SB Nation Atlanta has been the essential stop for the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg saga. The Atlanta Spirit have been actively shopping not just the Thrashers but also the Hawks and Philips Arena. There is now a report that says that if the Thrashers sale is completed, the Spirit group may elect to hang onto the Hawks and Philips Arena at least for the time being.
The Atlanta Spirit, as has long been suspected by many, are interested only in retaining the Atlanta Hawks NBA team and the Philips Arena. Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada confirms as much in his report. Comparing the Thrashers’ sale saga to a roller coaster (which is been about as smooth as the Scream Machine), Friedman makes mention of the fact that the ownership group only wants to unload the hockey team, which has been making the sale difficult.
The report goes on to suggest that the Spirit could look to sell the Hawks and the Arena later as they would likely bring more money in without the Thrashers being a part of the deal.
Selling the Thrashers makes it easier to sell the Hawks and Philips for a higher sum of money to an individual or group who only would be interested in owning a basketball team. The Thrashers have "proven" themselves to be dead weight, and the Hawks would go quicker sans the albatross around their neck.
In fact, it appears that the Hawks and the Arena will be sold before the Thrashers. However, the reason the hockey team remains available is that the new ownership (which apparently is local) has no interest in buying it.
In theory it seems that an owner that was focused exclusively on the Hawks and the NBA would likely be more successful but nothing is guaranteed. Seemingly there is a new report every hour in regards to the Thrashers and it will be difficult to speculate what it all means for the Hawks until that sale is completed.