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Not looking too good for Florida. Vegas has been so disruptive.

Yep, starting to get 2021 vibes here...with the Cats as the Habs, and the Knights as the Bolts.  In those 10 days off, the lightning escaped from the bottle for Florida, and especially for Bobs.

But they say that you're not in trouble until you lose one at home.  Can the Cats square the series back in the friendly confines of Sunrise?
Looking like a really tough hill to climb against this Vegas squad.


Something I wanted to get to here, now I have time.

I can't really speak to the Flames situation- it was before my time of really understanding the sport beyond cheering for the team in yellow with my grandfather. Why things failed in Atlanta for them is best left to others who watched it happen.

In the case of the Thrashers, however, there's a similar issue- a team that made, what, one playoff berth in their existence (and I'm obviously excluding the Jets post-move), and got swamped by the Rangers in that series. Two generational talents on the team at the same time in Kovalchuk and Heatley, and squandered both. We have a team in a non-traditional environment for the sport trying to gain a fan base by icing a dishwater-dull team most nights and hoping that'll be good enough, and... it's just not. NHL ticket prices aren't cheap, and it's hard to scrape together tickets for a family outing to the good ol' hockey game sometimes even when the local team is doing well, and you have a good chance of watching them go out and win. Spending that same money to see the team lose most nights though... after the initial novelty of 'wow, we have a team, let's go see them!' wears off and reality- a bad team that costs a lot to see- sets in... then what?

A bad team in a hockey market can get by a bit via visiting fans- Minnesota, during their early years, could rely at least on home visits by the Blackhawks, Avalanche, etc. to help buoy things, and even in their worst years there wasn't any question that the Wild would succeed financially- it's Minnesota, I mean come on. Atlanta... are we getting a lot of out-of-town fans coming to Atlanta to see the Flyers or Islanders? The need to get that fan base engaged early and keep them coming back for more was huge- and the Thrashers just never could make it work. Most of that is ownership mismanagement, unfortunately. It IS curious, of course, that the NHL and Bettman never lifted a finger to assist the Thrashers, near as anyone can tell, allowing the team to fail and move to Winnipeg (a more traditional but MUCH smaller market), even as they were actively at the time fighting for the Coyotes tooth and nail- as they're still doing all these years later. I'll never understand that one.

But, we do now know that the NHL was at least paying close attention to the Atlanta situation- if not to help the Thrashers, at least to ensure that the next time the league expanded there would be a better chance. Get those fans in the door with the novelty of a new team, keep them because they're actually pretty good and can win a game here and there- the changes to the expansion rules meant that Vegas and Seattle were viable right out of the gate (well, ok, Seattle had a rough first year). A non-traditional market in Las Vegas was a big gamble for the NHL, particularly one that at the time didn't really have anything else going for pro sports (the Raiders hadn't moved yet), but the team being watchable most nights meant that they had returning fans. (Granted, no one- including the Knights' management- could have expected that first year to go quite the way it did).

With that in mind... could the third time in Atlanta be the charm? No- not if it's the moribund Arizona franchise moving there. Because that's what it will be, the Coyotes in a new uniform, just as full of other teams' garbage contracts as ever. They'll be unwatchable for the first couple of years- just like the Thrashers were- and have the same problems. An EXPANSION team, under the new format, might actually do well- but the Coyotes' remains won't have the advantages that an expansion team would, they're still going to be stuck in a cap hell of their own  making, still have the same hoodoo over them when it comes to bringing in free agents (or retaining current players)... I honestly don't know how viable the Coyotes are no matter where they go.

I don't know, I think there's something more to it than that.  There are just some places that never seem to develop a hockey culture, even when it's popular with their neighbours and the ingredients seem right on paper, but there's just...something...missing from the local mindset that prevents hockey from taking root as something that you would want to discuss in a water-cooler conversation or during a coffee break, let alone over beer in a bar.  Case in point:  both Sweden and Finland have well-developed hockey cultures comparable to Canada's, and you see that by their best wanting to come play in North America. Denmark is kind of developing such a culture (at least based on the increasing number of Danish players making it to the NHL).  But in Norway, hockey is just...not a thing.  Trust me on this, I have first-hand experience--when I was in Oslo back in 2010-2011, I was able to quickly bond with a number of the Swedish researchers I worked with not over anything about work, but about hockey--it was clear they knew and followed the game and I could discuss it with them like I would with a Canadian or somebody from the northern U.S.  One of them (Anna) started by lamenting about the lack of attention to hockey and the lower quality of what there was in Oslo compared with Sweden; she had taken her Norwegian boyfriend (who admitted he had never paid any attention to hockey until she got him into it) to a few games there and she said not only was the play sub-par, the atmosphere from the crowd was just dead, almost like they didn't know how to be fans of the game.  But yeah, the Swedes there could get pretty animated discussing hockey.  Our Norwegian colleagues tended look at us either like we were from Mars or their eyes would just glaze over.  Why such a difference?  Never could quite put my finger on it ("we're not aggressive enough for it", one of them told me).  Sure, they have leagues and players, but they produce hardly anything of international (let alone NHL) calibre--there's Mats Zuccarello and...?  There just isn't the deep-rooted enthusiasm for the sport that exists in the neighbouring countries and they don't seem interested in changing that.
(Granted, this is what I remember from 10+ years ago, so things may have improved since then.)

(I had written something about Russia vs. Ukraine but thought better and deleted it owing to certain ongoing events...)

Then there's China.  Yes, you read correctly.  If there's one area of the country where it seems like hockey could and should take root, it's the three northeastern provinces.  They have the climate, they have the people with the bolshie, belligerent attitude (if, like the Norwegian said, it's a matter of aggressiveness), they have the culturally-ingrained work ethic. And yet, despite plenty of top-down interest in trying to transform the country into a hockey power, they have utterly failed to field a competitive **native-born** team--the KHL's Kunlun Red Star doesn't count because 95% of the players are foreigners with no ties to the country (and they're one of that league's worst teams anyway).  It was a major embarrassment for the authorities that they didn't have a credible national team ready for the 2022 Winter Olympics despite taking a "hockey academy" approach.  But it's no matter--if you ask the average person there on the street about hockey...well, they know it exists, but if they follow sports at all, don't see why they should give hockey any consideration when there's basketball and international soccer.  Even in the place where hockey seems like it SHOULD succeed, the people are not following Russia's lead.

To get back to your original point...there seems little question that the failure of NHL hockey in Arizona is mostly because of a series of inept owners with little long-term vision as to how to build and maintain a competitive team that the locals would want to embrace, but maybe you have to ask whether there's something cultural about Arizona (and Georgia) that would make doing that an uphill battle even at the best of times.


Not looking too good for Florida. Vegas has been so disruptive.
Wow. This turned into a rout really fast.   :o

And damn do I miss NBC.
Some mentions and parallels are allowable but I will repeat we're not bringing in any actual Ngos.
I always thought the only thing letting Ideal War down was the Arthurian elements that felt a bit ham-fisted.
But otherwise - the first glimpse of the Word’s nature, a honest look at the dirty nature of insurgency and mercenary work and some cool world building.
I’ve also got the original illustrated edition, which is cool.

I read somewhere the author was a military chaplain in Vietnam. But I don’t know if that’s confirmed.
Any idea how the sibko caretakers and cadets are/were called in the Clan Goliath Scorpion?

The trainers have a name, per OTP: Hanseatic Crusade, p.19.
I'm most of the way through my first rewatch of Farscape since its original airing. My god, I love this show. While Enterprise was busy being boring, formulaic and safe, Farscape was out there with a better premise, infinitely better characters, and a shameless embrace of utter insanity. It's action packed, heartfelt, and absolutely hilarious. Farscape will give you all of the feels possible.
some echos o the Ngo stories in that installment. sounds like Kowloon contributed to the Lyran part of the assault on Terra. and that one of Liz's people was up to the usual antics during the clan invasion.
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