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SBD/June 2, 2011/Franchises
True North Sells 1,870 Season Tickets During First Day of Sales For Winnipeg Franchise
Published June 2, 2011
DEAL RAMIFICATIONS: Thrashers President Don Waddell said that though True North has not "rechristened the team yet, they did not purchase the rights to the Thrashers' name as part of the deal." Waddell: "They bought the assets of the company, excluding name and logo. That remains with our ownership group, Atlanta Spirit." In Atlanta, Tim Tucker notes True North "plans to announce the team's new name in the coming weeks," and options "include Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose and Winnipeg or Manitoba Falcons." Meanwhile, Waddell said that he "won't be moving to Winnipeg." He also said that he "thought the Thrashers 'were off the table for moving this year' until an unexpected deal three weeks ago to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Arizona for another season." That deal "led the Winnipeg group to instead pursue the money-losing Thrashers for immediate relocation" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/2). In Winnipeg, Paul Friesen reports NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman approached True North Chair Mark Chipman "about taking over the Coyotes in time for the 2009-10 season." Chipman in May '10 also "quietly flew to New York, where he spent an entire week hammering out a deal with the league," and Chipman said the two sides "had basically come to an agreement in principle." But Glendale decided to "bail out the team for a year." Chipman added when Glendale "acquired another year" last month, True North execs "immediately skipped tracks and were presented with the Atlanta opportunity" (WINNIPEG SUN, 6/2).
NEWFOUND HOME FOR AHL MOOSE: In Newfoundland, Brendan McCarthy reports former Newfoundland & Labrador Premier Danny Williams yesterday announced that he had "reached an agreement to have the AHL's Manitoba Moose relocate" to St. John's for the '11-12 season. Williams will "lease the club over a four- or five-year term from True North Sports and Entertainment, which has operated the Moose in Winnipeg for the past 15 years." The deal is "still subject to approval" by the AHL BOG, but "no one is expecting that to be a roadblock." St. John's City Council "must also approve the deal." McCarthy notes the deal marks the return of AHL hockey to St. John's "after an absence of six years" (St. John's TELEGRAM, 6/2).