Bettman denies report Thrashers moving to Winnipeg
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Thursday, May 19, 2011 9:59PM EDT
Winnipeg hockey fans may finally have an NHL team to cheer, after the Jets left for Arizona in 1996.
A report in the Globe and Mail says True North Sports and Entertainment has bought the troubled Atlanta Thrashers and plans to move the team to Winnipeg, with an official announcement expected Tuesday.
True North owns Winnipeg's MTS Centre arena, along with the American Hockey League team the Manitoba Moose.
However, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman denied the report Thursday night, during his weekly radio show. According to the Atlanta-Journal-Constitution, he said it was still just "speculation."
"I can tell you that with certainty that there is no deal for this team to move," he said. "Am I predicting that there will never be or that there won't be at some point in time? No, I'm not saying there is or there isn't."
Bettman has routinely said he prefers to keep a team in its current market, to the chagrin of Canadian fans in Winnipeg, Quebec City and southern Ontario waiting for a team.
Jets fans have been hoping one of the NHL's financially shaky teams in the U.S. South would move to Winnipeg, with some expecting it would be the Phoenix Coyotes.