Atlanta Thrashers Moving to Winnipeg

By Chad Bennett for
On Tuesday, the deal was finalized that would move the struggling NHL franchise Thrashers to Winnipeg next season.  Several attempts to keep the Thrashers in Atlanta were made but none of the offers on the table were serious.Co-owner Michael Gearon said:

“I’ve been focused on trying to avoid this day, I spent time with possible investors going back four years ago, because I was concerned this day would come. I made a desperate plea in February. Unfortunately, that didn’t lead to any real prospects. To be sitting here today is just awful for me.”

The deal is estimated to be worth $170 million, including a $60 million relocation fee that will be split by the rest of the league, a source told’s Pierre LeBrun.

After 12 unsuccessful seasons with only one playoff appearance, financial problems due to attendance have hindered the Atlanta Thrashers in previous years. Thrashers averaged less than 14,000 attendees a game.

The 2011-12 will be the start for the newly acquired team. The new team could be known as the Jets but a decision on the team name has not been finalized. Although in a different region, they will be playing in the Southeast.Information from

The Associated Press and contributed to this report.

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