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Oilers ownership confirm Seattle meeting, claim interest from many cities

Sep 24, 2012, 8:44 PM EDT

Daryl Katz Getty Images

The Oilers are continuing their bold stand to show the city of Edmonton they’re serious about moving the franchise if the city council doesn’t give them more money for a new downtown arena.

Bob Black, the Executive Vice President, Edmonton Arena Corporation, Katz Group issued a statement confirming the group’s meeting with people in Seattle tonight to “evaluate the market.” They also made it clear Seattle isn’t the only city taking an interest in the franchise.

“Nonetheless, and as the City of Edmonton is aware, the Katz Group has been listening to proposals from a number of potential NHL markets for some time. After more than four years of trying to secure an arena deal and with less than 24 months remaining on the Oilers’ lease at Rexall Place, this is only prudent and should come as no surprise.”

Let’s sum things up quick:

– Edmonton City Council pledges $200 million to help pay for a new downtown arena

– Katz tells the council he wants more money from them for the project and they refuse to give in

– Katz says the future of the franchise in Edmonton is in jeopardy without more money and refuses to meet again with the council

The actions from Katz are hostile, at best,  and seemingly foolish given that the league is currently locking out its players. Katz might be wise to reevaluate how this whole situation looks.

  1. jimw81 - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    I don’t see Oilers leaving Edmonton, too much history. I can see Phoenix going to Seattle.

    • heynow33 - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:39 PM

      I can see the entire NHL dissolving into a “has been” league. But of course “you” see everything, just not the obvious.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:36 PM

        jim and hey are both wrong. Bettman wants the Oilers to move to Phoenix as he is sure that city can easily support two NHL teams!!

  2. mpg44 - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Like it matters anyway.. You would need a league and some players first and they both seem to be too busy counting last years money to realize that they aren’t making anymore !!

  3. revansrevenant - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Yes, because moving a team from Canada to a city that has difficulty filling the arena for it’s WHL team is a great idea. I approve 100%.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:15 PM

      As I recall the IHL’s Minnesota Moose didn’t draw well and the Wild see to be okay

    • dhagentj - Sep 25, 2012 at 10:54 PM

      Seattle area has two WHL teams that draw a combined 10,000 for each game.

  4. lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    This is like seeing the Vikings stadium hold-up all over again. Too much history here. The Oilers are part of Edmonton’s identity. Even if they did move, expect to see another team there in 5-10 years once someone else decides to build an arena a la Winnipeg.

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 25, 2012 at 2:01 AM

      It worked for Bob Kraft and the Patriots though.

  5. t16rich - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Don’t trust drug dealers. Especially billionaire prescription drug dealers. Darryl Katz is cheap and Edmonton owes him nothing more than what they are offering.

  6. gmsalpha - Sep 25, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    But in their case, Kraft ended up funding the stadium mostly himself. He got $70m from the local government, but that was for infrastructure, and he agreed to repay that. I don’t think this is a strategy by Katz to privately finance a new Edmonton arena.

  7. rsl22 - Sep 25, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    Owners just can’t catch a break these days.

    First the players won’t mindlessly give in to a mandatory 17% rollback of salaries, and now Edmonton won’t fund the entire cost of new arena for the Oilers?

    Life is tough for billionaires too, I guess.

  8. tmoore4075 - Sep 25, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    I would say they won’t move but if Katz is being this much of a douche I wouldn’t put it past him to try. Would hope the NHL wouldn’t allow it to happen if it came to that.

  9. timmons94 - Sep 25, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    They ain’t leaving the heartland of hockey. Edmonton is a gold mine for hockey. Great fans

  10. swu32733 - Sep 27, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    While I would love to have NHL hockey in Seattle I would not like to see it at the expense of Edmonton.

  11. thezbrad - Sep 27, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    This is ridiculous. Canadian Market needs more NHL teams, not less. City of Edmonton needs to smarten up. Move a worse market team there like Phoenix or Columbus. Seattle would be a great area for NHL team though.

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