According to SB Nation Atlanta’s own Phil Foley, in an article he published for the Examiner, the Thrashers’ owners aren’t lending any credibility to the relocation rumors. And they’re also not refuting them. Welcome to the wonderful world of “no comment.”
For once, Bruce Levenson used the “this is about basketball” excuse and it was appropriate, as the Hawks and their owners were celebrating their series win over the Orlando Magic. Rob Koch, who is apparently the only person in Thrashers’ PR, issued an official “no comment” statement Thursday as well.
To get some truth on this situation, we’re not going to be able to depend upon the ownership or official mouthpieces. We – unlike much of the Canadian press – will have to use our powers of observation. As Foley points out:
Tickets are still being sold for next season here. Employees in either the Hawks or the Thrashers organization have not been told about an imminent move and the Thrashers banners that adorn Philips Arena were still up in the rafters in the aftermath of the Hawks’ 84-81 win over the Magic.
Suffice to say those persistent Internet rumors that there will be a big announcement that the Thrashers are coming to the Manitoba prairie on Friday, will once again prove to be unfounded. That celebration on Portage and Main will have to wait.
The good news is that you will not have to wait too long. This should all be sorted out in the next few weeks as the NHL has to get down to the business of making next year’s schedule. Atlanta’s fate will probably be decided by then.