Earlier this week, Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz caused a stir when he and team executives Patrick LaForge, Craig MacTavish, Kevin Lowe, and franchise icon Wayne Gretzky visited Seattle and toured Key Arena as he fights for a new arena deal. That same day, Seattle officials voted in favor of a plan for a $490 million arena, putting the city in the mix to be the home of a future NHL team should the league expand or have to relocate a franchise.
The visit caused much backlash in the Edmonton, with fans lashing out at the billionaire owner and calling his bluff with this attempt to use Seattle as leverage to get an arena deal done. The Seattle Oilers? Not a chance.
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Five days later, Katz has realized his mistake and on Saturday took out a full page ad in the Edmonton Journal apologizing for using the Oilers as a pawn in the negotiations.
From the Edmonton Journal:
The next move now comes by Oct. 17, a "drop-dead date" that Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel has set for the Katz Group to detail what is needed to help reach an agreement on a new arena. "What is it? What do you want? We have been dealing with this for four years. You should know by now. … It's not a complicated issue of what you want. We just don't know what it is," Mandel told the Journal earlier this week.
According to the Edmonton Sun, members of the Katz Group met with city administrator's on Thursday, but Mandel is hopeful the Oct. 17 deadline doesn't come and go without the issues being hashed out together.
Is an apology letter enough to save face with Oilers fans?
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy
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