How many fans have to suffer at the fault of owners that just don't get it? Can any one name the owner of the Atlanta Thrashers? - Exactly! - Its actually a group (the Atlanta Spirit LLC) who is still fueding... In the meantime, Ilya K and the gang and the fans get to wallow in the mire while the Atlanta Spirit LLC figures it out. I'd never want to call for anyone's head, but if Tom Renney can get fired for Sather's mistakes then what excuse does Don Waddel have. One bad move after another has left the Thrashers struggling to even compete and it seems like no one cares, or do they and they just don't seem to mind.
You can't talk about absent owners without mentioning hands on owners and i got two for you that are so far on the opposite side of the spectrum from each other that its almost a shame to put them in the same category. Jim Dolan has single handedly wrecked two of the most proud franchises in New York (and being an Islander fan its almost bittersweet to say that). No need to touch on the Knicks since this is a hockey blog, but you have to at least acknowledge the futility. The Rangers on the other hand are another matter. Don't get me wrong I do not mind watching the Rangers self distruct, but not when innocent people get left in the wake. That's right I am gonna say it, Tom Renney did not deserve to get fired. Not when you have a locker room that has its share of overpaid underachievers and second liners asked to be top liners. Hmm, seems like the Dolan-Sather thing to do. Sather has been around hockey long enough to realize this, which is why he made Renney his scape goat. Maybe he should check the rest of the 5 originals to see how its done,and i guarantee he doesnt have to look far to see how its done.
One model Owner/GM combination that comes to mind is Mike Ilitch/Ken Holland in Detroit. It seems like forever that Detriot has been a powerhouse but actually it was a work in progress. Putting the right personnel in the right places and surrounding themselves with hockey sense and intelligence has produced championship after championship. The way free agency is now and how hard it is to win and stay competitive year after year, you have to look at Mr Ilitch and Mr Holland as the model organization. Something to make fans proud to be a part of and isn't that what its all about to us?