All I want to do is write something about the Blues. I've had it up to here with the leaking BS from the sinking Thrashers ship - each piece of flotsam more frustrating than the first. I'm fairly tired of people saying that it's Atlanta's fault that the team left, when you have Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien both saying ownership sucked. I just wanted to write a post today about a giant blue pantsless rat walking in the Komen 5K in St. Louis, but hell. That post'd probably get comments on it from 12 year old 'Peggers about how St. Louis doesn't deserve hockey or some such bullshit like that, so why not write something about the Thrashers and how shady the deal was?
Bettman said that they couldn't find any local interested owners. Gearon said that the people that they had offering bids "couldn't afford season tickets."
Someone should mention that last line to Global Wellington Financial Corp. and Oriana Capital Partners, because they sounds like they can afford tons of season tickets. Heck, they sound like they can afford all three Atlanta Spirit properties - the Hawks, Thrashers, and Philips Arena. They placed a bid for $500 million for all three on May 20th, and apparently weren't taken seriously. Now they're back again, trying for the Hawks and Philips. Why you'd want to deal with the Atlanta Spirit more than once is beyond me, unless these guys really want a basketball team that badly.
Perhaps $500 million was considered too low for all three, and that's why they turned the deal down. It's funny, though, because it was still a legit bid. No mention of if due diligence was done or if any good faith negotiations were entered in to with this group. According to 36.1 (c) of the NHL By-Laws, they specifically state:
(d) Whether the present owner of the Club has made a good faith effort to find prospective purchases who are prepared to continue operating the Club in its present location and/or has engaged in good faith negotiations with such prospective purchasers.
Um, cam someone point me anywhere that the ASG has actually tried to enter into real, actual negotiations with anyone? I'm probably jumping the gun until more details of this whole thing comes out, but we're going to have a hell of a time digging our way out of this snow job by the time all is said and done.
But, of course, all of this incompetence is because of the fact that Atlanta doesn't deserve hockey.
EDIT: WSBTV has a source - who is unnamed (of course) but close to ASG who is saying that the USA Today report is false. Time for another episode of "Conflicting Reports With Atlanta And National Press!" If you don't understand why ATL fans are frustrated, I really hope that this helps.
500 million does sound a bit low for two franchises plus the arena but none the less it is a legitimate offer. This however does undoubtedly sound like they ignored a legitimate offer. So I guess we will find out how much the NHL believes in its own laws It should get interesting
It’s obvious (although not reported by any of the hockey media) that True North played hardball with the NHL and their relocation fee. True North told Bettman & Company that the $60M was available as long as they had a team playing in Winnipeg in October 2011. Thus, when the City of Glendale ponied up the $25M, it became important to the NHL to move the Thrashers to Winnipeg right away.
Efforts to find a local buyer in Atlanta be damned. NHL By-laws be damned. Bettman’s famous “covenant with the fans” be damned. Moral and ethical concerns be damned.
The efforts to avoid relocation that lasted years in other cities would last exactly 1 millisecond in Atlanta. As soon as Glendale decided it was worth $25M more taxpayer dollars to keep the team one more year, Atlanta’s fate was sealed as True North was not willing to wait another year and still pay the hefty relocation fee. The three weeks between the City of Glendale vote and the announcement of the Thrashers relocation was just to try and deflect criticism. The deal was already done.
Everything has a price. In the NHL, the price of integrity is $2M per team, which in the end is a sad commentary on the league.