Monday, January 28, 2008

Almost an NHL Owner.....

Well it looks like the deal is almost done! Katz will be the next owner of the Edmonton Oilers. Although a few may still hold out, it matters not! Katz is one step away from owning this team; he will be the majority shareholder. He may have 70 % when this is done or more. But the others will have no say if they don't end up selling. Also, the internal bid by some of the EIG is now off; it has been taken off the table. Can we all say one thing? YES!!!

First, we should all recognize and show our appreciate for a group of Edmonton businessmen led by Cal Nichols who banded together a decade ago and saved this team. I remember those days when it seemed like a forgone conclusion that this team was very close to being sold to a Texan and relocated. However, this group got together and kept this team in Edmonton.

BUT.....let's not feel too bad for these boys. They'll be getting back twice their initial investment (probably more than half) so they made out damn good. However, it is time to move on. Katz is the man for this team; the man to take this team to the next level. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt but I do expect changes to be made when necessary. No more hanging onto ineffective management. I'm willing to be a loyal comrade through this rebuild but it should have been a true rebuild from the start instead of flip-flopping between rebuilding and contending (ie: Souray signing). It'll be interesting to see how involved he will be.
Thank you EIG. Time to pass the torch!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

American Teams Suck!!!

Well I'm watching the Oilers play right now against Tampa Bay on PPV. Well it's early in the second period and they are already down 2-0. Wait, it's now 3-0.

A couple notes on this game so far:

-get new sticks Jarret Stoll
-Roli is playing like crap tonight. Wait, that's an insult to crap. It's been bad and he just let in a short-handed goal (still in net too)
-Greene is crapola as usual. Either he rings it around the boards or gives the puck away. Seriously...Tarnstrom is not a better option?

Okay, powerplay goal for the Oilers and now it's 3-1 with a goal by Cogs.

-kids are buzzing tonight: Cogs and Gags (with Nilsson) are great together. Only took MacT 50 games to figure that out.
-the veterans are NOT. Where are they??
-nice to see Pitkanen back
-not a good game for Gilbert either (giveaway lead to a goal already)

Anyways, with the All-Star break almost upon us, the Oilers are only 6 points out of eighth spot. BUT....this team is most likely not making the playoffs. The Oilers had to win at least 4 of this 5 game road trip but with tonight's game, this is now doubtful. They lost a shootout to Washington, humiliated in Carolina, a good win in Atlanta and already down 3-1 tonight in Tampa Bay. I really did believe this team could fight for a playoff spot but that is sure not the case recently. The team has more troubles defensively than they do offensively. I don't have enough room to list all the problems with this team but I point the finger first at MacT. From keeping goalies in too long to questionable defensive zone coverage, this man should not be the man anymore.

One final note: I hate Oilers PPV. Rob Brown is a dreadful color man. In fact, I don't believe he should be called a color man. How about a black n'white man? Yes, he's that bland and colorless.


Oh yes, one more final note: SELL SELL SELLLLLLLL!!!!! With articles noting Katz may have 68% of the shares willing to sell to him, let's make this happen and why not all 100%? Great article by John Mackinnon. This is the point I've been making for weeks:

Let's be clear, the choice here is between the financially flush Katz and a re-constituted EIG that has to borrow money to buy out those who are prepared to sell and borrow again to help finance a downtown arena for which Katz already has pledged an infusion of $100 million cash.

Why that almost makes sense?!?!

And looks like Sid the Whiney Kid is out for 6-8 weeks. I danced a jig of joy. If he hadn't been so intent on diving and trying to draw a penalty, he would never have been hurt. Yes, I know this might come as a shock but little baby Sid likes to dive. He really should do that in a swimming pool....

Sunday, January 06, 2008

What Goes Around......

Am I totally evil to have enjoyed this beautiful hit by Hatcher? That look on Lupul's face was basically the same look he had all of last year in Edmonton. Dazed and confused oh yes!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

We get the warhead and we hold the world ransom for... ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

This Katz thing is sure becoming one helleva mess. It's beginning to become VERY evident that there are some movements behind the scenes to sell within the team. An article in the Edm Sun gives some more lovely quotes from the new chairman of the EIG, Bill Butler.

"Our group can do as much as Katz with his billions. The Oilers are a debt-free $200-million asset that can be leveraged to buy out the current shareholders who want to exit. The Katz offer isn't as simple as it appears." Investors group members will meet at the end of January to further discuss Katz's offer. Butler said a vote over whether to sell the team is not expected to be held at that meeting."

So the EIG can do the same as Katz with his billions? Can you buy a hockey team outright without taking on debt? Can you offer up a $100 millions dollars of your own money to help build an arena? Can you please pull your head out of yours collective asses? No on all accounts!

Even better, Terry Jones from the Sun has an article that is just as predictable as the EIG. Thank you for telling me that Butler is a real estate developer. Cause selling a billion dollars worth of real estate (where does that figure come from?) is surely the same or better than actually being worth several billion dollars. Good point!

Jones also surmises (once again, where are these questions coming from?) that Katz’s motivation is not about a billion home-town boy wanting to own his childhood team but it's all about the arena. That's quite the leap. The first three offers for the Oilers did not mention the arena. So yes we see his super evil plan is all about the arena. It's all about the "greater wealth of Daryl Katz."

Butler thinks there are a "hundred different ways to finance this thing." Yes that is so true because building arenas are easy to finance. Like he said, a hundred different ways. I want to know: can they match Katz's offer of $100 million for the arena? They refuse to answer this question so the answer is an obvious NO.

So the "group which saved the franchise" is planning on taking on more debt, mortgaging the $200 million dollar worth of the Edmonton Oilers and financing the buying out of fellow shareholders and building an arena. Yes this is for the good of the Oilers. It's all about community!

Terry then takes another shot at Katz demanding he come out of hiding. I didn't know he was in hiding. He's trying to buy a hockey team, not implementing the final solution. He doesn't owe us any public declarations at this point.

This is a guy who won't come out of his hole and appear in public demanding answers from the citizens who saved the team without his help and without making a dime to answer to him because why? Because he's Daryl Katz and is worth two billion bucks?

Come clean? Come on!

The EIG sent a letter asking some questions (arena, keeping the team in Edm, etc) on New Year's Eve. Two days later, the EIG holds a press conference recommending to reject the offer. I have a wild idea. Stay with me because this is so out there, it'll blow your mind! How about letting him answer the questions, meet with him in person, have him actually attend the board meeting on Jan 21st and then make your recommendations??? And Terry Jones, please take your lips off the EIG's ass. This is so blatant and biased. Get off your knees!

I thought this sale would be a slam dunk after Nichols changed his mind to support the new offer in December but this is becoming ridiculous. You have a hometown billionaire who is offering to double your money, put up his own moolah of $100 million to a new arena, is offering to meet individually with each shareholder to answer all questions, and this is still not moving forward??

The EIG should be ASHAMED of themselves and the way they have collectively handled this matter. The press conference from yesterday was just another show of how inept this group really is. Finish the process before you make your recommendations and an ass of yourself. You may have been saviours in 1998 but you are NO LONGER. If you truly are committed to the Oilers, step up, spend to the cap EVERY YEAR, make your employers accountable for their actions (Lowe and MacT), put your own money towards an arena (do not mortgage the Oilers and take on more debt to do so) and stop hiding yourselves. Show yourselves and truly explain your actions. Don't hid behind "the community" and "saviours from 1998" doesn't float anymore.

One more: stop portraying Daryl Katz as an evil outsider intent on destroying the world. He is not Dr. Evil.

Also, the Oilers try to remain unbeaten in 2008 tonight in Nashville. Also Sheldon flew back to Edmonton after the game last night to get his shoulder looked at since it was hurting and had been for awhile. He has been icing it between periods. This can't be good, but probably not as bad as we think. He played the whole game last night so we'll have to wait and see!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year....let 2007 be more winful than 2008!

2007 is finally over and that means a nice fresh start for our Edmonton Oilers. However, 2008 is not ringing in as joyful as I would like. The EIG (board) is recommending to their shareholders that they should REJECT saviour Katz's offer. They voted 6-4 to recommend rejection of the offer but this might not be over as several major shareholders would like to sell according to TSN.

The EIG would also like more clarification on the possible $100 million offer for an arena and whether Katz would sign an agreement to keep the Oilers in Edmonton. I'm all for more information on the offer and would love a declaration from Katz to keep our Oil in Edmonton, but why recommend a rejection of the offer? Leave the decision to the individual members. No collusion please! How many more times is this man going to come back? Anyways, the entire EIG will meet on January 21st to vote on the offer. I hope they all come to their senses by then!

Oilers look to recover from a lovely six game losing streak tonight against St. Louis. Ahhh yes the game is on pay-per-view again. Sheesh, enough already Oilers. There are way too many games on ppv this year. Back to the game tonight. While they've been in all six games, this is such a must-needed win. They are 7 pts out of the playoffs but if they can get on a run, they're not out of it. However, their collapse in the third period is beginning to get old. They've either been tied or leading heading in the third in all six losses, but each time they gave up a late goal or collapsed entirely (hello Minnesota?). They need to get tough on the boards, shore up the defense, stop taking stupid penalties (hello Moreau, welcome back ass), no more giveaways (Horcoff, that's you too. He's also been held pointless in these six games) and please get some of our boys back (Hemsky and Pitkanen, we miss you).

Do the Oilers get back to their inconsistent winning ways? I say yes and it'll be a regulation win. I've called this before but didn't really believe it. I just have a feeling tonight. They have to turn it around. (update: Pitkanen returns tonight)!

Prediction: Oilers win 3-1 with goals by Horcoff, Cogliano and Souray!

UPDATE: Here is Katz's response which I think shows his frustration and has some VERY valid points!!!! Here is an excerpt!

''The board's conduct in recent days is confusing and I fail to see how it serves the best interests of (Oilers) shareholders,'' Katz said. "I have offered repeatedly to meet with the EIG Board of Directors, EIG shareholders - either individually or as a group - and with the professional advisors to any of the above to discuss my interest in acquiring the team and answer their questions."

''I intend to respond to whatever valid questions the board has about my offer for the team, but I think they owe an equal duty to come clean about any involvement members of the board may have in fashioning an alternative bid, how much debt they plan to assume to retain ownership, and what commitments they are prepared to make to help secure a new arena.''