(Need a rundown of some of the stories revolving around the Thrashers’ potential relocation? We have you covered. Click here for last night’s often-denied big report. Read all about Winnipeg hockey fans celebrating the relocation before it was made official. Want to know something disturbing? The Atlanta Spirit group is still selling tickets to Thrashers games. Finally, here are Joe’s five thoughts and your opportunity to vote on what Winnipeg’s name could be.)
Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz was adamant that the Atlanta Thrashers would be the more likely target even when all the buzz surrounded the Phoenix Coyotes returning to their original home. Now he’s saying that it’s only a matter of time before that Thrashers deal gets done, although he noted that nothing is official just yet, according to The Canadian Press.
Mayor Sam Katz said the deal to bring an NHL team back to Winnipeg is going to happen. There is an understanding the deal will move forward but nothing is signed, sealed and delivered yet, he said.
Katz said he’s been in touch with Winnipeg’s True North Sports and Entertainment, the company negotiating the sale, and has been told there is nothing official — yet.
“I do believe this will happen and it’s long overdue,” Katz said in an interview. “The Jets never should have left here . . . After 15 years, we’ll all be ecstatic to have them back. There is no doubt that the fan base is there. The corporate support is there.”
“This is a very different Winnipeg than it was 15 years ago,” Katz said.
If you believe Katz, we’ll find out if this “different” Winnipeg can support an NHL team the second time around soon enough.