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The Balkan DOES Exist - Does He Have Enough Dough To Pull Anything Off?

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Day late, dollar short on the news, I know. This's what happens when you sit at a pub for 10 hours, but I digress. This situation keeps getting odder and more tangled as the days tick off. The Hawks and Philips are for sale seperately than the Thrashers, with an exclusive negotiating agreement being filed between the Atlanta Spirit and former San Diego Padres owner John Moores. While it will be a relief to get the ASG out of Atlanta Sports in general, the fact that they're splitting interests makes any claims of someone purchasing all three less likely. Sure, exclusivity agreements can be broken up and they don't mean that the sale will be finalized, but considering the fact that some of the groups rumored to be interested in the Thrashers want all three entities this might make it more difficult to sell the Thrashers.

Have no fear, though. The Balkan is here! John Kincade's mystery buyer's finally been revealed thanks to some investigative reporting by Craig Custance of the Sporting News - formerly of the AJC. He's Michigan-based investor J.B. Smith of Equity 11. Chris Vivlamore says that he's not viable for all three properties, while Kincade still claims that's been Smith's interest all along. Basically, Smith's offered a letter of interest, nothing more. Some express doubt that he can afford all three entities, nothing's been substantiated, and we're no closer to keeping the Thrashers in Atlanta.

But wait! Kevin Allen (the OTHER national reporter who cares about the Thrashers)says that a group has expressed interested in keeping the Thrashers put - they've actually submitted an offer sheet. It's been rumored that Tom Cousins, the former owner of the Atlanta Flames, is involved in the group in some capacity. He's recently been awarded the rights to develop the Gulch parking area. This group's not as far along as True North in their offer, but hey - they have an offer in. And that one little offer gives fans a glimmer of hope.

Regardless of how tiny, it's still there - and that's something that we didn't have on Monday.