No word whether Spirit, True North are in negotiations

It is unclear this morning if the Thrashers have been granted  permission by the NHL to begin negotiations with True North Sports and Entertainment, the entity that would purchase the franchise and move it to Winnipeg, or if those talks have already begun.

However, it does appear the situation is headed in that direction. All attempts to find a buyer with the intention – and wherewithal – to keep the franchise in Atlanta have not moved past the preliminary stage. After signing a non-disclosure agreement for an initial look at team financial records, a prospective buyer must provide proof of the financial assets to complete a sale. No interested party has done so to this point. Time is running out.

As I was told and reported this week, things could move quickly in regard to a sale and relocation. Although, contrary to reports, it won’t get done by this weekend.

There is also no timetable on the possible completion of a deal with True North. It is also not known if such an agreement could be reached in time for next season. The structure for a deal could be in place as True North had first hoped to acquire the Phoenix Coyotes, owned by the NHL, until a resolution was reached to kept the team in Arizona for another season earlier this week. The Glendale City Council voted to pay $25 million to the NHL for operating expenses to keep the team at least for next season.

NHL bylaws require that an owner seeking to relocate a team submit a written application to the commissioner by Jan. 1 of the year preceding the proposed move — “unless a majority of the [clubs] consents to a later filing date.” That clause and caveat leave open the question of whether a move, if a deal is reached, would be for the 2011-12 or 2012-13 season.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, speaking on NHL Live radio Thursday, said the situation in Phoenix differs from Atlanta.

“With respect to any other franchise, it comes down to ownership,” Bettman said. “It’s the reason we ended up leaving Quebec City and Winnipeg. Those teams moved when nobody wanted to own the club there anymore. If you get to that position, where somebody is not prepared to own the club anymore and you can’t find a new perspective purchaser, then you are really between a rock and a hard place.

“We know that the current ownership of the Thrashers has been trying for a long period of time to try and sell the franchise and they haven’t been able to do it. … If they can’t find local ownership, then we might all have to deal with that. But I know they have tried very hard and I assume that they continue to try very hard.”

Bettman echoed deputy commissioner Bill Daly’s statements to the AJC’s Jeff Schultz earlier in the day and would not guarantee that the Thrashers would be in Atlanta next season. Bettman said questions about the team’s future were not his to answer and referred them to team ownership.

393 comments Add your comment

G52PIM228

May 15th, 2011
3:35 pm

Mexico city is probably on the BoG map, loserpeg is not..

GlobalView

May 15th, 2011
3:44 pm

The Cartels have more money than TNSE….

G52PIM228

May 15th, 2011
3:47 pm

I bet Mexico city would build an actual NHL venue instead of insisting a sub-standard shoe box sized AHL facility was “good enough”..

Sean

May 15th, 2011
3:53 pm

G52, Bettman has said the MTS Center is good enough so in the end his opinion probably weighs far more than your does.

G52PIM228

May 15th, 2011
4:07 pm

For YEARS Saint Bettman deemed the MTS unsuitable, when they need to sell a relocation option for leverage to progress a deal in Glendale all of a sudden it is “good enough”.. Are you really that big of a SUCKER..

southoftheborder

May 15th, 2011
4:13 pm

Here is the difference GlobalView – Your team was losing money when the economy was good. Your team loses money when they win. Atlanta can at least say they supported a minor league team. You had minor league teams 5 times and all 5 of them failed.

Sean

May 15th, 2011
4:19 pm

GlobalView

May 15th, 2011
4:25 pm

southy…

I was speaking to the fact that you were commenting that G52 is on this site now.

As for yourself ?

If you are to be believed, you live in Cleveland, yet you comment on AZ Central and here.
Understandably you have LeBron separation anxiety, however you have no hockey, lest you drive south, east, west or boat north.

Hence, your calling someone else out for trying to support the locals against the trolling onslaught of Snow Monkeys smacks a bit of hypocrisy.

G52PIM228

May 15th, 2011
4:26 pm

Awwwww.. That is cute Seen, some Canadian propaganda..

The problem is reality..

GlobalView

May 15th, 2011
4:28 pm

Sean,

Here’s the canine parody reaction of the Snow Monkeys when they aren’t getting an NHL team….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGeKSiCQkPw

wpgJetsfan

May 15th, 2011
4:31 pm

wow AZ trolls are now Telling Atlantans what to do. That’s just EPIC funny. They can’t even support their own NHL team and have to get the city to waste taxpayers money. Mind you most people who want the Coyotes to stay are not even from Glendale. Many of their meetings proved that.

In business, it’s always the LOCALS who keep the business afloat in the bad times. These fair weather AZ fans will sink the attendance when the team does crap. And who will be on the hook? Glendale Residents.

You never bank your potential from non-locals. It’s always a losing proprosition. I can honestly say Atlanta has done far better than Glendale has ever done to this point.

GlobalView

May 15th, 2011
4:33 pm

You know, there are a lot of Jets at Hartsfield – Jackson….

Sky Harbor too.

Winniphelgm ? Not so much.

GlobalView

May 15th, 2011
4:37 pm

All together Atlanta:

Let’s go Sharks, hose the canucks.

southoftheborder

May 15th, 2011
5:23 pm

Yep I live in Cleveland and we don’t have NHL hockey here. We’re a 3 team down just as Phoenix should be.

Yes I read about hockey on sites all over the net, but everyone was having a civil discussion over here until G52 showed up. What is it with Arizonans not being able to be civil.

G52PIM228

May 15th, 2011
5:28 pm

By “civil” you mean nobody disputing your INSANE loserpeg lies..

G52PIM228

May 15th, 2011
5:36 pm

“until G52 showed up”

I’m a Baaaaaaaaaaaad man..

wpgJetsfan

May 15th, 2011
5:43 pm

WOW, So it appears this BALKIN fellow orwhatever they call him doesn’t exist. Atlantans must be pissed of at John Kincade now.

@KincadeJohn Kincade

NHL sources imploring parties to publicly show interest. I have raised voice for last time asking someone in particular to do so. I tried

52 minutes ago

G52PIM228

May 15th, 2011
5:44 pm

Yo dummy, you do realize the NHL is not limited to previously failed, dead end markets like loserpeg should a team need to relocate, right, eh..

G52PIM228

May 15th, 2011
5:49 pm

Still no word about the nonexistent TNSE offer, eh.. They seems quite content selling Moose season tickets for next season..

g time

May 15th, 2011
6:31 pm

who is Balken

Wienerpeg Trolls

May 15th, 2011
6:43 pm

Reading comprehension must not be part of the Wienerpeg school curriculum. Kincade never said he was out. You people make up more lies than the ASG, if that is possible.

GoBruinsGo

May 15th, 2011
7:17 pm

What a basket-case league. On one hand, they are blackmailing a city to cover losses and bribing a gazillionaire to take the team. On another hand, they are allowing a bunch of monkeys to run the franchise in the 8th largest market and the poor fans will get screwed for it. On the third hand, they have another gazillionaire who’s offering barrels of his own cash for a franchise. On the fourth hand, we have a commish that’s allowing all this nonsense to distract fans from the playoffs instead of settling things.

Atlanta, I feel for you. You don’t deserve this. I’m also extremely impressed with the civility of this board. Chin up. You should be proud.

However, if a call has gone out to all gazillionaires, and only one has come forward, it clearly says something about his confidence. Let him try. Everyone else seems to be avoiding the NHL like the plague.

Craplanta

May 15th, 2011
7:19 pm

Hockey may not have worked in Winnipeg in the past, but it works now. Why? Salary cap and strong CDN dollar that appears to be long term strong. And there’s a group of people up here willing to put their money where their mouth is – something you do not have in Atlanta.

Nobody ever brought hockey to Atlanta for any love of the game, they brought it to a large US market in the hopes of growing the game for one purpose – growing their bank accounts. As soon as the latter didn’t happen they pulled out – twice. If the NHL Board of Governors didn’t exert as much control now, the team would have left for another market years ago.

Atlanta’s population is just over 400,000. 5.3 million if you include the entire metropolitan area. There aren’t even 5.3 million baseball or basketball fans in Atlanta, so why would there ever be 5.3 million hockey fans?

Quoting the ’size of the market’ as reason for having a team or not is ludicrous and ignorant. Why isn’t there a team in Mexico City then? The Winnipeg market is the province, at 1.25 million plus western Ontario, Saskatchewan and North, South Dakota, and Northern Minnesota. Flyover states all, but nonetheless collectively represent a market bigger than Atlanta will ever have. The market isn’t the number of people in any particular city, its the number of hockey fans, and Winnipeg has more now and always will.

FactsfromWpg

May 15th, 2011
7:47 pm

“Winnipeg = Poverty”? Our unemployment rate is less than 5%, property values are going up 10+%/year, record housing starts, 1% apartment vacancy rates… How’s things down there eh?

too many on the ICE

May 15th, 2011
7:52 pm

Craplanta: Say what you want about being hockey fans…but don’t try to sell us on Winnipeg. The place is a COLD dump. No reasonable person would live there unless you like ice fishing. Overall, Canada is a second rate country but you sure are great hockey fans. LOL.

G52PIM228

May 15th, 2011
7:53 pm

Bruins,
The NHL made a record profit and had record revenues generated in a season the NBA lost MILLIONS.. The Good Saint Bettman is responsible for overseeing revenue growth from 400 million to 3 billion.. You snow mankeys make hate him but his bosses, the NHL BoG just gave him a new contract and BIG raise..

Crap,

The problem is the NHL BoG are the ones that insist on keeping the teams where they are, you can argue your case till you are blue in the face and it will not matter.. The NHL is not interested in putting teams in tiny already failed market when suitable ones are available.. Here is a little info for you as to why the NHL avoids tiny poor markets like loserpeg and Q.C..

http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/2010/12/8/1536097/nhl-relocation-winnipeg-quebec-city

Sorry

G52PIM228

May 15th, 2011
7:56 pm

BS from loserpeg,

loserpeg is currently in its 5th consecutive year of deficit spending, the Canadian economy CONTRACTED .02% last quarter.. You can claim Canadian prosperity but it is A LIE, really you have no idea what an actual economic “boom” is..

Canada calls 2.5% growth a “boom” while in the U.S. 2.5% growth is “the worst economic conditions since the great depression”, it is a matter of perspective and apparently you have no idea what prosperity is, which is excusable because snow monkeys are not good with numbers..

ZAvalanche

May 15th, 2011
8:15 pm

GAME TIME! Kesler and Thornton not getting along well.

too many on the ICE

May 15th, 2011
8:29 pm

Come on Canadians…if there is any “heavy lifting” that has to be done the US has to do it. Economics, academics, defense, etc. etc. Like I just stated Candada is a second rate country but you are legit hockey fans.

GoBruinsGo

May 15th, 2011
8:29 pm

G52, take it easy, big guy. Love hearing your thoughts, but no point going all nuclear with the name-calling. Respect my opinion and I’ll respect yours.

Guffman

May 15th, 2011
8:34 pm

@g52 – What a terrible article you linked. The author’s basis of success for an NHL team is on population size and per captia income? Interesting that Montreal ranks so poorly in per capita income and yet is one of the most profitable teams. Man, what trash.

Anyways, it is all moot. If you don’t have an owner or some one who wants to keep the team in Atlanta, then the team has to move.

Southern Hockey Rules.

May 15th, 2011
8:36 pm

I think Stamkos was born in Florida, He got his bc where obamer got his.

too many on the ICE

May 15th, 2011
8:38 pm

I wonder if Ben Eager misses Atlanta?

Keep Hockey in Atlanta

May 15th, 2011
8:50 pm

The Canadian bashing is uncalled for and I have no problem with Winnipeg wanting a team. However I want hockey to stay in Atlanta with owners that are dedicated to putting an A+ product on the ice year after year. I don’t know the numbers but I imagine youth hockey has grown significantly with the Thrashers existance if they leave I imagine there will be a decline in the number of kids interested in the game.

G52PIM228

May 15th, 2011
8:57 pm

Bruins, I apologize, kind sir..

Craplanta

May 15th, 2011
9:10 pm

re: G52PIM228

of all the G8 countries, Canada is the only one that didn’t experience a crash. We may not have crazy booms but we don’t have retarded crashes like you do. And as much as you like to trumpet free market conservatism, if it wasn’t for socialist cash infusions into your banking system your entire country would closely resemble the apocalypse envisioned by Canadian Director James Cameron in Termintor 1.

Go to a baseball game, go to a basketball game, you don’t go to hockey games and never will so let us enjoy our hockey. We promise that we won’t follow Braves/Hawks games like we never have, and you promise you won’t follow Jets games.

MrBill

May 15th, 2011
9:15 pm

Hey this whole story when Chris V started this so he could stir up a mess in which he did, lets look at the facts nothing has happened any where as of yet and everything seems to be a big rumor with no real facts to back it up. So everybody take a deep breath and maybe this sports writer for the AJC wants to run the team out of town because he doesn’t like hockey.In fact the the team has never gotten much support from the AJC. Please just look at the source of these reports and go from there. I don’t buy any of it.

OHL

May 15th, 2011
9:28 pm

MrBill the story is getting a lot of traction everywhere and was recently stated that something will be done in less than 3 weeks. While that might not seem like a lot of time to move a franchise a lot of things are in place for the team itself (arena/offices/facilities). As for players, if free agents can relocate after July 1 then your players can relocate in May or June.

Keep Hockey in Atlanta

May 15th, 2011
9:33 pm

Well Bill it certainly doesn’t help matters when you have one of the current owners saying to the fans “If you know anyone tell them to call me.” while he is being interviewd before Game 6 of the Hawks and Bulls.

OHL

May 15th, 2011
9:35 pm

Keep Hockey in Atlanta, you say you want owners who are dedicated to putting an A+ product on the ice year after year. But how many of the 30 owners in the league fit that description?

AtlFlamesFan

May 15th, 2011
9:44 pm

@OHL,
Yes, we want dedicated owners; who doesn’t? However, we are stuck with owners who are at the other end of the spectrum. We have the lowest payroll in the league; at league minimum. The main issue is that we have owners who bought the team 7 years ago with the intent of “disposing” of them immediatly. This is the whole issue. This is why the team has stunk. This is why the fans abandoned the team.

It was not long ago that the Thrashers outdrew the Blackhawks and the Bruins. If Chicago or Boston had our owners, they would be in just as bad as shape as we are in. The big difference is that the NHL would never allow for their teams to be taken from thier cities.

AtlFlamesFan

May 15th, 2011
9:46 pm

… from their cities.

GoBruinsGo

May 15th, 2011
9:46 pm

G52, accepted. Valid points on Bettman, by the way.

OHL

May 15th, 2011
9:53 pm

FlamesFan that’s not what I asked though. You want an owner who is going to put an A+ product on the ice year after year and what I want to know is how many owners in the league do you think fit that description? 5? 10? 28? Please also do not use the Blackhawks as an example because they did something that no one else in the NFL, NBA, NHL, Baseball would do and that’s blackout local games. Once they lifted that ban they turned things around almost instantly. But say how many owners in the NHL fit that A+ description.

AtlFlamesFan

May 15th, 2011
10:17 pm

If you are on Facebook, please share this link with your friends, and ask them to share this link.

http://www.keepthethrashers.com/videokeepthrashersreally.html

@G52

May 15th, 2011
10:21 pm

Two keys to the success of a hockey team are the financial size of the market and the relative affluence of the people within that market. Below is a table listing both the total size of the market (Metro GDP) and the affluence of the market (Per Capita GDP)

WHO CARES IDIOT!

Facts are just that, facts. You show your ignorance when you use them like this. Total size of ‘the market’ has nothing to do with the population of a city. Is the market for Desperate Housewives the same as the market for 60 minutes in Atlanta? Hell no. Just because there are 5.3 million people in Atlanta does not mean that there are 5.3 million hockey fans. There aren’t even 5.3 million Braves fans in Atlanta so give your head a shake.

The ‘market’ for hockey is for hockey fans. And there are more hockey fans in Winnipeg than Atlanta. Atlanta ownereship was trying to use a weak Canadian dollar to make a windfall profit on a league that was supposed to grow. The gambled and lost. In Winnipeg there is no gamble; we have hockey fans and you don’t.

OHL

May 15th, 2011
10:40 pm

If market size and having a winning team is so important, then why do teams like Cleveland and Buffalo beat the Falcons in attendance in the NFL? They are both small market teams, put together don’t have 1/2 the population of metro Atlanta, and neither of them has been to the playoffs this decade. Let’s not even talk about Green Bay. Why did the Braves barely crack the top 10 just once in baseball attendance this decade even though they were winning division titles year in and year out?

Keep Hockey in Atlanta

May 15th, 2011
10:48 pm

@ OHL where’s the proof on the Browns and Bills doing better than the Falcons in attendance? I’m pretty sure the Falcons have either sold out or come very close to it each game the past few seasons. Also as far as the Braves go i’d say it was due to Braves fans getting complacent and a lack of success in the playoffs( I mean who doesn’t know the Braves poor postseason history?)

East Point Bob

May 15th, 2011
11:19 pm

Exactly how is it, canada fans “think” they own the game of ice hockey ?? You people are so lame !
Lastly, why do winnipeg people come on an Atlanta blog to act like A$$HOLES ? What is the point ? Why waste time looking like fools ? I hope you idiots never see the NHL ever again, no more
canada cities should ever get an NHL franchise !

East Point Bob

May 15th, 2011
11:27 pm

I have to agree 110% with Casare Maniago, the location of The OMNI and Philips is worse than awful. Look at Kansas City. The K and Arrowhead are east of town on I-70, away from that
downtown mess, easy in, easy out. Kemper Arena is in the west bottoms, near the old stockyards,
though downtown, easy off I-670 and easy to get onto. Went to several Blades/Knights when I was there on business. Then they build Sprint Center, right downtown, a total mess to get into or out of
all because then mayor Kay Barnes wanted The Power & Light District, which is a near flop.

Teams need to build arenas where the poeple are, not where the politictions want them build.
I hate where Philips is, just like the OMNI before, if it was along 285, attendence would be a whole different story !