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The Toronto Globe and Mail is reporting the on-again/off-again, on-again/off-again, on-again sale of the beleaguered Atlanta Thrashers to True North Holdings in Winnipeg is not only on again, but done...and has been done for some time.
If you don't believe us, read Stephen Brunt's story RIGHT HERE
Your counter story from Tim Tucker of AJC.com RIGHT HERE
From Tucker's report, quoting Gary Bettman from his Thursday night radio show: "We get reports, speculation, that the team's gone. And there's no deal," Bettman said. "I can tell you that with certainty that there is no deal for this team to move. Am I predicting that there will never be or that there won't be at some point in time? No, I'm not saying there is or there isn't.
Before we jump to conclusions, we'll report the other side of this by saying that the "Experts" are saying some conflicting things.
Kevin Allen of USA Today said "It's not done" but then qualified it later by saying "Yet"
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com said "Just spoke to True North, they say deal is not done yet, talks continue."
What sayeth you? Are you growing as tired of this as we (well, actually me--Jon loves this story) are? Do you care anymore?
Is there really anyone in Atlanta who is going to step in and stop this? No, we think that time has finally passed. We'd like to think someone will step in at the last minute and save them, but that looks less likely by the day. Smart money is saying that if it isn't done...or moving forward by this time next week, they are gone.
Part of our interest is our knowledge of the Thrashers and many of the people employed by them. And also the crapped upon hockey fans in the city of Atlanta who will never have a professional hockey team located there again.
But enough is enough, if they are going to go, then just do it already. Don't continue dragging this out by saying "It's done" and "No, it's not done". Because to be honest with you NHL and Gary Bettman, we are feeling a "LeBron James--Decision" moment coming and that would really suck!
2200 UPDATE: Brunt is reporting that preparations for an announcement are being set for Tuesday... but, of course, if the deal wobbles that could be pushed back...