What people don't understand, is the complexity involved in moving the Thrashers:
1.) The Philips Arena naming rights deal, is tied to the arena housing both an NBA and NHL franchise. If you aren't in the know, the Atlanta Spirit owns the Thrashers, Hawks AND the lease on Philips Arena. Why would they choose the jeopardize the naming deal, as well as lose 41 days of operation each year?
2.) The Atlanta Spirit is still in a legal battle with Steve Belkin (a member of the ownership group looking to leave, due to a management feud over the Hawks), making any sale of the team impossible until that case has been worked out. There is no sign of that happening any time soon.
3.) The Atlanta Spirit signed a letter of commitment with the NHL upon purchasing the team, committing the team to Atlanta for an unknown number of years.
I hate all the rumors surrounding teams that do poorly in the standings. I would never wish such a thing on any other franchise - or it's fans. I especially despise these kinds of rumors when they are void of any specific sources, and pay no attention to the actual facts involved.
Don Waddell recently denied the report to the AJC.