The latest batch of rumors in the Atlanta Thrashers-to-Winnipeg story indicates that the deal might be made official on Tuesday. The Canadian Press notes that Thursday would be the next possible day for an announcement since Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals kicks off on Wednesday. The Canadian Press also reports that lawyers on Winnipeg’s side have already agreed to the deal while lawyers for Atlanta’s side are “doing their due diligence today.” Nick Kypreos is among the other sources who are claiming that an announcement could come Tuesday, “barring any last minute changes.”
Of course, these reports are far from official, so take all of this with a grain of salt as usual.
Speaking of things you should take with a grain of salt, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that a last second group (referred to only as a “filmmaker” who might be a season ticket holder) showed some interest in keeping the Thrashers in Atlanta. That possible new suitor stepped forward on Thursday, according to Chris Vivlamore. Here is what Thrashers team president Don Waddell told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution about the rumored potential new local group.
“Along with all other groups who have expressed an interest in pursuing an ownership opportunity, which has happened as recently as earlier this week, we have said continuously that ‘until an agreement is signed and approved by the board of governors, it’s never too late but they will have to move very quickly and decisively. Ownership still is committed to selling at a greatly reduced price to anyone committed to Atlanta.’ ”
Naturally, the biggest question is what that “greatly reduced price” would be. Most reports imply that True North will bring the Thrashers to Winnipeg for $170 million, with $60 million going to the NHL’s relocation fee. Doing the simple math, that means that someone could keep the team local for $110 million, but would the Atlanta Spirit Group actually take less to avoid relocation? Considering their alleged $130 million in losses, it’s hard to imagine the ownership group taking less than what they can get, but we’ll just need to wait and see.
As always, we’ll keep you updated.