WILL IT REALLY BE YAK CITY?

The Oilers scheduled a press conference with Nail Yakupov this morning at 11 a.m, where he will announce…..

What could he possibly be announcing on August 16th?

Will he let Oilersnation know what jersey he’ll wear? Speculation is that he might go with #96, mainly because Captain Horcoff has #10.

Maybe he had a birthday present for Brownlee. If he wanted to get on Brownlee’s good side he’d have a pair of Russian Bulls Nuts waiting for the Nation’s Colossal Fossil. We all know how much Bronte loves those.

I thought he might just want to thank Mark for making YAK CITY. Of course Yakupov would denounce the use of guns, but I thought he might invite Mark over for Borscht to properly thank him.

It was possible he he just wanted to thank the Oilers for having dryers that work, because Halifax didn’t seem to have any.

Some were worried he’d  announce he’s signed a deal in the KHL in case the NHL and NHLPA can’t get their act together by October? This scenario seems to scare the hell out of many fans, but thankfully for you that didn’t happen.

He mentioned it a month ago and announced it today that he, and along with him mother and family will be living in Edmonton. This is a good sign for the Oilers and their fans considering only Theo Peckham and Ryan Smyth reside here now, although Devan Dubnyk did buy a new house in Edmonton recently.

It will be a refreshing change for Oiler fans. It gave you a short break from the past few days where we witnessed contrived, lame and painful attempts by the NHL and NHLPA to gain public support in their battle to share over $3 billion profits.

Yak is indeed moving to Edmonton, and it might become Yak City.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

  • I was surprised by how many people felt the NHLPA’s proposal was great. I’ll give Donald Fehr credit; he got a few headlines stating the Players will take less. Of course that isn’t true, but some believed it. The players love the current situation, so I understand why they don’t want it changed.  Many focused on one aspect of their proposal.

    During the next three years -2012/13, 13/14/ and 14/15- player compensation would be a "fixed" number, that wasn’t directly connected to Hockey Related Revenue (HRR). However, it would rise by 2% in 2013, 4% in 2014 and 6% in 2015. That wasn’t it though. They also added that if HRR grew by more than 10% then the players would get 57% of that growth. It was a smart opening volley by Fehr, but I don’t think it was "Taking less" like some suggested.
     

  • After chatting with a NHL official I did learn of two other interesting points in their proposal. The first was that the NHL and individual teams would limit non-player spending. Supposedly they didn’t elaborate on this, but I’m very curious what that means. Does it mean limiting the amount of scouts, managers and support staff? Or does it mean they will be staying in four star hotels instead of five-star? I doubt it is the latter. I’d really like to know what they meant by limiting non-player spending.
     
  • Another point  few have talked about was their proposal of more flexibility. They proposed that teams could trade dollars as well as players. Supposedly they suggested a maximum of around four million dollars. So if a team who didn’t want to, or couldn’t afford to, reach the cap floor, they could "sell" their cap space to another team. Meaning rich teams could "legally" go over the cap, by buying cap space from other teams. Essentially a team could go over the cap by $4 million by buying cap space from poor teams. This would help teams that are making money, but it would also open the window towards once again a league of contenders and pretenders. I know Oiler fans remember watching their star players leave town for money, and I doubt you’d want that possibility to happen again. Would you like to see teams "legally" going over the cap?
     
  • In 2004, I was on the NHL’s side, only because I wanted to see teams use their money wisely, rather than just open up their wallet and contend. This time around, I’m not on either side. The players are making loads of money, all of it guaranteed, while the owners SHOULD be making money if they had any common sense and could control their spending. The league needs a better revenue sharing system, but they are to blame for handing players long-term contracts after only two or three solid seasons. It sucks that once again the fans lose out. No games, and when the games return ticket prices will likely go up. I think some fans could boycott going to live games, and only watch on TV. We’ll see.
     
  • Late yesterday it was reported that Joe Thornton and Rick Nash would  bolt for Europe and play with HC Davos if the labour conflict continues after September 15th, however, today Nash and his agent said that report isn’t true. I wonder if HC Davos got ahead of themselves, or were just hoping Nash and Thornton would return after playing there during the last lockout. I guarantee you Nash and his agent realized how bad it looks if he is already planning an escape plan to Europe. I’d guess many fans wouldn’t be overly happy if they found out players were already making plans to go play in Europe. Not good PR for the NHLPA.
     
  • Solid signing by the Flyers. They lock up Wayne Simmond for just under $4 million/year for six years. Simmonds scored 28 goals last year, and even if he averages 22 for the next six years it is a good deal. He is feisty, plays hard and has decent hands.
     
  • Does Yakupov’s announcement end any chance of the team speculating on whether he will be here full time.? I sure hope so. Last year, for reasons unnecessary, they didn’t announce Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was staying until after his 9th game, despite everyone in Edmonton knowing he would. I hope this means no one has to ask whether or not their 3rd straight 1st overall pick will make the team. Of course he will, so how much icetime and where he will play are the only questions what will need answering once the season starts. 
  • I’m not sure if your fourth bullet point is true. With the cap floor a fixed denomination from the ceiling, the bottom end is rising rapidly with increased league revenues. The floor has increased so much that I highly doubt there is any possible strategy by, say, Phoenix that would allow them to be profitable.

    At the very least the floor should be a percentage, and aside from that I am not against the idea of a soft cap. Yes, the dollar disparity increases, but simply punish those who wish to use the upper end of the soft cap and spread it to those who don’t. There are plenty of percentage or fixed restrictions you can place on a soft cap to prevent the disparity from growing too big.

    • Jason Gregor

      This isn’t a soft cap. There would be no punishment, teams could just buy the cap space and pay it to the bottom team. Any rich team would love to pay face value for extra cap space.

  • I was on the players’ side pretty early on in this, but things recently changed for me. The Owners’ proposal was so ridiculous. The rollback, the massive shift in how the pie was distributed, the whole thing. It was insane.

    The players had me at hello, and then Donald Fehr went and mentioned how Baseball doesnt have a Cap and has no labour strife. Wow. That sobered me up pretty damn fast.

    When I think about Baseball I think about a broken system where the Rich teams can afford to buy all the talent the second its available. From an owners standpoint their situation might work (Huge TV Deal and 81 home games a year can cover a lot of costs), but as far as competitive balance goes it’s a horrible league. Teams have to be Oiler bad before they stand a chance of being good unless they have 180 million dollar payrolls.

    The second that goof mentioned Baseball I was gone. I hope the owners lock the players out for a thousand seasons before a MLB system is introduced.

    • Oil Bog

      That usually only happens if there’s a lockout/strike, and that would be with a mediator, since neither side would accept binding arbitration – someone outside giving away concessions to make a deal.

  • I’m pretty much stunned these idiots haven’t been working on this deal for the last six months at least, given what happened last time. No way something this complex gets resolved in a couple of months.

    • Or waiting two weeks between meetings. If these guys really want to have a season they should be sitting down everyday of the week working on this and taking weekends to discuss it with all the players. Both sides are going to have to give things up, they both just seem to stupid to admit it. Stop B*tching and get sh*t done.

  • dcsj

    I don’t know about all the points, but I have long been in favor of revenue sharing, because without the small market/small gate team coming into the building, you wouldn’t have a game. Of course, this could encourage inefficiency on the part of the small market teams… but there needs to be a way for the gate to reflect that both teams are earning it.

  • dcsj

    Too much at stake to put it in the hands of an independent arbitraitor. Also, tough to justify salaries of Bettman and Fehr if they showed they couldn’t negotiate a deal on their own.

  • Oil Bog

    Agreed. Through Fehr’s comments relating to MLB it becomes very appearant that he holds his past work in high regards. At first listening to “his” proposal I thought perhaps he was viewing this league differently but when he linked things to MLB I must admit, I puked a little. The only comical relief so far in this process is seeing Fehr march out his entourage of superstars.

  • dcsj

    I have to side with the owners in this for the simple fact that at least they were willing to just come right out and say what they wanted without any sugar coating like the NHLPA. I honestly thing the it should be a 50/50 split and that if there was neither side should have a reason to agrue. But really what does this all matter to the fans as side from the fact that the season might be delayed. Owners will raise ticket prices any change they get anyway to make more money.

    All this is to me is a bunch of b*tchy millioniares arguing back and forth because they don’t realize how lucky they are and are just greedy. The minimum wage in the NHL is more than 85% of working Canadians make and we are supposed to feel sorry why?

    Its like listening to a millionare whine about how much insurance costs on a Ferrari….Right like I care. I just like watching Hockey, If the NHL locks out I’m more than happy to watch AHL hockey.

  • DieHard

    I’m afraid contraction is the answer. Some teams are in big markets (Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta etc) but are actually small hockey markets. They can draw crowds when they have a good team but not otherwise. Another big issue is “the economy” which affects the non-hockey markets the most.

  • Craig1981

    Buying space pretty much removes the idea of a hard cap. These retarded contracts they have taken already limit it somewhat. Frontend loaded contracts that rich teams get the start of and poor teams get to finish off for little money but big cap hits to get over the floor. I blame the players more for pushing the teams into the contracts over the owners giving it to them

  • Wax Man Riley

    My problems with the owners is that they apparently got what they wanted during the last round of negotiations.

    Then you know what happened? A new buzzword was introduced to the world of the NHL:

    “Circumvent”

    The owners tried everything they could to circumvent the system they wanted in the first place. STFU! Follow the spirit of intent of the agreement and they wouldn’t be in this position.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Jason, what do you think of league contraction? It seems to be mentioned all over the place in blogs and comments sections. Micahel Grange from Sportsnet has a column up in which he lays out 5 ways to get a deal done. In it he mentions a former NHL governor who thought they should contract 6 teams.

    • Jason Gregor

      If league wanted to regain power they could do that, because players union would lose 20% of their jobs. I highly doubt it is possible though. They would look at moving to Quebec and Southern Ontario first I’m sure.

      My big question would be how they decide who gets contracted, and how do they compensate those owners. I doubt those five (none in Pho) owners would just stop walk away from their team.

      • Jason Gregor

        The owners took the expension money but now that those teams can’t make it want the players to suck it up, plus theres no way PA lets contraction happen relocation sure but contraction no way in hell the PA would lose it.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Also… Why is there not more squeeing over the awesomeness of the Oilers at TSN?

    The 2 best players in the league under 25 play for our beloved squadron! I don’t care if Edmonton or The Oilers stuffed the ballot boxes.

    There it is… in writing. 2/3rds of our top line are the 2 best in the league!!

    Squee.

    • Wax Man Riley

      Wow I’m actually surprised that Eberle beat Crosby in the poll. My vote would have been for Ebs but the majority of people view Crosby as the best in the game. Very intereting. Still think Hall will be the better player, maybe not points wise but all around and leadership wise I think he will.

    • OilLeak

      Oiler fans are truly hardcore, while other fan bases are concentrating on summer activities, Oiler fans are busy flooding TSN polls.

      I Love Eberle, but no sane fan believes he is better than Crosby.

      Also, that Eberle and Hall final is far too close, Hall is by far the better player at this stage while also being younger.

  • Jason Gregor

    First off i see a ton of fire Bettman on twitter fans take it out on the owners he’s there puppet he’s doing what they mandate. Next is i’m on players side (yes they are over paid) but it’s not about that. The owners used us fans in 04/05 things like “cost certainty” were thrown around, or we need this for the fans. Did any of us see ticket prices go down? Lat thing is the owners beat dragged and beat the PA again and again last time they could’ve got any deal they wanted but after loosing a year of hockey they tell us fans that the deal they got isn’t working hmmm is that the players fault or there own. To me it’s just princible they had there chance they locked out for a year made the union crumble and 7 years later want to do it again wtf. Is it players fault GM found loop holes in the owners own deal is it the fans fault 14 year contracts are given out? You tell me if your boss got you to take a 24% pay cut then in 7 years was back for more would you do it? And lastly NON of that saving went back to the fans us who drive the friggen league, promised lower ticket prices ya 6 bucks off 1st year then 150% increase guess the owners cry about no money but after we backed them we got it up the ass. I have a family of 6 it cost me 800 to go to 1 game ya thats a night out for the month budget blown. To me it’s not about players it’s about the lies that were fed to us 7 years ago there’s a deal there it’s just the owners want the cake and eat it to. 50/50 split and revenue sharring are the biggys to bad the rich owners from T.O. Boston Philly The Rags won’t look after the poor sisters but expect players to shame on them.

  • I still think the best possible solution is a system similar to the NBA with a series of exceptions and a severe luxury tax (which increases as teams get further over the cap) which would be paid directly into revenue sharing, allowing cash poor teams to increase payroll and maintain some competitive balance.

    Poor teams are already at competitive disadvantage and although this might not lessen the imbalance it certainly would not make it worse and it may allow some low income teams to turn a profit for a change.

  • Reality Check to the head

    @ TigerUnderGlass

    While at first that looks like a great idea, the LA lakers have under contract Bryant $28m/yr, Howard $19.5m, Gasol $19m, nash $8.9m, metta world Peace 7.2mil, Thats almost 80 mil for their starting line up.

    They are obviously over the cap and could care less. They can afford it. I think the NHL has to be careful with any cap exceptions that they allow. What would stop Toronto, NYR or Detroit from going over the cap?

    The one thing I like from the NBA (not sure if it is in their agreement anymore), is that NBA teams could offer players that they had drafted a percentage over the max contract (and I believe it doesnt count against the cap, but I may be wrong on that) to keep them when they enter their free agent year.

    • They are obviously over the cap and could care less. They can afford it. I think the NHL has to be careful with any cap exceptions that they allow. What would stop Toronto, NYR or Detroit from going over the cap?

      Nothing, but if the luxury tax is severe enough it won’t matter because poorer teams would have funds to pay more salary to their own players.

      You also have to remember that it isn’t simply a matter of a luxury tax, exceptions can only be made in certain circumstances. Teams can’t just go ahead and sign any player they like over the cap, they need an exception to do so.

      Severe luxury tax is the key. Which scenario provides more balance:

      TOR: 70M
      EDM: 60M
      NSH: 50M
      PHX: 40M

      or

      Tor: 90M
      EDM: 80M
      NSH: 70M
      PHX: 60M

      Competitive balance is similar – NSH/PHX can pay more because they are funded by EDM/TOR

      Competitive balance stays abut the same. Small market teams have a chance to break even or profit on the backs of taxed teams. Players have no good reason to say no for obvious reasons.

      The one and only reason a luxury tax system will not happen is that the rich teams obviously want to make as much as possible and this doesn’t help that cause.

      I’m not suggesting the same system as in the NBA – just that a luxury tax based system would be beneficial to everyone and that the NBA happens to have a luxury tax system.

      • Jason Gregor

        Severe luxury tax is the key. Which scenario provides more balance:

        TOR: 70M EDM: 60M NSH: 50M PHX: 40M

        or

        Tor: 90M EDM: 80M NSH: 70M PHX: 60M

        The current formula doesn’t allow for a team to be at $50 or $40 million. They have to be at least at $54 million. A gap of $16 million, not the $30 million that you proposed.

        The current system creates balance. Teams like Nashville, Phoenix, St. Louis for example have been competitive. You throw in luxury taxes and the NHL will become haves and haves not…

        I don’t see how $30 million dollar gap equals more balance than a $16 million gap.

        Keep the cap in place and if they want add better revenue sharing, but opening up a luxury tax will likely provide more of a competitive gap.

        • You took the numbers in my comment as literal. They were simply numbers to show that balance can remain with higher numbers.

          I don’t really have time today to go over the math in detail but this is the point:

          If Toronto had to pay a severe luxury tax to go over the cap which goes directly into revenue sharing then the balance is exactly the same – the average numbers just go up.

          As long as the penalties are enough to hurt, teams won’t go over for no reason and it accomplishes revenue sharing without “revenue sharing”. The difference is that teams paying into revenue sharing will be doing so voluntarily and teams receiving money can increase their payroll.

          There is no competitive balance today, and this wouldn’t improve that, but it wouldn’t hurt it and it would give poorer teams a chance to profit or increase their own payroll on the income of the rich teams.

          • Mumbai Max

            you are wrong on competitive balance under a luxury tax system. do you see the blue jays get any better or compete with the yankies. Rich teams will poach players from smaller teams that cant pay. you’ll see the Rags with a payroll at 100 mil they wont car if they have to pay another 40 or 50 mil in luxury tax cause they can afford it Nasville, Cbus, Florida even uswith Katz wont be able to compete with the likes of T.O. Philly Boston Rags those teams will have the bulk of talent and not care about the money they have to pay.

          • In MLB there is no salary cap and the threshold for taxes is 178M. Only 4 teams have ever exceeded the cap and only the Yankees and the Sox have exceeded it more than once.

            Not only that, but the MLB luxury tax is not distributed to the rest of the league so it accomplishes no revenue sharing, meaning it doesn’t help poorer teams raise their own payroll in competition.

            Your example is not analogous to the NHL in any way.

            You are comparing a slap-on-the-wrist-for-spending tax with my suggestion of a cap-based revenue sharing tax.

    • The one thing I like from the NBA (not sure if it is in their agreement anymore), is that NBA teams could offer players that they had drafted a percentage over the max contract (and I believe it doesnt count against the cap, but I may be wrong on that) to keep them when they enter their free agent year.

      You are talking about the so-called “Bird exception”.

      It doesn’t really work how you’ve described but you have the general idea that it’s meant to allow teams to retain players that have been with the team for a certain amount of time. It very much counts against the cap though – it’s merely an exception allowing teams to exceed the cap. It’s one of a number of exceptions.

      • Jason Gregor

        The Cavs could have signed Lebron for six years, while the rest of the league could only sign him for five as a UFA. Is this what you guys are talking about? IF it is then I like it, because it gives players an incentive to stay with the team that developed them.

        I think that would be a great rule for the NHL, especially if they can get the max length of contracts set at 7 years. Then a player could sign for 8 if they wanted to, but only with the team that drafted and developed them.

        • No, although I’d be in favor of that as well. The 6 year/5 year thing is from the just ended previous CBA.

          The Bird exception allows teams to go over the cap tosign ther own players provided they have been with the team for three consecutive seasons. Bird exceptions use to allow 6 years deals but apparently now only 5. These deals can go as high as max contract.

          There is also the early bird exception – teams can go over cap to resign own players who have played 2 consecutive seasons. Early bird deals are the higher of 175% of the players previous salary or the league average salary. They also must be more than 2 years but no more than 4.

          Teams can now also go over the cap even for non-bird players. They can be re-signed for 120% of previous salary or 120% of league minimum. Max of 4 years.

          There are a number of other exceptions available as well – rookie scale exception, minimum salary exception, traded players exceptions, etc.

          The one thing you can’t do is sign a UFA over the cap. You either have to have the cap room or negotiate a sign and trade to make the cap room.

  • book¡e

    I have no interest in seeing the players getting a good deal. None of them are going hungry and the exact same guys will be playing hockey next year regardless of whether they get 30% of the league income or 70%. Nothing changes (with the exception of a few Russians perhaps leaving to the KHL until the Czars over there get tired of losing millions each year on their toys).

    Its not that I particularly care for the owners either, but the extra cash in their pockets makes the league more viable and it also frees the owners to blow more coin on things that we might actually see some benefit from.

    In the end, the public and governments spend way too much money on this NHL thing. Public subsidies should end and Fans should probably not spend $600 to take their family to games. Note that I say that as someone who supports the subsidies to the arena (mostly because other cities do it thus changing the situation). I also don’t have any moral issue with the players or owners making tonnes of money. I just think people irrationally over-value watching NHL games live and that an irrational business culture has arisen where businesses buy hockey tickets as opposed to spending their money more wisely.

  • Reality Check to the head

    @ Tigerunderglass

    Thanks for clearing up the Bird exception. I do think that edmonton could benefit from something like this moving forward.

    I get the luxury tax, but I just dont see it as a cure all to the problem. Teams like edm have a hard time attracting players (everyone knows the reasons) and that isnt going to change. Edm has shown in the past that they can back up the Brinks Truck to a players house, but that does not always entice them to play in the Northern most major city in NA.

    I hope that edm becomes a destination city for good, established players in the league. With a new arena and some playoff exposure, hopefully Katz and Co. can build something that has traction moving forward.

    I, like Gregor, am not on either the owners or the players side in this. I do think they need to get it right, because lockouts or strikes in NHL or NBA makes my wife too happy.

    Now I am off to FLA for 8 days of ignoring the NHL labour situation. PEACE!

  • I find it a bit hypocritical how these msm guys are saying “its the owners own fault becuase they are overspending, why do they do that?”
    Thats bs. Its called competition guys, get it. These same msm guys are having a conniption if Nashville doesnt match the Weber offer sheet. They have to throw loads of money because they are Competing with other teams.

    Why does no one in the media understand this? You think the owners want to throw 100M at players? They have to. To COMPETE.

    • Jason Gregor

      Just because one owner overspends, doesn’t mean they all had to follow. Being competitive doesn’t mean you need to be stupid.

      And the owners were the ones who decided to start giving players huge money after only two or three years of service. They didn’t have to buckle to those demands, but one did and the rest followed.

      Suggesting it was only done to stay competitive is wrong. It was done without any long-term thinking.

      NSH had to match because an ACTUAL offer was on the table. The biggest question is did Philly HAVE to offer that? No, they did it out of greed and no regard for fiscal control.

      The Oilers offering Penner and Vanek massive raises after their entry level deals really screwed the system.

      Were the Oilers forced to do that? No.

      Did it actually make them more competitive? Didn’t think so.

      Teams didn’t have to to this, they dug their own grave. Bad scouting, bad managing forces teams to be desperate and ultimately they pay for it long-term.

      • Jason Gregor

        I agree that one bad decision doesn’t mean that others have to follow in the same path. The problem as I see it is one of an “arm’s race” model, where the explosive growth in contract terms/length aren’t the first choice of all, but in a competitive landscape, it becomes very difficult to retain talent on a reasonable term, when the agent and player know that they can negotiate these contracts with other organizations.

        Once the dam burst, even reluctant participants can be left with little choice but to play along. I can see why some GMs and owners would hate these deals, but when they have to balance public perception, and the perception around the league as a team that can be pillaged or as a team that will protect their assets (i.e. Nashville’s message in retaining Shea Weber), there will be teams that are dragged into these arms race situations.

        Ultimately, though, you’re right. It is the GMs and owners, even if it is a clever one or two that start the snowball rolling, that create the unmanageable marketplace. It is not the players or agents fault for exploiting it.

  • I get the luxury tax, but I just dont see it as a cure all to the problem. Teams like edm have a hard time attracting players (everyone knows the reasons) and that isnt going to change. Edm has shown in the past that they can back up the Brinks Truck to a players house, but that does not always entice them to play in the Northern most major city in NA.

    Your comment here doesn’t make a lot of sense. A luxury tax has absolutely nothing to do with “attracting players”. I don’t understand why you’ve linked the two like this, especially since in an exception based system you can’t go over the cap to sign UFAs anyways.

  • Mumbai Max

    I almost lost my lunch watching Chris Campoli on TSN. Complaining that owners ‘just want more money’. And he said it with a straight face. Unbelievable. This from a guy that could easily be asking Donald Fehr if he would like fries with his burger, were it not for the fact he is a hockey player. Show some gratitude. 1.75 m last year. It takes about 90 years working at McDonald’s to make that money. Maybe he should focus on that reality that most fans face, rather than posing in his Boss suit taking about greed. Reminds me of Mike Modano not being able to feed his dog on his NHL salary. Disgusting. Get a job ! The players will never win the PR battle. Fans expect the owners to be greedy bastards, that is their role. We expect the players to love and appreciate playing the game. I hope their is a two year lock out and the whole system gets rationalized. Chris, extra ketchup please!

    • Jason Gregor

      Not all fans “expect owners to be greedy bastards” as if that is just
      OK. Fans expect hockey to be played and recognize that it is the players, not the owners, who sacrifice much to be in the NHL, and are the ones who live the rest of their lives with arthritic joints and concussed brains to do so. Owners beat the players into submission last CBA with their salary caps leading to “cost certainty”, and then immediately did what greedy rich owners do-circumvent the rules, screw each other over, and then blame the players and insist they give up even more.It is highly insulting to presume that Chris Campoli would be working for minimum wage serving fast food if he wasn’t playing hockey. He worked harder, and endured more pain to get to where he is than any owner who used Daddy’s money and manipulated government policies to accumulate far more money than they will ever need. I can’t understand the attitude that owners “deserve” their wealth, while the workers, even though they are well compensated workers, are “lucky” to get what they get. Who worked harder?

      • Mumbai Max

        Daryl Katz is the son of a pharmacist who went to jasper composite high school. Became the 17th richest man in Canada from nothing, in half a lifetime. Who has worked harder, him or Chris Campoli? Katz in a landslide, not to mention creating thousands of jobs and paying multi millions in tax.

        • What a laughable load of crap!Go read the story of the Katz empire and see if you really can believe he built his empire “from nothing”, without taking advantage of government laws around generic drugs and Canadian ownership laws, with generous subsidies from taxpayers. Just like he is building the new arena out of the goodness of his heart. Yeah, right! With Tea Baggers like you, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

          • My understanding is that it wasn’t exaclty from “nothing”, but he did absolutely take his family’s lucrative but mid-sized business into a major international company.

            Don’t be mad that he was was smart enough to recognize markets and exploit them (exploitation is not by definition a negative word). Subsidies and marketplaces were not created for him, just utilized by him.

            He’s smart. Deal with it. He’s rich. Deal with it. You want a piece of his pie when you demand he cough up all his bucks to build you an arena.

          • Wax Man Riley

            One last word – he ain’t building me an arena with his bucks, fer fox sake! His asking us to build HIM and arena with OUR bucks so that he can profit from it. Which, if you’ve been paying attention to the world, is the new capitalism – socialize the risk, and privatize the profit.

          • If you want to leave it alone, then leave it alone. That’s fine. If you want to talk about it, I’ll go all twelve rounds with you.

            Read my comment “fer fox sake”. What people are proposing when they say “he’s rich, therefore he should pay for the arena” is that they feel that because he has means that others do not, he should be forced to pay for (i.e bear the entire financial risk) for something that does indeed benefit the populace (if I understand this whole concept of a fan site correctly, we all enjoy hockey, right?)

            Does this remind you of capitalism, or something else?

            Do you have access to financials for this hockey team? Do you understand the financial position of a company? Would you, as an astute businessman (let’s all agree on that fact, whether we like him or not, whether we respect his business philosophy or not) allow your cash generating engine to subsidize a break-even and/or losing venture to the extent where it could eventually impact your op co? Fack no. At least, not if you understand corporate finance. Which I do. Because I do it every day, and it becomes very apparent very quickly that just because a company claims, say, $100 million a year in revenue, does not mean owners take home that amount. In fact, there are years when ownership of major companies are forced to insert equity into their company (read: personal funds loaned to their corp) after a tough year.

            Don’t boil it down to “he’s rich and trying to get richer off of our backs” if you don’t know that for a fact.

  • Tim in Kelowna

    Devils Advocate:

    At the risk of sounding like Debbie Downer… am I the only one who thinks that there is a possibility that Yakupov makes for an overcrowded Top 6? I know ‘the more the merrier’ mentality makes sense on paper, but the fact is that there are only so many minutes/points/1on1 coaching moments to go around.

    Yakupov, Hall, Eberle and RNH may all exceed expectations next year, but the possibility exists that someone experiences the ‘Paajarvi effect’ and underachieves as a result of limited opportunity. In addition, when you have a stable of young stars, there is a chance that one of them gets disgruntled with their lack of icetime or PP minutes.

    The Oilers being overloaded at F, and not so much on D, could end up being a huge problem. Just because a team stockpiles talent doesn’t mean they will be successful, or even respectable (i.e. Islanders).

  • Jason Gregor

    Players fire their first salvo in negotiations , but Bettman barely flinches . Why did players start with major concessions right off the bat ? Fehr looking to be the new commisioner and take over Bettmans job ? Bettman will take players offer to the bank , and go for plenty more with the initial offer players gave away so readily . Lockout still just postering tactic for now but could escalate if players will not accept more cutbacks . Bettman going for the juglar and he’ll probably get most of it . Where else are the players going to go and make that kind of money . etc. to begin with – vast majority nowhere ?

    Prediction : No lockout as Bettman eats them up in negotiations .

    Side note – Yakupov showed me more in final game (backcheck and defence )and may make the team yet .

  • This is a ludicrous place for this discussion but I was reacting to the comment of Katz building an empire “from nothing” by dint of “hard work”, as opposed to the lazy slackards who do nothing but sacrifice a lifetime of physical health for our collective enjoyment. This is Oilers Nation, for Petes sake. I cheer for hockey and the men who play it, not for the smooth operators who profit from their sweat and blood. And by the way, Katz did not “create thousands of jobs” building his drug empire – he bought up chains of stores and made them profitable the good old fashion way – he cut jobs, lowered salaries and monopolized wholesale markets. You notice your prescription drugs are cheaper now than they weee 10 years ago? Didn’t think so. Anyway, lets stick to hockey.