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WINNIPEG JETS SET TO RETURN?

Winnipeg’s mayor says it’s just “a matter of time” before a deal to move the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg is announced.  Sam Katz says the deal to bring an NHL team back to Winnipeg “is going to happen.”  He says there is an understanding the deal will move forward but nothing is signed, sealed and delivered yet.  No one is more anxious to officially learn the fate of the Atlanta Thrashers than members of the team.  The players have been given no indication one way or the other where they’ll be playing home games next season, according to goaltender Chris Mason.

“They’re not going to include us in any of the stuff and we shouldn’t be either,” Mason said Friday from his off-season home in Red Deer, Alberta. “We’ll know probably the same time or after everybody else knows, that’s the way it goes.  “We’re sitting on the edge of our seats waiting to see what’s going to happen, too.”  Mason has played in six different cities during his professional career and is facing the possibility of moving once again.  “That’s one of the very few things that is tough about the job,” said Mason. “I’m fortunate enough to be playing hockey and that’s one of the things that you just have to deal with.  It’s happened throughout a hockey player’s career and that’s just the way it goes.  We’ve done it before, we’ll do it again.”  Mason has mixed feeling about relocating from Atlanta to Winnipeg.  On one hand he feels bad about the fans and team employees that would be left behind in Atlanta but it would also give him a chance to live out a dream.  “There’s definitely things that would be really cool about it,” said Mason. “Playing in Canada, for me, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.  It would be really cool.  Just playing in front of a packed house every night would be awesome.”

All of this was started by an article yesterday by The Globe and Mail in Toronto stating the Thrashers’ agreement with True North was done and will be announced in Winnipeg on Tuesday.  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and True North Sports and Entertainment quickly denied the report Thursday that a deal has been reached to sell the team to True North, which would relocate the team to Winnipeg, Manitoba.  There are still obstacles to overcome, but it looks inevitable this time; hockey is back in Winnipeg and Canadians are celebrating across the country.  The Winnipeg Jets, as they should be called, should be soaring again this year after 16 plus years in the waiting.

Sources:  TSN, The Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun

Until the next puck drops,

Nick