Insider: Katz looking to acquire Oilers
Madness at Rexall
7/18/2007 10:26:50 PM
There very well could be a change of ownership on the horizon for the Edmonton Oilers. Sources tell TSN that local billionaire Daryl Katz has submitted an offer to buy the franchise outright from the Edmonton Investors Group.
The Edmonton Journal reports the offer is worth over $170 million Cdn.
It isn't the first time Katz has taken a run at getting in.
Earlier this year on two occasions, he approached the board of directors with preliminary offers to buy shares in the team and both times he was steered aside. But apparently this time, Katz has bypassed the board of directors and gone straight to the shareholders with the offer to buy the whole thing. He needs two-thirds of the votes in order for the sale to go through, but based on the way the ownership group is set up, if he gets the right guys on board, as little as one-third of the men voting could be enough.
Katz, a self made billionaire, was listed by Forbes magazine as the 486th richest man on the planet with a net worth of $1.6 billion in 2006. He has the cash to not only buy the team, but to potentially build a new rink as well. Katz made his money in pharmaceuticals and owns the Rexall brand.
Setting sights on the free agent front, two goaltenders of note who remain available are Curtis Joseph and David Aebischer.
Now at the age of 40, Joseph is coming off a decent season with a poor team in Phoenix. But at 3.19, his goals-against average was the highest it's been in 10 years.
Joseph has had some interest around the NHL, but certainly nothing concrete at this point. Sources say he would like to return to Toronto in a mentoring role perhaps for newly-aquired Vesa Toskala, but in order for that to happen, the Leafs would have to find a way to move Andrew Raycroft and his $2.2 million dollar salary.
Aebischer meanwhile, is negotiating with four teams. Obviously he'd like to start, or at worst be in a 1-1A type situation. However, he only played 32 games last season with the Montreal Canadiens. Nevertheless, sources say he should have something sewn up in the next week to 10 days.