Some background info on Laura:
Thrashing the Blues - Split Loyalties, Same Flummoxed Fan: http://www.thrashingtheblues.
Hockey Editor at SB Nation Atlanta - http://atlanta.sbnation.com
Freelance Hockey Blogger for St. Louis Game Time | Birdwatchers Anonymous | NHL Hot Stove | Cycle Like the Sedins
SaveTheIsles: To start off, how have you been?
Laura: Outstanding! Summer vacation's the best. I love my job.
SaveTheIsles: How did you personally take the moving of the Thrashers? You being a die-hard could not have been easy.
Laura: Honestly, aside from anger at the way that the league handled it (one always to piece together the fact that their team was a consolation prize for another one not moving), it hasn't hit me yet. I'm sad I won't be able to go to a game without driving four hours to Nashville, and I'm sad that the hockey community here - especially the youth community - has lost a great sponsor. I think that they're leaving a city with a lot of great potential for growth, and I think that they're making a mistake. Not in returning to Winnipeg (because I've always supported a team there), but by going there via relocation and not expansion.
SaveTheIsles: What is the feeling with fans around the city?
Laura: Generally betrayal considering Bettman actually acknowledged the fans' presence in Phoenix while never bothering to address us directly here. All we've gotten so far has been a teary-eyed owner and a lot of rumors being thrown about.
SaveTheIsles: Are they going to follow the team still or root for another team? OR just follow hockey in general?
Laura: I know that quite a few of them are considering making the drive to go watch the Preds play. Very many Thrasher fans considered the Predators to be their Western Conference team, mostly because with them you could see what the Thrashers had a chance to become with solid ownership, management, and coaching. Several of my friends are taking a break from the NHL (not hockey) because of anger at how the Thrashers' situation was handled. I haven't talked to anyone that has said they'll still root for the team - the players, sure. The team? Nope.
SaveTheIsles: You followed the Thrashers and Blues and your blog is called thrashingtheblues ... how does this affect your blog?
Laura: Good question - I think just for ease for everyone out there, I'll keep the name. The URL and e-mail address can stay the same, and it has a teeny bit of name recognition. I'll hold onto it as a tribute to the Thrashers, but it'll be 100% Blues focused from here on out. I have to admit that it will be nice to only have to focus on just the one team, and it's the one I don't regularly refer to as "Futility on Ice."
SaveTheIsles: From talking to you, I know you follow the Islanders a small amount, what is your feeling in whats going to happen with the team? Do you think they will stay on LONG ISLAND?
Laura: I absolutely do think they're staying put, but they'll be doing so with a new building. It's too important to the region to not finally get something built, and it's infuriating to think that a franchise with the history of the Islanders is having such a hard time getting something finaliized. Barry Melrose and his "I think we should move the Islanders next" bull is an idiot.
SaveTheIsles: You told me you like the Isles roster, will you become a fan :) haha
Laura: I'll keep my eyes on you guys - I have a feeling that if there's a surprise team in the East this year who can really pull things together, it's you guys.