The Atlanta Thrashers are headed to Winnipeg, marking the long-awaited return of NHL hockey to that city after they lost their team in 1996. Of course, as they gain a team, the City of Atlanta loses one, and that also means a shake-up here at SB Nation.
We've been proud to call Matt Gunning and his fantastic Thrashers blog, Bird Watchers Anonymous, a member of our family since January of 2009. He's done some fantastic things there, as have Timmy, Laura, Aaron and the rest of the team. They're losing a big piece of their lives today and one glance over at BWA is a reminder of that.
Matt published a heart felt post today about what the Thrashers have meant to him, and it's a solid reminder that relocation and the business of hockey is a cruel, cruel thing. Winnipeg knows that well. Atlanta does, too.
BWA will remain online for the foreseeable future. Matt and the team do intend to look back at the history of the Thrashers over the next few weeks, but beyond that, it will live online only as an archive. Understandably, it would be quite painful for Thrashers bloggers to continue. We have nothing but love for Matt, his team and their contributions to the hockey world over the last several years.
But as one blog shuts down and one team leaves, another will be reborn.
Gabe Desjardins has headed-up our advanced hockey stats blog, Behind The Net Hockey, since September 2009, and he's been analyzing and writing about hockey since long before then. He grew up as a Jets fan in Winnipeg, and as a result, he's obviously excited that hockey is headed back to his hometown.
Gabe will be assembling a crew and transitioning the BTN blog to Winnipeg coverage. They'll have a new name, a new URL, a new logo and a new color scheme, all to be determined and changed in the next few weeks. If you're interested in joining the team, feel free to shoot Gabe or myself and email.
For now, there's a draft in just three and a half weeks. It's time to get down to business. We're excited that he'll be making the switch and heading up our Winnipeg NHL coverage.