Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Relocation's Littlest Victims

Indeed Mrs. Lovejoy, won't someone please think of the children!

It goes without saying that all of the Blueland faithful are despondent over losing their hockey team. How do you explain it to your kids?

How hard will it be to look into that little face and explain why she won't be able to go to see her heroes any more?

That she won't be able to see her friends and have a good time at the arena any more?

As in all aspects of life, the children are our future. And the future for hockey around Atlanta is looking bright and the Thrashers have played a huge part in that.

If you have been to a Thrashers' practice up in Duluth you know the place is PACKED with baby hockey players. This trend is one that has grown across the south east. According to this post on "United States of Hockey," the expansion of the NHL has had a huge affect on the south east:

Since the first wave of Southeast expansion in 1991-92, USA Hockey has seen an
increase in membership in the Southeast district of 33,089 members. That is
up from 6,718 prior to that time period. That is a 492.5% increase. Those
numbers do not even include the 2010-11 season, in which USA Hockey
registered more players under the age of eight than ever before.

you can read the rest of the post here:

Hockey is an important part of our community and is touching more and more lives. Playing hockey is a great way for kids to keep active, make friends, learn to be a team player and be a leader.

The Thrashers are a part of our community off of the ice, too. They live here, they work here and they like it here. In addition to donating their money and time to raise money for LOCAL charities, they make that special effort to connect with fans, especially those in need. Here is Dalton, a young boy recovering from cancer. The team made special efforts to meet him, give him all kinds of goodies and send him to a game. It's something he will never forget.

Canadians may find it hard to believe, but there ARE fans here, lots of them. We love our Thrashers hockey and we start them young!

When kids grow up being exposed to hockey and playing hockey, they become fans.

Going to games is something they will enjoy with their parents and then bring into adult hood.

That is how hockey grows and cities become "hockey cities."

Hockey is growing in Atlanta. If the Thrashers leave, that will slow down hockey development in this city in a huge way. Look in that little face and tell him he can't have his hockey, Bettman!

In a sad twist of irony, this arrived yesterday. I bought it for my soon-to-be-born nephew, Bradley. I guess the joke is on me.


Randy Anderson May 18, 2011 at 4:40 PM  

Yea Bettman , What about the kids ??? Great job V !! Great pictures and message

Anonymous May 18, 2011 at 5:54 PM  

I agree. My son plays for the Jr Thrashers and we wonder what is going to happen to the Youth hockey movement here....what happens to the team the popularity?? What happens to the entire program that the Duluth Ice Form has, The Kennesaw Ice Forum, The Cooler and The Ice?? So many unanswered little time to find the answers. Thanks for this article!

ATLANTA HOCKEY PICTURES May 18, 2011 at 6:27 PM  

Great post, I love that cute little kid laying down with the helmet on top of him. Im not sure who he is but I bet he has a handsome father and hot mamma! V tell me about it we have all these thrasher clothes for mace.....oh well.

Sunshine36616 May 18, 2011 at 7:24 PM  

Thanks, Randy!

Anonymous, that is exactly what I am talking about and you are welcome! The NHL wants to grow this sport. The sport is growing here. Kids are going to play hockey in Winnipeg, that's all there is to do, they'd play with or without an NHL team. That is not GROWING the sport.

Kerry, that baby IS very handsome isn't he?

Anonymous May 18, 2011 at 7:42 PM  

Good story. Its the same thing I said in my email to Bettman. I was 12 when the Flames left. Had to wait 20 years to have another hometown team. Now I have to tell my 7 year old daughter, born & raised in Atlanta and quite the knowledgeable little hockey fan, that her team is leaving. Atlanta has never been given the chance to let hockey grow through generations. Its a shame really. The potential is here. Too bad we can't find owners that understand how to tap into it. Did you notice they didn't even have the Kid's fan club the last couple of years?

Move long distances May 18, 2011 at 7:59 PM  

Great post! Thanks for pointing this out, coz most parents nowadays are so busy and always their primarily concern is their work.

They need to switch from one place to another just to get near with their jobs not knowing that their kids are having difficulty with this kind of set up and most of the times what you mentioned above is always occurring. Poor kids!

ATLANTA HOCKEY PICTURES May 18, 2011 at 8:19 PM  

Moving long distances are you Sopels wife ? lol.

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