The agonizing saga continues in Atlanta for the Thrashers in their search for a last-minute hunt for a local buyer for the team. While one name that has come up was investor J.B. Smith it was found out that Smith has some financial troubles of his own that would make him a less-than optimal candidate to try and keep hockey in Atlanta.
One name that has surfaced as a person of interest given his ties to the city and overwhelming support and fandom for all things based in Atlanta is none other than rapper Lil’ John. If you don’t know who Lil’ John is, chances are you’ve seen Dave Chappelle do a killer impersonation of him on his old Comedy Central show. Lil’ John is colorful, boisterous, and engaging and after a successful rap career and follow up beverage distribution side job he’s got a little bit of money.
But would he help invest in the Thrashers to help keep the team in town? Well… Not exactly as Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution discovered.
“I love the Thrashers, but I’m not investing in them. The one good thing about that rumor is that it’s stirring up a lot of people talking and saying we gotta keep them here, it brings awareness to it. But I’m not investing. That’s a lot of money to buy a professional hockey team! I’ll help then out with some awareness, though.”
Yes, that is a lot of money to plunk down to keep a team in town and sadly for Thrashers fans there’s a lot of other Atlanta-based interests saying the same thing as Lil’ John. The team’s been a continual financial loser in the city and fan interest in the team isn’t exactly sky high. While the same can be said of all the other pro sports teams in Atlanta at one point or another during the season, the Thrashers aren’t exactly giving fans reasons to go to the games either.
Meanwhile, the main interest to buy the team remains Mark Chipman and David Thomson’s True North group out of Winnipeg. I don’t suppose there are any entertaining rappers in the River City that we could count on to spice things up in Manitoba are there? Just a thought. After all, the idea of getting crunk in Winnipeg sounds like it’d be ideal.
For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”
They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:
- Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
- This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
- By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.
Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).
Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.
Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.
The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.
(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)
Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)
You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:
It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.
Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:
Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).
If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.
You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.
The pain goes beyond that … literally so.
For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.
(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)
The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.
Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.
It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.
The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).
The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.
One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.