August 29, 2015


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Thrashers deny Winnipeg rumour

A spokesman for the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers organization said this morning that there is no truth to a report that a Toronto-based group is working to purchase the club and move it to Winnipeg.

"There’s two words that you can quote to our general manager, Don Waddell," Thrashers spokesman Rob Koch told the Free Press this morning, "which is ‘Completely false.’

Atlanta Thrashers left wing Ilya Kovalchuk celebrates a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday at Philips Arena, in Atlanta. The Thrashers won 6-3. Will Kovalchuk  and the rest of the Thrashers soon be plying their trade on MTS Centre ice?

GREGORY SMITH / AP PHOTO

Atlanta Thrashers left wing Ilya Kovalchuk celebrates a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday at Philips Arena, in Atlanta. The Thrashers won 6-3. Will Kovalchuk and the rest of the Thrashers soon be plying their trade on MTS Centre ice?

"The whole thing, it’s completely false."

Koch said it’s not the first time the Thrashers, who are mired in a legal dispute between their own owners, have been reported to be on the move and not the first time the team has had to deny it.

"We tend to get lumped in, with Phoenix going through the stuff they’re going through," Koch said. "Florida Panthers and us tend to be right behind them. Rumours start and we get mixed in there."

The Phoenix Coyotes went bankrupt this year and were the subject of lengthy litigation as Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie tried, ultimately unsuccessfully, to purchase the club, formerly the Winnipeg Jets, and move them to Hamilton.

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