Posted by: kristagolden | July 7, 2011

Oh captain my captain, why must you disappoint me?

I’m going to say this up front: I’m sure a lot of fangirls who read this are going to sharpen their claws and want to rip me to shreds over what I’m about to say. Frankly, I don’t care.

In all the la-di-freaking-da over Winnipeg getting a team (which I will henceforth call the Atlanta Screwjob*), I didn’t notice that some players – especially ones from Winnipeg – were commenting on the move. That is, until I saw this quote:

Growing up here and watching the Jets, I knew what the city was all about. People will get to know what a great hockey town this is. Everyone wants to talk about the cold weather and that it’s not easy to live here with the winter and stuff like that. But a lot of guys don’t realize the atmosphere for hockey and treatment players will get here beats a lot of the best cities in the NHL. In the next couple of years, I think players will be privileged to play in this city.

The last four or five years you heard whispers that a team might come. In all honesty, I never thought it would happen during my career. But I guess the opportunity arose with a couple of teams in a situation where they might move. The stars aligned, and hopefully everything goes well the next couple of years. (Source)

When I saw who it was, I literally gasped.

It was Jonathan Toews, the captain of the Blackhawks and a native and resident of Winnipeg.

MY captain.

The reason I gasped is because not once in that quote did he mention Atlanta, the Thrashers players or the fans. All he was concerned with was the fact that hockey came back to Winnipeg.

I would think that he of all people would have a little more respect for the other half of the equation. It was Tazer who saw a chunk of the Stanley Cup team leave Chicago after the Great Salary Cap Purge of 2010, with five players leaving for the ATL – Ladd, Byfuglien, Sopel, Eager and Aliu. Of those five, only Ladd and Buff stayed down south. He could’ve mentioned that they’d have to uproot their lives once again. He could’ve even said something about knowing how Thrashers fans were feeling, since he was old enough (eight years old at the time) to be aware that the team was leaving.

But he, like the entire city of Winnipeg, suddenly developed a case of amnesia and forgot that it hurts when you lose a team to relocation. It’s disorienting to fans, it hurts the local economy, and there is a general hole where hockey used to be. And I’m sorry, but you don’t become a fan of the new team automatically because you were a fan of the old team. Did he become a Coyotes fan? I doubt it. That would be like telling a Cleveland Browns fan back in 1996 that they had to be a Baltimore Ravens fan because the Browns moved there (seriously, you will not find a Ravens fan in Cleveland unless they a} are in federal witness relocation or b} really like people spitting on and screaming at them).

Don't give me that "What'd I do" look, Captain Seriously Dumb Comment.

I’m just very disappointed in my captain right now. I can’t look at him without remembering those words and hearing them in his voice. I understand that people think this is a great time for hockey in Winnipeg. But aren’t you forgetting about Thrashers fans? And please, STOP TELLING THEM TO BE PROUD OF THE NEW TEAM. It’s not their team anymore. Their team was the Thrashers, not the Jets. Do not dictate how to feel about this situation. You went through the same thing.

It’s going to be a while before I can forgive Tazer. He’ll have to earn it.

 

*This is the hockey equivalent of what wrestling fans call the Montreal Screwjob. I’m still shaking my head over that.


Responses

  1. I don’t actually see what was that bad? He didn’t say something mean, he just said “But I guess the opportunity arose with a couple of teams in a situation where they might move. The stars aligned, and hopefully everything goes well the next couple of years.”

    None of that seems bad or mean or anything. Am I missing something? Because this seems like a really stock answer from a player being asked about another team. He’s one of the most famous Winnipeg born players in the NHL right now, he was bound to be asked about it. I think he was really diplomatic, kind to the Atlanta fans without raining on the parade in Winnipeg. Do you think he shouldn’t have said anything? He was asked.


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