Breaking News: Atlanta-Winnipeg Deal Done!

TSN is reporting that at 11AM central (noon eastern), True North Sports and Entertainment, along with Gary Bettman, will hold a press conference to announce the death of the Atlanta Thrashers, and the rebirth of the Winnipeg Jets.

It is expected that they will announce the sale of the Thrashers, pending 75% majority approval of the NHL Board of Governors of course, upon their next meeting on June 21st.

The Thrashers are all but officially done, and will not be playing in Atlanta next season. The surprising part of all of this? The new "Jets", or whatever the team ends up being called, will have to play their first games in the Eastern Conference, until the NHL can put forth a plan to re-align the divisions.

The logical moves would be to put them in the Northwest division with the three other Canadian teams in the Western Conference, move the Minnesota Wild to the Central Division, and either the Red Wings, Blue Jackets or Predators to the Southeast division.

But of course, all of that takes planning, and the schedule for next season is probably already made. Switching teams between divisions would complicate things, so the Jets (and the rest of the Southeast and Eastern teams to a lesser extent) will have to make the sacrifice for a year to get this done.

One thing's for sure, this is huge news in the hockey world, and very exciting for any fan of hockey outside of the few in Atlanta.

Many questions will be raised over the next few days and weeks, including who will run the team. Will True North keep Rick Dudley, Craig Ramsay, and all the rest on the staff or will they put their own people in right off the bat? How will the players react to moving North? How will Winnipeg factor into free agency, trading, and the draft?

It's been a while since we've had relocation, especially one with so much public attention. So there will definitely be a lot to talk about over the next little while. Keep an eye on TCL for continued coverage as details are made available.

Prax

10 Comments

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

First of all don't rename the team the Jets. That already failed. I'd go with the Generals because of the Winnipeg General Strike. Second, I'm bout to bet my life that DET/CBJ won't be in the southeast (Nashville isn't going anywhere as DET/CBJ are only West teams in the Eastern time zone), it just doesn't make sense. I'm thinking DET/CBJ to northeast, Boston to the Atlantic (imagine Boston-Philly rivalry) and the Devils to the Southeast. Demographically it makes more sense. Congrats to Winnipeg though, hopefully it doesn't fail this time.

Chuck Gaston Jr's picture

Congrats to the fans of Mannitoba. Name them the Moose!

George Prax's picture

Demographically, the only thing that makes sense is moving Nashville. I don't see how you can move New Jersey... they're literally a drive away from two other teams and have established rivalries with both New York teams, in fact, at times fierce rivalries. You have to keep those three teams together, and there's no way Philly or Pittsburgh accepts a move. The Northeast is geographically locked as well as none of the Canadian teams or Boston are moving, and Buffalo is too close to Toronto, so the only solution is to play with the Southeast.

And honestly, I think that's the only reason they didn't announce the move. The obvious choice is Nashville, but Detroit and Columbus want/need it more, so they're going to have to take their time with this.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

I saw some really messed up ideas from some people, so I like yours better lol. Like a North South Conference...like the Civil War? Not gonna work

George Prax's picture
Kyle Andrew Busch wrote:

I saw some really messed up ideas from some people, so I like yours better lol. Like a North South Conference...like the Civil War? Not gonna work

How about... NORTH AMERICA VERSUS THE WORLD!!!! Shock Shock Shock Shock Shock Shock

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture
George Prax wrote:
Kyle Andrew Busch wrote:

I saw some really messed up ideas from some people, so I like yours better lol. Like a North South Conference...like the Civil War? Not gonna work

How about... NORTH AMERICA VERSUS THE WORLD!!!! Shock Shock Shock Shock Shock Shock

That all star game format was awesome. i mean they played to win, who cares if you lose the conference all star game?

Jonathan Szekeres's picture

Team name should be the Moose. just sayin.

Hopefully the team will work this time around. They appear to have strong ownership, as well as the potential to sell out each and every night (something Bettman said had to happen for this thing to work)

I think the future is bright. I also gotta think that this opens the door for Southern Ontario to get a team in the near future.

Also, not sure if you mentioned it because I just skimmed your article, but Don Waddell will not be staying with the team if this is approved.

George Prax's picture
Jonathan Szekeres wrote:

Team name should be the Moose. just sayin.

Hopefully the team will work this time around. They appear to have strong ownership, as well as the potential to sell out each and every night (something Bettman said had to happen for this thing to work)

I think the future is bright. I also gotta think that this opens the door for Southern Ontario to get a team in the near future.

Also, not sure if you mentioned it because I just skimmed your article, but Don Waddell will not be staying with the team if this is approved.

Well, Bettman is anti-Canada and the only reason they moved to Winnipeg is because they literally had no other choice and the Atlanta ownership suddenly gave up on them. He nearly flat out told Quebec City to fuck off at the press conference. And for some reason the only way Winnipeg succeeds is if they sell out every game. Bettman would rather have a team losing tens of millions in the south than a profitable team in the North... makes what kyle said a little more realistic about North vs. South, because that's pretty much what it is.

Chuck Gaston Jr's picture

"Well, Bettman is anti-Canada"

Bettman isn't anti-Canada, he is just a moron!

George Prax's picture
Chuck Gaston Jr wrote:

"Well, Bettman is anti-Canada"

Bettman isn't anti-Canada, he is just a moron!

Well, people who are anti-Canada are stupid, so there you go Wink