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Nightmare on Marietta Street

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Last weekend I had a nightmare for the first time in years. My dreams were haunted by the spector of an enormous 6'6" createre with wings and horns that seduced people and sucked the life force from them.

I couldn't quite see the head of this apparition until the last moment when it looked my way and suddenly it was revealed as a SuccuSutton a hell-born cross between a succubus and Andy Sutton. This is roughly what it looked like.

After I woke I tried to shake the spector of that awful visage from my mind, but the terror came rushing back when I picked up the Monday AJC and read the Thrashers feature story by Craig Custance.

It turns out that the SuccuSutton hopes to return to the Thrashers next season to continue sucking the lifeforce from the team. Horrors! Ye gods release us! Quick consult the World of Warcraft Users Guide!

Now some of you might have been tricked by the Sirens' Song of the SuccuSutton when reading this particular piece, so let me rip the scales from your eyes and reveal the truth.

On Feb. 24, the Thrashers traded for Alexei Zhitnik, a top-pair defenseman, and a talented penalty killer — roles Sutton had been filling for years with the Thrashers. The team identified needs, general manager Don Waddell would explain, and acquired players to fill those needs.Almost immediately Sutton's ice time dropped. Dramatically. Andy Sutton reponded: "I almost felt embarrassed," Sutton said. "Almost like I was the reason why we weren't winning. I sort of took it that way, and took it on that way, even though that's not the case."

What the SuccuSutton meant was: "Curses I have been exposed! After years of lying low they have acquired the magical amulet of Zhitnik and I cannot draw my power from the life force of this team any longer. And I had almost completed my goal of draining all the talent from the body of Nic Havelid!"

The Agent of the SuccuSutton spewed forth these beguiling lies:
Based on what's happened lately, the writing might be on the wall that an exit might be in place," Sutton's agent, Pat Morris, said. "At the same time, if Andy could stay, he wants to stay. If Atlanta wants him to stay, and it's a fair economic position, he'd look at it." Morris compared Sutton's ability to a player like Jay McKee, who made $4 million this season in St. Louis.

The truth my friends is that the SuccuSutton is nothing like Jay McKee. You see McKee actually finishes his checks on a regular basis. McKee actually hustles back to touch the puck on icings instead of just coasting around inside his own zone. McKee actually turns his head and identifies the opposition player on his goalie's blindside. McKee has played on a team that went deep into the playoffs. The SuccuSutton bears no resemblance to Jay McKee.

When asked about the SuccuSutton The GM had this to say: "A lot of things go into consideration," Waddell said. "How a player will fit in the pay structure, where he fits in the top six. If he's going to be your No. 3 or No. 4 defender, he can't be paid like a one or two."

What Grand Master Waddell meant was "At last I have been released from his agent's evil spell! I am free--no more Lashing Pain! No more Soothing Kiss!"

Yes, dear readers our nightmare draws to a close as the SuccuSutton is about to banished from this fair city with at the end of this season. But beware! The SuccuSutton will live to haunt another NHL city, let us thank the gods we will be spared further suffering!