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Oilers owner explains why he won’t attend city council meeting

Thrashers Oilers Hockey

Edmonton Oilers’ owner Daryl Katz, left, speaks with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman during second period of a hockey game against the Atlanta Thrashers, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, in Edmonton, Alberta, (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Ulan)


Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz issued a lengthy letter explaining why he won’t show up for an Oct. 17 city council meeting regarding the team’s fledgling new arena deal.

Katz believes the two sides “remain far apart both on substance and process.”

“I fear the City has approached this negotiation based on narrow political considerations rather than a genuine desire to strike a deal that is fair and makes economic sense for both sides,” Katz wrote.

One might say that the team and city are now farther apart than the NHL and NHLPA are in CBA negotiations, which would be a timely comment since Katz finished the letter by recommending an intervention by Gary Bettman.

“I also want to remind you of Commissioner Bettman’s offer to come to Edmonton to help forge a deal,” Katz wrote.

Katz stated that he’s sorry for taking Oilers fans for granted, but it’s clear that hasn’t softened the way he works with Edmonton city officials.

(One might even note that Seattle’s revised arena plan was approved yesterday.)

Either way, it seems like the two sides might be in for a protracted battle, which could remind Oilers fans of another politically-charged hockey haggling session.

For more selected quotes from that verbose letter, check out the Edmonton Journal’s report. For the full piece, click here.