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Oilers owner explains why he won’t attend city council meeting

Oct 16, 2012, 8:01 PM EDT

Daryl Katz, Gary Bettman AP

Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz issued a lengthy letter explaining why he won’t show up for an Oct. 17 city council meeting regarding the team’s fledgling new arena deal.

Katz believes the two sides “remain far apart both on substance and process.”

“I fear the City has approached this negotiation based on narrow political considerations rather than a genuine desire to strike a deal that is fair and makes economic sense for both sides,” Katz wrote.

One might say that the team and city are now farther apart than the NHL and NHLPA are in CBA negotiations, which would be a timely comment since Katz finished the letter by recommending an intervention by Gary Bettman.

“I also want to remind you of Commissioner Bettman’s offer to come to Edmonton to help forge a deal,” Katz wrote.

Katz stated that he’s sorry for taking Oilers fans for granted, but it’s clear that hasn’t softened the way he works with Edmonton city officials.

(One might even note that Seattle’s revised arena plan was approved yesterday.)

Either way, it seems like the two sides might be in for a protracted battle, which could remind Oilers fans of another politically-charged hockey haggling session.

For more selected quotes from that verbose letter, check out the Edmonton Journal’s report. For the full piece, click here.

  1. bubblehead22 - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Come to Seattle I’ll buy season tickets right now.

    • t16rich - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:34 PM

      Well we all got dreams, but that will never happen, at least involving Edmonton. Sure, Katz owns the team, but fact of the matter is that the league has final say on relocation. Look at the effort they are making to keep hockey in Phoenix and it seems obvious that Oilers aren’t going anywhere. Same with their efforts to keep Jim Ballsillie from purchasing Nashville, Phoenix and Pittsburgh. Ballsillie was told by the league that if he bought the Pens, they were staying put regardless of an arena deal and that they would even negotiate a new one on his behalf. His plans for relocation were shot down that time and many other times. The final decision on a relocation is up to the NHL and there is not a chance that Edmonton leaves. I’m sure Seattle will eventually get NHL hockey, but it won’t be in the form of an Oilers relocation.

    • eugenesaxe - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:59 PM

      The dude building the arena in SEA wants to own any basketball team that moves in. I’m not sure if that applies to an NHL team as well, but it would make more sense than building an arena for someone else to rake in the cash.

  2. eugenesaxe - Oct 16, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Yeah, as long as SEA is an option he won’t be getting serious with Edmonton.

  3. kicksave1980 - Oct 16, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Katz is an idiot. There’s no way he’s leaving Edmonton, and everyone knows it. I’m glad the city and people of Edmonton are calling his bluff on this. People point to Quebec City and Winnipeg as examples of how it can happen, but there were vastly different circumstances behind those relocations. The Oilers need a new arena…there’s no question about it. But the Oilers aren’t operating at a loss. Katz didn’t buy a team, he bought a religion. Look at how terrible the Oilers have been, and look at their attendance, all while having some of the highest priced tickets in the league. Alberta is the richest province in Canada, and people will always spend money on their Oilers.

    Katz is taking advantage of his fan base’s loyalty. He thought he could get away with it, but the fact that he had to run a full-page apology in the newspaper says otherwise.

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