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AL STRACHAN BELIEVES OILERS' FUTURE IN EDMONTON SAFE
Published October 23, 1997
While two Houston groups, one led by Rockets Owner Les Alexander and the other by Aeros Owner Chuck Watson, "are in the process of putting together proposals" for the NHL Oilers, "in both cases, the team would be bought outright -- but with a promise to keep the team in Edmonton as long as it maintains a positive cash-flow situation," according to Al Strachan of the TORONTO SUN. Strachan writes that "reliable sources" say that the NHL "is heavily involved in the negotiations and is working to make sure the Oilers stay in Edmonton." Strachan adds that the NHL "is willing to modify its long-range plan and allow a further expansion in the early part of the next century if doing so guarantees the stability of the Oilers." For that to happen, the "successful purchaser" would have to "guarantee the league" that the Oilers will stay in Edmonton for "a certain period, probably three years." If the team continues to have a positive cash-flow, then the owner would be allowed to sell the Oilers, and "in return," be "sold the rights to an NHL expansion team in Houston" (TORONTO SUN, 10/23).