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HNIC "Hot Stove Panel" Says NHL "Working Hard" to keep team in Atlanta, Cites 6-8 Week Deadline for New Ownership


Tonight's "Hot Stove" segment on Hockey Night in Canada (CBC) discussed the Thrashers ownership situation as well as possible trades for Zach Bogosian. Pierre LeBrun (ESPN) and Ron Maclean (CBC) did most of the talking: both are major media figures with decent credibility. HNIC is the top rated tv show in Canada and given the large Canadian audience was surprisingly negative towards Winnipeg as a possible new location for the team: Glen Healy (CBC) went so far as to say that Winnipeg was such an undesirable destination for players around the league that they were rushing to have Atlanta added to their "no movement" contract clauses so they wouldn't wind up in WPG.

Here is a summary: video of the 5 minute segment is usually posted at the CBC web site.

Lebrun-said league is working hard to keep team in Atlanta but new owner must be found in 6-8 weeks. Cited Vinik (Tampa) and new Phoenix owner as owners league has "found" recently. My guess is when he says "league" he means Bettman and the hopes for the Thrashers staying in ATL depend on whether Bettman can pull another hedge fund manager out of his butt. Which he actually is good at doing: he certainly has a better shot at it than the hapless ASG.

Maclean-said Steven Rollins was complaining that ASG was presenting potential buyers with "five sets of books" and creating confusion in the marketplace.

Lebrun-said Dudley was offered two first rounders and a prospect for Bogosian but turned it down. I find this difficult to believe but if its true, Dudley should be fired. He also said the Leafs were pursuing Bogosian but a trade was unlikely.

Eric Francis (Calgary Sun) cautioned people in WPG against getting their hopes up and the entire panel seemed to strongly agree.

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