Winnipeg Jets Won't Need Help From NHL's Revenue Sharing Program

The Winnipeg Jets expected to be a team reliant on the NHL's revenue sharing program, but after running the numbers, they won't need help from the league's wealthy teams. They're one of them.

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Winnipeg Jets Unveil New Uniforms During Tuesday Ceremony

The Winnipeg Jets went to an air force base in Winnipeg, stood in front of an actual jet, and ended the long wait: they unveiled their new Jets uniforms.

And really, it went just as you'd expect a jersey unveiling at a military base to go. There was cheesy rock music, the opening of a giant cargo plane, smoke, lights and then then dramatic entrance of Mark Stuart, Andrew Ladd, Nik Antropov and Eric Fehr wearing the new threads. 

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Jerseys will not be available until October, which doesn't make sense at all. But as general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said, the jersey design and approval process usually takes much longer than it did this summer for the Jets, so perhaps that's part of the reason why. Pre-orders are available immediately on the Jets website, however.

For more on the Jets all season long, check in with Arctic Ice Hockey.

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NHL Approves Atlanta Thrashers Sale, Relocation To Winnipeg

The final hurdle has been cleared. Like, officially. We swear. The NHL's Board of Governors has, as expected, approved the sale of the Atlanta Thrashers from Atlanta Spirit Group to True North Sports and Entertainment, and they've also approved the proposed relocation of the team from Atlanta to Winnipeg.

This isn't really news, other than the fact that it's news. We knew it would happen, and there was literally no doubt in anybody's mind that this wouldn't happen. 

Next on the agenda is the building of a hockey team, and new general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has a lot more to do. There's still no head coach for the team, and of more importance to most people, there's not even a name for the club yet. At the draft on Friday night, when Cheveldayoff and Co. select 8th overall, it's expected that they'll just hand off a generic jersey to their pick. Should be fun.

For more on Winnipeg's new NHL team, visit Arctic Ice Hockey.

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Winnipeg NHL Fans Buy 5,800 Remaining Season Tickets In 17 Minutes On DriveTo13.com

Hope you didn't sleep in on this Saturday, Winnipeg NHL fans. If for some reason you weren't around to buy season tickets to your new hockey team at 12 p.m. CT, you've already lost your chance. 

17 minutes after tickets went on sale to the general public on DriveTo13.com, the 5,842 tickets that remained following this week's presale were gobbled up by fans. There are none left. Four days after it was announced that the Atlanta Thrashers would be relocating to Winnipeg, 13,000 season tickets have been sold. 

That's just absolutely incredible, and it sends a damn strong message to the NHL's Board of Governors that Winnipeg's population will throw their support behind NHL hockey. The Board votes to approve or disapprove the relocation bid on June 21.

There's a waiting list for fans who missed out on tickets, at the cost of a $50 deposit and $100 per year to hold your spot. On the waiting list. Folks on the waiting list do have the opportunity to buy Stanley Cup Playoff tickets before the general public, though.

Considering there are 13,000 season ticket holders and the MTS Centre only seats 15,015 for hockey, individual game tickets are going to be extremely hard to come by in Winnipeg this season and in the postseason. It's a small market with a small barn, and the only way hockey will truly work there this time is if they sell out every game.

Shouldn't be a concern, at least in the first year or two. After the new car smell wears off? Well, we'll see.

For more on the return of NHL hockey to Winnipeg, check this StoryStream, or follow Behind The Net Hockey, which will soon be transforming into our new Winnipeg NHL blog.

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Atlanta Thrashers Relocation To Winnipeg: Watch Live Press Conference Announcement

True North Sports and Entertainment in Winnipeg has called a 12 p.m. ET news conference on this Tuesday to announce that they've purchased the Atlanta Thrashers and will be relocating the team to Winnipeg.

You can watch that press conference live here, via this stream from the Winnipeg Free Press. It's now scheduled to start around 12:15 p.m. ET.

This announcement will provoke parties in the streets of Winnipeg. Local officials are telling fans to avoid the usual party spot of Portage and Main in Winnipeg's downtown -- after all, it is a work day today -- and instead are urging fans to party at The Forks, another local gathering spot where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers meet.

It'll be interesting to see exactly what we learn at this press conference today. Will we learn the name and color (perhaps we should say colour) scheme of the new club? Will Gary Bettman be present (and will he be booed or cheered)? Will we learn officially that they'll play in the Southeast Division?

There are still a lot of questions, and hopefully today's press conference gives us some answers, and some much needed closure for fans in Atlanta as they lose their team. 

For more coverage on the move of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg, check SB Nation Atlanta's massive StoryStream, as well as coverage from our Thrashers blog, Bird Watchers Anonymous.

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Atlanta Thrashers Sale, Relocation To Winnipeg To Be Announced At Noon ET

It's here, finally. After weeks of waiting to learn the official news, at 12 p.m. ET on Tuesday morning, the NHL will return to Winnipeg in the form of the relocated Atlanta Thrashers. True North Sports and Entertainment, the group purchasing the Thrashers from Atlanta Spirit Group, has called a press conference to announce the deal.

Any deal is pending Board of Governors approval from the NHL, but it's expected that's just a formality. The BoG meets next in late June. 

The Winnipeg Free Press is reporting that the deal is not yet through, but that both sides, plus the NHL, feel comfortable enough to announce the deal today. It makes sense: the NHL doesn't want this taking away from the Stanley Cup Final, which begins Wednesday, and surely without an announcement, it would be the dark cloud hanging over the head of the entire league.

Of course, it's not completely avoiding the Final. Media day at Rogers Arena in Vancouver begins at 1 p.m. PT, and you know the reporters there will be buzzing about the Winnipeg news.

Winnipeg has been without the NHL since 1996, when their beloved Jets packed up and moved south to Phoenix. Since then, there's been a tumultuous relationship with the city, their fans, the league and many Southern markets, and the debate on whether or not the NHL belongs in the American South is one that still rages and will continue to rage, despite this move of the Thrashers. 

Ironically perhaps, they'll continue playing one more year in the Southeast Division -- a painful travel toll for the Winnipeg team and their geographically confused divisional rivals: Washington, Carolina, Tampa Bay and Florida.

It's a joyous day full of party in Winnipeg, while in Atlanta, fans are losing their beloved team that they've rooted for hard since 1999. It's easy to forget that sometimes, and just as Winnipeg fans lost their team 16 years ago, fans in Atlanta are experiencing the same. That's something that goes beyond geographic location.

We'll embed a live stream of the press conference right here, so be sure to stop on back at Noon ET for the announcement. Here's what True North's announcement looks like this Tuesday morning:

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For more coverage on the move of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg, check SB Nation Atlanta's massive StoryStream, as well as coverage from our Thrashers blog, Bird Watchers Anonymous.

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Atlanta Thrashers Ownership Reportedly Talking With Winnipeg Group On Sale, Possible Relocation

Atlanta Spirit, the group that holds control of the Atlanta Thrashers, has wanted to sell for years now, and as they continue to lose money hand over fist, it was only a matter of time before they started talking with groups outside of the local area. You know, groups that would keep the team in Atlanta. 

According to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Spirit has opened up negotiations with True North Sports and Entertainment, the group that would love nothing better than to buy the team and relocate them to Winnipeg. Details:

A deal has not been completed and it is also not known how long the two sides have been negotiating. However, the fact that talks are on-going negotiations could mean the Thrashers would relocate to Manitoba perhaps as soon as next season.    

This is obviously horrible news if you're a fan of the Thrashers. True North has a lot of money and they're willing to spend it to make this deal happen, and when the current ownership group has said multiple times that there's a "sense of urgency" to sell, it doesn't seem like there's much that will get in their way.

Of course, the NHL does have to approve relocation, but thus far, there's really been no indication that the league would hold up a move from Atlanta to Winnipeg in the same way they've tried to hold up any potential move from Phoenix to Winnipeg.

It does seem a little late in the game for relocation to happen for the 2011-12 season. As the AJC story points out, the schedule for next season will be released within the next month, and given the NHL's weighted schedule format, in which teams play those in their own conference more than teams from the other conference, it might be too late for a team to switch sides. 

Beyond that, there's a January 1 deadline for relocation proposals to be sent in writing to the NHL offices, although there are ways to get around that deadline if most other teams in the league vote to allow it.

The full story? Well, there's a very real possibility that NHL hockey could be played in Winnipeg in just a few months.

For more on the ongoing Thrashers ownership saga, check in with Bird Watchers Anonymous and SB Nation Atlanta.

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