This morning True North Sports and Entertainment is expected to announce its purchase of the Atlanta Thrashers and its intention to move the franchise to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Naturally, Hartford Whalers fans are asking whether this move bodes well for the return of the beloved Hartford Whalers. Susan Bigelow at CT New Junkie has written an excellent article on this topic. Here is an excerpt:
The move, when and if it happens, is something that will make those NHL fans left in Greater Hartford sit up and take notice for a couple of reasons. First, the move would reverse a decades-long trend of northern teams moving south to cities that rarely ever see ice. Minnesota, Hartford and Winnipeg lost teams to Dallas, Raleigh and Phoenix (Quebec City’s team moved to Denver, which is at least in the mountains). Second, Winnipeg has fewer people in its metropolitan area than Hartford does, and would be a smaller TV market. Third, Winnipeg’s arena actually has a smaller capacity for hockey than the XL Center, and would be by far the smallest arena in the NHL.
In her article, Ms. Bigelow also makes the major distinction between Hartford and Winnipeg: Winnipeg has a new arena; Hartford has the worn-out XL Center. Click here to read Ms. Bigelow’s article in its entirety.
Connecticut Sports Law Featured Columnist Dan Canavan has also covered the potential return of the Whalers in detail: