Not saying that I believe this, but the thought occurred to me so I figured I'd share it.
In his statements yesterday, DW said that part of the difficulty in reaching an agreement with Kovalchuk is that he is concerned over the constant rumors that the team could be moved. He wants to sign a long term deal to play in Atlanta, but not if his contract moves with the team to the frozen tundra.
Obviously Canadians want our team out of the South and plugged into Beavertopia, but in the meantime I'm sure they would all be very happy just to see our marquee player stolen away by a team located in a colder climate.
Could recent rumors from anonymous bloggers citing anonymous sources be an attempt to destabilize the Kovy contract talks? We started hearing some positive things from DW and Kovy a few weeks ago, then woke up to Eklund and "NHLSecrets" twitter posts claiming that the Thrashers will be calling Quebec City home within five years, despite all that we know about the ties keeping the team in Atlanta and all other more viable relocation candidates out there.
Again, I am not saying that this is certainly the case. I am just saying that it has been a factor, and one that is convenient for folks who want a chance at signing Kovalchuk on the open market. In fact, it becomes a cyclical monster if these rumors derail a potential contract, Kovy leaves, attendance plummets, and the owners do decide to explore relocation options.