Blog Entry

No deal in place yet to sell, move Thrashers

Posted on: May 19, 2011 10:42 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2011 3:25 am

The Thrashers aren’t headed to Winnipeg -- at least just yet.

Multiple sources told Thursday night a report that a deal is in place to sell and move Atlanta’s NHL franchise to Winnipeg is at best premature. One source with knowledge of the negotiations said talks between Thrashers ownership group, Atlanta Spirit, and Winnipeg’s True North Sports and Entertainment have progressed, but not to the point where both sides had an agreement in place.

The Globe and Mail reported that an agreement had been reached by the two sides Thursday. Winnipeg --- which lost the Jets to Phoenix in 1996 --- would again be home to NHL hockey. The newspaper reported that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman “is expected to travel to Winnipeg to make the news official.”

Scott Brown, a spokesman for True North, said in an e-mail that the report "is not accurate."

The Thrashers, however, remain on the block and it doesn’t look like a viable ownership group willing to keep the team in Atlanta has emerged. Atlanta Spirit and True North have been in talks for several days and it looks like the Winnipeg group looks to be the frontrunner.

True North had sought to acquire the Phoenix Coyotes, but Glendale (Ariz.) officials opted to pay the league as much as $25 million to cover the operating costs for the 2011-12 season. The group’s attention then reportedly turned to the Thrashers.

Bettman said in a radio interview Wednesday that he was “not aware” of any imminent deal to sell the Thrashers.

"There has been so much speculation,” Bettman said during the first intermission of Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on TEAM 1040-AM on Wednesday night. “How many people in your line of work were reporting the Coyotes were going to Winnipeg? Where is that coming from? It’s made up. It didn’t happen. The minute the Coyotes made it clear it clear they’re staying, we’re on to Atlanta.”

On his weekly radio show Thursday night, The Associated Press reports Bettman reiterated no deal has been made to move the Thrashers to Winnipeg, saying "I can tell you that with certainty."

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images

Since: Jul 31, 2009
Posted on: May 20, 2011 11:07 am

No deal in place yet to sell, move Thrashers

One thing I have noticed about current NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is that he has absolutely no problem lying to the general public about anything.  I simply have no idea if he is telling the truth anymore.  You got to let it go Gary; nobody's perfect; especially you!!!

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: May 20, 2011 10:43 am

No deal in place yet to sell, move Thrashers

Yea, I'm not seeing 2 of those teams moving.
Agreed. Nobody would miss Florida, but Carolina and Tampa Bay aren't going anywhere.

Since: Feb 15, 2008
Posted on: May 20, 2011 10:38 am

No deal in place yet to sell, move Thrashers

Thrashers to Winnipeg, Coyotes to Quebec City, sounds good to me.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: May 20, 2011 10:34 am

Move minny to Central

Move Nashville out of Central and Minny takes their spot. The old Norris wooul be reunited and Winnipeg coould be with the 3 western canadian teams.

Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: May 20, 2011 9:47 am

No deal in place yet to sell, move Thrashers

I think Kanas City would be a great fit for an NHL team. I mean, they already have the NHL-sized arena in the Sprint Center. But I'm glad Canada is getting another team as well. R.I.P. Atlanta Thrashers 1999-2011

Since: Dec 31, 2006
Posted on: May 20, 2011 9:47 am

No deal in place yet to sell, move Thrashers

And the NHL continues on it's way to become as insignificant to sponsors as the CFL.
Too bad for the game.
People in Winnepeg are NHL fans regardless of whether they have a team. Atlanta is a top 10 US market and losing it is a huge blow ot the league's potential.

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: May 20, 2011 7:43 am

No deal in place yet to sell, move Thrashers

Carolina, or Tampa, or Florida
Yea, I'm not seeing 2 of those teams moving.

Since: Mar 19, 2009
Posted on: May 20, 2011 5:12 am

No deal in place yet to sell, move Thrashers

Do you really think the the Canucks franchise wants another team in Seattle?  About as much as the Leafs want a team in Hamilton...Winnipeg is a proven hotbed of hockey fanatics and they will be next in line for a relocation - no doubt about it.  The NHL brass looks at more than just what city doesn't have a team when approving any move.  It's all about the $$$ and True North has proven it's committment to the return of NHL hockey in Winnipeg.  Yeah Winnipeg get's cold in the winter - it's hockey and it's Canada.  Yeah, they have flooding in the spring but Alberta has wild fires/evacuations and the lower mainland is going to fall in the Pacific any day...My point is that one can always focus on the negatives, but why?  Winnipeg loves hockey, we invented the "white out" and this city and region is ready to sell out night after night.  I know exactly how Atlanta fans feel right now and I honestly feel for them.  When the Jets were on the verge of leaving Winnipeg 15 years or so ago, the city had a "rally" that 35,000 people showed up for, but they still left and the Jets fans could do nothing about it.  It was a different time in regards to the economy, the value of the Canadian dollar was at .75 and the lack of salary cap was a problem that killed the Jets.  Times are different and it's finally time to right a wrong.  Sorry Atlanta.

Since: Apr 8, 2009
Posted on: May 20, 2011 4:07 am

No deal in place yet to sell, move Thrashers

Winnipeg will get a team, it's not a matter of "if" it's a matter of "when".  They already have the arena built and their entire city is poised to become instant fans, oh and they already have their funding ready.  Within a month of the Stanley cup ending I expect Winnipeg to have a team and I expect it to be Atlanta.  The people who own the Thrashers don't want to own it and no one else is capable of keeping the team there and doing much better with it.  Could the deal fall through?  Sure, but then Winnipeg will just move on to other teams, like the Islanders who haven't been able to get a stadium built for over ten years and are disgusted, or maybe Carolina, or Tampa, or Florida.  It doesn't matter, Winnipeg gets a team, it's just a matter of when, and that when is fast approaching.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: May 20, 2011 3:17 am

No deal in place yet to sell, move Thrashers

Idito SkyHawk09, yes there are fool.

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