In what was clearly expected to be a final formality in the deal to send the Thrashers up to Winnipeg, the Board of Governors voted today to approve both the sale of the team to True North Sports and Entertainment as well as the relocation of the team to Winnipeg for the 2011-2012 NHL season:
It's official. NHL Board of Governors approves sale and relocation of #Thrashers.
It was assumed weeks ago that the deal was done, as TNSE fired Thrashers General Manager (and architect of several Stanley Cup winning teams) Rick Dudley. They also informed the trainers, equipment staff, and eventually coach Craig Ramsay that they would all not be making the move. The new franchise replaced Dudley with former Chicago Blackhawks Assistant General Manager and Chicago Woives General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff,
The team goes into Saturday's NHL draft sans name, sans uniform (the draftees will be given a generic NHL uniform that I'm sure they'll be proud to wear and frame). The season's schedule comes out soon, with a team located in midwestern Canada playing in the Southeast Division with teams like the Florida Panthers. The rush job on this situation was as obvious as the nose on Brad Marchand's face - it's nice to see that it's finally drawn to a conclusion.
The wait and the agony are finally over, Thrashers fans. It ended not with a bang, but with a measly one sentence comment from the Commissioner.
EDIT: John Shannon of Rogers SportsNet states that the approval was unanimous, as was expected:
NHL Board Meeting over. Told that WPG vote was unanimous for sale and relocation.
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