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13.08.2018 10:10
a parking violation in January. Antworten

The playoff run by the Winnipeg Jets has ripped the bandages off some old wounds in their former home.

Hockey fans in Atlanta – yes Landon Collins Jersey , they actually exist – are still bitter about the way they lost the Thrashers seven years ago , a move that deprived this city of a team for the second time and probably any chance of ever again being a member of the NHL club.

In the A-T-L, a popular refrain of the postseason seems to be A-B-T-J.

Anybody But The Jets.

”I won’t support the Jets,” former Thrashers fan Fred Johnson wrote in an email. ”In fact, I’d like to see their fans suffer for a lot longer like we did.”

Instead of suffering, the Jets and their fans are thriving . Winnipeg reached the Western Conference final against the Vegas Golden Knights – a sort of double-whammy for Atlantans, who have seen what their former team could have been while getting a tantalizing glimpse of what a well-run expansion franchise can do its very first season.

Founded in 1999, the Thrashers managed just 14 wins and 39 points in their debut year, which remains the worst full-schedule total in almost a quarter-century. The Golden Knights piled up 51 wins and 109 points, captured a division title and were just two wins away from playing for the Stanley Cup going into Game 4 of their series against the Jets on Friday night.

”It’s not hard to feel like just yesterday Atlanta was an expansion team,” said another Thrashers fan, Tiffany Burns. ”I couldn’t have imagined how surreal it would have been to be a part of something so successful so quick.”

In contrast to the Golden Knights, the Thrashers never really had a chance in Atlanta, doomed by a bickering group of owners who spent more time suing each other than caring about what was happening on the ice, clueless management and inept coaching, and a roster perennially low on talent.

The lone highlight came in 2007, when the team captured the Southeast Division title and finally made the playoffs for the first (and only) time.

The euphoria didn’t last long.

The Thrashers were swept in four straight games by the New York Rangers. Atlanta began the following season with six consecutive losses Joe Montana 49ers Jersey , leading to the firing of coach Bob Hartley, and the dismantling of the franchise commenced a few months later.

In what became an all-too-familiar scenario, the frugal Thrashers dealt away Marian Hossa rather than lose him as a free agent – one of many horrible deals engineered by general manager Don Waddell, who somehow kept his job throughout the Thrashers’ entire existence without ever really demonstrating that he knew what he was doing.

Anyone remember Angelo Esposito, a supposed top prospect who was acquired in the Hossa deal?


Bueller? Bueller?

The Thrashers always seemed to operate under a dark cloud, most tragically exhibited in 2003 when star player Dany Heatley lost control of his Ferrari on a narrow Atlanta street, struck a wall at high speed and killed teammate Dan Snyder . Heatley recovered but was never the same, eventually requesting a trade so he could get a fresh start elsewhere.

The Thrashers soon followed Heatley’s lead. In 2011, after a proposed move of the bankrupt Phoenix franchise to Winnipeg fell apart, the NHL quickly engineered a deal to send Atlanta’s team north in place of the Coyotes , collecting a hefty relocation fee and ridding themselves of another troublesome franchise.

While it’s impossible to deny that the team has been more embraced by hockey-mad Winnipeg than it ever was in Atlanta, this city’s fans have long gotten a bum rap that goes all the way back to its first NHL team.

Yes, the Flames lasted only eight years in Atlanta before moving to Calgary in 1980. But they averaged more than 10,000 fans every season (not a sure thing in those days) and outdrew the NBA’s Hawks every year but their last. That franchise was largely doomed by the economics of the late 1970s.

For the Thrashers, it was a similar story.

They averaged more than 17,000 in their debut season despite putting one of the worst teams in modern NHL history on the ice. But the franchise was essentially doomed when it was sold to a group known as Atlanta Spirit (what a malicious example of false advertising that was).

The new owners wanted only the Hawks and Phillips Arena. Almost immediately, they began trying to pawn off the Thrashers. Not surprisingly Authentic Mitchell Trubisky Jersey , no one was interested in acquiring a team that would have to rent an arena from an increasingly dysfunctional group. As the losses mounted, reportedly in the range of $130 million, Atlanta Spirit began looking for another way out. When the Winnipeg offer came along, there was no real attempt to keep the team in Atlanta.

Through all the turmoil, the Thrashers never ranked at the bottom of the NHL in attendance. In fact, the average from their gloomy final year would have beaten out three teams this season.

Many Thrashers fans are still upset about being ridiculed for a perceived lack of support after the team moved. And unlike the Flames, who retained their name and some sense of their Atlanta history after moving to Calgary (and were largely cheered by their former fans for winning the Stanley Cup in 1989), the Jets made a clean break with their past.

Johnson, the former Thrashers fan, recalls the vitriol when the move was announced. He said some Jets fans who trolled the Thrashers’ message boards belittled Thrashers fans as ”worthless” and said the team would now win the Stanley Cup in Winnipeg because that’s where ”real fans” were.

”They had no idea about the dysfunctional management,” There's never been a player who quietly inspired more love, and potentially more hate, among NFL wide receivers than the Patriots' Julian Edelman.For years, there have been two differing opinions about Edelman.Some believed he was special鈥攁 seventh-round pick who seemed destined to play special teams who made himself into a star, defying the expectations of NFL scouts. Edelman was underrated, his fans said, and didn't receive his due respect because he was a white player in a black league.Then there were those receivers who consistently maintained that Edelman was vastly overrated Dak Prescott Jersey Womens , a creation of Tom Brady's excellence. To these people, Edelman got too much credit because he was a white player in a black league.To me? Edelman was indeed talented, a fast and efficient route-runner who was impossible to cover from the slot. He was good. Very good.Or so I thought.His four-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy puts into question just how good a receiver Edelman is. In the Patriots' wild comeback against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI, it was Edelman who had one of the聽best catches聽in championship history. It kept their comeback alive and, in many ways, was typical Edelman. There are only a handful of players who could make that catch.He was that good.Or was he?(Now, before Patriots defenders say the system is rigged, unlike aspects of the NFL's kangaroo court justice system, the drug testing process is solid. Despite a report from Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer that Edelman had tested positive for some type of聽unknown substance, it was recognizable enough to be deemed illegal by league drug testers. And while the CBA gives commissioner Roger Goodell ultimate authority on most issues, when it comes to drug testing, the appeals process is handled by a truly independent arbitrator. So Edelman appealed and lost, meaning he can clearly be identified as a PED cheat.)Julian Edelman averaged more than six catches per game from 2013-2016 and helped the Patriots win two Super Bowls.Tony Gutierrez/Associated PressBut Edelman's story is bigger than him. Once again, another player fell into the PED trap and, once again, we are left to wonder what's real in football and what's not?Are we watching an honest game? Or one partially, or almost totally Baker Mayfield Jersey Youth , fueled by PEDs? Or one turning the corner where the NFL is cleaning up the sport? Or one where the NFL is only catching the dumb guys?I'm not certain.We know football, and almost every sport, has been plagued by PED use. The home run races of the 1990s were fueled by steroids, and the rise of the NFL in the 1980s and into the early 2000s saw massive PED use.And while it's true the NFL has struggled with its player discipline policies (see: Ray Rice), it's gotten much better at policing drugs.About three years ago, it was clear the league was having difficulty聽stopping HGH聽use. But now I'm hearing from team officials that the NFL is getting better at catching HGH cheats. All cheats, actually, they say.It's difficult to say how accurate that is, but there are players and teams who believe it.Though a report stated that Edelman had tested positive for an unknown substance, an arbitrator ruled that the Patriots receiver had run afoul of the league's drug policy and will have to serve a four-game suspension to start the season.Steven Senne/Associated Press/Associated Press/Associated PressAnd in September 2017, former NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said the NFL's聽drug testing program聽had finally caught several HGH users.It's possible the NFL has turned some type of drug testing corner it isn't willing to publicly discuss, and the Edelman case lends credence to that belief. It also again raises the question PED use always raises:How much of what we're seeing in the NFL is real, and how much of it isn't?聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽聽Mike Freeman covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter:聽@mikefreemanNFL..

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