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Blog Entry

It's official: Thrashers on way to Winnipeg

Posted on: May 31, 2011 12:32 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 6:11 am
 


NHL hockey is back in Winnipeg.

True North Sports and Entertainment completed a purchase of the Atlanta Thrashers early Tuesday morning and will move the franchise to Manitoba. The transaction still needs to be approved by the NHL Board of Governors, although that could come as early as their next meeting on June 21.

“As we have said repeatedly, we don’t like to move franchises,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a news conference at the MTS Center on Tuesday. “But sometimes we simply have no choice.”

Winnipeg lost the Jets to Phoenix in 1996. The Thrashers are the first NHL team to relocate since the Hartford Whalers moved to North Carolina in 1997. This is the second time Atlanta has lost an NHL franchise; the Flames moved to Calgary in 1980.

It's not clear yet what the team will be called. True North will pay $170 million to complete the transaction, which includes a $60 million relocation fee that is distributed among the other 29 franchise.

“A name has not been chosen,” said True North Chairman Mark Chipman “We know that subject is of great interest to the community, but we have not fully engaged it yet. It’s obviously one of the first orders of business that we will turn ourselves to now. We will do so very thoughtfully and should have some news on that in the very new future.” 

STUBITS: Who will move in realignment?

True North Sports president Jim Ludlow said the team aims to sell 13,000 tickets by the Board of Governors meeting in three weeks and introduced a website to take the orders. The base price for tickets range from $39 to $129 per game, comparable to ticket prices in Ottawa and Edmonton.

“I think it would be a good idea to tell the Board of Governors as quickly as possible that there is nothing to worry about here,” Bettman said. “The economics or running a franchise, particularly in this building and this market, require the support of having the predictability that season-ticket holders will give you.”

Chipman said while the 13,000-seat, season-ticket threshold hasn’t been imposed by the NHL, “it’s an objective we both think is necessary and achievable”

Thrashers co-owner Bruce Levenson said an agreement to sell and move the team isn’t ideal, but was the only path after an ownership group willing to keep the team in Atlanta could not be found.

“Our objective was always to find a solution to keep the team in Atlanta, and we spent a considerable amount of time, effort and resources trying to do so,” Levenson said in a news release. “This is not the outcome we wanted and it’s extremely disappointing that a buyer or significant investor did not come forward that would enable us to keep the team in Atlanta.”

Times are much different now -- not only for downtown Winnipeg, but the league --- than they were when the NHL left town.

“We were extraordinarily unhappy when we left in ’96,” Bettman said. “We had no choice. That’s why with the celebration here there is obviously regret what’s happening in Atlanta. To be able to come back to place we know loves NHL hockey (and) to be able to do it in a city that has changed, a collective-bargaining agreement that has leveled the playing surface, with this building and this ownership. These were factors that didn’t exist in ’96. To be able to come back and right a wrong is an extraordinary thing.”

A couple Tharshers players took to Twitter to thank Atlanta Tuesday afternoon. 

"Thanks again. I will miss the great people and city of Atlanta," wrote Thrashers left winger Evander Kane.

"Our time was short Atlanta but thanks to all the fans and their support," Thrasher right winger Blake Wheeler wrote.

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Associated Press
Comments

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: June 1, 2011 1:40 pm
 

It's official: Thrashers on way to Winnipeg

 see you have a Yankees logo.....mmmm let's see, how many teams in all sports has NY lost (baseball Giants, Dodgers etc) and they may lose the Mets


you can add the new york americans to that list also.



Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: June 1, 2011 12:54 pm
 

It's official: Thrashers on way to Winnipeg

tmlad - The NHL owns the Jets name, logos, etc, not Phoenix and Bettman stated yesterday at the news conference that Winnipeg can have the name, logos, etc for free if so they desire.

Have they considered the Winnipeg Poohs? Wink I know copyright rules wouldn't allow it.



Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: June 1, 2011 12:19 pm
 

It's official: Thrashers on way to Winnipeg

and they may lose the Mets.

Not even close....where did you get that bad information from.

The Mets may lose their current owners but not the team.


how many teams in all sports has NY lost (baseball Giants, Dodgers etc)

The Dodgers did not leave because of disinterest from fans or a lack of ownership interest. If you know your history then you would know why the Dodgers left Brooklyn and it is not the same for why the Thrashers are leaving Atlanta.



Since: Jun 17, 2008
Posted on: June 1, 2011 12:13 pm
 

It's official: Thrashers on way to Winnipeg

I'm a Canadian hockey fan and I love the city of Winnipeg, but I think this is a mistake. That city does not have the population to support a team that is lacking a drawing card and a winning tradition. Yes, the Jets were great but they lost the team for a reason. Contraction was the way to go as the league is beyond watered down. 2 or 3 more teams need to go as well : Phoenix, Florida, &/or Columbus.



Since: Mar 22, 2007
Posted on: June 1, 2011 12:05 pm
 

It's official: Thrashers on way to Winnipeg

Great move!  Very excited for the people of Winnipeg - true hockey fans.  This is what happens when you force a sport on folks who have no knowledge or interest in it.  Same goes for every other southern and western city.



Since: Apr 23, 2008
Posted on: June 1, 2011 11:49 am
 

It's official: Thrashers on way to Winnipeg

If as many people who posted here had attended Thrashers' games, the team would still be in Atlanta.

IMO, too many teams in the NHL, its a watered-down product.



Since: Dec 6, 2006
Posted on: June 1, 2011 11:48 am
 

It's official: Thrashers on way to Winnipeg

I see you have a Yankees logo.....mmmm let's see, how many teams in all sports has NY lost (baseball Giants, Dodgers etc) and they may lose the Mets. Think before you generalize and speak. The Fans of Atlanta didn't mismanage the franchise and put a poor product on the ice. That was the owners and management. Most consumers will not continue to put their hard earned money towards something that continually disappoints and fails to win. When is the last time you bought something that was not up to par and you knew it ahead of time. Winnipeg will lose this team if it doesn't deliver once the honeymoon is over. Even with Edmonton's rich history, their losing ways lately are putting a strain on the Oilers finances. Atlanta has a lot to offer a winning franchise.



Since: Dec 18, 2007
Posted on: June 1, 2011 11:29 am
 

It's official: Thrashers on way to Winnipeg

Lesson learned NHL, I hope. Stop putting NHL teams in Atlanta. It does not work. 



Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: June 1, 2011 11:10 am
 

It's official: Thrashers on way to Winnipeg

Read what I posted, geez. Yes, they lost the Rams, but if you had read, they only got the Raiders because Davis wanted to spite Oakland. The Raiders were never LA's team. Anyone who thought they were is just ignorant, because as soon as Davis got what he wanted, he packed up and moved back up the coast.



Since: Jul 31, 2009
Posted on: June 1, 2011 10:53 am
 

It's official: Thrashers on way to Winnipeg

No problem!!  Those whores can attach themselves to some other poor saps!!!


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