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Throwback Thursday: On this day in 1980, reports surface of Atlanta Flames sale to Calgary

Welcome back to this week’s edition of Throwback Thursday!

On this day in 1980, rumors started to circulate the Atlanta Flames would be sold to Calgary.

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In a brief report by the Canadian Press, the sale was believed to be in the negotiation stages.

Sale of the National Hockey League Atlanta Flames to Calgary business interests is in the negotiation stage, The Globe and Mail says. The newspaper says Thomas Cousins, owner of the Flames, is negotiating the $14-million sale of the financially-plagued Atlanta team with Darryl, Donald and Byron Seaman, three Calgary businessmen who are major shareholders in Bow Valley Industries, an oil and gas company worth an estimated $170 million. It quotes an unidentified NHL gover nor source as saying the Flames would play in the 6,400-seat Calgary Corral for two season until a new arena is constructed as part of the city’s push for the 1988 Winter Olympics. It says Peter Pocklington, Edmonton Oilers’ owner, has been acting as a middleman in the negotiations. The club, purchased in 1972 for $6 million, is the only NHL franchise that does not need the unanimous consent of the board to relocate if it does not infringe of the territorial rights of an existing NHL franchise.

It was the start of the move for the Atlanta club and their relocation to Calgary. The move later was made official on May 21, 1980, when Nelson Skalbania fronted a group of Calgary businessmen that bought the team for USD$16-million — a record price for an NHL team at the time.

The team kept the Flames name, and the logo in a way, swapping the flaming A for a flaming C.

Immediately embraced by the city, the Flames played out of the Calgary Corral before moving to the Saddledome in 1983.

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