Proving for a second time that Hotlanta may be too hot for hockey, the Atlanta Thrashers are moving to Winnipeg. The Thrashers entered the NHL in 1999 as an expansion franchise, but ownership problems, a losing team, and dwindling attendance doomed the club. It has been purchased by True North Sports and Entertainment in a deal worth $170 million, including a $60 million relocation fee that would be split by the rest of the league. The Thrashers ranked 28th out of 30 teams this year with an average attendance of less than 14,000.
Winnipeg has been without NHL hockey since the Jets moved to Phoenix in 1996. Assuming the deal goes through, Atlanta would become the first city in the NHL's modern era to lose two teams. The Flames moved to Calgary in 1980 after eight seasons in Atlanta.