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Since we're all making speeches...

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The infamous "personal issues" have kept me from posting for the last little while, so I hope you'll allow me this indulgence.

As far as the stages of grief go, I think I’m still smack-dab in the middle of anger. I unsubscribed from all NHL email newsletters, and they had the balls to ask me why I’m unsubscribing. I check the box marked "Other" and responded: "The NHL let my favorite team be run into the ground, and stood idly by as it was sold off."

What the hell am I going to tell my kids? "Yep, your mother and I got engaged at a Thrashers game. What’s a Thrashers game? Let me tell you a story: once upon a time, they used to put ice on the floor of the basketball arena..." I guess I’m going to give them the speech that every parent dreads: "Y’know son, it’s a sad thing, but the world really isn’t run by men of integrity. It's run by men who were more worried about their high-stakes fantasy basketball game than they were about actually running a business. By petty little men who arbitrarily decide which group of people to become advocates for, meanwhile taking payoffs wherever and whenever the zeros stack to their liking. By men who spew crowd-placating opiates out of one side of their mouth, while making backroom deals with the other side...."

Okay, enough of that. I want to say ‘thank you.’ Thanks to Matt who brought me on here, and to Tim and Laura for being awesome people to talk hockey and music and other stuff with. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to pretend to be a writer. Thanks to everyone that read this blog. All you folks who hung out during game threads and made snarky comments about other teams and their fans. Thanks to everyone that made me feel welcome at games. Thanks to every fan wearing a jersey that I bugged to talk about the team. Thanks to every fan that bugged me to talk about the team when I was wearing my jersey. Thanks to the bloggers, Thrashers and otherwise, whose passion and prose spurred us on. Thanks to the players who signed here and wanted to play here. Thanks to guys like Jimmy Slater, Eric Boulton and Chris Thorburn, who always showed up....

I feel physically sick right now.

The good news is, now our jerseys are all "vintage throwbacks." Wear them. Tell people about the team, about the games, about the tailgates and road trips. About how you were there when Evander Kane put that joke Matt Cooke on his back. About how you were there when Kovy potted a goal and pointed at Crosby. You were there for Tamer, Odgers, Pasi and Norm. Tell people about prospect camps and running into Rick Dudley in the hallway. Come to the TailWake today, I’ll be there in a little bit. I’m bringing Yuengling Porter and my Hossa jersey. There were and are hockey fans here. These are the memories that keep us Thrashers fans. This circle is now pretty much closed. They can’t take any of that away from us. Not for all the moose in Winnipeg.