With all the fun stuff going on in Phoenix and things wrapping up in Buffalo, many people forgot Atlanta and their ownership woes. Luckily, the Thrashers made news once again with an owner saying that if things can't get better-- relocation is a possibility with a new owner....yet one not in the equation is Jim Balsillie....until now.
(We start off with Jim Balsillie in the kitchen eating a bowl of cereal, as he hears Gary coming through the kitchen entrance in a huff)
Gary Bettman: How in the hell is this going to work?? We have some issues with Phoenix still not getting ready to get sold, now Atlanta is talking about their issues?? Luckily, we have Buffalo being sold.....AGAIN, but at least this guy is a legit money-maker and just loves giving money out to hockey teams and to start hockey teams.
Jim Balsillie: I have that kind of power and I don't get a look. Granted, Buffalo is like Hamilton with better wings-- but still.
GB: That's just it though-- he didn't threaten to relocate them to some crazy city. But still-- the Sabres are good. Why can't the Thrashers work?? They've got a solid team, they've got a solid arena-- why can't they draw anything from that??
JB: They say if you don't follow history, you're bound to repeat it. I know the NHL doesn't like to look too much into the past unless they can make a buck off it merchandise wise-- but there's a reason the Flames didn't work in Atlanta. They couldn't make the ends meet and it seems to be going the same way with the Thrashers....but the Thrashers had more staying power.
GB: How is this possible though?? It seemed that they had enough owners to cover their costs-- why are they now say that all this stuff is too rough to cover and what-not??
JB: That's just it-- they have nine owners.....but it's spread out over three cities and one guy wanted to overthrow the entire group. It's bedlam and it's very rare that multi-person ownership groups do well, sans Edmonton where everyone in the city was pretty much an owner. The question is now-- what's next; I mean.....I'm still around.
GB: Sadly, I know that. But luckily I got a text saying Stephen Rollins is interested-- you may remember him from playing with the every popular New Jersey Rockin' Rollers franchise....
JB: Who?? What?? Another guy from the film game in the fold, though?? That's worked so well with Bruce McNall and Jerry Bruckheimer, hasn't it?? Sure, the native thing works-- but at what point will that not be enough to keep the team there. You could have Lil' Jon buy the team, but even though he has connections to the area and the game-- if he can't make money off of it; you're right back to where you started.
GB: This was supposed to work-- I mean, Tampa seemed to right themselves.....Dallas is selling, the Panthers are still in Miami-- why can't this all work out. Why has Carolina been the only team not to have an ownership issue since moving to these "non-traditional" markets?? I think the only thing good is that we have people interested out there....even if they aren't know for their fantastic work.
JB: And lost in all of this-- me. A lot of money, a love for the game-- why not give someone like me or even relocation a chance?? It's not like it's a bad idea, plus it would probably go to a hockey market to actually get more money into your wallet-- which is good for the business. What's with the gunshy reaction??
GB: It's a bigger level than just us, Jimbo.
JB: Don't call me that.
GB: It has to do with everyone involved. I mean, if the Thrashers go-- do the people have to foot the bill for an empty arena?? Will the Hawks be the next to go?? Why should we take entertainment away from the people who actually go to the event?? That's why we have revenue sharing, so teams like this can thrive and all that fun stuff.
JB: Even so, some owners are going to be ticked off with others who aren't making money-- and with the CBA coming up; you may need some solidarity going against Donald Fehr's NHLPA rather than in-fighting about some other owners not picking up their own weight.
GB: We're going to be stronger than ever. We're making a lot of money. Our gimmicks are getting more and more attention, our sponsorships are up by far-- to think we won't be united going into the CBA is ludicrous.
JB: (Phone rings) Interesting-- but that's not ludicrous-- this is Ludacris
GB: How do you know him?? What's going on with that??
JB: It's something you don't need to be so curious about, but he's an Atlanta guy....should I ask him??
GB: OH MY....YES!! Why do you even have to ask that??
JB: Okay. Hey Chris-- yeah-- oh you're outside?? Yeah he wants to talk about it. It's crazy. Sure, I'll get him to go to the door and you two can chat. Yeah-- see you in a second.
GB: Excellent!! See, I do need you, but don't really need you. (Rushes to the door and opens it)
Judge Redfield T. Baum: T-BOMB!!!!
GB: Sweetsassychrist!! (falls over)
JB: Wow....what'chu got in that bag, Red??
JRTB: TEA BAGS!!!
JB: And that's how the gimmick works.