With every passing day, and with each rumor that makes its way online, it is looking more and more bleak for hockey fans in the Atlanta area. Barring a miracle in the form of a local owner or a league blockage, the Thrashers will be dropping the puck in Winnipeg, Canada this time next year. Assuming that is the case, who should current Atlanta hockey fans root for come next season?
The first option for you, the Atlanta hockey fan, is to remain a local supporter. Didn't know we have another hockey team, you say? Well then I suggest you head up to Duluth to check out the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL. Tickets are cheap, parking free, the arena is state of the art, and the action on the ice is just as entertaining.
As we all know, the majority of Atlantans are transplants. Your second option is to change allegiances to a team from where you are originally from. Are you from the New York area? Well then you get to pick from the Rangers, Devils, or Islanders (I would suggest one of the first two). Are you from California? Then you have your choice of the Sharks, Kings, or Ducks. You get the point.
The third option is to be a bandwagon fan. You know the type, the one that has been a Penguins fan since Crosby was drafted, probably root for the Yankees and Lakers, and cheer for Notre Dame and the Packers in the fall. I would highly recommend not choosing this option.
The next possibility is to continue supporting sunbelt hockey. Nashville has a great fanbase and arena and is an easy drive from Atlanta, or you could go with Southeast Division members Carolina, Tampa Bay, Washington, or Florida.
Your fifth and final choice is desertion. Not happy with the way the NHL has handled the situations in Phoenix and Atlanta? Don't think the league did enough to help keep the team in Georgia? Well then there are plenty of other ways to spend your sport entertainment dollar.