Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 07/24/07 at 04:49 PM ET
On CFRN radio (Team 1260) in Edmonton, the host just read off a press release with a direct statement from billionaire Darryl Katz. He makes clear his intentions to try and buy the Edmonton Oilers and spend to the salary cap every season; he also claims to have also entered into negotiations with the University of Alberta to build a “world class” hockey training facility on that campus. The statement reinforces that Katz wants to maintain the Oiler’s “traditions” and has no intention of moving the team.
Text of the full statement below:
“There has been a lot of discussion in recent weeks about my interest in acquiring the Edmonton Oilers. While it’s not appropriate for me to discuss the details of my offer publicly, I do want to share my reasons for wanting to buy the team and try to address at least some of the questions Oilers’ fans and Edmontonians are asking.”
“The first point I want to make is that I have a lot of respect for Cal Nichols and the Edmonton Investor Group. They did a great thing when they came together to buy the team and keep it in Edmonton. They have maintained a real community feeling ever since, and just over one year ago they came agonizingly close to bringing the Cup back to Edmonton. As an Edmontonian and as a fan, I’m grateful for everything they’ve done. As an owner, should that come to pass, I intend to ensure their contribution is recognized and remembered.”
“At the same time, I know there are a number of people within the ownership group who would like to exit their investment and pass the torch to a new generation of leadership. I want to provide that leadership while preserving the great Oiler traditions and maintaining a strong sense of community.”
“I was born in Edmonton, I live in Edmonton and I grew up here with the Oilers during the glory days. I want to own the Oilers because they are Edmonton’s hockey team, because I want to build a winning team, and because I think there is an opportunity, through the Oilers, to do great things for the City.”
“From a business perspective, the Katz Group and especially our Rexall brand have benefited from our association with the Oilers and Rexall Place, and I think there’s a real opportunity to build on that success.”
“To be clear, I am committed to building a winning team here in Edmonton, and I would play to the salary cap every year to help make sure that happens. I am also prepared to make a significant additional investment of time and money towards the development of a new downtown arena facility for the team and the City if that’s what the people of Edmonton want.”
“Likewise, I have initiated preliminary discussions with representatives of the University of Alberta about building a world-class hockey training facility on campus for the benefit of the Edmonton Oilers, the U of A and hockey in Western Canada.”
“Finally, I appreciate the many expressions of support I have received from within the ownership group, across the city and around the NHL. If I’m successful in acquiring the team I will be more than happy to make myself available to the media to answer your questions directly. There is no great mystery in any of this, other than the sound business practice of trying not to negotiate a transaction in public. To that end I have offered to meet with all of the owners privately to further explain my offer and answer their questions. I’ve had several productive discussions already and look forward to
others in the weeks ahead.”
Daryl Katz is the Founder and Chairman of The Katz Group. Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Edmonton, The Katz Group is one of North America’s leading drug store operators with over 1,800 drug stores in Canada and the United States. Mr. Katz is a graduate of the University of Alberta, having earned a BA and LLB in 1985.
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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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