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Thrashers Owners, True North Not Eye-To-Eye On Sale Price, According To Report

The Atlanta Spirit Group, the many-flavored smear that owns the Atlanta Thrashers for the time being, has reportedly hit a snag with True North, the group that would purchase and relocate the team to Winnipeg. Damien Cox of the Toronto Star says "negotiations may be slowed" between the two due to ASG's asking price, widely believed to be almost $170 million counting a $60 million moving fee that would go to the NHL.

Cox touches on something I've been wondering myself. Since ASG member Bruce Levenson has admitted he hasn't even considered the possibility of retaining ownership of the team for the 2011-12 NHL season and the entire group has insisted that no other viable buyers exist, doesn't that mean True North can pay whatever it wants? Where's the bargaining chip? Atlanta Spirit can't threaten to keep the team if TNSE won't hit a certain figure.

If what Cox is hearing is accurate, then here's a summary of negotiations thus far:

"We don't want this team. Pay us $170 million for it."

"No. We will pay you less than that."

"Fine then. We will sell the team to ... Oh, I see your point."

If you don't smell a colony of rats by now ...

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.