Andy kind of hinted at this at BoA but I suspect that there’s gonna be a change in the pecking order of the Edmonton media if Katz gets the team. The TEAM 1260 has been breaking a lot of the news related to Katz and have played the story pretty even while a lot of the old guard local media have been decidedly anti-Katz. It’d be only human nature for Katz to have noted who was trashing him without real reason over the course of this whole thing and for those people to find their easy access to information change in the event that he gets the team. Terry Jones’ story deserves special mention in this regard:
First of all, what we’re dealing with this time isn’t a hostile take over attempt against a group of the all-time greatest guys in Edmonton history.
There’s every indication that Katz, if not invited back from within, was certainly encouraged by a few major shareholders to learn from some of his major mistakes the first time around and come at this from an entirely different direction.
And this time Katz wasn’t a flim-flam man.
This wasn’t an offer that said one thing but in reality was something else.
I’ll let other pass judgment on whether or not businessmen who buy a community treasure for a great price and then ultimately sell it for a handsome profit are “the all-time greatest guys in Edmonton history” but I’m intrigued by the suggestion that he was a “flim-flam man” the first time and that his offer was something other than it appeared. I found Nichols’ explanation in this regard – something along the lines of the lawyers and accountants giving different answers about what the offer was worth after accounting for taxation and contingent liability issues such as employee severance – a bit tough to swallow. For one, I don’t think that this is that complicated on the transactional scale and I have a hard time thinking that a solid number couldn’t have been put on it. I suppose that the different situations of each shareholder might have made things more difficult but really…that seems like a bit much. In any event, this was an offer made by a sophisticated businessman to sophisticated businessmen. Unless there’s something that Jones’ knows that the average Joe doesn’t, I don’t think it’s quite accurate to characterize that offer as something akin to the Manhattan purchase.
This next part is even better:
The realization was that this was more about a new arena than owning the Oilers.
“It’s the best way for everybody to come together to get a new arena downtown and the growth around it.”
Then Nichols said it: That, for Katz, this isn’t really about owning the Oilers so much as it is the new arena downtown and being in position “A” for the investment around it.
“It’s all about the arena downtown. He didn’t want to go there unless he owned the arena.”
Buy a hockey team for the fair price of $185 million but get a $450 million arena for $100 million? Steal of a deal.
Let me just put in the pertinent part from the press conference here, because it makes it pretty obvious that Jones completely blew the quote and which resulted in him utterly missing Nichols’ point:
…frankly, when I talked to him, only once, for an hour, the focus was really all about the arena and the downtown possibilities and he made it made it known at that time that he simply didn’t want to go there unless he owned the hockey team and I guess if I was in a position to do so, that would probably be the way I would approach it.
You’ll appreciate that there’s something of a difference between “He didn’t want to go there unless he owned the arena” and “He simply didn’t want to go there unless he owned the hockey team.”
Read Jones’ last line again: “Buy a hockey team for the fair price of $185 million but get a $450 million arena for $100 million? Steal of a deal.” Now, I’m not one of those lawyers who understands markets and does deals, but it strikes me that a deal that’s even better than the one that Jones has laid out is a deal where you get a $450 MM arena for $100 MM and you don’t have to drop another $185MM at fair market. That’s some awful work on Terry’s part and you wonder if his obvious antipathy towards Katz contributed to his hearing problem.
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As long as I’m tagging the local media, a quick perusal of Matty’s mailbag reveals the following:
On Torres and Stoll being benched in a home game:
Sorry, but Oilers coach Craig MacTavish doesn’t consult the ticket-buying public when he wants to shuffle his lineup. I agree it would have been nicer for you when you don’t go to many games, but what about the fans who have bought tickets and still haven’t seen Sheldon Souray yet? Souray, who’s had a bum shoulder for months, has only played three Oilers home games.
Roloson’s save percentage is about .900 , better than Miikka Kiprusoff in Calgary, which means he’s still making enough stops. But his goals-against-average is over 3.0, not so good. His win-loss record is five games under .500 and what’s killing him is he can’t win on the road (1-7-1). Garon’s overall record is 7-6, but he’s got a .915 save percentage. That’s a tough stat to ignore for a coach.
I’ve had more than one person who’s had encounters with Matheson tell me that he’s a hell of a guy and he’s a Hockey Hall of Famer but if he’s the John Lennon of the Edmonton press corps, his mailbag is Revolution No. 9.