Originally posted on Bloguin Best  |  Last updated 1/13/12

 

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This terrifies me and yet at the same time, gives me hope for hockey in Sunrise. And the Bedazzler industry.

 

Those of you who read my stuff over at Thrashing the Blues or follow me on Twitter know that I'm one of the surprising numvber of people who lost a hockey team this summer and are still fairly unhappy about it. I've accepted the fact that they're gone, have struck up dialogue with very nice people from Winnipeg, and have come to view the Jets as eventual fodder for the current Central Division bloodbath. I've adjusted.

Something that the move did leave with me (aside from an irrational hatred of Widespread Panic and the phrase "deal with it") is a sense of protectiveness of nontraditional/small/struggling market teams. I don't want fans in Phoenix to go through what fans here did. I don't want it to happen to the Islanders. I don't want the Blue Jackets to get shipped to Quebec City. And honestly - to the derision of several of my former Thrasher fan friends - I really don't want it to happen to the Florida Panthers.

For whatever reason, some people seem to think that the Panthers "deserve to" or "need to" move. It ain't happening, people - for sure not with the long term lease (until eternity, I believe) agreement. But that's not a bad thing - instead of a handcuff for a failing franchise, the fact that they're not able to relocate is a foundation for a finally resurgent team. The Panthers lost their fanbase save for the die-hards like the couple pictured above because of missing the playoffs every year since the 1999-200 season. They've floundered without direction, they've had coaching that couldn't get water out of a sponge let alone blood from a stone, they've had GM's that've put together teams who were good enough to almost make the playoffs and not bad enough to suck. I absolutely cannot understand why revenue was down as was attendance.

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