Thrashers Bid Adieu to Atlanta

Posted: June 1, 2011 in Flyers

Today, the Atlanta Thrashers were purchased by True North Sports, who will relocate the franchise to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The sale is pending formal approval by the NHL, though it is highly unlikely that the sale will not be approved. Rumors had been floating around the internet for weeks, and was confirmed in a press conference this afternoon.

While it is great to see hockey return to Winnipeg for the first time since the Winnipeg Jets left for Phoenix and became the Coyotes, it is somewhat bittersweet to see the Thrashers leave Atlanta.

Now anyone who knows me knows that when it comes to the NHL, I have, always have, and always will bleed the orange and black of the Philadelphia Flyers. So why would someone like me care about the Atlanta Thrashers? Truth be told, I never cared too much about the Thrashers (and quite frankly neither did a good portion of Atlanta, but that’s beside the point.)

The thing is I had moved to Atlanta this past January, and since then, I have been paying more attention to Atlanta sports then I ever had before. In March, I was lucky enough to see the Flyers play the Thrashers at Philips Arena. It was a pretty good crowd (nearly half of which were Flyers fans), and it was an exciting game too.

I can’t really say that I am shocked that the Thrashers are moving to Winnipeg, but I am a little surprised. They had a good team last season, and seemed like they were getting better. However, attendance was pretty bad though. The game I went to was roughly 3,000 tickets short of a sellout, though almost half of the crowd (myself included) were Flyers fans.

It is great to see hockey return to Winnipeg. However, the fact that it comes at the expense of Atlanta losing yet another hockey team (the first being the Flames who left Atlanta in 1980 for Calgary) is kind of bittersweet.

At this point, one of the only questions left to answer is what to call the team. Will they bring back the Jets?

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