SUN Hockey Pool

Katz's tricks getting old and stale

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:04 PM ET

How many veiled threats to you get?

And does Daryl Katz have any other style than holding your feet to the fire and putting a gun to your head?

Considering he's dealing with Edmonton city council, a group which allowed the Honda Edmonton Indy to temporarily get away, do you really blame him for running a fake to punt the team to Quebec City Wednesday.

It's the way Daryl Katz works.

He obtained the Edmonton Oilers in the first place with a hostile take over. He built his Rexall drug store empire with leveraged acquisitions.

Wednesday there was a media and fan frenzy involving top Oilers executives including Oilers president Kevin Lowe, CEO Patrick LaForge and Katz Group head Paul Marcaccio meeting with Quebec City Mayor Regis Lebeaume Wednesday.

Panic in the streets of Edmonton?

Relax. This is the way the guy plays.

Remember the Oilers moving to Hamilton back at the end of June?

The Katz Group went to city council in Hamilton and put together some business plan to run the Copps Coliseum and other properties and put a veiled threat in place for negotiations involving the proposed downtown arena project in Edmonton.

“Optically it's not perfect,” said the Oilers president and CEO. “It's spitty timing maybe.”

It was not about the Oilers moving then. No . No. No.

But there was no heads up to Mayor Stephen Mandel to explain the intent involved. Was there this time?

Outside city hall in Quebec City both Lowe and LaForge talked to the media after the meeting.

Not long later, a media message was released by Bob Black, the executive vice president of Katz Group saying no, no, no, it's not about the Oilers moving to Quebec City.

“Our representatives are on a fact finding mission to gather information on the Quebec arena project, the contemplated funding model and that city's discussions with other orders of government.

“Patrick, Kevin and Paul hope to learn from the Quebec City experience and bring back insights that will help move the project forward in Edmonton. We remain focused on our efforts to develop the funding structure required to enable the Edmonton Arena District project to proceed.”

Nowhere in there, of course does it say “we promise to stay in Edmonton.”

And the fact the release says they're not going to speak to it anymore , can't help but raise speculation, especially considering Katz's forceful statement in front of city council that no way will they play in Rexall Place after the lease runs out in 2014.

Realistically, of course, it's almost laughable.

Is Edmonton going to move to Quebec City where they don't have an arena and with the feds refusing to put up any money? That would appear to be a step back rather than a step forward.

So if Katz can fake a plunge to Quebec and stick a few rockets up the butts of local members of city council, what's the harm?

He has to get a shovel in the ground sometime soon if there's to be a new arena to play in for the 2014-15 hockey season.

The bottom line is that there's a better chance of the Oilers losing you than of you losing the Oilers.

And maybe Daryl Katz should start thinking about that.


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