Katz plan has lots of upside

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

As the clock ticks toward Tuesday's deadline, here are some points to ponder on the probable sale of the Edmonton Oilers to Daryl Katz...

* If Katz is indeed able to close the deal by the deadline, it will be a major win-win scenario for several people, including:

Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner: Not only will the Oilers be secure in the hands of a local billionaire, but the sale price of $200 million also helps keep the value of NHL franchises on the rise.

The latest figures from Forbes indicate the average NHL team is worth $180 million US. Data shows the Oilers were worth $157 million just last year.

If you go back to 2002, the Oilers were valued at $86 million US.

Kevin Lowe, Oilers GM: While it's widely believed that Lowe's job is very secure if Katz becomes owner, Lowe will also be in a very enviable position to spend the money required to get the top talent.

With Katz's net worth pegged at $2.07 billion, according to Canadian Business Magazine, spending to the salary cap shouldn't be a concern for several years to come.

Many members of the Edmonton Investors Group: Getting a cheque for $22,000 per share is an obvious win, but Katz will also surely honour and recognize the EIG if he gets control of the club.

From someone who has been on both sides of the fence -- in the public relations world and now as a journalist -- I think Katz's strategy with the media has been perfect so far.

There are reporters in this town who have been critical of him. Some want him to step in front of the cameras and microphones right now to answer questions.

But staying out of the public eye and staying very quiet is the right move right now.

First of all, he doesn't own the team yet.

Secondly, he avoids saying something that could be interpreted the wrong way that could spark a debate or ruffle some feathers.

The last thing Katz and his P.R. firm need to do is damage control.

And finally, by saying very little through this entire bidding process, Katz hasn't put any public pressure on any of the EIG shareholders. That has been a very smart public relations move.

* For those trying to keep score at home, there appear to be eight EIG investors who fall into the category of unknown intention. The intense media hounds covering this story still haven't been able to figure out which way the following shareholders are leaning: Todd McFarlane, Ernie Elko, Harold Roozen, J.R. Paine & Associates, Roger Roberge, Marcel Roberge, Dale Sheard and Keith Weaver.

* If Katz secures the team, what changes will we see in the near future away from the ice?

Is a downtown hotspot Oilers-themed restaurant/bar - similar to Flames Central in Calgary - on the horizon?

Will Katz bring more Oilers content to a TV screen near you?

The fans appetite suggests that's a warranted move.

Stay tuned.


Videos

Photos