this city will support a winning team. As much as I admire Don Waddell personally, I do have to admit that the team has been poorly managed since its inception with awful marketing and bad results on the ice.

With a population of over 5 million in our metro area, Atlanta is more than 7 TIMES THE SIZE of the largest Canadian city in line to receive an NHL team. If every person in the Quebec City metropolitan area bought a single ticket to a single game each season, they would not have 41 sellouts in an 18,000 seat arena. On the other hand, if only 14% of Atlanta's population each bought one ticket to one game each
season, we would sell out every game in that same arena.

Hockey needs a chance to catch on in Atlanta, and it will take winning
to gain the foothold that it needs. When we ice a winning team or
several years in a row, hockey will explode here. Winnipeg, Hamilton,
and Quebec City have a maximum potential of 700,000 fans buying tickets, merchandise, and watching on tv. Atlanta has 5,200,000.

It doesn't make long term business sense to abandon 5 million
potential fans for seven hundred thousand fans who are already buying
merchandise and contributing to the tv audience of the other NHL
franchises. If the NHL leaves Atlanta, ratings for NHL hockey among
these 5 million people will bottom out and never grow. If NHL returns
to Quebec City or Winnipeg, the same people who are watching hockey
right now will continue watching it.

I don't want to deprive people who love hockey. Please look into
either expanding to Winnipeg and Quebec City or relocating a team with
an over saturated market like the New York area.

Thank you for your time and again thank you for your efforts on our behalf.

Dudley Realized the Obvious

So remember all that talk about "goal scoring by committee" where the Thrashers were going to employ a handful of 25-30 goal scorers to do the job of that Russian guy who used to score 40-50? Apparently that plan has gone out the window.

After one season without a true goal scorer, Rick Dudley has given up on that strategy and is actively shopping for someone who can put he biscuit in the basket. Unfortunately, if you peruse the UFA list for this offseason (please don't waste your time talking about RFA offer sheets) there isn't a whole lot out there to get excited about. Brad Richards is the only real top tier talent, and to get him, we would end up paying way too much money.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining that Rick Dudley has had this epiphany. In fact, as I see it, the team needs two top-six forwards to complement Ondrej Pavelec (have you seen what he's doing in Slovakia right now?), a very solid defense, and complete the top two lines along side Little, Wheeler, Ladd, Antropov, and Kane. If one of those five could be bumped down to the third line by superior talent and we didn't have to fill a hole up front with an Anthony Stewart or Tim Stapleton, then Ramsey's affinity for rolling all four lines would be much more successful than we saw in the most recent campaign.

Monday, May 9, 2011


No, not dead. Just watching the playoffs and biding our time until there's meaningful Thrashers news to talk about. But just for the hell of it, let's wonder: what Thrashers news items are floating around the Internets right now?

- Chris Vivlamore has typed a useful summary of the issues surrounding a possible Thrashers relocation. He posted it today not because there's a BREAKING INFO FLASH or whatever, but because there's an important vote going down in Glendale, Arizona tomorrow to decide whether the city will pay the NHL another $25 million to keep the Coyotes in town for another season. Obviously, this vote could have a noteworthy impact on the Thrashers' situation. Predictably, morons in the comments section complain about Vivlamore's "doom and gloom" and "taking a leak" (?) on various dreams and wishes.

- John Torchetti might become head coach of the Florida Panthers, again.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Quick Shot of Logic

A quick perusal of Wikipedia reveals the following:

Metropolitan Area Population
(Not to be confused
Metropolit area)

Winnipeg, Manitoba 694 668

Hamilton, Ontario 692,911

Quebec City, Quebec 715,515

Atlanta, Georgia 5,290,078

Phoenix, Arizona 4,192,887

Kansas City, Missouri 2.2 million

Las Vegas, Nevada 1,951,269

Seattle, Washington 3,407,848

Hartford, Connecticut 1,188,241

Yes, there is a built-in immediate fan base in all Canadian cities for hockey. However, why would any profit-driven organization EVER move a franchise out of a city with 4+ million people to a city with only 16% of that population?

It is the difference between having an immediate and steady but perpetually small cash flow and having a small initial flow with enormous future potential.

Of course Gary Bettman and the NHL are fighting like hell to keep hockey in Atlanta and Phoenix and aren't jumping at the chance to return to Winnipeg or Quebec City.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Uh Oh

(updated below)

Hold on to your assless chaps.

UPDATE: Actually, this TSN article says absolutely nothing. Keep calm and carry on.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Antropov Detailed after Hijack Attempt


April 25: A man (in white) from Kazakhstan is escorted by police as he leaves Fiumicino airport, northeast Rome. The man, using a knife, tried to hijack an Alitalia flight from Paris to Rome on Sunday night, demanding it be flown to Libya, but was quickly overpowered and arrested when the plane landed, officials and witnesses said."

Notice the center-parted coif and sandy-blonde hair? This Kazakhstani madman is OBVIOUSLY our very own Nik Antropov who was visiting Paris as part of the World Championships festivities.

The only reasonable conclusion is that Antro, desperate for some sense of stability, was attempting to divert the plane to Libya to negotiate with Colonel Quadaffi to purchase the Atlanta Thrashers, rename the team the Atlanta Jihaddists, and redesign the jerseys to include not a logo, but a vest of dynamite on the chest.

How would you like to see THAT crashing your crease, Cam Ward?

By the way, I am going to cease using as all .ly URL's are actually the property of the Libyan government.

More Glavine Buzz

Eliotte Friedman devotes two of his Thirty Thoughts today to a discussion with Tom Glavine about hockey and the Thrashers:

"28) Interviewed Tom Glavine for our Inside Hockey piece on Donald Fehr this season. He used to own a box and then several season tickets for Thrashers games, but gave them up as his kids got older and he had less time to go. (Two of his sons are good hockey players.) Several times while we were chatting he mentioned how badly he wanted them to succeed.

29) Glavine said one of the Thrashers' biggest problems was football season. Friday night: high school. Saturday: University[EDIT- (sic)] of Georgia.[EDIT-and Georgia Tech for people who prefer respectable players and organizations.] Sunday: Falcons. Tough to get fans against that."

I seriously doubt Tom Glavine would have the financial resources to buy the team on his own, but he could certainly spearhead a small investment group. Maybe Kincade is right about "The Balkan" whoever he is (not who we thought), and maybe not. But a winning team will be viable in this market.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Yeah...That's Our Bad.

As I'm driving home last night from work, I see a figure wandering along the shoulder of interstate 75. I look in the mirror, and I instantly pull off to the side of the road. As I approached this ragged road-weary traveler, I recognize the man to be a certain Mr. Peacock, famous editor of an World Renowned Hockey UberNewsTruthBlog.

"Morty! You look like shit! What's happened to you, man?"

He started rambling incessently, something about "bright lights, razor blades, and a Frenchman named Marcel" and then spontaneously starts singing "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M. as loud (and unbelievably off key) as he possibly can. The entire situation's extremely strange (even for Mortimer) and as we're standing on the side of 75, I continue to ask this rather disturbed man what's happened. Clearly, this is not the same man I once knew. He's merely a shell of his former self. A shell of the shell of his former self, even.

He starts scratching his head nonstop and pacing back and forth, and turns to me and says "It was all a lie!"

"A lie? What are you talking about Morty?"

"The cryptic messages, the Tweets, the Watergate type meetings and phone calls...all of it was a lie!"

I pause for a moment myself, unsure of what this all means.

Mortimer, in a fit of rage, grabs my skull and screams "We were wrong! There is no glorious savior to the Thrashers woes! We lied to the people! WE LIED TO THE PEOPLE!" and then he falls to the ground. An exhausted and broken man at the lowest of lows.

"It's okay, Morty. We were just given some bad information. It happens. But hey, there's this Glavine guy now..."

Mr. Peacock raises to his feet, shoots me a darting look and whispers "GLAVINE? GLAVINE?" and starts laughing a maniacal laugh. He picks up a rock from the side of the interstate and says "You really think a man from Massachusettes named GLAVINE can save us!? Here's what I think of that!" Mortimer throws the rock through the window of a passing minivan, causing the minivan to swerve from side to side and eventually go headfirst into the median. Roughly 20 other cars (all of them full of children, of course) follow suit, because that's the way people drive in Atlanta.

"Ok, maybe that was a bit unnecessary," the villianous Mr. Peacock says. "But if you want to hitch your hopes to a Yankee..."


"Whatever...if you want to hitch your hopes to this man, go right ahead. At this point, I don't even know what to believe anymore."

Mortimer then composed himself, walked to my car, turned, gave me a disapproving look, and promptly stole my car. As he sped off into the humid Atlanta evening, I'm left surveying the damage and destruction on a major roadway thats littered with fiery metaphors for people who believed what we told them laying askew. other words TBC audience...the guy we thought was buying the Thrashers isn't buying the Thrashers, and apparently he never even existed.

Our bad.

Enjoy your Good Friday. Here's a little fiery song from the AWESOME new Foo Fighters record to try to make it up to you.

Go Puck Yourself

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tom Glavine Is Your New Atlanta Thrashers Overlord (Maybe)

(important update below)
Word on the street is that Tom Glavine is trying to put together a group of investors to purchase the Thrashers. He would probably be "part owner" or something, because he can't afford to buy the whole thing himself. This is good news, as Glavine is not only a hockey fan, but a former hockey player.

And most importantly, he was your editor's favorite Atlanta Braves player during your editor's boyhood. IN FACT, your editor was a Braves-lover long before he was seduced (by a blonde Slovak and a brunette Russian) into becoming a fan of this dipshit team (though hockey is definitely Earth's greatest sport*). SOUTHPAWZ 4EVER!

*As are baseball, soccer and tennis. Hockey is the favorite, though.


So There

Devin Setoguchi scored the game winner in overtime last night as the San Jose Sharks erased 4-0 and 5-3 deficits to take the series lead against the Los Angeles Kings.

In the 2010-2011 regular season, Setoguchi played in 72 games, scoring 22 goals and 19 assists.

Mark Staal has 1 assist and is -1 for the Rangers through 3 games in these playoffs. For the season, he played in 77 matchups scoring 7 goals and 22 assists.

Alex Bourret appeared in 16 games for High1 of Asia League Ice Hockey scoring 7 goals and 6 assists.

The Thrashers traded the #8 pick in 2005 (Setoguchi) for the #12 pick, then traded the #12 pick (Staal) for the #16 pick and chose Bourret.

That's right, the Thrashers got the guy who was at a point-per-game pace this year! Take that San Jose and New York!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Why Does Andrew Ladd Prefer Winning to Sunlight?

Chris Vivlamore has a word with current (and future, maybe? Probably not) Thrashers captain Andrew Ladd:

Q. Can Atlanta, a major city with the nice weather and such, be a major selling point for this team?

A. I think so but again the biggest thing is to know that you are coming to a successful team, a team that is headed in the right direction. I don’t think it matters much to anyone, the weather is nice, but at the end of the day winning hockey games is far more important. It takes a toll on you, mentally, losing. As a player, for me, it’s frustrating. It’s a tough year to go through, losing games. It’s not as much fun coming to the rink. When you are winning games, it’s fun coming to the rink. You have an extra kick in your step. That’s the most important thing for guys coming here.

The comments are full of exclamations along the lines of "get this deal done!" as if this situation is entirely a matter of whether or not the Thrashers want to sign Ladd to long-term extension. Certainly they do, but let's keep this in perspective by remembering a few key facts:

1) Ladd came here via a trade.

2) Ladd just had a career season and could use that (or "leverage" it, as they say in Business Horrorspeak) to get a lot of money, somewhere. Here or elsewhere.

3) The Thrashers, despite playing in a sunny climate, are yet to become a "successful team." Which Ladd thinks is important, for some reason.

4) Being a two-time Stanley Cup winner, Ladd probably hates losing (i.e. "Atlanta" and "the sun").


In other news, your TBC editor predicted long before the playoffs started (check here, in the comments section) that Vancouver would not only beat, but SWEEP, Chicago. Tonight we find out if I'm that guy in Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Interesting Statistic

The new CBA that marked the end to 2004-2005's lockout was supposed to herald a new era of parity in the NHL. Has it done so?

The 2011 playoffs is the sixth to commence under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement in this Salary Cap Era. Through six tournaments, only two teams, Toronto and Florida, have failed to reach the postseason at all.

Of 30 teams, the one from the largest hockey market and one from one of the smallest hockey markets have been the only never-rans.

There have also been five franchises who have only made one token dip into the playoff pool since 05: Atlanta, Columbus, the Islanders, Edmonton, and St. Louis.

Carolina, Minnesota, Phoenix, and Los Angeles have each waltzed on the dance floor twice. In the cases of the Coyotes and Kings, those two playoff berths took place in 2010 and 2011, evidencing a resurgence. Minnesota and Carolina look more like bubble teams making the playoffs once every two or three years.

Tampa, Dallas, Colorado, and Chicago have all made appearances in exactly half of the six salary cap era playoff tournaments.

The top half of the league, 15 teams, have made the playoffs at least four out of the six seasons since the lockout. Only Detroit, San Jose, and Anaheim have danced every year while New Jersey, Philadelphia, the Rangers, Montreal, Pittsburgh, and Nashville have only experienced an early offseason once since 2005. Ottawa, Buffalo, Washington, Boston, Calgary, and Vancouver have all missed the playoffs twice under the new CBA.

Among the "top half" of the league that has made the playoffs more than half the time since the lockout, 11 reside in traditional markets and 4 (San Jose, Anaheim, Nashville, and Washington) in non-traditional hockey cities. The "lower half" of the league, those teams that have made the playoffs 0-3 times in the last six years is more evenly divided between 7 traditional markets (Colorado, Chicago, Minnesota, Colombus, Long Island, Edmonton, and Toronto)and 8 non-traditional markets (Tampa, Dallas, Carolina, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Atlanta, St. Louis, and Florida.).

So is that parity? Half the league's teams, including only 4 "non-traditional market" franchises dominating the regular season while the other half, including two Original Six teams and eight "non-traditional market" teams finding failure most seasons?

For the record, I would argue that yes, this does reflect a league with a good amount of parity but a handful of franchises with inept leadership.

What do you think?

Oh those Crazy Canadians

Ah, TSN, how we love thee though we are occasionally forced into fits of laughter at your Canukistani-centric-ness.

Consider this hastily thrown together column predicting the first few picks in this summer's NHL Entry Draft posted after the New Jersey devils won the lottery and vaulted the Thrashers into the 4th spot.

Notice anything odd about it? Mr. Button gives us his prediction for the Oilers' top pick, the Avs and Panthers at 2 and 3, and the Devils, Islanders, and Senators at 4-7. Instead of moving on to the Atlanta Thrashers pick at number 8, he jumps directly to the next Canadian team in line, the Flames at 13.

(Luckily, Craig Button talks to himself while he types his columns and we have a bug in his office. It's staticy, but we were able to pull this off the transcript: "Ok, so that's the Oilers taking RNH you betcha. Then I had to talk aboot those other teams picking second through sixth before Ottawa, the team in the city where the nation of Canada keeps its capital so we can pretend to be independent of the United States; picks Adam Larssen. Let's see who's next there... ATLANTA? OH HOLY BEAVER-GOD, I CAN'T TAKE IT! WHY DON'T THEY JUST GIVE ALL 30 FIRST ROUND PICKS TO THE LEAFS!?!?")

Then today TSN reprints a story from the "Canadian Press" titled "Canucks Begin Run to the Cup with Win over Blackhawks." Notice the way that title concludes that the Canucks will be hoisting the Cup in early June. They're the best Canadian team in the playoffs, so WHAT ELSE COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

La Condition Thrashers*

Oh Thrashtards, we are so molested by woe.

The one time the Thrashers won the draft lottery (via Luck), they/we drafted that what's-his-name character, Ilya Ehrenburg or whoever.

Every other time we've participated in the draft lottery (i.e. Many Times) we've just ended up with Cam Fowler and Devin Setoguchi. PALTY, Thrashers, just paltry...


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Zee Battle for Lord Stanley

Apologies for the lack of TBC posts from yours truly, as Zach Bogosian's wretched pass that was intercepted by Michael Ryder (and subsequently turned into a penalty shot goal moments later) was the moment I fell off this year's Thrashers bandwagon. The end of the season, as you know, was fairly nauseating for the Thrashers. It pretty much appeared as though the team quit in the first week of March, and decided they didn't want to ruin their Chris Thornburn-led road trip to Deleware for mid April by actually hanging around in the standings. At least if you're going to go down fighting, do what the Devils did and play your ass off for every shift of every game.

Now we have a chance to draft 6th and pick up some other career 3rd/4th line player. Simmy Jlater is who were projected to draft, according to a text I received from the Thrashers' doorman, Rick Dudley. We'll see how Simmy adapts to the bright lights and sounds of Winnipeg in 2013.

ANYWAYS, so hockey resumes tomorrow night. It would be rude of us not to take time away from our belittling of bad hockey teams to acknowledge those teams this year who didn't play shit hockey. It's my opinion that you're going to see a Canucks-Sharks Western Conference Final, as long as the Canucks can withstand a fight by Chicago in a "There's no way this isn't going 7 games" series in the first round. In the East, I think you'll see the Capitals take on the Bruins in the Eastern Finals. Philly's loaded with forwards up front, but I don't believe in Sergei Cosmonaut in goal for the Flyers at all. Plus, part of me wants to see Ten Gallon play on a team that makes a run for a Stanley Cup.

So I think we'll see a Stanley Cup showdown between the Canucks and the Bruins. If this is the Stanley Cup Final, I literally call this a wash, as I think both teams match up brilliant. However, I say this is the year that the Bruins, their awesome marketing campaign, and Atlanta Thrashers Legend Rich Peverley take home the cup in 7.

What says you, TBC audience? Who's gonna win it all? Who's going home early? Will Zdeno Chara get shot by a sniper in Montreal? Will Pittsburgh continue to overachieve? Have you seen my keys? Let us know your thoughts...

Monday, April 11, 2011

El Futuro

So thanks to a win by Kovy's Devils, the Thrashers have fallen another spot in the standings on the last day of the regular season and will most likely have the sixth over all pick in this summer's draft. As Big Shooter points out, there is a 6.2% chance of picking second through winning the draft lottery. As that is a very small chance, we'll deal with that if it comes to pass.

While things are always very fluid when it comes to draft rankings and they become even harder to predict when you throw Rick "Alex Burmistrov is Obviously Better than Cam Fowler" Dudley in the mix, let's take a look at ISS's current Mister Six, Ryan Strome.

Strome is a 6'1, 183lb center who has played the last two seasons playing for the Niagra IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League after being traded for Alex Pietrangelo in 2009. Only 17 years old right now, Strome has developed his game enough to make large strides statistically since entering the major junior fray.

GP G A Pts +/- PIM
2010-11 Regular Season Niagara IceDogs 65 33 73 106 28 82
2009-10 Regular Season Niagara IceDogs 27 3 10 13 -9 26
2009-10 Regular Season Barrie Colts 34 5 9 14 7 35
Source: Niagara IceDogs website.

From 27 points in 61 games to 106 points in 65 games a year later? That's some major improvement.

Hockey's Future lists him as a "riser" on the ISS top 30 and has this to say about him:
"Strome just continues to electrify the OHL this year and has been winning over even the harshest and most pessimistic critics as the season wears on. He is an ultra-intelligent and opportunistic playmaker who calculates his options extremely quickly and reacts even faster. Scouts and GMs love a player who can bounce back after disappointment and prove the doubters wrong and Strome continues to answer every and all questions about his abilities."

Important to note, since this is Rick Dudley we're talking about, the only mention of Russians in the ISS Top 30 are Alexander Khokhlachev at number 16, Artem Sergeev listed as a "riser" and Alex Kubaev, Nekita Kucherov, and Maxim Shalanov all listed as "fallers."

Sunday, April 10, 2011


We did it! What a season! God bless us, everyone!*

*MEANING: this season has been a dismal failure, worse even than our season last year. But whatever, now that Kovalsuck is gone at least we play as one gigantic Unit, or something. Huh huh, "unit"...

Friday, April 8, 2011


Your editor can't be at the game tonight, as he's going to be at another Atlanta sporting event. This is a shame, because next-to-last games of the season are always fun (?).

The Thrashers never make the playoffs, but at least they're occasionally capable of preventing bubble teams from making the playoffs. This is SOMETHING, right? It's totally not depressing what some people allow themselves to be content/pleased with...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Is Today A GAME DAY?

No one can be sure. Continue to gaze into the Blingee below.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Some Guy To Save Thrashers

Has your favorite hockey team missed the playoffs every year of its existence save one (in which they won exactly 0 games)? Disillusioned with endless losing and fuckuppery? LUCKY YOU, we just signed some guy who worked as an extra in a college stage adaptation of Ferris Bueller's Day Off or something:

According to the Twitter accounts of both his agent (@nortonsports) and his school (@Ferrishockey), Thrashers prospect and Ferris State defenseman Zach Redmond has signed an entry-level contract with the team. Expect a press release in the near future.

Redmond was a seventh round pick in 2008 (184th overall) and has had an impressive college career, earning CCHA All-Star honors at Ferris State after spending two years in the USHL. His point totals were remarkably consistent in his four years at Ferris State as he scored 19, 24, 27 and 20 points for a total of 90 points in 141 college games. Not bad at all for a defenseman.

You hear that, motherfucker? Not bad at all! ZACH REDMOND IS NOT BAD AT ALL. HE WILL SAVE FERRIS.

Double Elimination

So the Thrashers have now been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, as the 8th place Rangers are at 91 points and the Thrashers would top out at 84 if they win all three remaining games.

The Thrashers are also now mathematically eliminated from contention for the #1 over-all pick in this year's draft. Through the draft lottery, any team has a chance to move up a maximum of four spots. That means that teams #30-25 have a shot (with varying and graduated degrees of probability) at the top pick.

At 78 points, the Thrashers can not be passed by the Oilers, Avalanche, Panthers, or Senators. The Islanders could match the Thrashers' 78 points and would then have identical 33-37-12 records. The tie breaker would then go to the Thrashers by virtue of winning the season series.

So even if the Thrashers were to lose the remaining games on the schedule (which their performance last night foreshadows), the best position they can hope for prior to the draft lottery is 6th. If lightning were to strike (the proverbial kind, not the kind that went 6-0 against Atlanta this season) and the Thrashers were to win the draft lottery, they would move up to the second over-all pick.

Chatter all year has been that this is going to be a very shallow draft. I have been hearing some rumblings lately that there might be a bit more talent out there than we had been lead to believe.

What do you good folks think Rick Dudley's offseason strategy needs to be? We all agree we need a new owner, so let's stick to the needs on the ice.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


(updated below)

Starting now!

Update: Et FIN, encore.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


(updated below)

Fun Fact: There are currently six (6) 20-plus goal-scorers on the Flyers roster. Two of these gents (Danny Briere and Jeff Carter) go a step farther and have decided to be 30-plus.

Fun Speculation: The Flyers will end the season with a roster that includes eight (8) 20-plus goal-scorers, as Ville Leino and James van Riemsdyk both have 19 at the moment. Tonight is as good an opportunity as any for them to hit the 20 mark.

While We're Speaking of Ville Leino: He's one of five (5) Flyers players who have 50 points or more.

If the Thrashers lose tonight, mathematics will confirm what we know already and (surprise!) the Thrashers won't make the playoffs (again). Apparently this is all the fault of whoever gave Jimmy Slater a concussion, because Jimmy Slater is the only thing standing between us and a losing season.

UPDATE: Haw haw haw, WHUT?