I am a diehard Atlanta Thrashers fan (R.I.P. Icebirds) who now finds myself at a couple of crossroads. My team is gone and Atlanta will likely never get another opportunity to host the NHL in Atlanta again, though Eklund seems to think we do have a chance. While I'll always hold out hope that someone like Anson Carter, Tom Glavine or an unknown person gets a group together and buys a team (casting a stone cold stare West...you know who you are) and brings a team to Atlanta, having the NHL award a team to us is a pipe dream at best.
Back to my dilemma. My team is gone and I'm disgusted (ok, freaking p.o.ed) with the NHL and the head Rat (aka Gary Bettman). But, I still love the game of hockey. Some fellow fans are going to follow the Winnipeg Whatevers due to the ties here. But that's just too painful for me. It's like being back in high school and watching your ex girl kissing on her new boyfriend across the lunchroom. Just better to turn away, at least for a while.
I was a Canes fan when they moved down to NC from Hartford, because I always liked the Whale and this was the first close team to home. But, its hard to root for a team that was a division rival for so long. Nashville is close, but they've been tenuous recently and I don't think I could handle the league taking another team away.
I guess my question is not so much which team I should root for, but to find out how you guys that have been through this handled it. This is the league that has moved more teams than any other in my lifetime (I'm 35) and I know there are those of you out there that know what I am going through. So, let me know Whaler, Nordique, Flame, Rockies, Seals, Barons, North Stars and Jet fans? How did you get past the pain at the loss of your team and anger at the league for the move to remain hockey (at least NHL) fans?
Also, to the Peg...I want to say congratulations on completely blowing up those season tickets. I would love to say we could do the same here, but it would take a few years and a really good ownership group to get the fanbase going here. It could be done, but what you guys did in 17 minutes was beyond impressive.
Thanks fellow hockey fans in advance.