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thefiestygoat

Thrashers' rollercoaster ride hurtling toward Winnipeg?

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Michigan-based venture capitalist J.B. Smith told Sporting News on Tuesday that he has been in contact with the Thrashers about buying the team, along with the NBA's Atlanta Hawks and the operating rights to Philips Arena.

"Under the right circumstances we're extremely interested in keeping the Thrashers in Atlanta," Smith said.

An NHL source told Sporting News that the belief is Smith doesn't have the necessary financial backing to make such a significant purchase, and questioned the validity of Smith's group. In 2009, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Smith announced that he would be a major investor in the NFL' Pittsburgh Steelers but sources later told the paper that there were never negotiations between Smith and the Rooney family.

http://aol.sportingnews.com/nhl/story/2011-05-17/faulty-ownership-bears-blame-in-thrashers-atlanta-failure

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I kinda want this figured out soon, but at the same time, Thrasher-Gate gives hockey fans something to follow / talk about on off days. Not too many of those over the next week, but it made the previous two days go by quicker.

Edited by mmajeski06

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Not to be an ass about it but I'd rather the Coyotes stay put and the Thrashers move if it comes to that. I'm still surprised Atlanta even got another team after the Flames left town.

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Congrats to the people of Winnipeg if this report is true! I was expecting the Thrashers to move but never would have thought it would happen before June.

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http://twitter.com/#!/DarrenDreger/status/71387450324422657

Update on Atl-Wpg coming up in 2nd int. Will it get done? Likely. Is it done? Not yet, according to key sources.

http://twitter.com/#!/TGfireandice/status/71387858526683136

There are a lot of credible reporters in U.S. and Canada saying Globe and Mail report is premature.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/Thrashers-sale-report-not-accurate-122268064.html

True North Sports and Entertainment says a Globe and Mail report stating the group has reached an agreement to buy the Atlanta Thrashers is complete is not accurate.

A high ranking True North official involved in negotiations to buy the Thrashers would not say any more.

Look like its just a matter of time for the deal to get done, its just not "official" yet.

Edited by thefiestygoat

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Its official. The deal has been completed.

From Stephen Brunt of the Globe & Mail:

Sources confirmed tonight that preparations are being made for an announcement Tuesday, confirming the sale and transfer of the Thrashers to True North Sports and Entertainment, which owns and operates the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League and the MTS Centre arena, which would become the NHL team's new home.

Gary Bettman, the commissioner of the National Hockey League, is expected to travel to Winnipeg to make the news official.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Report-Thrashers-move-to-Winnipeg-done-but-den?urn=nhl-wp5287

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Of course the denial train is in full force now. Typical NHL. But I would wager that a deal is very close- just not "official" yet.

Edited by MadDog2020

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http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/40395-Campbell-Thrashers-on-verge-of-Winnipeg-move.html

According to a highly placed source with knowledge of the inner workings of NHL ownership, all sides can accurately say that a deal is not complete, despite the fact that all signs appear to the Atlanta Spirit LLC and True North reaching an agreement in principle to sell the team for $170 million.

What still has to be determined, according to a source, is how much of that purchase price goes to the Atlanta Spirit, a group that is hardly dealing from a position of strength when it comes to selling the team. It has been widely reported that the purchase price of the team is $110 million, with an additional $60 million going to the NHL in the form of a relocation fee.

Apparently, the Atlanta Spirit owner Bruce Levenson wants a bigger piece of the purchase price and is trying to get a portion of that $60 million from the NHL. It’s believed the league, meanwhile, not only wants the $60 million relocation fee, but a portion of the $110 million purchase price. In fact, there’s a possibility that the Atlanta Spirit might end up with only $80 million to $100 million of the purchase price. It should be noted that the relocation fee for the Thrashers seems to have come out of nowhere. There was no relocation fee when the Minnesota North Stars moved to Dallas in 1993, when the Quebec Nordiques moved to Colorado in 1995, when the Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix in 1996 and when the Hartford Whalers relocated to Raleigh, N.C., in 1997.

And the NHL is completely in the driver’s seat on this one. Levenson is a motivated seller, largely due to the fact that he has been losing $40 million a year on the Thrashers and is desperate to sell before he loses any more money. In reality, Levenson is faced with the prospect of taking what the NHL lets the Atlanta Spirit have or absorbing crushing losses for at least one more season.

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Fans in Winnipeg are partying into the night.

Edited by thefiestygoat

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If Winnipeg's getting a team then Quebec better get one soon. That's a lot more viable market than Winnipeg.

It would have been nice if Atlanta had just one real contending team to see how the fans responded, but given how the Atlanta fans are with their other sports teams I can't say it's a great sports town for anything.

Edited by NJDevs4978

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The NHL has even put the "report" on their website.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=563305&navid=mod-rr-headlines

Normally, they are so late posting news, that this pretty much confirms it's getting done.

I wonder if Bettman regrets holding onto Phoenix for another year. Now he has the re-alignment headache to deal with. Phx>Wpg. & Atl>QC both this year would've kept a West-West and East-East switch simpler than it will be now.

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My fault for reading article comments, but seeing a lot of people being less than gracious over getting the team.

You'd think after going through it before you'd see a little more sympathy.

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I hate this sense of entitlement that Canadians have that they should have a team. Ive said it before, i'll say it again: A team in Winnipeg adds nothing, in terms of money and growth of the game, for the league. It gives the league a wasted TV ratings/revenue spot if winnipeg is in the playoffs. Its sad that if Atlanta had a good team we wouldnt even be having this conversation. Its nothing to do with their market or fan base, just that the team isnt, and hasnt been, good.

Edited by devlman

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I hate this sense of entitlement that Canadians have that they should have a team.

Me too, and to an extent, I understand that sense of entitlement.

What I hate more is what I see as be-littling people who are also fans of the game. I give credit to fan-bases that have taken hold from scratch in non-traditional markets in 15 or so years w/o the help of generations of fan-dome.

I get why this is likely to happen & realize its easier for people to troll than have constructive dialog. But still, for some people, this is like a family member dying. Lay off

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Me too, and to an extent, I understand that sense of entitlement.

What I hate more is what I see as be-littling people who are also fans of the game. I give credit to fan-bases that have taken hold from scratch in non-traditional markets in 15 or so years w/o the help of generations of fan-dome.

I get why this is likely to happen & realize its easier for people to troll than have constructive dialog. But still, for some people, this is like a family member dying. Lay off

I completey agree. You would think Canadians would stop with the stereotyped be-littling of other fan bases as they themselves have gone thru the prospect of losing a team. Yes, Atlanta and Phx are southern, but thats not why they are not drawing people. (Its funny how Columbus is never mentioned as relocation candidates, and how the Isles arent mentioned enough.)

I hope the NHL doesnt turn into the NBA with franchises moving all the time anytime theres a lousy team on the ice and poor management. I give Bettman a lot of credit for giving these teams every chance to turn things around.

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I hate this sense of entitlement that Canadians have that they should have a team. Ive said it before, i'll say it again: A team in Winnipeg adds nothing, in terms of money and growth of the game, for the league. It gives the league a wasted TV ratings/revenue spot if winnipeg is in the playoffs. Its sad that if Atlanta had a good team we wouldnt even be having this conversation. Its nothing to do with their market or fan base, just that the team isnt, and hasnt been, good.

First off, I am very proud of my heritage being from Canada. I am extremely proud to be Canadian. However, like you stated, there are many who have this chip on their shoulders when it comes to hockey. Like you stated, a team in Winnipeg doesnt effect anything. I would have rather seen a team from either of the Dakotas or Montana or even Alaska for that matter, not saying that it would work and there would be a big fan base though there.

I understand why they are super happy about this and everything being that Hockey is a huge part of their lives, but simmer down a tad. The team is not going to take the cup first season in. Its unrealistic.

On a side note, how does a new franchise go about putting a team together and a roster. Where do the players come from?

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First off, I am very proud of my heritage being from Canada. I am extremely proud to be Canadian. However, like you stated, there are many who have this chip on their shoulders when it comes to hockey. Like you stated, a team in Winnipeg doesnt effect anything. I would have rather seen a team from either of the Dakotas or Montana or even Alaska for that matter, not saying that it would work and there would be a big fan base though there.

I understand why they are super happy about this and everything being that Hockey is a huge part of their lives, but simmer down a tad. The team is not going to take the cup first season in. Its unrealistic.

On a side note, how does a new franchise go about putting a team together and a roster. Where do the players come from?

Well they are just taking the Thrashers roster. In the case of a new franchise they do an expansion draft. Here's how it worked last time.

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First off, I am very proud of my heritage being from Canada. I am extremely proud to be Canadian. However, like you stated, there are many who have this chip on their shoulders when it comes to hockey. Like you stated, a team in Winnipeg doesnt effect anything. I would have rather seen a team from either of the Dakotas or Montana or even Alaska for that matter, not saying that it would work and there would be a big fan base though there.

I understand why they are super happy about this and everything being that Hockey is a huge part of their lives, but simmer down a tad. The team is not going to take the cup first season in. Its unrealistic.

On a side note, how does a new franchise go about putting a team together and a roster. Where do the players come from?

For relocation it would be the same players. For an expansion team they have an expansion draft. Not sure if this is what you were asking.

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