The Toronto Globe & Mail is reporting that the Atlanta Thrashers NHL franchise is moving to Winnipeg, bringing the NHL back to Manitoba for the first time in 1996 when the Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix.
Rumors also have it that the Phoenix Coyotes are in bad financial shape, this season the city of Glendale has ponied up 25 million to keep the team in Arizona for another year. Moving the NHL to Arizona was commissioner Gary Bettman's doing, and he should take responsibility for its failure. The Jets were a franchise that had its supporters in Winnipeg, and the heart of the city was ripped out when the team moved, much like the Browns when they moved to Baltimore. Hockey is not working well in warmer climates.
I'm glad hockey is going back to Canada, and the Coyotes may be moving to Quebec City sooner or later. After that, who knows what will happen with the franchise shuttle? The Blue Jackets lost millions last year and do not seem to be a team on the upswing. How long can the city sustain a horribly run franchise, with little hope of success?
Sports in a city is fine and dandy, and I love hockey, but a locality putting up millions to keep a team that sucks is folly. The Blue Jackets are already trying to claim revenue from a casino that has not even opened. This is going to get ugly.