Jetting back north

It is official. The announcement that the Atlanta Thrashers had been sold by the Atlanta Spirit Group to True North Sports and Entertainment took place yesterday at noon. True North has every intention to move the team to Winnipeg, despite the fact that the Thrashers were still selling season tickets at 11:00 AM, Tuesday.

This is not an official logo. But like New Coke, the New Jets need a face.

I am on the fence as to what this deal means for the NHL, hockey fans in Winnipeg and hockey fans in the United States. Atlanta shouldn’t have to suffer through losing a franchise. It is the second time they lost a hockey team, maybe the NHL should have kept that in mind when they awarded the franchise to Atlanta in 1999. Still, the few dedicated fans they have don’t need to lose their team. Still, the franchise was poorly run and suffered from day one. Continue reading

Thrash on the move? Atlanta in talks with True North

The eyes of Winnipeg are affixed firmly on the Atlanta Thrashers. After the City of Glendale dropped an additional $25 million to keep the Coyotes for another season, the Winnipeg spotlight turned east.

The Coyotes are safe for another season and the Thrashers are drowning in debt. So much so that their owner is looking high and low for prospective buyers. However, most sources have identified True North Sports and Entertainment as the group that will step in to purchase the Thrashers. Now it appears as if it is only a matter of time before hockey returns to Winnipeg.

This entire situation is tough to digest. On one hand I thought the poetic justice would have been perfect had Phoenix gone back north. Not to mention the fact that the Coyotes are struggling so much in the desert. I also have  a similar opinion on the Thrashers. They have no fan support and are just draining money from the league, it is time for a change. However, you hate to see any of the 30 teams struggling, no matter how silly their location is.

So, as Winnipeg prepares to embrace the return of the NHL I feel at ease with the situation. It is a city that should never have lost their team to begin with and well suited to support an NHL franchise (at least from a fan perspective). The lack of corporate sponsors is an issue, but I hope it is something that can be overcome. If hockey is to return to Manitoba, I am ready to applaud the move. The next question is, who fills the vacant spot in the east? Continue reading