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SBD/September 26, 2012/Facilities
Katz' Seattle Trip Could Hinder Oilers' Edmonton Arena Project
Published September 26, 2012
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NOT SO FAST: ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun wrote, “Let’s be clear here, there’s almost zero chance Katz can move the Oilers out of Edmonton." The NHL BOG "would never vote in favor of that given what the City of Edmonton is willing to put in for a new downtown arena.” The trip to Seattle was “all about Katz gaining some leverage in his dealings with the City of Edmonton, wanting to get a better deal for himself with the new rink” (ESPN.com, 9/25). NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman yesterday said an arena deal in Edmonton is achievable "and with a new arena there should be no reason to have any doubts about the future of the Oilers in Edmonton” (AP, 9/25).
WAYNE’S WORLD: In Toronto, Mike Zeisberger notes Hockey HOFer Wayne Gretzky was seen at the Packers-Seahawks game on Monday, the same day Katz was also in Seattle “allegedly kicking the tires on the city as a potential new home for an NHL team.” Gretzky said, “I'm not involved with the NHL, I'm really not. It's just one of those things where I was invited to go to a football game and I said why not. Any official capacity is absolutely zero. I have no stake or claim in any team in the NHL whatsoever. Went there to enjoy a football game." He said of the Oilers leaving Edmonton, “I just don't see it happening. I think over time here cooler heads are going to prevail and Daryl and the city will hammer out a deal and get it done. I can't see them moving. It's one of the greatest franchises in all of professional sports. You don't move a franchise like that” (TORONTO SUN, 9/26).