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Sabres Host Troubled Thrashers

Does it bother anyone that the city of Atlanta is on the verge of possibly losing their second hockey franchise?  I do feel a little bit for the true fans in Blueland that care for that team, but if you don’t learn from the mistakes of the past you are doomed to repeat them.  This will set a bad precedence as well for other cities such as Quebec and Winnipeg who might be looking to entertain the league on returning to their cities – they will have to provide some major assurances that what is happening in Atlanta won’t be repeated in their own cities. 

Not everyone can have a Tom Golisano to swoop in and save a team in a city that obviously needs its hockey team.  Oh wait, hey Atlanta – Mr. Golisano no longer owns an NHL franchise, you might want to consider courting him as a new potential owner.  You probably won’t do any better in the standings, but at least your franchise will at least break even and stick around for awhile. 

Tonights opponent at HSBC arena is the Atlanta Thrashers, and if the players were energized by yesterdays press conference the way the fan base was – then the Buffalo Sabres should roll through the Atlanta Thrashers like they were some B league team from China.  And the Sabres need the victory as well.  The New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes both picked up points in their overtime affair.  The Sabres are still in the fight for this years playoffs, but at each point lost, or points gained by the teams ahead of them – the race to the eighth spot seems like a fruitless venture.  I am not saying that the team should tank it the remaining games of the season – but at what point are you just playing games to play them?  Only the Islanders and Oilers fans can tell us how it feels to play meaningless hockey, hell they have been doing that since November. 

The new ownership team of Terry Pegula, Ted Black, and Sawyer has given the team a three year or less governance that a Stanley Cup will be in Buffalo.  Caught up in the hype of yesterdays press conference, I was ready to commit to that deadline, and was all excited about a parade through downtown Buffalo.  The Buffalo Sabres have a long way to go, even if it is only three or four players away from contending.  Even the greatest team put together in the league can have an off game in the playoffs that settles the dream of lifting the Cup into a flury of tears while a lesser team wins the war. 

The team should be on notice; changes are going to happen – and your either going to get on board with the new regime, or we are going to find a player who is going to contribute to the winning attitude. 

Terry Pegula should consider putting the slogan that he used during the press conference above the locker room door entrance to the ice:

Winning is not a goal, its a belief. 

If you believe you can win, you are going to play like you can win.

Topics: Atlanta Thrashers, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Playoffs, Terry Pegula, Tom Golisano

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  • mcrin

    Yes, the thought of Atlanta losing the Thrashers bothers me…really bothers me.

    Do not blame the fans in Atlanta and don’t say this city can’t support an NHL franchise. From 1999-2007 the Thrashers did very well. It wasn’t until the group of clowns who own the Thrashers started all of their infighting and suit/counter-suits that things starting going downhill.

    Between the bickering amongst each other and shoe-string budget the idiotic ownership group has brought a decent situation to a desperate situation. Don’t blame the fans, these idiots deserve what they get for running this franchise into the ground.

    There is hope though…

    The Thrashers finally have a real GM (and ex-Sabre), a decent coach (and ex-Sabre), all they need is an owner to come in like Pegula willing to open the check book and Atlanta will support this team wholeheartedly.

    And Winnipeg, Quebec City, and Hamilton will have to go dredging up new rumors.

  • http://www.sabrenoise.com Tim Redinger

    mcrin,

    Never blamed the fans – to a point. When your average attendance is only slightly better than the New York Islanders and Pheonix Coyotes, some of the blame does lie with the fans. The highest ever average attendance ranking since 2000 for the Thrashers was 21 – at just under 14000 – you may have a good fan base, but if there are no butts in the seats what are the owners to think? Revenue drives the train, and ticket prices drive revenue.

    You might have a great fan base. Every team has fans – but you need to be supportive in more ways than just saying im a fan. If you can’t fill an NHL capacity arena, of course they will find a new city that will support the team financially. Its a business, nothing personal, facts are facts emotions are emotions.