Winnipeg and Calgary. What do they have in common? They're both in Canada. They both have NHL franchises and both of those franchises came from Atlanta. Like Sherman's army, these two cities swooped down and took Atlanta's hockey teams. Flames and Thrasher fans sat at their televisions Sunday watching the New York Rangers take New Jersey to the woodshed at Yankee Stadium and cursing under their breath.
It's almost amazing that the fifth-largest city in the United States and the fourth-largest television market doesn't have an NHL franchise right now. Some would say that it's almost criminal. When you stop and think that the city of Atlanta, a part of the civil rights movement has hosted several Super Bowls, NCAA Final Fours, a World Series and a little event in 1996 called the Olympics, it's almost strange that the city that gave the world CNN, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines and UPS doesn't have hockey.
Expansion is not exactly around the corner. There is a way to at least apease the hockey fans of Atlanta. Have the Jets and Flames come back to Atlanta to play a pair of games at Philips Arena with several conditions.
1. They are to wear the original Thrashers and Flames jerseys (Winnipeg would be the designated home team for the first contest and Calgary for the second game).
2. The mayors of both Calgary and Winnipeg write letters of apology to the people of Atlanta for taking their hockey teams. They weren't theirs to take in the first place and those letters would be put in the sports section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
3. Both teams are to donate their game checks to a charity that involves children or food banks.
So Winnipeg and Calgary. You're not bad people. You're just misguided. There's nothing wrong with you having hockey teams but to take ours? REALLY EH? What the hell, eh?
It's not too late to do the right thing. After all, those were ATLANTA hockey teams that were stolen. Right this wrong, guys. You and Atlanta would be better for it, eh?