We are concerned about the implications of the motion passed yesterday by city council.
We do not yet have a view on what comes next, but we remain hopeful that there is a solution that achieves the mutual goal of securing the Oilers’ longterm sustainability in Edmonton.
Added NHL commissioner Gary Bettman:
I think everybody needs to take a deep breath.
The Oilers need a new arena, the city of Edmonton needs a new arena and I’m hopeful that, despite the breakdown in negotiations, reason will prevail and we’ll get it to the right place.
It’s probably best not to read too much into either of these statements, given that these are the sorts of things that team owners and league commissioners always say in this situation. Still, it’s marginally notable that it was Katz, and not Bettman, who dropped the ominous notes about “longterm sustainability in Edmonton”: Usually it’s the league officers like Bettman who are assigned to make these veiled threats, so if Bettman is playing good cop, maybe that’s a sign that the league isn’t eager to see a move-threat war play out in one of its more lucrative cities? Nah, let’s just stick with “don’t read too much into it” and move on.