Yup. I'm distinctly feeling Winnipeg is but a pawn in all these negotiations for the NHL. It's a perfect setup with a fanbase that was "wronged" by the NHL, will support the team. New ownership, new (albeit smallish) arena, good situation for revenue. Helps out some of the league alignment, it's all good right?
Meh. I think I'm just tired of it. Make the deal and let me know when it happens.
I will say the same people I know that are closer to the True North group say it's a go. They said last year we'd have a team by fall of 2011. They also hinted strongly about the Coyotes, though I guess that did look positive for a while.
As for what the league is or isn't doing with the Thrashers vs. Coyotes, it's an entirely different scenario IMO. Coyotes at least have Glendale city council footing the bill for a portion of the losses, so that's something. But people forget the owner of that team is the NHL and they can do as they like. The last owner declared bankruptcy and left the league holding the bag. The Atlanta ownership group is still there and sees huge potential in selling the team to Winnipeg because there seemingly is no one wanting to own it in Atlanta. They get $100 million for their troubles and the league pockets $60 million in transfer fees. That's not appealing to the board of governors? That offsets a ton of the Coyotes losses right there. Is the league doing nothing for Atlanta? Maybe, but really they did everything for the Coyotes because they own the Coyotes.
There is also the part of me that will not forget that Bettman would look really bad taking the Yotes back to Winnipeg and tucking his tail between his legs. If Atlanta goes, he'll play it up as taking back a team to a market where there always should have been a team. But no egg on his face with the Manitoba Falcons, unlike the Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets.
Lastly I'll be happy if it is the Thrashers. I like the team as it is, they should get some good draft picks going forward and we won't have to call the team the Jets. Though I think the league will allow them to use the Jets jersey as a retro/third jersey.