While the Thrashers move to Winnipeg hasn't yet been officially announced, it certainly looks like it is going to happen. Most signs now point to a Tuesday announcement. Obviously no Thrashers fan and few Atlanta natives will be happy with the outcome, but what is the reaction around the rest of the NHL?
Our own Laura Astorian of Bird Watchers Anonymous tried her best to reassure Thrashers fans, but hope is all but lost. Fellow NHL Southeast Division fan, The Litter Box's Donny Rivette, sums up the move quite nicely from a Southern fan's perspective:
I'm thrilled Winnipeg gets another shot at life in the "bigs", but so many good people - just like us: kids, parents, local hockey programs, and just plain fans - are being left out to dry after a decade of ownership squabbles, complete mismanagement, and a total lack of understanding of the Atlanta market.
On The Forecheck's Dirk Hoag examines the logistics involved with the move and Winnipeg staying in the southeast division:
The "Winnipeg Thrashers" would travel over 66,000 miles, over 10,000 more miles than any team has gone in the last 3 seasons. That would rank right up there in terms of difficulty with the 1992-93 Tampa Bay Lightning, who played in the old Norris Division before moving to the Eastern Conference the next season.
While Calgary Flames fan and Matchsticks and Gasoline writer Mitch Smith thinks that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman should hurry up and make an announcement:
But hockey fans continue to await Gary Bettman to descend from the mountain like Moses, to deliver the final word. He really is starting at this point to allow this story to eclipse the Stanley Cup playoffs and surely must realize that the sooner this is settled the better it is for hockey fans everywhere.
Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs and of the Columbus Blue Jackets and quite a few others among our many NHL communities are also talking about the reported relocation, though this will likely become a topic for all of them throughout the weekend.
Check back with SB Nation Atlanta's frequently updated Thrashers sale StoryStream for the latest updates. For discussion, join Bird Watchers Anonymous, SB Nation's Atlanta Thrashers community or head to one of our 34 other hockey communities. For more hockey, visit SB Nation's NHL hub.