Katz Came Back

This is John Fisher sporting a rarity: an Alberta Oilers jersey (1972). Fisher was born in Ayre, Scotland in 1947 and played in both the SJHL and OHA (a rare combination) during his junior career. He had a pretty good Memorial Cup in 1966 as a member of the Estevan Bruins (teammates included Ross Lonsberry, Gregg Sheppard and Barry Gibbs).

He had a short pro career, playing in the Black Hawks and then Red Wings systems before rounding out his pro career with 40 games for the Alberta Oilers in 72-73. He had zero goals and 5 assists.

Since 1972, the Oilers have supplied Edmonton hockey fans with the highest highs and the lowest lows: 5 Stanleys plus two other runs to the finals, some supreme teams not meant for the finals (that Moog team who beat the Habs, the late 90s Joseph clubs, ’91). The list of talented players who passed through this town is stunning.

The lowest lows? Michael Largue, Brett Callighen’s eye injury, trading 99, trading Messier, trading Pronger. Losing G7 SCF 06, Shayne Corson, Jimmy Carson. Others.

There are very few things Oilers fans haven’t seen. So it is with some amazement that we watch Daryl Katz and his attempts to buy the team. The idea of an owner who’s filthy rich simply never crossed our minds.

I find myself cheering for Katz even though there’s no indication he’d spend to the cap or that he’d build a new arena with his own money. The mere thought that these issues could actually be discussed is enough to get me onside.

Why? If you have to ask, you do not really remember the days of Michael Largue.

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14 Responses to "Katz Came Back"

  1. Black Dog says:


    Katz had cash and he wants this team – I think its a matter of time.

    Good news? Has anyone worried about the Ottawa Senators since Melnyk took over.


  2. James L. says:

    Love it. Even if he doesn’t get the team, at least Katz’s move will prove that the Oilers SHOULD be spending the cap–they’re not exactly a poor, undesirable franchise anymore.

    And another thing: only in Edmonton could a name like Katz be pronounced “Cates”. It boggles the mind.

  3. Bendelson says:

    This is good.

    Deep pockets.

    Without him, or someone like him, do the Oilers have a chance at a new downtown arena?

    Yes, this is good.

  4. IceDragoon says:

    Good evening, Lain & all.

    Apparently, this time it’s official… and it wasn’t proffered thru the expected channels… wonder what Cal’s thinkin’… interesting times ahead folks.

    I was a day late (as usual – tho I can’t recall ever being a dollar short) in responding to you in your 5 Grenades topic. Part of what I said…

    aside –
    I think there was a lot more to the Smytty fiasco than we’ll ever know. I would think that KLo had to be fuming over Cal’s & Pat’s comments. Shortly thereafter, KLo pretty much demanded a new budget. And… I suspect that the timing of the leaked Katz offer points to the one with the most to gain.

    I think an EIG budget for ’07-’08 has been irrelevant since the above events. imho – KLo’s budget is whatever he deems to spend. That said… he’s on the last year of his contract and some cracks may have formed between KLo and Cal’s guard.


    interesting times ahead.


  5. Steve says:

    I still can’t hear Michael Largue’s name without smiling. During my career as a high school student politician, I once cracked a joke about being backed by a retired Swiss banker named Lester Mittendorf. It fell flat, but I thought it was hilarious, which is what matters.

    And another thing: only in Edmonton could a name like Katz be pronounced “Cates”. It boggles the mind.

    If I’m not mistaken, that’s how the mayor of Winnipeg pronounces his name too. Certainly it’s how his niece pronounces it.

  6. James L. says:

    Well it’s still stupid. 😛

  7. namflashback says:

    yeah james i, those people with different cultural backgrounds as you sure are stupid.

  8. Dennis says:

    It seems like the only drawback to a Katz ownership is that Lowe would be kept. Lowe should’ve been seriously fired before the draft and if Katz coming on means Baldy’s kept around, then that’s bad news.

    On the other hand, this guy’s driving hard to the hoop so I’d imagine that if he gets to the free throw line, he’ll have the best of intentions.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the reactions from the papers and press overall when the selling price’s announced, though. Will they then admit that the EIG were cheaping out for all those years? And with the Journal losing their stake in the team, will we see some decent reporting?

    The whole Melynk comparison makes me feel warm inside though. I doubt Katz is riding in to go on the cheap. I mean I’m pretty confident that he could do it and the fans would turn out but we all know the Oilers make money and while I always wanted an owner who wasn’t afraid to lose a few dollars, I think there’s some evidence that Katz could go to the cap and still make money. So you have to ask yourself why he wouldn’t, wouldn’t you?;)

  9. Lord Bob says:

    Do you know what I don’t understand?

    Why people think Katz would be more willing to build a rink out of his own pocket than the EIG.

    I mean, we’re all sitting here watching Mandel practically wet himself wanting to pay for a downtown arena, and you expect me to believe a self-made billionaire who presumably didn’t get there by “lighting $500 million on fire just to see what it looks like when it burns” would turn down a free rink?

    Doubtful. Really doubtful.

  10. Devin says:

    I’m betting Katz is thinking bigger than just running the Oilers as a cash cow. The profits they make are peanuts to this guy. He’s thinking about becoming the outright owner of not only a profitable franchise, but of a top of the line new arena and the inevitable hotel and commercial development — all at a fraction of the true cost. Sink 500 mil? Easy when you have taxpayers sinking another 500 mil. Half the risk, all the return. It wouldn’t take a very imaginative real estate developer to come up with ways to make big money off that kind of land/facility that will surely be acquired in a sweetheart deal with the city.

  11. Black Dog says:

    Katz has cash but if he were to build an arena taxpayers would be contributing – book it.

    As for spending to the cap and all that – this guy is worth 1.46 Bllion dollars – reminds me of the Austin Powers’ movies.

    If the Oilers present budget is 45M and the cap is 50M that’s a five million dollar difference.

    I do alright but no way I make anywhere close to 5M in my lifetime. No way.

    To a guy like this it is pocket money. It is nothing.

    If it goes through and he’s not Harold Ballard I think Oiler fans are not going to have to worry about much except what actually goes on on the ice. And how pleasant would that be?

  12. Dennis says:

    Pat, it would’ve even been more pleasant if he’d bought the team last year and then could’ve somehow kept 94 on. As it is we’re fucked for a couple of seasons anyway but hopefully this guy makes it so that if we ever develop anyone else besides Hemsky, we’ll be able to afford to keep them.

  13. Black Dog says:

    Or better still if he had bought it back in 85 and then there would be a few more banners hanging in the rafters.

    Of course, he was probably only around 20 then – probably just a millionaire

  14. Don says:

    Michael Largue, what is he up to today? The answer, and more, is right here:


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