Down to one group currently negotiating to keep Thrashers in Atlanta

There is currently just one group in active negotiations with the Atlanta Spirit interested in purchasing the Thrashers and keeping the franchise in Atlanta.

The group, not from Atlanta, is working with team president Don Waddell. A deal is not imminent, according to Waddell.

“My job is to try to find a buyer who will keep the team in Atlanta,” Waddell told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “As long as they keep taking my phone calls, I’ll keep working.”

Earlier this month, Waddell was dealing with two prospective buyers, neither local, to keep the Thrashers in Atlanta.

Negotiations also continue between Atlanta Spirit officials and True North Sports and Entertainment on a deal to purchase the Thrashers and relocate to Winnipeg. Such a deal is also not imminent, however an agreement would likely need to be reached in the near future to accommodate relocation.

An exclusive negotiating agreement has not been signed allowing multiple on-going negotiations.

“As has been the case, I cannot comment on who we are talking to or the status of those discussions,” Atlanta Spirit co-owner Bruce Levenson said.

324 comments Add your comment

C-Viv aka Mr. Winnipeg

May 19th, 2011
3:04 pm

So basically what you’re saying is, there are still absolutely no new updates with regards to this story?

toby

May 19th, 2011
3:05 pm

toby

May 19th, 2011
3:05 pm

I assume this is our Balkan? Crud.

Hockeyfan

May 19th, 2011
3:07 pm

I still find it hard to believe ANYTHING D-Wad says

PoweRForgeD

May 19th, 2011
3:07 pm

UUuugh I wish this would just be over and done with, fans from both cities are getting the short end of the hockey stick here

Brayne Varner

May 19th, 2011
3:08 pm

THE TORTURE CONTINUES!

Dudeguy

May 19th, 2011
3:09 pm

Enter your comments here

Russ

May 19th, 2011
3:10 pm

Apparently the True North deal will be finalized as early as Friday and announced in Winnipeg a week later by Bettman and Chipman.

SportsFan

May 19th, 2011
3:10 pm

Well it means no Lil John, Bruckheimer BS….down to 2 buyers…the Balkan and True North!

Gib Traf

May 19th, 2011
3:12 pm

Yep. Chris could have ended that post at the Title.

Badger Mike

May 19th, 2011
3:12 pm

The Balkan wants all 3. This group is not the Balkan. The Balkan is not in “official” negotiations.

chris

May 19th, 2011
3:13 pm

you people kill me. “currently negotiating.” read it. Cannot be JB Smith, because he wants to negotiate for all 3, and their is still exclusivity in the Philips and Hawks talks. JB has not entered the negotiating phase yet. DW has no reason to not want the Thrashers here. Be thankful he is at least trying to find local buyers.

Dudeguy

May 19th, 2011
3:13 pm

Haha. Can’t wait till this worthless franchise is moved!

Zinko

May 19th, 2011
3:14 pm

I Agree both ATL and WPG are getting SCREWED over. Enough of this. The NHL needs to go in some cave and not come out until this is solved. This is not fair to anyone anymore.

chris

May 19th, 2011
3:14 pm

“there”, not “their”… can’t believe I did that.

chris

May 19th, 2011
3:15 pm

Dudeguy, why do you want it moved? It is worthless because of the owners, nothing else. Why to you care so much care about posting something about how little you care about it?

Chris Vivlapeg

May 19th, 2011
3:15 pm

It’s Usher. He wants better choreography from the ice girls.

So Viv, how big is your igloo gonna be in Manitoba? I know they are planning on making you mayor of the 10 person town. Free snowcones too.

Hollywould

May 19th, 2011
3:17 pm

Agree with hockeyfan, can’t believe Waddell

Billsen

May 19th, 2011
3:18 pm

Dudeguy – isn’t there candy you could be taking from a baby or something? What a classless tool.

Hockeyfan

May 19th, 2011
3:18 pm

And what I said about D-Wad applies to Kincade

EA

May 19th, 2011
3:19 pm

Can there be an announcement Friday if there is no exclusive negotiations going on? I wouldn’t think so. I am so sick of all of the rumors.

Smoothie

May 19th, 2011
3:19 pm

This is BS! Why is Waddell working with one and TNSE gets to negotiate with “Atlanta Spirit officials”? What does Waddell have to gain in any of this? Either way he’s out of a job so why would he give a crap about doing all the necessary due diligence?

Chris – can you clarify if there is a difference between whom TNSE is working with versus who Waddell is talking to on the telephone?

G52PIM228

May 19th, 2011
3:20 pm

Getting kind of late for a relocation, don’t you think..

G52PIM228

May 19th, 2011
3:20 pm

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said he is “not aware” of any looming deal that would see the Atlanta Thrashers move to Winnipeg.

SportsFan

May 19th, 2011
3:21 pm

Not too late G52…first week of June.

Chris Vivlapeg

May 19th, 2011
3:21 pm

there is still hope folks, the fan club is holding the rally in a giant crater. our brave reporter will be there in a Jets jersey, even if it’s hot outisde.

Brayne Varner

May 19th, 2011
3:21 pm

imagine all the torture that Thrashers/Spirit employees are going through right now. not knowing if there job will exist tomorrow or not. Totally unfair to them and their families.
Can’t wait ’til we wrap this up with any definitive news at all. until then, pompous talk radio hosts and indifferent sports writers will string us all along. Enjoy the extra twitter followers. once this is all over, were done with both of you.

glovesave29

May 19th, 2011
3:22 pm

I will repeat what I just posted over on Bills blog…

DWTOO is right, it’s over…only not the religious zealot reasoning (!). I have resigned myself to that fate and now accept it for what it is. I am certainly not happy about it, but there’s nothing to be done by getting angry about it. Karma will deal with the Spirit clowns in due course…

Bettman SHOULD come in and keep us here and offer $80M reduced cost franchises to both Quebec and Winnipeg. Boom – everyone is happy.

Time to return to the highest level of the minors, the AHL. Perhaps we can get TNSE to put the Moose down here in Atlanta. We can rename them the Flames and can all get out all of our old red jerseys. We will embrace our hockey heritage. Guys like Dan Bouchard, Eric Vail, Tim Ecclestone, Bobby Simpson and Tom Lysiak – the guys who still call Atlanta home – should have a part in all this. Perhaps host a game between the Flames and Knights alumni. Be a part of a community – basically do the EXACT opposite of what Waddell has done. Model ourselves after the Wolves – in to win and forget about developing players for the bigs. Be an independent team – a home for the guys just barely not good enough for the NHL, and offer a great arena (Gwinnett) and a great place to call home. Sure, I will miss the NHL – but really…is coming in 25th-30th place in the NHL every year better than having a couple of AHL Calder Cup championships?

I can here it now – “Ladies and Gentlement – YOUR Atlantaaaaaa Flames!

Oh – and Chris…I will say in public that I apologize for ripping on you. You took the time to contact me personally to clear it up and give your side of the story…I respect that.

bananahead

May 19th, 2011
3:22 pm

so what is it that you don’t believe that DW said? You think a deal to keep the team here IS imminent? Or the fact that he was dealing with two and now just one? You think there was more than two? Or not less than one? Or… maybe you are just clueless and want to bash DW no matter what?
Don’t ever forget that DW ultimately answers to the owners, a litigation happy group.

Brett

May 19th, 2011
3:24 pm

waddell is negotiating whether they would be interested in a 15 or 20 year plan to slowly convert the thrashers into an all ECHL team

G52PIM228

May 19th, 2011
3:24 pm

NO WAY the NHL BoG put a team back in tiny Winnipeg, the Thrashers are as safe from relocation to Winnipeg as the Leafs are..

G52PIM228

May 19th, 2011
3:25 pm

“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.”

[...] Journal Constitution:  Down to one group negotiation to purchase the Thrashers.   Guess this is now True North’s contest to win or [...]

Tomahawk Chop the Atlanta Spirit Group!

May 19th, 2011
3:26 pm

If this town ever needed Tom Glavine to assume the role of CLOSER in order earn the biggest “Save” of the history of Atlanta, this would be it.

Kovy's Agent

May 19th, 2011
3:26 pm

What’s up with all the hating by locals? I can understand not liking hockey and thus not being emotionally invested in the ongoing negotiations, but why the open hatred and apparent glee that the franchise is likely moving from Atlanta? How does that reflect positively on the area, not to mention the negative economic impact on those who drew a paycheck from the organization that will likely be looking for another line of work soon? Seems awfully petty, and small minded to me.

DD

May 19th, 2011
3:27 pm

Where is Glavine and the big movie producer that want to keep the thrashers here, all talk no action. Also what about ted turner he wants them here. Be sad if they get purchased by canadians and now ATL unemployment rate is going to be even higher.

C-Viv aka Mr. Winnipeg

May 19th, 2011
3:27 pm

So is it just 90% chance we are moved now Mr. Winnipeg?

G52PIM228

May 19th, 2011
3:28 pm

The NHL BoG will probably have a little input as to the matter of placing a team in a small Canadian market when all the other Canadian small markets already lose money..

tim

May 19th, 2011
3:28 pm

DON”T BELIEVE ANYTHING DON WADDELL SAYS……..how does the man still have a job???

G52PIM228

May 19th, 2011
3:29 pm

Winnipeg’s battle cry, “We promise to lose less money if we even show up” is not changing the minds of many NHL governors..

Chris Vilapeg (Can't offically change last name yet)

May 19th, 2011
3:31 pm

My igloo is two stories! I have the entire second floor just to do my award winning reporting! Snow shoes are packed and a snow mobile has been ordered to get to and from the games. Winnipeg is going to love me. I’m already on the payroll! Did I say that out loud??

David F

May 19th, 2011
3:31 pm

G52PIM228, why the continuous hate on for the city of Winnipeg and it’s people? We are all here throwing back ideas and having cordial communcation and all we see from you is your vile comments and absoulutely nothing constructive. Can you not keep to the subject and offer something else?

G52PIM228

May 19th, 2011
3:32 pm

I’m sitting around at AZCentral, minding my own business and you loserpeg trolls came around bothering me, if you did not wish to engage in this battle.. Tell me then, WHY did YOU start it..

bananahead

May 19th, 2011
3:32 pm

well said, Kovy’s Agent.
The last thing a city needs is the idea that it doesn’t have local support for business. I would hate to lose any professional sports team, no matter how irrelevant the WNBA is. :)

Smoothie

May 19th, 2011
3:32 pm

“Don’t ever forget that DW ultimately answers to the owners, a litigation happy group.”

Therein lies the rub. Please folks take the time to think about what might really be going on here.

bananahead

May 19th, 2011
3:34 pm

G52 is wrong. The NHL will, and should, have a team in Winnepeg. The fans there would support it well. I just don’t want it to be our Thrashers.
But all we hear from Canada is how Atlanta, and the south, doesn’t DESERVE a hockey team. They fail to realize that without expansion into major markets, the NHL would be irrelevant today.
My biggest issue is when the media complains about the lack of interest because if they were doing THEIR job, the interest would be there. When local media does nothing but put out negative stories, how is interest going to be positive?

SportsFan

May 19th, 2011
3:35 pm

Get your facts straight G52 – the government in Winnipeg is not footing any bills for the team purchase or team debt. Just improvements around the arena and downtown.

glovesave29

May 19th, 2011
3:36 pm

David F – that’s not entirely true. We have put up with Winnipeg trolls for months trashing us. You may not be, but if you take the time to go back and read some of the postings – there are some pretty nasty comments made about Atlanta by Winnipeg fans. Now they are returning to “dance on our graves”….such class!

SportsFan

May 19th, 2011
3:36 pm

G52 is your classic hide behind the computer bully – doesn’t work man. Stick to AZ then if it works for you there. I guess you need to be successful in life somewhere…have fun.