Monday, May 30, 2011
Winnipeg Jets Announcement Imminent
Link as seen on CBC.ca
Hockey fans anxious for word that the NHL is returning to Winnipeg could soon get good news.
CBC News has been told by True North Sports and Entertainment to have technical people ready to set up possibly late Monday for something early Tuesday.
True North has been in negotiations with Atlanta Spirit, the owners of the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers, to move the franchise to Winnipeg. But until now neither organization has hinted a deal was close.
Paul Jordan, chief operating officer at The Forks, told CBC News he has been told to have the popular meeting place ready for a party on Tuesday.
Jordan said he'll be given four hours official notice but he is already getting everything ready, trying to prepare for something spontaneous.
"That's exactly what we're dealing with. So we've got talent on hold, we've got you know, the stage on hold, we've got television screens on hold, and we've got DJs on hold. We'll put something together," he said.
The buzz on the Twitter universe Monday reflected the speculation that a formal announcement was near, with some pinpointing the time as 10 a.m. CT on Tuesday.
As well, two of Canada's largest sports networks — TSN and Sportsnet — reported the deal is as good as done.
"The Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg situation has narrowed to a point where it's quite possible there could be an announcement as early as Tuesday," stated TSN.
"Lawyers on the Winnipeg side have signed off on the deal and the Atlanta legal team is doing their due diligence today. If they sign off on the deal, the sale will go through, pending league approval.
"If there is no announcement Tuesday, the next likely target would be Thursday."
The report on Sportsnet.ca was nearly identical, stating: "A formal announcement will likely be made on Tuesday that the Atlanta Thrashers are moving to Winnipeg."
Tuesday has been cited as an ideal day because it comes just before the puck drops for the start of the Stanley Cup final series between Vancouver and Boston.
Hundreds of hockey fans converged at Winnipeg's famed downtown intersection of Portage and Main on May 19 after the Globe and Mail initially reported an agreement had been struck.
Since then, speculation has been rampant as to when an announcement might come and it reached a point last week where feverish fans reported seeing NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in the city.
But every sudden spike in expectation has been followed by an equally sudden silence.
Take anything Sportsnet says with a grain of salt, as they said the Coyotes were actually done and they weren't. Still, if Dreger says it, then it's true. :)
Here we go!