This comes as no surprise. It definitely sucks to start off an article this way, but whatever. To put it shortly, the Atlanta Spirit Group, owner of the Atlanta Thrashers, have been attempting to sell the team since 2005.
Now, they're suing the group that drew up the contract that made them unable to sell the team in the first place. Maybe this was a bombshell around the league. It definitely shocked me. For 30 seconds. It hurts to type that, but it's been clear as day for the last decade that this is just being redundant.
Arranging the deck chairs. This lawsuit—or the attempt to sell the team—is no news.
They never cared.
Since 2005 roughly puts it at only around five years into the league and the ASG wanted to cut ties. The signs were there: The poor handling of Dany Heatley's accident and departure, the complete lack of motivation to improve the team (re-sign Marc Savard? Haha, nah, we're getting Steve Rucchin), and pure bad scouting and drafting.
Even if half our draft picks panned out from under Don Waddell's regime, half of them would most likely leave. Patrik Stefan would have never been a career Thrasher if he had the ability to.
Even if it is no surprise, I'm still rather bitter as to how this has been handled. To under-the-table-deal is shady business practice in itself, and while keeping a supposed guise of "we totally care, guys!" was just sad.
Especially when this announcement of your intention to go "screw this franchise" and cut weight comes not even a full month after writing an open letter to the fan base telling them you did care. That's not business. That's disrespectful anyway you spin it.
I could go on and on about how totally betrayed! the Atlanta fans were, but that just isn't the case. They're hurt, disappointed, upset, angry, tired, and fearful of what's to come.
But Thrashers fans are definitely not surprised.