It’s like a Canadian hockey virus run amok. First there’s “NHL to Winnipeg!” then “Eventually, NHL to Quebec City” and now… AHL to Newfoundland?
Speculation is that the Manitoba Moose would end up in St.John`s and would become the farm team of the Thrashers-Winnipeg franchise.
If Tuesday`s announcement confirms the move from Atlanta to Winnipeg, the St.John`s announcement could come as early as Friday at Mile One.
I’ve got no problems with AHL hockey back in Newfoundland. Sounds trippy. But who knows what to believe about any of this anymore.
First of all, why do the Manitoba Moose instantly become the farm team of a new Winnipeg team? The Thrashers have their own farm team. And why would Vancouver want to give up that relationship anyway?
And given that last part—that Vancouver can’t have a lot of complaints about their relationship with the Moose and player development there through the years—why would the Canucks send their farm team another 2,000? miles further away?
Yet, apparently, “sources” confirm it. Via Joseph Ruttle at The White Towel:
Robin Short of The Telegram says sources have confirmed the Moose will go to the former home of the St. John’s Maple Leafs, six years after that city lost its AHL franchise.
The official announcement is set for next Friday.
Short says negotiations have been going on for some time, but were contingent on Winnipeg getting an NHL team back in town.
The official announcement on that front isn’t set until early next week, but numerous sources have confirmed the news that the Thrashers are done in Atlanta.
The Moose are the Canucks’ AHL affiliate, but that won’t be the case after the switch to St. John’s, according to The Telegram. The plan is for the new Winnipeg club to take on the St. John’s club, leaving the Canucks to find another partner.
The Thrashers’ former AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, will be looking for an NHL dance partner — possibly the Canucks.
From the beginning, I’ve said the media’s coverage of the Winnipeg story has been more self-serving than a public service, so I’m not inclined to believe much of anything for the moment.
But good luck to Newfoundland, I hope they get their team… and I hope the rest of us get some real answers.
Update 10:53am PT: From Darren Dreger of TSN, over Twitter—
For what it’s worth, the Manitoba Moose say they have no agreement with St John’s and no plan for an announcement on Friday.