Thursday, May 19, 2011

Attention Atlanta: Bettman says Not so fast my friends

Gary Bettman/Courtesy:
((ht: 1040am))

We've reported at length about the trials and tribulations of the wayward Atlanta Thrashers and their...according to all reports, inevitable move to Winnipeg, Canada.

Well, late Wednesday night, the Bettman (Comm. Gary Bettman), spoke. He told Team-1040 Radio in Vancouver that "There has been so much speculation". "How many people in your line of work were reporting the Coyotes were going to Winnipeg? Where is that coming from? It's made up. It didn't happen. The minute the Coyotes made it clear they're staying, we're on to Atlanta."

That being said, he did not deny the reports True North Entertainment is discussing a purchase with the Thrashers, saying "True North is going about their business and taking a businesslike approach. We are pleased with that, but there is nothing to report. I never say never about anything. There is no deal right now."

Interesting. We've already told you about the "Allegedly Mysterious" JB Smith, called "The Balkan" by an Atlanta area radio host and allegedly interested in purchasing the Thrashers along with the Hawks and the arena. Unfortunately, the deeper we and everyone else digs on Mr. Smith, there seems to be quite a few red flags being raised. The NHL probably will not look kindly at someone being sued for $1.9 million. Just sayin'.

Others have reportedly stepped up or are at least interested. And while True North has a decided financial advantage, they have to wait their turn. The league is obligated to allow local groups to be vetted first in this process. Whether or not a group throws their name in the hat and can pass the test, remains to be seen. But as The Bettman insinuates, the Thrashers may or may not move, either way, that decision isn't happening for awhile.

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