By Laura Astorian
May 31st, 2012
I already wrote some reflections of how I felt, and still feel about the loss of the Thrashers over on Arctic Ice Hockey. It's a better post than what this one will be, probably because I wrote it at 1:00 in the AM and I was all "inspired." Today I'm just sad. I'm not declaring a Twitter moratorium so I don't have to see Jets fans celebrate -- they deserve to. I'm not going to wallow in self-pity here, either. It sucks to lose a team, no pity about it. I don't believe in pity when you know the explicit reasons for relocation, and the reasons are fairly obvious here. Terrible owners, lack of attendance, lack of giving a rip by the NHL... there. Relocation in a nutshell.
We can cry about how it "should" have been another team going. We can get upset at Winnipeg fans enjoying our old team. We can hate on Canadian media that never even noticed the squad before last May, but who now think that they're the greatest thing since sliced bread. None of that is bringing the Thrashers back to us. Nothing is.
Resignation is a great thing. It allows you to come to terms with the circumstances of the past and cope with whatever the future throws at you. It also gives you some perspective on the good times and not so good times had while the team was in town. Constant frustration, losing top players, terrible ownership, no playoff wins and just one trip. That's the Thrashers. But the other side of the coin? Having a great (but small) fanbase, making friends who share a common bond of watching futile hockey but still loving it... there were some good things, too. I'm thankful for having the chance to watch some of the greatest players ever to play the sport come through Atlanta. I'm thankful for being able to drive 30 minutes and pay $1000 a season to watch NHL hockey. I'm thankful for the friends that I made, the folks that have read my stuff, and the other bloggers I have met on-line.
I miss the team, and it's bittersweet to watch them play now. They're not my second-favorite hockey club anymore, and that's fine. That's really how it should be. More time to focus 110% on the Blues is always appreciated, especially with how they have been growing in the past five years or so. But what's also appreciated? The fact that the Thrashers existed to begin with. Sure, it was evident that the ownership group and the league had no concept of what it would take for the team to be successful, but the fans did. Does it help knowing that you're right in the end when there's nothing left to be right about? Probably not, but it's appreciated when people are realizing that you were spot on... even if it did take a year.
Laura Astorian (@hildymac) covers hockey on Puck Drunk Love as well as St. Louis Game Time, and is the hocke editor at SB Nation St. Louis.