Okay, so I know that it won't actually be called the Winnipeg Thrashers, but does anyone else find it bizarre how the Phoenix saga has gone on for years and years, with probably millions of words written about it, yet someone pops up and says "I'd like to buy your team please."
Five minutes later - done deal. The only thing to do is pop the champagne corks and make the announcement. Of course, these talks have been going on for months and months, but it seems like this deal went through really quickly.
Does Atlanta deserve this? No, probably not. Attendances have not been great, but arguably, this is due to the economy, rather than a lack of interest in the team.
Atlanta's average attendance - 13,469 per game (72%) 28th in the league.
If you think that the attendance was poor just because Atlanta isn't a traditional hockey market, I would humbly disagree because Colorado's wasn't much better.
Colorado's average attendance - 14,820 per game (82%) 24th in the league.
Other people have done studies on Winnipeg's viability and the best of them say that it is a gamble, with it being dependent on non-indigenous corporate involvement and fans solidly attending and that the Canadian dollar maintains it's steady index against the USD.
I'm sorry, but any one of those factors should be reason to cause for concern. All three make it a very risky proposition.
I think that relocation is an abhorrent practice that is (to my knowledge) only practiced in the USA. How are you supposed to build a grass roots fanbase if you move your team thousands of miles away, every decade or so.
I just don't think it is fair to the team, to the businesses involved and certainly not to the fans to play "Musical Stadiums" just to chase a few extra dollars.