12.13.2007

New Generation Oilers

With the team in a rebuild (or not depending on who you ask) there is a new wave of Oilers bringing new blood to this team. But it goes beyond the players as Daryl Katz has made a new offer at 188 million on the Edmonton Oilers. One that is wholly(sp?) endorsed by Cal Nichols and other members of the EIG.

As Cal put it, "it's probably time to pass the torch to a new generation of ownership". So after stomping their feet and scoffing at Mr. Katz's previous offers, the EIG are singing their way to the bank. The third offer Katz made was reported in the previous article as 185 million, so basic dollars has not changed. Why the sudden change of heart? Maybe they are forcasting a rush off the Oiler bandwagon that Chris Pronger built. This team is a non-playoff team for a couple years maybe they expect that to hurt the bottom line where as Katz can handle a couple of tough years with his deep pockets. As one of the richest teams in the NHL with a strong fanbase I just don't see that as a solid reason. Either way Katz has made a solid investment to try and take over the franchise that Gretzky built.

Many EIG haters have applauded the idea of a rich man owning the team over a group of 36 less rich men. I can't tell if its because they like Katz or just hate the EIG, I'll go with the latter. So what does Darryl Katz do for the Oilers that the EIG couldn't (or didn't). He has been quoted as saying that he will invest 100 million of his own money into a new arena along with providing capital so the Oilers could spend to the cap every year. The EIG responded to this by stating they too will provide money into a new arena. This could have been nothing more than a publicity comeback to Katz's remarks but either way they both promised money. Secondly the EIG have responded about team salary by having one of the highest payrolls in the NHL. Lets call it a wash in those two categories.

As for running the team this is where the two ownership parties could vary greatly. For those who like the idea of one wealthy owner running this team you can look at guys like Charles Wang who run the team like the way they want to, not necessarily whats best for the on ice product. You have to be wary of a bored wealthy man treating this team like his toy. When you have a large group of shareholders there are many people that decide on what actions to take thus preventing the problems associated with that. There are downsides to have a larger group of owners as decisions and changes can be long and not always unanimous, which goes hand in hand with democratic groups. Having one owner allows him to act quickly and confidently, which could be the difference between a signing or trade falling through or not.

If Darryl Katz becomes owner of this team will anything change? It will be interesting to see.

8 comments:

Jon G said...

I like the idea of having 1 owner, however, having 36 gives a bit of a safe guard against knee-jerk decisions. However, with the 4th highest payroll this year, I do not see too much changing if he takes over.

Rory said...

The EIG has done a great job of saving the franchise from being moved elsewhere. It was a bold move for them since the team was in the red at the time and while they are all wealthy men the team would have to continue to make large profits for all of them to be satisfied, having several seasons of not making playoffs, along with the economy in Alberta makes them more vulnerable than Katz.

I do not think Katz is a Charles Wang, it seems that no matter what he does the Islanders continue to fail and the building is half empty every night. Katz is smarter and despite the numerous rejections from the EIG in the past he always remains professional and respects their decision. He already said he wants Nichols to be involved with the team, I think mostly with the arena project, while he obviously sees this as an oppurtunity to make more money he seems to have the interests of the fans and the game itself in mind when doing everything.

Jon G said...

The other thing that Katz has over Wang is the fact that he does not want to bring in a Sumo Wrestler to play goal

Rory said...

Or foot stomping face crushing hacks.

Josh said...

Or bad goalies as GM

Rory said...

That make 15 year deals for an average goaltender.

Rory said...

So with Nichols out and the new guy advising shareholders to reject his offer will he make another one at the end of the season? 200 million?

Josh said...

I don't know, EIG seems very split. Will be a surprising decision either way (if that makes sense).

I think there is a meeting towards the end of the month that they either vote on it or are officially informed of the recommendation then vote at a later time.