WINNIPEG — Are the Manitoba Moose headed to Atlantic Canada?
According to a report in the St. John’s Telegram, the AHL’s Manitoba Moose will be moving to ‘The Rock’ for the 2011-12 season, pending the final completion of the deal to bring the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg.
The report suggests an announcement on the relocation of the Moose will happen next Friday. St. John’s has been without AHL hockey since the 2005 season, when the Toronto Maple Leafs operated their farm team out of Mile One Centre.
The Telegram adds that True North Sports and Entertainment will hold ownership of the Moose for at least one year, at which time the team will be purchased by local ownership. Former Newfoundland premier Danny Williams is believed to be a part of the new ownership group, according to the report.
True North spokesman Scott Brown would not confirm the report out of St. John's. He said the suggestion of a Friday press conference was false, but because of ongoing negotiations to relocate the Moose for the 2011-12 season, he would not comment on the suggestion that the team was headed to Newfoundland.
"Right now, there is no agreement in place that would see the Manitoba Moose move to St. John's," he said.
Any deal that would see the Moose play elsewhere next season is contingent on True North landing an NHL franchise. Despite various reports and a frenzy of speculation over the last few days, no official announcement regarding the sale and relocation of the Thrashers to Winnipeg has been made by True North, the Atlanta Spirit Group (the collective that currently owns the Thrashers), or the NHL office.