Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Illusions: The Adventures of an Oiler Messiah

Upon reading today's big news item, I have jumped to a few conclusions awfully quickly. As a young person without much experience trying to read between the lines of media reports, I thought it would be wise to run my assumptions by the blogosphere before committing them to belief.

1) The sale of the Edmonton Oilers by the EIG to Rexall Sports is inevitable.

2) There is a distinct possibility that the sale has already been made, at least in principle.

When I read the article as linked, I see the EIG's current complaints as little more than minor quibbles. I see the "rejection" as temporary. Most importantly I see a conscious effort made by the writer in the interest of the EIG to help ensure they get sent off as white knights when their time does indeed come.

Am I being any more cynical than I should be? Because as far as I'm concerned the deal is done and today's piece, turning point though it may appear, is another step towards ensuring everything happens according to the best optics for all parties.

4 Comments:

Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

I dunno, everyone does everything for a reason, and after reading Katz's press release and hearing an interview of Bill Butler on CHED, I think that some of the EIG investors are in a situation where the timing for them to be taking profit is not the best. Plus this
appears to be a lucrative business. I am sure that at least some of them would be interested in buying out the other partners who are interested in selling.

Do they have the financial strength though? There was financial damage done as soon as Katz was granted access to the books last winter. They had to presume that the profitability of the partnership would become public and act accordingly.

Katz's promise to spend $100 million of his own money on a building, and to build a practice facility at UofA: These diminish the value of the franchise to the current owners. The promise to spend to the salary cap has been matched, but that's not a long term commitment of the EIG, it may only be short term pain if Katz ever decides to get off their backs.

The puzzling thing for me though, that's the request of the EIG board for a commitment from Katz to keep the team in Edmonton.

Of course the EIG refused to sign any agreement that would prevent them from selling the team out of Edmonton. Most NHL owners are legally bound to their markets as a condition of their arena lease, so this has real value, monetary value.

Still, this seems to be drawing attention to it, no? Surely they can't presume that absolutely nobody in the Edmonton press corps will make mention of that, can they? I'd like to think that the EIG don't have quite that much control of the media here in Lawrence, Kansas.

I mean it's an easier question for Katz to answer than the EIG. So why ask it?

1/02/2008 11:37 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Still, this seems to be drawing attention to it, no? Surely they can't presume that absolutely nobody in the Edmonton press corps will make mention of that, can they?

When was this? I might go do some research at the library tomorrow.

1/03/2008 12:29 am  
Blogger Showerhead said...

The first article I read basically had two quotes I was chomping on. Without looking them up, they were to the effect of "no one should sign the agreement as it stands right now " and then TSN's own writing regarding EIG's insistence over keeping the team in Edmonton. Putting those two together, it's easy to jump to "we will sell eventually" and "we are trying to look good as we go out by being overtly concerned about our city". New quotes have emerged, including those about possible buy-outs, which seem to contradict what I wrote. This will of course be interesting to follow.

1/03/2008 10:53 am  
Blogger IceDragoon said...

I see the EIG's current complaints as little more than minor quibbles.

Reading tea leaves may tell you more than TSN, Showerhead.
;-D

The EIG has not been a group united for some time. Right now there are selling, buying and it's my toy factions, plus some fence sitters. Topping things off, the selling faction does not want the buying faction to succeed. Katz was initially approached by some of the sellers because of this. Helluva tell, imho.

Just finishing up my tea...

ah...

I see lawyers raking it in amidst the discord.
;-D

L8r
Louise

1/03/2008 11:34 am  

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