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article imageReport: Atlanta Thrashers move announcement imminent

By Luke Vermeer     May 31, 2011 in Sports
CBC Sports, TSN and Rogers Sportsnet are all reporting that the Atlanta Thrashers will be officially moving to Winnipeg as early as tomorrow morning.
The deal has been in the works for weeks now and many have speculated that it was close to completion for some time now. Thus far in the proceedings there has been no official word from any of the parties involved but CBC reports that True North Sports and Entertainment, the group attempting to buy the Thrashers, is informing media outlets to be ready for an announcement at some point early Tuesday.
The Thrashers have been in financial turmoil for quite some time now. Atlanta Spirit, the group that currently owns the Thrashers, reports that they have lost over $150 million since 2005. The team averaged only 13,469 fans per home game which ranked 28th in the NHL.
The team history on the ice is just as spotty as the financial history. Since joining the league in 1999 the team made the playoffs only once losing in four games.
The return to Winnipeg will mark the third time that the NHL has returned to a market that they had previously been forced to leave. The first city to hold this distinction was Atlanta which now has the dubious honor of being the only city where NHL hockey has failed twice. The Atlanta Flames spent eight seasons in the NHL from 1972-1980 before leaving the city for Calgary. The other market is Minneapolis-St. Paul which hosted the North Stars from 1967-1993 and currently hosts the Wild.
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