ELPH UPDATE AND KATZ TALK

 

A scant 5 days ago, our esteemed colleague Jason Gregor wrote an obituary to the Exciting Last Place Hockey movement.

"ELPH was put to rest on December 2nd, 2010. My heartfelt condolences go out to Wanye, who I know will be crushed." He then texted us "I have thrown down the gauntlet you idiot. The exciting last place hockey movement is over and done."

Like any good military tactician, we plotted and planned and waited to send our reply. For you see revenge – much like pizza – is better served stone cold and days late.

How’s things going for you now Gregor? Heh heh heh. Sucker.

IN DEFENSE OF KAY-Z

 

Sweet Gods of Rock. Something called a "Scott Haskins" has called out Daryl Katz in his column appearing in the Edmonton Examiner. It seems Mr Haskins is upset with the heretofore rocky negotiations between Katz representatives and various levels of politics regarding the Downtown Arena Project.

"Edmonton will not and should not be held for ransom. Another millionaire once tried that. It didn’t work out very well for Peter Pocklington. And it’s not going to work out very well this time. Our hockey team is not Daryl Katz’ toy!"

Haskins doesn’t appear to enjoy a recent trip to Quebec by Oilers Brain Trust advisors. He interprets this visit as an act of war with the City of Edmonton and Oilers fans around the globe. He goes on to offer some sage words of advice:

"(Katz) might want to rid yourself of some of your advisors and yes-men and replace them with someone who knows very little. Because that would be a step up."

We’d like to point out that a young Wanye von Gretzington (age 12-15) used to deliver the Edmonton Examiner in a route that seemed to span the entire City. As such we consder Haskins to be a co-worker of ours and we couldn’t help but cringe reading this article in it’s entirety.

"Daryl Katz should be a hero in this town. He is the local boy who made good, and then stepped up to save the day … and the team. Even if he is intent on being Mr. Invisible. Since then, however, it has been all downhill. It has come to the point where a lot of people would almost welcome Pocklington."

Dude, Peter Pockington is a convicted felon who relied on Katz – who has no relationship with him whatsoever – to post bond on his behalf recently. 

Suggesting that Pocklington would be a welcome replacement for Katz as owner of the team overshoots the "controverisal article" you were doubtlessly looking to write and lands somewhere between "laughable" and "treatable with a full frontal lobotomy."

It’s one thing to oppose the public funding of the Downtown Arena project. It’s another thing altogether when people call out Katz for somehow being a bad owner of the team.

Unaccessible? Sure. Snappy dresser? Fine. Hired Justin Bieber to tutor his kids in English last summer? As best we can tell, yes.

But all the guy has done since buying the team is pour trillions of dollars into the already stuffed pockets of Tom Gilbert and Shawn Horcoff.

Every action he could take to put the best team possible on the ice has been taken. The number of consultants and advisors around the team has multiplied geometrically, he has thrown offer sheets at a third of the league and recently purchased the Windsor Spitfires as a gift for Taylor Hall.

In short: regardless of your thoughts on how he is handling the new Arena, you have to be some shade of crazy to suggest that he has been anything less than an exemplary NHL owner.

Suggesting anything otherwise demeans us all – and especially the venerable newspaper that paid for our hockey card addiction ages 12-15.

  • Travis Dakin

    Scott Haskins? I’ve always wondered what happened to him.

    I used to read that column he would write for the Sun…. Apparently he lost that gig because he is bat[crap] crazy.

    I know you read this site Scott, give your head a shake. Any person who thinks that the Oilers went to Quebec to hold the city of Edmonton “ransom” has clearly lost the ability to think with a rational mind.

    Terrible.

  • S.Tambellini

    Scott Haskins….hmmm, name seems familiar. I believe he used to have a real job. The Examiner does pump out some very interesting articles though. I like the old lady who taught me to make candied yams and green salad. Delicious.

  • “a Scott Haskins”!!!! Beautiful!

    I’m so sick of all these people trashing Katz. It’s called a business and a business needs to make money. He’s been subsidizing the team since he’s owned it. He loves Edmonton obviously, when you choose to live here when you have a couple billion really says something about this guy. It also says that he doesn’t want to buy his favorite hockey team to ship them to Quebec!!

    You think he wants to hear, “ALLONS-Y OILERS! ! !!! ALLONS-Y OILERS”???????

    Also, comparing Katz and Mr.Puck is like comparing Megan Fox and that Jamaican hermaphrodite. One is not what they seem and the other is everything and more!

    Note: Allons-y = let’s go (en francais)

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I have to agree with what was said. To pull out the reloocation card was an embarrassment, and Scott gave them both barrels for it. Lol, hope he wasn’t impaired while using that literary shotgun.

    Would like to see Scott contributing here on ON, he would have some interesting things to say. With the relaxed rules he would sure be good for a few laughs.

  • John Chambers

    It takes a big hairy nutsack to buy a $200M toy, then patiently sit back for a few years to watch it suck ugly mole-spotted moose wang in the pursuit of pure awesomeness sometime in the future.

    But I guess that’s the kind of hairy nutsack you need to conquer the pharmaceutical distribution channel, and slowly gain a competitive advantage that turns you into one of the richest dick-slingers on this fair planet of ours.

    Scott Haskins clearly doesn’t understand this as evidenced by the fact that he writes misinformed op-ed pieces geared at seniors for the junk mail weekly and touches old mens’ dingleberries’ to pay the rent.

  • So I don’t live in the city, nay, I don’t even live in the province, I don’t pay any taxes to the City of Edmonton nor the Alberta government, and I don’t own anything outside of this pair of jeans with the “fashionable” hole in the crotch, but once again can someone please explain to me why this whole “lets throw some of this public cash we wasted trying to get some sort of ‘World’s Fair’ (honestly those still exsit?) to come to Edmonton and build a beautiful new, state of the art arena complex that will presumeably last the city well over 20 years and hopefully bring in some lasting infrastructure” is sending people into spasms?

    I get that taxes are already high and to raise them would be like getting your butthole punched by one of your friends, but why is city council so vehemently against helping to get this building made? Is there honestly something more useful to the city as a whole that they need to spend the money on?

    Anybody?

    • John Chambers

      It’s a negotiation my good friend, Jeanshorts. It’s not the City’s job to get excited about the project, but to protect the interest of taxpayers and spend scarce tax dollars on projects that return the highest value to the City.

      World’s Fair, Cdn Finals Rodeo, the Junior National BMX competition, all bring money into the city by way of taxes paid at restaurants and hotels. We want to sponsor them because they in one way or another return a profit to the City.

      The new arena / entertainment complex is the wet dream of a billionaire. It will happen eventually, but Iveson is playing our hand wisely so that it’s not on everyone else’s dime.

      As for anything more useful – how about needed infrastructure, police, snow removal, and transportation services? These are definitely higher spending priorities that a hockey team who already plays in an adequate facility.

      • All these make sense, although I really don’t think the Expo/World’s Fair/Whatever would be anything but a waste of money. I honestly don’t think there would be any sort of long term retrun. Bring a bunch of people to the city to show them that there’s really nothing to return for? Maybe I’m wrong but last time I checked Edmonton didn’t have the most booming tourist economy.

        It looks like both sides are acting like a-holes, but for whatever reason it seemed like the city was being slighty more unreasonable. I don’t know I’m probably just really excited at the thought of being able to watch a live Oilers game without leaving with bloody shins cause I’m too tall to comfortably fit in those old ass wooden seats, or be able to walk through the concourse to get a beer without swimming through thousands of people that are shoulder to shoulder.

        Again I don’t live there anymore and the only thing I really pay is income tax (and the insane amount of tuition I still have carrying over means I’ll be getting a return for the next 2 years if not longer anyway) so I’m fairly in the dark when it comes to tax hikes and stuff like that. But I just feel a state of the art complex like that would be far more benificial to the city instead of continuing to cram stuff into Rexall while the building slowly deteriorates and becomes even more out of date.

        But you’re right, if I lived there I’d probably rather have them dump a bunch of money to try and fix all those crummy roads instead. Why can’t we just all have our cake and eat it? WHAT’S SO WRONG WITH THAT??

        • John Chambers

          I agree with you on a lot of levels, but I’ll frame it a different way:

          I’m a street vendor selling hotdogs. You’re hungry and have a $10 bill in your pocket and want a hotdog. There’s nobody else selling food for miles. My franks cost $10 apieces. You tell me you’ll only pay $5 for a hotdog and you’ll sit on the side of the street for as long as it takes for me to sell you one for $5. What am I supposed to do? The answer is wait. You’ll buy my street meat for $10 eventually.

          This is the position the City is in. Katz wants the arena the most. He will not move the team. The new arena will make the team more profitable. The sooner he gets the new arena, he reaps greater profits into perpetuity. The City takes a PR hit from the people who desperately want an arena (who from a voting census basis are a minority), and gain popularity with the majority of voters who don’t see it worthwhile to offer a rich man a subsidy that will benefit only a few people.

          I’ve worked with Don Iveson. He’s a very smart man. He would just rather spend $200M of our collective money on an LRT extention to West Edmonton Mall than making it more convenient for you to buy beer at hockey games.

          • Thanks. A lot of this makes way more sense. Like I said I was pretty in the dark about the whole thing in general and the only real information I got was usually second hand, and usually from this here comments section, which as we all know is pretty much on par with any University library across North America when it comes to facts.

            In conclusion I can’t wait for the city to spend all you people’s tax money on a swanky new arena! VIVA LA KATZ!

      • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

        I agree that the city must play the role of devil’s advocate in the eyes of most blindly committed Oiler fans. But in the end it will have been nothing more than part of the process that will ensure that when (not if) the arena is finally built, many (if not all) possible funding models have been exhausted. See Sports Mortgage.

        Infrastructure should be black listed from the “more useful” ways to spend money category until the public office learns to better manage that money by not allowing loser, grade B contractors overrun projects by years at a time. See Quesnell and Capilano bridge expansions.

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      i wouldnt mind if the city filled a pot hole or 86548 with something other than cake mix…

      i totally 100% agree that the arena is needed. the problem with tossing around taxpayers money is, IMO, that a huge chunk of change like that could probably be spent on something a little better.

      IMO, work out a ticket tax. charge $x per ticket for every event around there… hell, even a sports select type deal to raise money via the chronic gamblers in this province.. even pretty words that dont involve “taxpayer”.. i would take that… like talking pretty in my ear while you reach around and gra…well, you know

  • Quicksilver ballet

    He wants the taxpayers to cover more than 50% of the cost of this facility, yet he wants to keep 100% of the operating profits from the new building.

    • Oh right, I think I remember that now. Okay see that makes sense.

      From what I’ve seen so far it seemed more like a “money for more art galleries!” kind of argument, but the spending all this money and reaping very little profits part I understand.

      And I guess I do remember thinking over the summer “Man, Katz going about this like a real a-hole” but I figured it was probably just “left-wing pinko spin” type stuff.

      Carry on.

    • John Chambers

      How did I imply that the Oilers bring no money into the City?

      The new arena and the World’s Fair are completely unrelated concepts. Supporting one does not imply a lack of support for another.

      The City, like any business, family, or individual, should concentrate their time and resources pursuing opportunities that return the most value to itself.

      Measuring a new arena vs. the world’s fair – the latter would undoubtedly provide a greater return on investment.

      That’s why smart people, and not you, run the City.

      • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

        Your street meat can eventually be had for $7.50 because the City is exactly unlike any business, where it has to answer to the public.

        You should still write a book though.

      • @John Chambers

        Good sir, you related those topics, my question was fairly simple I thought.

        I am in no way not supporting those initiatives, especially the worlds fair. I am simply stating that in your post, you implied that the arena is a “wet dream of a billionaire”. This would suggest that you do not support the arena and do not understand the impact that the oilers have on our economy because to suggest that the oilers do not bring exponentially more in the way of restaurant revenue or hotels as compared to the BMX jrs is to put it nicely, “a Scott Haskins” take. When you say they turn a profit for the city, you imply that the oilers do not turn a profit for the city for them to be here.

        You saying that the oilers already play in an adequate arena is like saying that you have one of those old school bag phones and don’t want to upgrade to a smartphone because “it still makes calls”. It’s called progression.

        We also didn’t even touch on funding. There are many ways to do this. Ticket tax, the new equity financing option or others. The city simply MIGHT have to put up the money and then be repaid over time. All I’m saying is there needs to be urgency to this. The timing now is unbelievable with the economy still uncertain. A downtown mega-project would be fantastic for the construction industry!

      • Let’s be clear here. The World’s Fair bid was about getting infrastructure money from the feds, plain and simple. Tax money in other words. It was a pretty obvious that’s what it was about when Mandel went ballistic (and nobody outside Edmonton cared he did).

        To my mind, the bid wasn’t going to win anyways. A world’s fair in a landlocked western Canadian city of no particular political or world interest and really poor air connections? You know how much the world actually knows or cares about our Oil Sands problem? Jack squat (I’ve seen the research).

        Katz wants money from the city and the city wanted money from the feds. And you’re right, we’ve only seen his opening position. You can’t judge the arena district finance model based on the first round of negotiations, where both parties will of course state their optimal positions.

  • John Chambers

    What makes Iveson nothing more than a young whipper snapper that’s being groomed to be another professional politician. This is the guy that wanted city taxpayer money to fund Chinese earthquake victims then backtracked when some people complained. He bought votes during the recent civic election with a smooth smile and free hot waffles. I digress, the city needs a new arena and the Oilers just facilitate this process so that Edmonton taxpayers come out on the right end when all is said and done. If Iveson can get this right then I may just accept a 4% tax increase even the cost of inflation is reportedly to be less than half of that.

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    @gretz
    “Dude, Peter Pockington is a convicted felon who relied on Katz – who has no relationship with him whatsoever – to post bond on his behalf recently”

    This I doubt VERY much. Allthough I believe you to be correct regarding Katz’ intentions with our soon to be awesome team. I would half to accuse Mr Rexall of being a liabetic if he ever denied having any sort of relationship with Peter Pocklington. Who, may be a convicted felon, btw; who are all these people believing him when he says ‘give me a few bucks…. and I’ll turn it into something’….?

    • I like turtles and the Oilers too! I think the new hockey rink should be in the shape of a turtle! Macrochelys temminckii of coarse. with an Oil derrick on the top. Kind of the Turtle is the foundation of the world myth!

  • Its not about an arena. Its about an entertainment district.

    I find it interesting that the people against the arena conveniently ignore the tax revenues to be gained from said district, which in theory would be an ongoing revenue stream for the city. That revenue in part would be used to pay off a development loan (along with Katz $100M, a CRL and a ticket tax) and represent additional ongoing revenue.

    They also ignore the fact that the required upgrades to RX1 will cost about the same as the projected cash outlay for the new arena (≈$250M). And please don’t kid yourself, (a) RX1 DOES need a major overhaul and (b) the city will pay for it.

    So the question becomes thus – Do you spend $250M refurbishing RX1 to keep the existing revenue model in favor of Northlands (because that’s what this is all about), or do you spend that same $250M downtown and get a whole district (which of course includes an arena)?

    (And just because I know it’ll come up), Scott Hennig’s position that the taxes generated will simply shift from another part of town (a net-zero gain) is flawed and simplistic. It assumes Edmonton is in a magical bubble where there’s no in-migration of new business or population. Katz has had substantial inquiries already. The only reason he can’t point to signed commitments is because those businesses won’t do that unless they have a high level of comfort the project will go ahead, which is in part why he needs this thing to get going. He needs those business commitments as collateral to finance the balance of the project.

    • “It assumes Edmonton is in a magical bubble where there’s no in-migration of new business or population.”

      Yeah, see, this was one of the points I soaked up and that’s one of the reasons why I had such a hard time understanding why there were some people so vehemently against it. Looks to me like a great part of town, right by Grant Mac, right by Jasper Ave, just off one of the LRT lines. Seems like you couldn’t find a more perfect place. That part of town seems to develop more and more every time I go back, and I imagine it would only skyrocket when an arena/mega complex turns it into an even larger hub. I guess maybe they’re scared of it somehow turning into a dead zone like the area around Northlands is now? And isn’t turning the city into more than just the mall and Whyte Ave something we’ve all been tossing around for a while now? And let’s be honest here, if you were coming in from another province or another country would you rather go watch a game in an arena sandwiched inbetween an industrial park and pretty much nothing but residential area? Or an arena right in the middle of downtown surrounded by bars and restaurants and hotels?

      I don’t know. That whole “You guys pay for the arena, I’ll take 95% of the profits part” makes sense as to why it would get shot down initially. But everything else seems to be pretty perfect. Oh well, like I said it’s not my money and I’m only going to be reaping all the benifits without having to deal with any of the real issues.

      RX2 HERE WE COME!

  • Oilers4ever

    This Haskins guy is obviously an ass with no hockey knowledge or economic smarts… As has been mentioned already… Katz owns the team, so yeah it is his toy to do with as he pleases… But to think he’s a bad owner is just assinine… He saved this team from possible destruction and that can never be forgotten. Don’t get me wrong, I still disagree (as I’ve said over the last few days) about him expecting tax payers to pay for something that he wants all the revenue from and if that continues, I do agree that it “will get ugly”. But I also do agree that the trip to Quebec was about comparing models and what could work… Katz grew up in this city, Rexall HQ here, blah blah blah. For him to move the team would make zero sense… and I cannot believe, KLowe, who bleeds copper and blue, would be involved with the team moving. The city just needs to get off their arses and work with Katz on a better financing model… or better yet, Katz should pay for the whole fricking thing if he wants all the profit and be done with it.. between concerts and everything, he’d make his cash back in abaout 5 years (provided the Oil stopping finishing 30th and make some playoff runs). Forget about Northlands and everything… Sorry boys, but you don’t own the team and have no right to think you should have any involvement with the new building. It’s not your team, Katz will find people to run it.

  • Oilers4ever

    Yeah.. that money could be spent better Cabledude.. like on a stupid arse Art Exhibit place… please… I’ve seen how your city wastes cash like it grows on fricking trees. Tell me, how many total people would visit that ole art building compared to the number of people who would go to an 18000 plus seat arena, sold out every game, 41 times a year, plus exhibition, plus playoffs, plus other events, and and and… Things like their “stupid little art building” don’t hold a candle in generating cash compare to what this whole district will do… the bars around this arena would likely generate more income in a year than what the ole art building does in 20 years. Don’t get me wrong, I like art, but I’m making a point here. People bitch about money being wasted. The art building, when places for that already existed, is a perfect example of how this city WASTES CASH. Just like the LRT expansion onto Stony Plain road above ground when clearly everyone and their dog who live in that area think its just going to turn that neighborhood into a ghetto… and I’ve driven that area of Etown many a time, and it’s already a dive in my eyes. Potholes and crap are all great to fix but it doesn’t generate revenue… the money generated from this entertainment complex would provide cash to fix yer damn potholes.. which in my mind is waste of time to whine and complain about because unless you can find a way to control mother nature… I don’t care what you use to fill them, frost heaves happen every winter, thus they’ll be back. They have to be fixed, but I think it’s moot point to use because every frickin place that deals with sub zero temperature, ice and snow, have to deal with them. It’s not like Etown is the only place with that issue… in the ole proverbial magic bubble….

  • Oilers4ever

    Is noone going to mention how creepy that guy is in the first video? I’m not gonna sleep right for weeks.

    Who knew Oilers fans were so uptight. The Pint always takes creepy guy conversations over meaningful political and economic debate.

  • Aendayana

    Maybe someone could help me out with this question. How is Logan Couture eligible for the Calder when he played 25 games last year already. What is the game limit for that category?

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    I absolutetly support the Downtown entertainment district, and frankly have no real issue with tax money paying for it (as I see it as an investment in the city rather than just a personal expense), but..

    Clearly people are concerned about the funding model, so I don’t see why the city and Katz group doesn’t jus flex some muscle and look for other areas of getting the money. If was the city, I’d be scorning the federal goverment for not aproving funding for the Expo (and therefore costing us possible infrastructure) and look for something from them, and if I was the Katz group, I’d be pushing for big sponsorship from Oil Sand companies..