Will never happen.
Well, here's a big ole list of other people's research & opinions:
-Falconer @ BWA: Thrashers tied to arena deal, and, oh yea, you can't buy something nobody owns.
- Craig Custance @ SN: Seconded! And, oh yea, fans like winners.
- Mortimer & Co.@ the Chronicle: A fantastic angle to consider - Press? Responsibility? Nahhhhh!
- Vivlamore @ the ajc: Donnie says "Nu-uuuuh! We got dibsies and wrote it down!"
- Phil Foley @ the Examiner: A great list of reasons that just about boil down to "It's the economy, stupid."
Now, here's just a little bit of my own research.
I did some digging, (not much digging - I didn't want to strain myself) and looked at the populations of the two cities in question. (These numbers come from Wikipedia, so we can assume they're reasonably accurate.)
|City Proper||Metro Area|
|Hamilton, ON ||504,559||692,911|
|Atlanta, GA ||519,145||5,376,285|
So, let me get this straight: you want to take a franchise out of a metro area of over FIVE MILLION PEOPLE and move it to a metro area that is almost EIGHT TIMES SMALLER?
Tell me again how that makes sense.
Granted, the Hamilton population is much more hockey-mad. Granted, with Toronto & Buffalo you would have 6 all-but-guaranteed sellouts. Granted, the rivalries would be intense.
But a difference of 4.5 million people?
That's a lot of Tim Horton's & bagged milk, folks.
Let's be honest here: as teh Chronicle pointed out, journalism ain't what it used to be. What sells papers? Headlines - or rather, peoples reaction to headlines. What red-blooded Canadian isn't gonna snap up a paper that loudly trumpets the possibility of one more Canadian NHL franchise (e.g. one more chance to fail in the playoffs)? Oh, in case you weren't aware, this is CANADA'S game after all - they just let us borrow it from time to time. Just like we let them borrow three quarters of the league's revenue. Like it or not, them's the facts. The NHL has a lot of money and potential gain tied up in American markets. And let's be clear here: I'm not blaming your average-everyday working-joe Canadian for being excited enough to buy said paper with said headline. That's his thing - he's Canadian. What's life without at lease a little civic pride? What I am doing is blaming journalists who don't fact-check, don't cite sources, and don't bother to hold enough integrity to not write a story without at least some shred of factual basis. And I'm also blaming these billionaire fanboys that play on the sensibilities of your average hockey fan to get the great new toy they've had their eye on. But, back on point...
Yes, if you're running a "simply numbers" game, it makes sense to move the Coyotes to Hamilton. I mean, you're talking about a city with NO hockey history whatsoever. But Atlanta does. Know what it also has? A population that is equal in size and greater in economic stability than Detroit. Oh yeah, and a huge Yankee-transplant population. What does that mean? A lot of potential hockey fans. Once someone with some actual assets figures out what a potential moneymaker this franchise could be and puts a quality product out on the ice (or at the very least, some quality marketing behind what's already there; have you seen that 10th Anniversary logo? I'm too ashamed to even post it here.) Atlanta will be a hockey town. Again.
So... a franchise in Atlanta is a bad idea why?
Oh yea. Forgot.
One more thing: this whole MakeItSeven.ca thing smacks louder of populist opportunism than one of Don Cherry's magnificently calamitous suits. To all those red-blooded Canadian citizens, make sure Jimmy B. leaves the money on the dresser on his way out.
EDIT: Think I'm off my chump with this theory? Well, Lyle "Spector" Richardson hit this idea four days ago.
In Other News:
- In honor of tonights' game 6, we give you this: Christensen fails again, Selanne barely keeps head attached.
- I heart Adrian Dater. Why? Here, and here, for starters. You almost don't know what to do with all this honesty coming from a journalist. Sort of the Atlanta Spirit with hockey. (See what I did there? Full circle, baby.)
- Mike Modano decides for one more year. That sound you heard was... wait, you didn't hear anything. Mike Modano hasn't made any post-season noise for years.
- Have I mentioned Down Goes Brown lately? If you aren't reading this blog, you need to be.