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May 5, 2011 | 9:59am ET
Interest in Thrashers appears limited
TheFourthPeriod.com

Thrashers part-owner Michael Gearon Jr. doesn't sound overly optimistic about finding new investors or buyers for the team, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Thrashers have been searching for new owners for several months and declared a "sense of urgency" two months ago.

"We continue to have discussions with different prospective investors or buyers of the franchise," Gearon told the newspaper. "The comments I made in February generated some preliminary interest. I wish there was more. There are some people we are talking to, but nothing that is far enough along at this stage that it deserves further comment."

It's believed the Thrashers' fate could result in the outcome of the Phoenix Coyotes' future.

The Coyotes will either be sold to Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer or to True North Sports and Entertainment, who would move the franchise back to Winnipeg. If the Coyotes stay in Phoenix, True North could pursue the Thrashers.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has indicated several times that the League's priority is to keep the Coyotes in Arizona, prompting speculation that the Thrashers could soon enter the Winnipeg discussion.

TFP reported earlier in the season that a group of investors had expressed an interest in purchasing the Thrashers and keeping them in Atlanta. While that party remains in the picture, their interests expanded to the NBA's Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena. It's unclear, at this stage, if negotiations remain serious.

"As someone who has lived in this city my whole life, it's important to me that we do everything we can to try to have our sports teams survive and prosper in this city," Gearon said. "I think this city of 5 1/2 million should prosper as a successful NHL city.

"But we need others in the community that are willing to come in and either invest alongside us or buy the franchise. I would be more than happy to stay in and roll over my equity and continue to participate as a minority partner."

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