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Moving the Thrashers North Will Benefit NHL

From Ricky Doyle at NESN:

Fans of the NHL should welcome this move, which seems inevitable despite no official word yet. Hockey is the lifeblood of Canada, so therefore it makes sense for a league that struggles to gain recognition to welcome the return of a team to a market where it’ll be relevant.

The interest and passion for the Jets never evaporated from Winnipeg after the team’s 1996 relocation. The move was simply a financial one. It was impossible for the city, which was the NHL’s smallest market by the time the franchise relocated to Phoenix, to financially support the franchise.

But if the economic support is there, which it would have to be in order for the move to become a reality, it’s a fantastic move for the NHL at large.The Thrashers have only made the playoffs once since entering the league in 1999. A change of scenery, and subsequently identity, could prove to be beneficial.

But success—or lack thereof—is only a minor reason why the Thrashers moving would be good thing for the NHL.

read on

Update 12:24am ET:And not just the NHL. Winnipeg realtors are a happy bunch, too. From the Winnipeg Sun:

High-end home sales could see a dramatic increase over the next year, if an NHL team is on its way back to Winnipeg.

Realtors are thrilled at the prospect of 25 millionaires looking for homes in the city.

“That’s going to have a huge impact, not only on the real estate market, but on the whole economy itself,” said Ralph Fyfe, Winnipeg Realtors president.

“These fellows will be buying nice houses, in nice neighbourhoods and it’s only going to be good for our real estate market. There’s no question about it.”

And it’s not just the players realtors are considering.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

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The potential sale and move of the Thrashers has more to do with inept ownership and management than apathetic fans. You could make the case that it’s a chicken-and-egg scenario, and even though the Thrashers ranked 21st in attendance in 06-07 they still averaged 16,239 per game and sold out 11 games, the most since the inaugural season. With capacity of 18,545 for hockey that means in 06-07 they had crowds of 14,000+ for most of the season. I’m sure it would be a different story if the ownership wasn’t squabbling, Don Waddell wasn’t the GM for so long, and the fan base had a consistent winner to cheer for.

Oh, and the Thrashers did try to sign Hossa and Kovolchuk, and with the sideshow ownership and management decisions it’s easy to see why they’d prefer playing elsewhere. Letting Savard walk was simply a mistake… one of many by Waddell.

Posted by tj77 from USA on 05/23/11 at 01:05 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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