Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ryan Rishaug at TSN,
There very well could be a change of ownership on the horizon for the Edmonton Oilers. Sources tell TSN that local billionaire Daryl Katz has submitted an offer to buy the franchise outright from the Edmonton Investors Group.
The exact dollar value of the offer is unknown, but this isn’t the first time Katz has taken a run at getting in. Earlier this year on 2 occasions he approached the board of directors with preliminary offers to buy shares in the team and both times he was steered aside. But apparently this time, Katz has bypassed the board of directors and gone straight to the shareholders with the offer to buy the whole thing.
added 6:41pm, from Dan Barnes at the Edmonton Journal,
It’s a month old and Oiler owners still consider it an informal bid, but
Edmonton billionaire Daryl Katz’s offer to purchase the team now stands at $150 million Cdn, an increase of $5 million on his original gambit.
The Edmonton Investors Group, which owns the National Hockey League franchise, have discussed Katz’s proposal but will not respond to it until they believe it constitutes a formal offer to purchase.
Comments from Montreal fans at Habs Inside/Out are coming in fast and furious regarding the departure of Sheldon Souray to Edmonton.
added 5:02pm, from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
So why did it take so long to sign the big, handsome, popular player?
It’s a question I asked a general manager friend of mine a few days ago when Souray appeared to be twirling in the wind awaiting an offer?
“He’s a good guy,” was the reply. “He’s a risk. Obviously, he’s very good offensively (an NHL record 19 power-play goals among the 26 he scored in 81 games last season), but …”
What he was really saying was that there were glitches in the scouting report on Sheldon, which go like this:
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
...Then along comes (gallantly rides in) one Sheldon Souray, a hulking and talented defenseman, from the mean streets of Montreal with an impressive resume and an old wedding album complete with the occasional un-retouched photo of a supermodel. He’s good looking and, unlike most recent Oiler signings of late, is not described as “the poor man’s version of” anyone. He has personally put Edmonton back on the hockey map faster than you can say Balsillie.
Thing is, he thought he had signed with Calgary.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
If you think nobody wants to be associated with Edmonton anymore, believe me here’s the one guy who wants to be associated!
“Coming to Edmonton is a dream come true. To come home and put on that jersey ... I’m getting more excited every time I think about putting on that uniform,” he said on a conference call yesterday.
And wife Angelica is good with this?
“She’s happy,” said Souray.
“She’s familiar with the city. It’s good.
“Everybody is happy. Everybody is thrilled,” he said, including his dad, an Oilers fans even while Souray played for the Canadiens.
He said everybody back home was screaming into the phone when he told them the news.
Sportsnet.ca’s Livetracker is reporting that Sheldon Souray has signed with the Edmonton Oilers.
Update 4:08pm ET:
Linked on Sportsnet.ca,
Sportsnet has learned that free agent defenceman Montreal Sheldon Souray has signed with the Edmonton Oilers.
Update 4:15pm ET:
Sheldon Souray is on his way to Edmonton as the Oilers and the free agent blueliner agreed on a contract.
The Elk Point, Alberta native appeared in 81 games with the Montreal Canadiens in 2006-07 and had a career year with 26 goals and 64 points. Nineteen of his 26 goals came on the power play, which set an NHL record for defencemen.
Update 5:08pm ET: From RDS (link is in French), the terms are a 5 year deal for $27 million.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Had Lowe - whose team is questionable in nets - gone after Lundqvist at $9 million, the Rangers would not have been able to sign Brendan Shanahan. They might have found themselves forced to walk away from Sean Avery’s salary arbitration. They might have been required to move Petr Prucha at $1.6 million.
But Lowe didn’t go after the best player on the market and he didn’t go after the most cap-vulnerable franchise in the NHL. He didn’t do that because of his longtime friendship with Glen Sather, that’s why he didn’t do it, and everyone knows it. His decision to attempt to raid Buffalo for a winger rather than the Rangers for a franchise goaltender had nothing to do with winning and nothing to do with business and everything to do with personal.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Kevin Lowe, in a desperate attempt to make his hockey team better, managed to make everything even worse.
Shortly after Vanek signed a $50-million US, seven-year offer sheet as a restricted free agent with the Oilers, the Buffalo Sabres matched the offer.
Lowe, who couldn’t land an unrestricted free agent waving $18 million of budget money around in the air, just made himself a multitude of enemies around the league.
from Sabres Edge at the Buffalo News,
“We always had an attitude here that we don’t do these things,” Quinn said at this afternoon’s news conference in HSBC Arena. “When it comes to the Edmonton Oilers, if there’s an opportunity to put an offer sheet on a player as long as we’re alive, we’ll be comfortable doing that. They can expect it if it’s in our best interest.”
Lowe wasn’t impressed.
“It’s quite a bold statement by that organization,” the seven-time NHL All-Star said. “I think it’s rather juvenile on their part.
added 9:35pm, from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
This is what life has become for the Edmonton Oilers: They go after a restricted free agent from another small-market team, something they thought they’d never do; they offer a staggering seven-year contract worth $50-million (U.S.); they tick off the managing partner of the Buffalo Sabres, who vows revenge for “as long as we’re alive.” …
And still the Oilers don’t get their man.
What in the name of Michael Nylander is going on here? Did Chris Pronger’s wife put a hex on Rexall Place before she left town?
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
The Edmonton Oilers, who have been embroiled in controversy in which they claim they signed Michael Nylander before the Washington Capitals, found time this morning to sign Buffalo Sabres forward Thomas Vanek to an offer sheet.
Globesports.com has learned that the Oilers are willing to pay Vanek a stunning $50-million (U.S.) over seven seasons. Now the Sabres have seven days to decide whether they will match the lucrative offer sheet to retain the 23-year-old sniper.
added 1:37am, via TSN,
The Sabres have called a news conference for 12:30pm et/9:30am pt to address the news.
added 11:45am, from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
I think that Thomas was shocked,” Steve Barlett said. “I kept telling him I was going to get him a deal, and I don’t think he believed me. I don’t know if I believed it myself.”
Bartlett said there “were discussions with more than one team” about Vanek, meaning that teams seem to be viewing the signing of restricted free agents as a plausible strategy.
“There was a whole range of discussions that went on here,” Steve Bartlett said. “They wanted to know what it would take, and whether I thought Buffalo would match.”
added 12:11pm, You can listen to the Sabres presser at WBEN 930am... but you will have to register first…
Update 12:35pm ET (alanah)
The press conference with the Sabres has revealed that the Buffalo Sabres fully intend to match the Oilers’ offer sheet. GM Darcy Regier said he contacted Kevin Lowe last night and tried to persuade him not to make the offer, that they were always going to match whatever offer the Oilers might make. Larry Quinn’s statement: “We were never not going to match an offer on Thomas.”
Update 6:20pm ET (alanah)
Oilers General Manager Kevin Lowe spoke with the media on Friday afternoon via conference call to address the Thomas Vanek offer sheet, matched by Buffalo, earlier in the day. You can listen to it at the Oilers website here.
Edmonton Oilers GM Kevin Lowe gave an interview to Sportsnet’s Gene Principe on Thursday, dealing with the Michael Nylander issue and various related matters.
He also talks about the Oilers plan for signings, going forward from this point.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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