OT - Globe and Mail reporting Atlanta Thrashers relocating to Winnipeg is done deal.

Submitted by clarkiefromcanada on May 19th, 2011 at 11:44 PM

The Globe and Mail's Stephen Brunt is reporting that the Atlanta Thrashers will be relocating to the capital of Manitoba and that the devil himself, Gary Bettman, will be in Winnipeg to make the announcement on Tuesday. All I can say is "hooray!" 

Currently, there are a high volume of denials from Bettman, Bill Daly et al. from the NHL's "brain trust". Next up, a team for Hamilton and Quebec City.




May 19th, 2011 at 11:51 PM ^

Only reason I can see for keeping the Red Wings in the west would be to have another "Original Six" team in the west, and therefore have the possibility of having orginal six matchups in the Stanley Cup Finals.


May 19th, 2011 at 11:54 PM ^

In the Tampa Bay area, "we" are always glad to see any fanbase in Georgia suffer.  It's sorta like if Columbus lost their NHL team.  Well, almost.  Columbus actually deserves to have the Blue Jackets stay because they aren't very good.


May 19th, 2011 at 11:55 PM ^

Denied by TSN and ESPN, but it's probably only a matter of time before it happens. Of course, that's what everyone thought about Phoenix. Still, hoping it happens and that the Wings move east in two years, since they can't move next year.

Real Tackles Wear 77

May 20th, 2011 at 12:18 AM ^

While I am definitely in favor of relocating as many Southern US NHL teams as possible to Canada, I'm not sure Quebec City should be one of the cities considered. As I remember, high amongst the reasons for their move (aside from losing money obviously) was the fact that Quebec is mostly a French-only city, in contrast with Montreal which is almost entirely bilingual. The nostalgic in me wants the Nordiques back, but other, larger Canadian markets seem more feasible.


May 20th, 2011 at 1:31 AM ^

What on earth kind of logic is that?  Players "being cool with" having a team in Quebec would have zero correlation with whether that team can make money and survive.

And that poll limited the question to "which Canadian city should the NHL expand to?"  No, that's not a loaded question, is it?

And given that Edmonton received 20% of the vote of "which team would you not want to play for" does that mean Edmonton should lose the Oilers?


May 20th, 2011 at 2:48 AM ^

Because Quebec City is largely monolingual, the Nordiques were never able to make much inroads into the Anglophone market. This limits the amount of money the Nordiques can make from media rights, which is a big problem as Quebec City would easily be the smallest market in the NHL anyway.


May 20th, 2011 at 3:05 AM ^

I don't think it was linguistic issues.  Montreal is a French-speaking city. Just about everyone in Canada can speak English, but in many parts of Quebec people speak French as their first language, and Montreal is definitely one of them.  When we went on there on our honeymoon, I was really surprised, it's like 99.9% French speakers. Other people speaking English were almost always visitors like us.  If one lived there and did not speak French they would probably have a difficult time socializing as their presence would force everyone into English mode and as it is not a novel language to them, it's not something they necessarily enjoy doing.  What I mean is, any sort of social/linguistic issues that might pop up with the players would be just as present in Montreal as they would be in Quebec City, is my opinion.

edit: I looked it up, and I'm going to post it here because it's late and I'm high and I think this is interesting.

In terms of mother language (first language learned), the 2006 census reported that in the Greater Montreal Area, 66.5% spoke French as a first language, followed by English at 13.2%, while 0.8% spoke both as a first language.[78] The remaining 22.5% of Montreal-area residents are allophones, speaking languages including Italian (3.5%), Arabic (3.1%), Spanish (2.6%), Creole (1.3%), Chinese (1.2%), Greek (1.2%), Portuguese (0.8%), Romanian (0.7%), Vietnamese (0.7%), and Russian (0.5%). (Wikipedia)


Mr Miggle

May 20th, 2011 at 4:02 AM ^

It's a lot different than Montreal for English speakers, as is most of Quebec. also from wiki

While Montreal is considered by many to have a bilingual population, in which many of its residents have a working knowledge of both French and English, Quebec City and its surrounding region are largely Francophone. The vast majority of city residents are native French-speakers. The English-speaking community peaked in relative terms during the 1860s, when 40% of Quebec City's residents were Anglophone.[12] Today, Anglophones make up only 1.5% of the population of both the city and its metropolitan area.

Blue in Yarmouth

May 20th, 2011 at 8:14 AM ^

I can say most of what is being said is true. Quebec City is almost entirely french. What annoys me most is that because of Quebec (the province) Canada decided to make itself a bilingual country. Everything has to be french and english and if you can't speak both languages, it is definitely a detriment to you when trying to get a job. That much I can live with. What pisses me off is when you go to Quebec they will almost flat out refuse to communicate with you in english. When they leave Quebec for the rest of Canada, they refuse to communicate in English (and fair enough, some may not know the language) so the everyone has to speak with them in French. 

I don't have an issue with bilingualism so long as it goes both ways, but it Canada it doesn't and it is a bit of a thorn in my side. 

Having said ALL that, I would love to see a team back in Quebec city for purely selfish reasons. I am a Montreal fan and have badly missed the rivalry between the two. 


May 20th, 2011 at 12:30 AM ^

The Jets' logo, name, and color scheme are currently part of the Phoenix Coyotes franchise...which is currently owned by the NHL. In theory, the True North company, that is trying to buy the Atlanta franchise can attempt to buy those trademarks from the NHL and use them again.

Whether the NHL allows this (I doubt it since Bettman really sucks and would find a way to deny this) or Ture North even tries to buy the trademarks is to be determined.


May 20th, 2011 at 12:25 AM ^

every other major outlet started to deny it...which was a bit of a downer. It looks like it is only a matter of time before this happens...which is awesome. However, it will be a half downer if the franchise does not acquire the Jets' name, logos, and colors from the NHL. Manitoba Moose (the option for the franchise if it does not acquire the trademark) just does not sound right IMO for an NHL team in Winnipeg


May 20th, 2011 at 12:31 AM ^

First, move them where?  They wouldn't get moved to the Southeast, and there is nobody to move out of the Northeast or Atlantic without splitting up the New York area teams or the Pennsylvania teams, which I don't think would be wise.

Second, there is a much more natural team to move into the Southeast in Nashville, which aligns better with southern teams like Carolina and the Florida duo than with the midwest.

Third, while flying across four time zones is murder during the playoffs, the Wings fit well in the midwestern Central Division with long-time rivalries against Chicago and St. Louis and a burgeoning rivalry with Columbus.

More likely, I see three options, none of which involve moving the Wings:

1. Winnipeg to NW, Minnesota to Central, Nashville to SE

2. Winnipeg to NW, Colorado to Pacific, Dallas to Central, Nashville to SE

3. Winnipeg to NW, Colorado to Pacific, Dallas to SE.

Personally, I would go with 1, which minimizes moves, is a better fit for all three teams, and brings back most of the old Norris cities.

Picktown GoBlue

May 20th, 2011 at 2:12 AM ^

Agreed they probably won't split up the PA teams, but at least getting CBJ in the Southeast would help attendance and interest with more visits from the Pens and Washington (to say nothing of the boost from their historical record against the Eastern Conf).  Add in the same motivations for the Wings (travel time/expenses, practice time), and it could be a franchise-saving move.  Before that happens, though, needs some front office improvement, though...

Fat Mike

May 20th, 2011 at 12:52 AM ^

Good for hockey I guess, bad for me because the one times year the wings come down here to at the thrashers I won't be able to see them


May 20th, 2011 at 2:08 PM ^

Those talking about the Sonics leaving are completely uninformed about what happened.  As soon as they were sold to Clay Bennett they were going to Oklahoma City.  It could have been almost any NBA team he bought, it happened to be the Sonics.  Easily could have been the Kings, the Hornets, etc.

Seattle would be a perfect city for hockey, especially without an NBA team.  They'd have a natural rival in Vancouver, the city's populace would support them (they support soccer), and they already support the Thunderbirds, if I remember.  


Move the Panthers to Seattle, the Thrashers to Winnipeg and put the Wings and Blackhawks into the East. 

Musket Rebellion

May 20th, 2011 at 6:08 AM ^

Of the teams in the US that need to either move or be disbanded (Phoenix, Atlanta, Florida, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Any of the 3 Cali teams) Atlanta is far and away the least successful. 1 playoff trip in 11 years? Let them move to Winnipeg or Quebec City. The real change needs to be bring back the Whalers and let the Wild be called the North Stars. 

Hartford? The Whale? They only beat Vancouver once, maybe twice in a lifetime. 


May 20th, 2011 at 8:31 AM ^

Atlanta won their division that one year, then got swept out of the first round as a 3 seed.  So I agree they have been a huge joke.  Florida has the longest streak of missing the playoffs though, I think it's 10 or 11 years now.  Can't really call the Wild the North Stars, since the Stars still exist.   And why would you say any of the Cali teams should move?  Or Tampa Bay, or Carolina?  I don't think any of those teams should go anywhere.   

Musket Rebellion

May 20th, 2011 at 1:45 PM ^

I think calling Minnesota the North Stars while Dallas remains the Stars could create an interesting rivalry with two claims to the lineage of a once proud franchise. Plus, let's face it, since the collapse of the Detroit/Colorado rivalry the NHL doesn't have a rivalry it can pin a face to. Washington/Pittsburgh was close, but I don't think it ever really revved up because it was largely a player vs player rivalry. No, I'm not saying that there aren't rivalries in hockey, but there aren't any that a casual observer will know enough to see a game on tv and know that those two teams hate each other. 


May 20th, 2011 at 11:07 AM ^

The NHL has already pissed on any realignment this year. If Atlanta does move to Winnepeg, the they will stil play in the southeast. The reasoning is that although the Phoenix situation is solved for now, if they can't get that francise on sound footing within a year, will the city of Glendale pony up another 25 million? If they don't, the early talk is relocating them to Quebec City and at that point, they just swap divisions. Detroit, Nashville, or Columbus would stay where they are.