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Cool your jets: Thrashers sale likely won't happen this week

Sources say talks may drag into next week

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Don’t call in sick Thursday with the intention of getting your party on after news of the NHL’s return to Winnipeg breaks.

Friday might see you at your desk as well.

Sources tell the Free Press that negotiations between True North Sports and Entertainment, Atlanta Spirit Group and the NHL have not reached a conclusion and at this point no news conference has been scheduled.

True North is attempting to purchase the Atlanta Thrashers and relocate them to Winnipeg. Details about the sticking points in negotiations are unknown but if they can’t be cleared up quickly this deal will drag into next week.

Monday is a holiday in the U.S., meaning no access to banks to consumate a deal if one is reached.

If there’s no progress in short order, Tuesday is the earliest date a sale could close and that would mean a news conference would be held next Wednesday. Any announcement will be of a conditional sale and the beginning of a ticket drive to test the marketplace.

True North is planning a ticket drive to see if Winnipeg is prepared to pay NHL prices for NHL hockey and provide confidence to the NHL board prior to it voting to approve the sale and relocation of the Thrashers.

True North told the Free Press on Tuesday that no news conference would be held until a deal was complete and that won’t change.

"Despite persistent rumours and speculation about the timing of a press conference, none has been scheduled and none will be scheduled unless a deal is done. The timing of any potential press conference depends solely on if and when a deal is completed," True North spokesman Scott Brown said on Tuesday.

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca

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