Is there a For Sale sign posted up in Thrasherville’s front yard? Well, according to John Kincade, co-host of the Buck and Kincade Show air weekday afternoons on the Thrashers flagship station 680AM the Fan, the answer is “yes”.
Last Thursday he made it known on on-air that he is quite certain that the Atlanta Spirit, LLC will field offers from interested parties who are willing to purchase Atlanta’s NHL franchise. And he expects this to happen sometime in the next couple of weeks.
Obviously, this type of announcement is bound to raise an eyebrow or two around the Thrasherville community. Sure, it’s been known for some time that the group of eight owners of the Thrashers, Hawks and Philips Arena have bee actively seeking offers to join them…but selling off the Thrashers alone? Well, that’s an interesting bit-o-news.
Recently, I caught up with Kincade and asked him about his assertion that the Thrashers may soon be under new management.
“A am confident in saying that the Atlanta Spirit is fielding offers to just sell the Thrashers”, Kincade told me. “I expect them to receive an offer on the team in the month of July”.
As for what type of offer and whom it may come from, he could not comment on. But he did add, “The group that will make the offer is not the only one that is preparing potential bids”.
Now, every time these types of stories make their way around the NHL blogosphere, many jump to the conclusion that any proposed sale of the team brings with it the possibility of relocation. This stems from the fact that hockey fans in the area have already felt the heartache of losing a team thirty years ago. That, plus our good friends from Canada love to jump on stories such as this and insist that it will led to the franchise making their way up north. So it’s understandable way any such news of a reported pending sale is greeted with a certain amount of anxiety among the Thrashers faithful.
But Kincade points out that these fears are unfounded here.
“It is 100% my belief that [the AS. LLC] would only be interested in selling the Thrasher if the buyer was intent on keeping the team in Atlanta”.
The reason being…if the Spirit boys are able to sell the Thrashers, then they would see a good deal of cash put in their pocket from the transaction. However, they would not want to lose any money that would continue to flow into their cauffers in the way of rent.
As Kincade explains, “The current ownership would benefit financially from the cash influx of the sale of the team and being the landlord to the team for 41 home games a year”.
So, it’s still in the interest of the AS, LLC to have the Thrashers remain even if they are able to sell them.
And while such a scenario would not play to the wishes of the “make it seven” types to our north, it would actually be a positive turn of events for Thrasherville, I believe. If indeed the Thrashers were sold alone…separate from the Hawks and Philips Arena… then they would have an ownership that were not constantly having to decide how to divvy up capital between two different sports franchises. Their loyalties would be with the Thrashers and the Thrashers alone.
Also…and let’s be honest with one another here…the AS, LLC has been about as dysfunctional of an ownership group as can be imagined since they took over in 2004. Of course it’s tough to do a lot of good when most of one’s time and money are spent locked in a court case with 1/8 of the ownership group.
And while the infighting of the team’s ownership may not be the sole factor in why so many high-profile players have opted to bolt for the door the first time they had a chance… it certainly hasn’t helped, that’s for sure.
Either way…it’s just been un-good with those eight sitting at the top of Thrasherville’s totem pole.
As such, any sale of the team that rids the team of The Great Octocluster and keeps them in Atlanta would be welcome news indeed for me.