By all accounts, the NHL is expected to announce today that Winnipeg will soon be the new home of the Atlanta Thrashers, for once and all ending speculation that the city will again play host to a mediocre hockey team.
“Oh they’ll crash and burn here,” said Winnipeg resident Gordy Flennson. “Which is great news, really. We don’t get much that burns here. It’s fvcking cold. The hope is, if they suck enough, it’ll melt enough snow so we can get to the arena, because we do really love hockey.”
Dustin Byfuglien — the now Atlanta Thrashers star defenseman who recently signed a five-year contract extension — said he is excited at the prospect of throwing a Chris Pronger-style hissyfit about how Manitoba is the middle of nowhere and his family wouldn’t live there unless the Manitoba Opera cast him as the lead in Carmen as he had so often requested in Atlanta.
“Look, I’m not trying to say it’s not a great place,” Byfuglien said. “My understanding is the reindeer, polar bears and manatees that have created a settlement there have done a pretty good job. But look, reindeer eat frozen grass. I just started liking chitlins. It ain’t gonna work.”
Byfuglien’s excitement has been captured by local merchants as well. Geoff Sherman, a bar owner, said he can’t wait.
“Ever since the Jets left in ’96 people have been pretty happy,” he said. “There’s no annual sense of disappointment, and happy people don’t drink. But now, we’re about to recapture our title as the Toronto of the west.
He added “The sun’s about to shine once again on Winnipeg. Figuratively, I mean. It’s too cold for the sun here.”
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