NHL Commissioner “Truly Sorry” to Bring Professional Hockey Back To Winnipeg

WINNIPEG (SBP) — Holding back bitter tears and choking through his words, Commissioner Gary Bettman somberly announced that the NHL will be relocating the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg for the upcoming season.  The move is seen as a possible end to Bettman’s mission to destroy professional hockey in Canada.

“This is a sad day for American interests in the NHL,” said Bettman as he let defiant, unwiped tears stream down his face, “We really did try everything to keep the disengaged, apathetic fans of Atlanta happy by keeping their somewhat beloved team in town.

“To fans all over the United States and the world excluding Canada, I am truly sorry to say that NHL hockey is returning to Winnipeg.”

The NHL’s move back to Canada ends a string of snubs, departures and expansion to the United States.  In 1995, the Quebec Nordiques were relocated to Denver to become the Colorado Avalanche.  And, in 1996, the Winnipeg Jets were relocated to Arizona to play before thousands of empty seats in Phoenix.  One of Bettman’s proudest moments was when he blocked Jim Balsillie from purchasing and moving a franchise to southern Ontario.

“Those were some momentous times,” said Bettman, “It was the golden age of the NHL when we could move teams to large American markets that didn’t know what hockey was.  Heck, they didn’t even know what ice was!  We enjoyed having back page coverage and there is nothing more breath-taking than a hot, stuffy arena populated with vacant seats.”

Continued Bettman:  “Sadly, this won’t be happening in Winnipeg.  Gone are the days of half empty rinks and propping up cash strapped teams.”

All is not lost, though.  To offset the Winnipeg move, Bettman announced that the NHL will be expanding to hockey hot beds like Albuquerque, New Mexico, Daytona Beach, Florida and Shreveport, Louisiana.