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Category: Atlanta-Thrashers

All Is Well In Canada

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Perhaps in retrospect Sidney Crosby’s golden goal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver was a sign from the hockey heavens.

Get ready Canada for a new period of prosperity in professional hockey. A new golden era for this country in the NHL.

It is an era, expected to officially begin with the NHL deciding to move a team from the U.S. to Winnipeg as soon as this week, that has arrived with stunning speed.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winnipeg

Thrashers to Winnipeg Rumors Abound

With the Globe and Mail reporting earlier that the deal “to relocate the franchise to the Manitoba capital is done”, there’s been an avalanche of reports and contradictions in the past hour.

Stephen Brunt’s Globe report goes on to state the deal is meant to be revealed Tuesday. 

Others, like Kevin Allen of USA Today and Scott Burnside at ESPN, aren’t convinced. And Brian Munz—the play-by-play voice of the Manitoba Moose and reporter with CJOB radio in Winnipeg, checked with True North who state that the “sale of Thrashers is NOT done.”  CBC’s Elliotte Friedman comments there might indeed be a “framework of an agreement” but “pending final attempts to find local ownership.”

So it seems premature to make any assumptions at this point.  We’ll update reports on this if anything more concrete emerges.

Updated 10:15pm ET. From the Canadian Press:

“It’s not true,” True North spokesman Scott Brown said when asked about the report that a deal was done.

True North Sports and Entertainment 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.

The Globe report says the NHL board of governors has already approved the sale and transfer of the team, pending negotiation of a purchase agreement between Atlanta Spirit LLC, the Thrashers’ owners, and True North.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly is also not confirming the report, saying “as far as we know, there is nothing done.”

“Certainly, the board has not approved anything,” he said in an email to The Canadian Press.

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NHL’s Impact on Hockey in the South

From Chris Peters at the United States of Hockey:

Prior to the Thrashers coming to town in 1999-2000, a total of 911 people were playing ice hockey in Georgia (1998-99). The impact of a new NHL team was immediately felt in 1999-2000, when membership increased by 40.7%. There are now 2,142 hockey playing Georgians, which in 10 years for an area with no hockey tradition is pretty solid.

What makes Georgia’s numbers most encouraging, is that the vast majority of its membership is kids. New hockey players just learning to love the game. Of the 2,142 players in 2009-10, 1,808 (84.4%) are below the age of 18.

Additionally, a steady climb such as the one we’re seeing in Georgia cannot be accomplished without good retention. So not only are kids playing hockey, they’re sticking with it.

Are the numbers eye-popping in Georgia? No, they are not. However, 11 years is a short period of time when it comes to building a culture. This is a hockey culture being built from the ground up, essentially.

much more

*Thanks to Mark Stepneski at Andrew’s Stars Page on ESPN for the link

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Winnipeg Ownership Group Looks For Financial Help From Manitoba

from Bruce Owen of the Winnipeg Free Press,

The game-plan to return NHL hockey to Winnipeg is banking on a financial assist from the Manitoba government, the Free Press has learned.

While negotiations are underway between True North Sports and Entertainment Ltd. and the ownership group of the Atlanta Thrashers, a critical part of Winnipeg’s pitch involves help from the Selinger government.

True North, which owns the MTS Centre, is looking to the province to help it manage the debt load it carries on the downtown arena in order to free up money to help pay for the relocation of the NHL team to Winnipeg.

A source said that request from True North is being studied by the province and in all likelihood will be accepted. The value of the request, or if it involves a low or no-interest loan, is not known.

“The building is a public asset,” said a source explaining why the province is interested in an arrangement that sees aid go to the MTS Centre. “It will never move.”

continued

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NHL Drafting Schedule Options with either Atlanta or Winnipeg

From Gary Lawless at the Brandon Sun:

The Winnipeg Free Press has learned the NHL is working on two schedule drafts: one including Winnipeg and the other including Atlanta.

The league issued its schedule last season just prior to the NHL Entry Draft, and a source told the Free Press both Winnipeg and Atlanta have been asked to submit dates for next season.

The NHL originally was working on three different drafts but with the interim resolution of the Phoenix Coyotes situation, the league is now down to two schedules.

continued…

*h/t to Crashing the Crease

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We Wait On Atlanta To Winnipeg Talk

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

We do know there’s been ongoing discussions between True North and ASG (Atlanta Spirit Group), but as of Sunday night sources refute the various Twitter claims that the two sides have an MOU (business lingo for Memorandum of Understanding) or agreed to a period of exclusivity to get a deal done.

Both are possibilities, but neither have been agreed to at this point.

The NHL remains an integral part of the process, but until Winnipeg and Atlanta reach an agreement for the sale and purchase of the Thrashers, there is no reason for the league to intervene other than to continue to do what it can to secure local ownership to keep the team in Atlanta.

more plus some Hockey Canada talk…

Update 1:49pm ET: From Jeff Schultz at the AJC, more talk on the Thrashers situation.

 

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Bill Daly Talks Atlanta

from Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Q: Can you guarantee the team will be in Atlanta next season?

A: “Nope. I can’t guarantee that.”

Q: So what are the chances of the Thrashers being relocated?

A: “I’m not into handicapping. I’m usually wrong.”

Q: Can you address rumors that a franchise sale and a move to Winnipeg is pretty much done and that an announcement is imminent?

A: “There is nothing that has been done, nothing has been planned and nothing has been scheduled. Certainly, no transaction has been agreed to, not that I’m aware of.”

more

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  Tags: bill+daly

Expect Thrashers to Sell for $110 Million

From Mike Ozanian at Forbes.com:

The group that owns the Atlanta Thrashers is looking for $110 million for the NHL club from investors that include former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine.

We valued the money-losing Thrashers at $135 million in December. The Thrashers have made the playoffs only once in their 12-year history and averaged just 13,403 at Philips Arena this past season, 27th in the league. The attraction for a buyer is that the NBA’s Hawks, who share Philips Arena with the Thrashers, are responsible for the arena’s bond payments. The hockey team is debt-free and under the terms currently being discussed would pay a flat rent that would net the team about $7 million in non-ticket revenue while the owners of the basketball team ran the arena.

continued…

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More Atlanta, Phoenix, Winnipeg Rumors

From TSN:

According to sources, if a deal is made to keep the Coyotes in Glendale, there’s a chance the Thrashers will move quickly into negotiations with True North to move the team to Winnipeg. A source close to the situation added that when it comes to relocation, there simply isn’t anywhere else to go.

There are also questions as to whether Thrashers ownership and True North could work out an agreement, but the possibility is not being ruled out.

If the NHL is unsuccessful in closing the deal and the Hulsizer sale crumbles, the Coyotes become the likely target for Winnipeg while the league’s attention will shift to the Thrashers and an effort to keep the team in Atlanta.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Looking for Investment Partners to Buy Thrashers

From James Mirtle at the Globe on Hockey blog:

Former star pitcher Tom Glavine is leading the charge to ensure the Thrashers stay in Atlanta.

A lifelong hockey fan who was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 1984 before going onto a lengthy baseball career, Glavine told the local NBC affiliate “he could not afford the $80- to $100-million to buy the Thrashers himself, but is trying to find investors interested and could end up a part owner.”

“I don’t want them to leave,” Glavine said.

continued…

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

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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