Filmmaker not considered candidate to purchase Thrashers

An investment group led by Los Angeles filmmaker and Atlanta native Stephen Rollins has not made an offer to purchase the Thrashers and is unlikely to do so, according to several people familiar with the situation.

While Rollins said he represents a group interested in purchasing the majority interest in an NHL franchise, a claim first made in May 2010 in a press release, there has been no movement in regard to the Thrashers. The franchise has been for sale or in need of investors since it was purchased by the Atlanta Spirit in 2004.

According to a league official, there are no buyers currently in line to purchase the franchise. According to two other people familiar with the situation, Rollins’ group is not considered a viable candidate.

Thrashers co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week that the team may be sold and moved to another city if it does not receive financial assistance. He said the organizations first choice is to find entities willing to purchase all or part of the team and keep it in Atlanta.

82 comments Add your comment

Ion League 13

February 18th, 2011
12:20 pm

THANK YOU VIVS!!! What a crock and not even new news at that.

Iron League 13

February 18th, 2011
12:22 pm

That’s Iron not Ion, geez…lay off the green tea, Slappy.

Alan R.

February 18th, 2011
12:25 pm

I’m not surprised.

Sage of Bluesland

February 18th, 2011
12:26 pm

“…He [Gearon, Jr.] said the organizations first choice is to find entities willing to purchase all or part of the team and keep it in Atlanta.”

I heard this individual’s pitiful interview with organizational-tool John Kincade…and outside of hearing him bluster about the Hawks and that–NEWSFLASH–only one team wins a title per year….and literally laughed when I heard this little guy state that he wasn’t interested in losing his ownership share.

Uh-huh. Sure! Jump on board for the most ineptly run organization–and SHARE THE LOSSES!

Sign me up.

(The delusion starts at the very top with this abomination….Simply reinforces my long-standing belief of not another SINGLE dollar of mine for this utter incompetence…)

Why should you care if ownership clearly doesn’t? Think about it. Therein lies your answer.


February 18th, 2011
12:27 pm

Stephen Rollins came across a little like Michael Largue, an “investor” representing Swiss banking interests, who tried to buy the Edmonton Oilers in the mid-90s:

day old fries

February 18th, 2011
12:31 pm

what are the trashers?


February 18th, 2011
12:32 pm

we are so screwed….. it feels like there has been a plan already in motion for a while and we are just being strung along by AS and the NHL.

Hella Jeff

February 18th, 2011
12:34 pm

That Rollins guy’s a creep.


February 18th, 2011
12:36 pm

I figured this was just the media scrambling to find something to give us, and the league, hope there won’t be relocation.
I don’t think this thing will work out at all.


February 18th, 2011
12:38 pm

What a shocking turn of events. Not


February 18th, 2011
12:42 pm

I am a computer programmer. I have a group of investors ready to buy the Thrashers. I would like my name and picture plastered all over the media to show what a great guy I am.


February 18th, 2011
12:58 pm

Please join me tonight, Friday February 18th, as I kickstart my campaign to purchase the Thrashers by collecting money from strangers in front of Greene’s Liquor Store on Ponce de Leon Avenue. Working together can make this effort a success.


Earl “Soupcan” Scuggins


February 18th, 2011
12:58 pm

The thing is, this city doesn’t have many billionaires. May be the Cox family, Arthur Blank and is there anyone left? You can’t find a willing investor who’s willing to lose a lot of money unless that guy has billions of dollars. We all know the Thrashers won’t turn a profit, ever.


February 18th, 2011
1:00 pm

That Largue story is hilarious.

His smoke and mirrors routine is similar to the one that the Octotards pulled over Bettman’s eyes. The difference is that the Octotards succeeded.


February 18th, 2011
1:01 pm

We need to hear from Bruce Levinson.


February 18th, 2011
1:04 pm

By separating the Thrashers from the Hawks and arena, it sure does make economics pretty bad.

I hope that the NHL can hold off on relocation long enough to put the screws to ASG, that they have to sell all 3. Bankruptcy for them would also be nice (and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving group).

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computer overlord

February 18th, 2011
1:16 pm

why do we need to hear from anyone associated with the spirit group? they are about as reliable as some B movie director who tried to make believe he was gonna buy a professional franchise. it’s a shame blank is a football guy.


February 18th, 2011
1:17 pm

ASG has no business running any major league granchises.

steve brown

February 18th, 2011
1:38 pm

No one who might be a candidate will show his or her hand until the Thrashers owners are on their death bed. We are talking big money and no one is going to do the Atlanta owners any favors.

Fans Can Help - Keep The Thrashers

February 18th, 2011
1:39 pm

Not surprising the NHL does not consider Rollins as an alternative. We have added a way to contact the Atlanta Metro Chamber of Commerce asking them to lead the fight to save our hockey team – leaders need to lead on this issue:

Keep fighting the good fight! Let’s not let Canada take our team.


February 18th, 2011
1:39 pm

Why anyone would buy a sports team is beyond me. The business model today does not work except for a hand full of teams in each league unless they get national TV money, which the NHL does not.

The players don’t get the economy has dipped and they ask for more. The owners are limited by the size of their arenas and the price they can charge for seats (anyone notice that the ATL has had some of the highest unemployment in the nation?). Even if every team won the Cup once before the next guy, fans would wait 29 years between Cups, so if you can’t afford to put a product on the ice every year that can compete, your odds can only get worse.

I have enjoyed being a season ticketholder for the Thrash since day one. I’ll miss them, but I will find some way to spend my entertainment $$. We can blame these owners, but they, like others are victims of the system. Poor league management, greedy players with no home town loyality, poor local media coverage (yes AJC I mean you and 680 – I love discussing next year’s football season all year long and hardly ever talk hockey).

I’ll miss the Thrash, but I will get my fill for 1/30 of the price on NHL Center Ice.


February 18th, 2011
1:45 pm

“Keep fighting the good fight! Let’s not let Canada take our team.”


So is it O.K. if the team goes to Kansas City? or Portland? or Houston?

Doesn’t matter where it goeas if it goes.

Uncle Milty

February 18th, 2011
1:56 pm

“Let’s not let Canada take our team.”

To correct your hyperbole, Canada will be TAKING nothing. If you team leaves it will be moving most likely to the city of Winnipeg and will be bought from ASG by TNSE. Nothing will be taken; if a franchise transfer occurs, the buyer will pay handsomely for the opportunity.

I like how you attempt to couch a simple potential franchise purchase behind national lines though. Get the local xenophobes behind the cause!!!! A for effort.


February 18th, 2011
2:13 pm

1) Rollins shouldnt be labeled as a filmmaker.
2) He had problems paying for season tickets. Do you really think he can buy a team if he couldnt pay for his season tickets?
3) After all the things Bettman and the League have done to keep a team in Phoenix (and Nashville) do you really think they are going to let a team in the 7th largest US TV market move?


February 18th, 2011
2:27 pm

I think we all breathed a sigh of relief on Rollins’ non-bid to acquire the Thrashers.


February 18th, 2011
2:31 pm

Why does anyone believe anything that the Spirit says? If they already had the Arena deal reworked under wraps what makes you think they are above already having a deal done to have this team in Winnepeg and renamed the Jets by puck drop in 2012. I believe nothing they have their hand in and won’t find any reason to breathe easy until someone steps up and saves this team from a Flame-like fate.


February 18th, 2011
2:40 pm

BlueEagle has a point. The AS,LLC is not “under oath” in their dealings with the media. Or the league offices. Or the Georgia Department of Labor’s Tax Revenue and Collections office. If they say they haven’t sold the team … then the next step is to ask the National Hockey League if they’ve sold the team. You’ll probably get more honesty there.

Let’s get a Gary Bettman quote.

According to a league official, there are no buyers currently in line to purchase the franchise. That’s a nice, anomymous statement. But it’s not Gary Bettman, emphatically denying that a sale of the Thrashers has been consummated. And really, how hard would it be for Commissioner Bettman to say that, especially if it’s true?? It’d be great, if he said that. Still, there would be others who insist that the AJC is lying, the NHL Commissioner is lying … the AS, LLC is lying. And, what the heck, the family dog is lying, too, … on a fine, soft pillow.


February 18th, 2011
2:44 pm

I’m starting a new movement; Demand that the Atlanta Spirit Group change their name! They are not loyal to Atlanta, and have little to no Spirit for ownership. CHANGE YOUR NAME, ASG! We don’t want a group named after us, screwing us out of our team.

Thrash ville

February 18th, 2011
2:56 pm

Mr Rollins website looks like a 14 year old designed it from an apple computer

Check it out:

And this guy want to be the new owner?

East Point Bob

February 18th, 2011
2:57 pm

The Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City, is right there at the center of The Power & Light District.
ready to go, state of the art facility and I bet that is where the Thrashers will be playing this October.

Johnny Cash

February 18th, 2011
3:02 pm

FYI Hate to say it Thrasher fans but we Winnipeggers saw Bettman (and 10 bodyguards in black jakets) along with Thrashers owners last year in Winnipeg at the Fairmont. The Thrash are coming here…….. Winnipeg has already built the media boxes at the MTS Centre for NHL hockey. Feel free to do the research and check it out? Nah Nah Nah Nah….. hey hey good bye……


February 18th, 2011
3:36 pm

Thrash ville – the site is very lame. But, an Apple computer would never make anything that bad.


February 18th, 2011
3:45 pm

Moving on..

To answer your question, Hillman, I don’t think they look at it as a money-making acquisition in the short term. For some, I think it’s perhaps fulfilling a lifelong dream or a desire to achieve some sort of legacy. For others, it’s perhaps something to simply brag about to other multi-multi-millionaires. Hell, for some, they might earn many times more than $20 million on the interest of their other wealth so it wouldn’t even matter what they lose.

However, consider what, say, George Steinbrenner did to the Yankees. He bought them for next-to-nothing, and now owns not just a team or a franchise, but an enterprise quite literally worth billions. If you are willing to forgive the recent downtown of the economy, thinking big picture, owners that bought teams in the 70s, 80s, or even 90s could flip those franchises now for several times the price for which they were purchased, making up all of their short-term losses were and then some.

Okay, so the Thrashers won’t be that case, but if an owner, say, comes in, buys them for 150 million, steadily figures out a better way to attract and keep fans, generate new sources of income and reduce losses, and eventually flips them for somewhere around 200 million several years later, then they’ve ultimately made money too.


February 18th, 2011
3:48 pm

“Let’s not let Canada take our team.”

So, you’re trying to turn this into a nationalism issue? Why? Because Winnipeg wants a team and no one wants to own it in Atlanta?

This has NOTHING to do with Canada (the team might as well fold or move to an American city). It has to do with whether someone in Atlanta will step up and own a team that loses 10s of millions of dollars each year due to lack of fan support.


February 18th, 2011
3:51 pm

FYI Johnny Cash, you and your type are pathetic jerks. Go stick your head in the snow.

Puck Like A Porn Star

February 18th, 2011
3:52 pm

Do Atlanta sports fans EVER catch a break??


February 18th, 2011
4:06 pm

Or the Georgia Department of Labor’s Tax Revenue and Collections

Why would Labor be part of Revenue? C’mon Brendan, you know better.

The Grim Reaper

February 18th, 2011
4:09 pm

George Steinbrenner is dead, he owns nothing!


February 18th, 2011
4:19 pm

Don’t you love these people like NHLWinnepeg? A person who does not know the history of the fans or the reason the fans have turned on the ownership. Our fans are very willing to support a team that has commited ownership that is willing to pay the price to produce a winning product. The arrogance of these comments really bugs me.

Johnny Cash

February 18th, 2011
4:33 pm

Enter your comments here

Johnny Cash

February 18th, 2011
4:36 pm

I won’t even engage in negativity with the fans of the Thrash! I lost a team in the Peg and can relate to the feeling. I stuck my head in the snow and saw this:

That’s because in addition to being the 24th richest man in the world, Thomson is also the very quiet part-owner of the MTS Centre, the Portage Avenue land upon which it sits and the team that plays in it, the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose.

That’s right…… 24th richest man in the world…… not some guy who makes movies in LA. Sorry man but it’s the truth……. they are coming here. You don’t have to hate the player…..hate the game!

Johnny Cash

February 18th, 2011
4:38 pm

That’s David Thompson and Mark Chipman……. Our new Winnipeg owners…….. and you have ?????? on deck. Nobody…..

Check out CJOB……… your guy Vivlamore even agrees they are coming to the Peg. Again sorry man.


February 18th, 2011
4:54 pm

Johnny Cash, can you post the link to the interview on CJOB??


February 18th, 2011
5:03 pm

I am not sure nah nah . . is polite. Any way, the CJOB interview with Chris Viv. is not saying anything that is not in the Atlanta papers. If the team doesn’t get more investors, the owners will look to sell. There are no definitive plans to sell to Winnepeg or anyone else at this point. If it happens, we will all know in good time. To rub in the Thrasher fans faces is really tacky.


February 18th, 2011
5:11 pm

I just reviewed CVivs comments with the owners. They said something like selling the franchise is a possibilty, but not yet a reality–selling a franchise is hard. Obviously the reporter at CJOB read what he wanted to read. Time will tell.

William Waldner

February 18th, 2011
5:33 pm

I realy feel for the hockey fans in Atlanta,I know what your going through. We here in Winnipeg went through the same garbage 15 years ago. in the end it will all boil down to where Bettman wants the team. If he wants it to stay in Atlanta, he will do every thing in his power to keep it there. I just hope that if the team is moved, that it will be to Winnipeg.


February 18th, 2011
5:48 pm

To all residents of the Peg – We feel for you, honestly, that you guys lost the Jets. Before you wish demise on us think about this – We lost the flames. We already went through that heartbreak once. Your fellow countrymen who wish for a team at our expense would be doing to us what you feel like what Phoenix did to you. Imagine getting your Jets back and have a whole bunch of people covet it to the point that you constantly hafta defend your team.
Look at any team that had crappy owners in the NHL and what happens when committed ownership comes in – Kansas City Penguins? Not now. If Atlanta is given a chance to have decent owners (who actually ADVERTISE and do things in the community) you all will see the turnout we had in our inaugural season when we sold out 38 of 41 games. No matter where you are, if you take a constant crap on your fanbase, only the “die hards” come out.


February 18th, 2011
5:53 pm

Where the hell is Winnipeg?