The NHL authorized the relocation, and the Atlanta Thrashers were no more! The move to Winnipeg was completed in time for the 2011-2012 season. After the original Winnipeg Jets moved for Arizona in the 1990s, they became the franchise's rebirth. The new team is called the "Jets" again.
Thrashers owner Boris "Boris Karloff" Gelbaum had been trying to sell the team since 2008. When no buyer could be found, he decided to put the team up for sale himself. In May 2009, he announced that he had sold the team for $170 million to a group of investors from the Manitoba province where the team will be based. The new owners are known as the "Winnipeg Jets, LLC".
The team began playing at the MTS Centre in 2011. The arena is owned by the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club and is located in the heart of downtown Winnipeg. Before moving to the new arena, the team played its home games at the Philips Arena. The Thrashers finished last in the league every year except one (2010-11), when they made the playoffs as the ninth seed.
In the 1999-2000 NHL season, the Jets were known as the Atlanta Thrashers. In May 2011, True North Sports & Entertainment purchased the team and transferred it from Atlanta to Winnipeg ahead of the 2011-12 season (the first NHL franchise to relocate since the Hartford Whalers became the Carolina Hurricanes in 1997).
For the first time since 1996, a deal has been reached to bring a National Hockey League club back to Winnipeg.
The Atlanta Thrashers were an ice hockey professional team headquartered in Atlanta. True North Sports & Entertainment, a Canadian-based ownership group, purchased the Thrashers in May 2011. The consortium relocated the team to Winnipeg, which became the Winnipeg Jets' second iteration. The original Jets left for New York City in 1996 after one season.
The new franchise started play in the MTS Centre in March 2016. They are currently in their first season of existence.
The team's name and logo were based on those of the original Winnipeg Jets of the NHL. Before the start of the 2011-12 season, the team announced it was changing its name to more accurately reflect where it is located at home and what kind of team it plans to be. The new name is also intended to give voice to fans from across Canada and beyond who have been asking for a team in Atlanta since the demise of the Jets.
Thrasher fans have been very vocal throughout the years about wanting to see their team back in Atlanta. Many believe the name "Jets" is too similar to the already established New York Jet's franchise in the NFL so they suggested "Thrashers" as a possible replacement.
True North CEO Jeff Shumway said in April 2011 that the team was looking at potential stadium sites in the Atlanta area. He also mentioned the possibility of bringing an AHL team to town as well.
On June 21, 2011, the NHL authorized the transaction and relocation. Atlanta became the first city in the NHL's modern history to have two ice hockey franchises transfer to different places with the sale and relocation of the team. The new ownership group, which included former New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather, announced that it would be relocating the team because they could not generate enough revenue in Atlanta to cover the costs of playing there.
The decision was met with criticism from many in the hockey community, who said that a strong league such as the NHL should not have allowed itself to be forced out of a market due to financial difficulties. Former National Hockey League player of the year Martin St. Louis called for a boycott of the team's games until it was moved back home.
However, others supported the move. A group led by Andy Abboud, a local businessperson and former executive with the Memphis Grizzlies basketball team, purchased the franchise for $170 million. The group had been looking to purchase an existing team but were turned down by every other club in the league. They eventually decided to start afresh with no past history or connections to another team. This is considered a major advantage in the competitive NHL industry.
Abboud has stated that one of his main goals is to get a new arena built in Atlanta so the team can remain there permanently.