Manna from Heaven 2

This is Bill Laing. Iffy recently asked me to do a post about him, and since I’ve been driving around the city today thinking about the club and listening to the news that there’s another ownership change this is a good day to revisit Mr. Laing.

I used to listen to Saskatoon Blades broadcasts when Laing played on the team in the early 1970s and when he was drafted by both St. Louis (NHL) and Edmonton (WHA) in 1973 he went a little higher than his boxcar numbers would have implied. Reason? Physical player, he could fight a little too.

I don’t have a scouting report on Daryl Katz, but it’s probably pretty similar. His offer to purchase the Oilers in the summer was shot down, and he appears to have downshifted for the fall with the idea of finding a nice stretch to pass.

Which happened today.

Driving around today listening to the Team 1260, I was reminded of a Bob Stauffer column from July. The line I remembered from the article was “Right now it is possible that Katz and Nichols are adversaries as Katz is trying to get the EIG’s team, but you kind of wonder what would happen down the road if the two could work together.” Either Stauffer is in reality this guy or he’s talking to some important people. Just saying. NOTE: Although I work at the same station as Bob, I don’t spend a tremendous amount of time with him and am not privy to much information he’d get on a daily basis before he hits the airwaves. Further, I’ve never really used this site as a platform for TEAM 1260 information in the past and have no plans to do so in the future. I do however believe he should get credit for being WAY ahead of this story today.

I’m thrilled. Young, deep pockets, empire builder. We have never had a guy with this kind of money as the owner, he appears to be as passionate as we are about the team and will hopefully aggressively pursue a championship.

Pinch me. I’m dreaming.

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44 Responses to "Manna from Heaven 2"

  1. DBO says:

    Good times. LT you should know since he was just on Team 1260, but Nichols is behind the offer, and the boys seem to think it’s between $190 – $200 million, with a commitment to spend $100 million of his own money toward the new arena. Nichols stays on as our BOG member, and part of the front office. Interesting.
    Any way Katz cleans house and starts fresh from KLowe to MacT?

  2. Daniel says:

    Left fielder is sure on today.

  3. allan says:

    “I am extremely proud of what the EIG has done for the Oilers, the City of Edmonton, and Oilers fans everywhere, but it’s probably time to pass the torch to a new generation of ownership,” said Nichols in the statement.
    ….
    “I believe that Daryl will be an outstanding owner of the Edmonton Oilers and an important leader in the growth of our City. In addition, the sale of the team will have served all my fellow shareholders very well.”
    From TSN

    It sounds an awful lot like a formality at this point.

  4. jon says:

    First deadline to close the deal is in January. Exciting stuff.

  5. Mr DeBakey says:

    “Any way Katz cleans house and starts fresh from KLowe to MacT?”

    Not Likely
    Lowe is a Katz man

    My guess is its Lowe who started the ball rolling with Katz

  6. IceDragoon says:

    Good day.

    My guess is its Lowe who started the ball rolling with Katz

    I agree, Mr D. Tho, I didn’t get much response when I suggested same in the summer.

    Methinks Katz made an offer that Cal couldn’t refuse.

    Louise

  7. godot10 says:

    Some members of the EIG looked at the cash call for the new arena, and decided that selling was the best option.

    The cash call for the $100 million dollars would have been twice as much as the cash they put up to buy the team in the first place.

    Already wealthy by normal people standards, most of the members of the EIG are not wealthy by professional sports franchise ownership standard.

    The EIG saved the team. I thank them for it. But Katz is the best option going forward.

  8. Eric says:

    I’m a big fan of early Christmas presents – and this definitely qualifies.

  9. Pat H says:

    If the Katz-Lowe connection true, and I have no reason to doubt it is, I also think that there’s no drastic change yet, at least until the summer. In fact, given the formalities that still have to be cleared, I can’t see any organization changes until the end of the year (i.e. no move for MacT either).

    All that said, it makes LT’s comments from a few entries back all the more interesting. LT, you talked about Lowe possibly getting the bump upstairs, depending on how things shake down with the team this season. Assuming the sale goes through, I think it’s even more likely with Katz at the helm, especially if he’s pals with Lowe. Katz can’t be dumb, so I’d assume that he’s aware of how Lowe seems to be lacking direction, and has made some pretty controversial moves in the past few years. Katz could easily afford to give Lowe a less stressful position, one where he is free to say all the right things but is otherwise out of harms way when it actually comes down to building the team. Maybe Laforge goes, and Lowe becomes Prez? And maybe something for MacT as well (though I personally find the idea of MacT as GM sickening, I do realize that it’s a potential reality).

  10. dawgbone says:

    On a side note… the Flyers just signed Mike Richards to a 12 year contract extension worth $5.75 mil per season….

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=225091&hubname=nhl

    I’m not too sure what to make of it. Richards is having a very good season, but he had a strong rookie year followed by a terrible sophmore year.

  11. godot10 says:

    Remember when they were laughing at Charles Wang for the DiPietro contract?

  12. Dennis says:

    Overall, I’m very happy with this news. The cap’s going to go up, at least for next year, so it’s nice to think we have a cap that’s prepared to spend to it.

    From the negative side of things, it’s hard for me to let go all those years that the EIG cried poor. Apparently, this team must have had SOME value if Nichols was making offers like these. Also, Katz is apparently a Lowe man so this means Kevin’s around for the long haul.

    Which is unfortunate.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: I think the Oilers will benefit (and Lowe obviously) in other areas. Katz may be more likely to buy out a contract, or sign a higher end college free agent, or possibly go longer term on a Horcoff this summer.

    Lots of options.

  14. Dennis says:

    Yeah, after I wrote that, I thought to myself, maybe if Katz were here last Feb, he’d tell Lowe not to lose Smyth over 100K a year.

    But, yeah, I get what you’re saying.

  15. Dennis says:

    Lain, this one’s for me and you:)

    Considering we both cheered for the Expos and Oilers, can you believe we’re possibly about to cheer for a genuine “have” team?

  16. Lowetide says:

    You’re freaking psychic. I was just telling my son about the Expos and them never having any money. The year my son was born they let Walker walk away.

    WALK AWAY! I have to say that hurt almost as much as Blue Monday.

  17. Ribs says:

    Lowe sightings all over the league right now.. Is he gearing up for a glory run before Katz takes over and replaces him with a teletubby?

  18. Andy Grabia says:

    Yeah, after I wrote that, I thought to myself, maybe if Katz were here last Feb, he’d tell Lowe not to lose Smyth over 100K a year.

    The Souray signing never would have happened either. Best case is the guy is John Henry. Worst case: Carl Pohlad.

  19. godot10 says:

    //Yeah, after I wrote that, I thought to myself, maybe if Katz were here last Feb, he’d tell Lowe not to lose Smyth over 100K a year.//

    Signing Smyth, the six-million dollar minus man, would mean NO Nilsson, NO Gagner, and NO Penner.

    Not signing Smyth is turning out to have been a brilliant move.

  20. Dennis says:

    Ribs: where else is Lowe??

    AG: the whole thing that’s going on with Pohlad, the new stadium and the fact they’re only offering Santana a four year deal? That’s beyond gross. As an aside, is it just me or should any Bos offer for Johan include both Ellsbury and Lester? I can’t believe the Twins wouldn’t ask for both guys. And even as a Sox fan, don’t you think that’s only sensible?

    LT: I remember the afternoon the news came down that Walker was going to Denver. Walker and Messier, those guys were my heroes. A guy like Pedro, I kept homemade stats during his Cy Young season. But Mess and Walker, those guys could pretty much do now wrong. And knowing me like you do, you know what that means.

  21. Andy Grabia says:

    As an aside, is it just me or should any Bos offer for Johan include both Ellsbury and Lester? I can’t believe the Twins wouldn’t ask for both guys. And even as a Sox fan, don’t you think that’s only sensible?

    They did ask for both. But Boston has said no. They will only give up Jacoby or Lester. Not both. I don’t think they should give up both, and my preference would be for them to give up Lester. Honestly, though, I wish they’d pursue Haren instead of Santana. He’s a better option for a bunch of reasons.

  22. Dennis says:

    You honestly don’t think they should give up both? With all due respect, AG, that sounds like something someone would say on a HF board.

    Seriously, Johan’s money. The only reason hwy I’d support your side is if you think Bos can play tough because there aren’t a lot of markets that can afford Johan’s next pact.

    Lain: it’s a special kind of hell to cheer for both the Oilers and Expos. So, like yourself, I’m always looking for connections.

  23. PunjabiOil says:

    Sportsnet had a feature after the game. The deal is not done – the shareholders are going to vote, and Katz has given them a January 31 deadline.

    Cal did say, ”You wonder when it will be the final offer, and you have to consider the fact that there’s no one else there to purchase the team” [Paraphrasing]

    Ethan Moreau piped in, mentioned along the lines that Katz has the deep pockets to finance a new arena that would revitilize the downtown core. He’s really become a puppet these days, that Ethan Moreau. He’s also mentioned he’s coming back next week – for sure.

  24. Pat H says:

    Godot10:

    //Signing Smyth, the six-million dollar minus man, would mean NO Nilsson, NO Gagner, and NO Penner.//

    That reminds me of Lowe talking about how the Pronger trade, when you get down to it, is Pitkanen, Smid, and Penner – and that’s a deal Lowe would do again.

    Seriously, the only reasonable guarantee is that we wouldn’t have Nilsson. Gagner happened to be the pick that we got after tanking during the fallout of the Smyth trade. Who knows whether Smyth’s presence would have been significant enough to get us a pick beyond 6th. On the other hand, if there was a strong causal connection between Smyth’s absence and this team tanking, that should maybe indicate something about his value to the team.

    We probably wouldn’t have been on the market for Penner, had we signed Smyth, but not because of a lack of money. We wouldn’t have been able to get two guys off the UFA/RFA market, true. But we also wouldn’t have had to give up 3 draft picks. Regardless, it appears that you have a bit of a disdain for Smyth, so I’m not really expecting to convince you on any of this.

  25. Dennis says:

    Yeah, looking forward to hearing what the locals have to say about 18′s comments.

    When I saw him say that, I was like, “what the fuck does Ethan Moreau know about what’s needed in the Edm downtown area.”

  26. Oilman says:

    not choosing sides here dennis, as I for one would not be a fan of having to go to a game downtown….but what Ethan Moreau knows about what’s good for the downtown core must be at least as much (or a little) as any fella living on the other side of the country would.

  27. PunjabiOil says:

    ..but why would Ethan Moreau honestly care about revitalizing the downtown?

  28. Dennis says:

    Oilman, I think you ARE clearly choosing sides.

    Look, I know I don’t know anything about the city but how much does Moreau know? And has he read enough material to the point where he can say that a building would energize the area?

  29. PunjabiOil says:

    Look, I know I don’t know anything about the city but how much does Moreau know? And has he read enough material to the point where he can say that a building would energize the area?

    To be fair, Moreau lives in Edmonton year-round. That being said, that piece hardly sounded original – just a canned PR response.

  30. Iffy says:

    Thanks LT! That made my day!

  31. Andy Grabia says:

    You honestly don’t think they should give up both? With all due respect, AG, that sounds like something someone would say on a HF board.

    My reasons:

    -This team is world-series caliber even without Santana
    -Ellsbury, Lester and Bucholz are cheaper, and potentially better long term
    -Santana is 30
    -Haren is cheaper
    -Haren is already under contract
    -Haren is a nice #2, which keeps Beckett as the ace
    -Haren costs less in terms of prospects going to Oakland

    The Sox are refusing to give up both, Dennis. You can compare me with a HF poster, but I’ll side with Epstein and James, thank you very much. :)

  32. danny says:

    Dennis/LT

    Add me to the Expos/Oilers poor and downtrodden list.

    I was a pretty die hard spos fan during my childhood. Flirting with all of those pennant races only to have the team dismantled year after year… the coup de gras was stringing them along in montreal just long enough to let the franchise lose Guerrero.

    Walker hurt, I wish I still had my highschool textbooks from 1994. Every page has an expos logo and the updated standings between the Braves/Yankees/Expos for the best team in baseball.

    Up yours MLB.

    I had a beach towel made into a championship banner that fall, hung proudly on my dorm room wall for a couple years. They were the champs that year as far as I’m concerned.

  33. Dennis says:

    Danny, MC’s a Sox fan just like AG and last night MC and I were messaging and I told him that I still haven’t forgotten about the gay robot John Henry being alligned with Loria and Bud in the whole Expos/Marlins/Sox triangle. I was just reminded of that again when you mentioned Vladdy. Expos might’ve squeeked into the playoffs his last year if he hadn’t gotten hurt. Man, the poor old Expos. Those fuckers were always pitching heavy.

    One last note on Walker. He always had a lot of complaints about Mtl and I think the general feeling was he felt under appreciated. Which is odd because, to a man, everyone I meet who rooted for the Expos held him as their favorite player.

    AG, I know that no deal exists in a vaccum and I understand how good Haren is, but still, Johan’s worth both Ellsbury and Lester.

    Ribs: you never did tell me where Lowe was.

  34. mike says:

    When the expos lost the franchise that was about it for me and baseball as, apparently, the lockout year wasn’t quite enough. Andre Awesome was this 10 yr old’s superhero.

    Now I forget what I wanted to say about Katz.

  35. mike says:

    Oh yeah:

    As one who does not believe in coincidence, I find amazing fascination that Rexall brand pharmacy effectively bought the team on the exact day that Mitchell’s steroid report was released.

    What are the chances that Katz puts HGH into the water fountains? What are the chances that my 8 yr old boy has a fair chance at the NHL without future pharma care in highschool while guys like Katz are the new future of league management?

    Or should I just give my child some uppers now?

  36. Ribs says:

    Dennis, sorry, forgot. Spector reported Lowe sightings at a Hawks/Kings game and a Habs/Lightning game this week.

  37. Bruce says:

    I liked the Expos lots but they were always my #2 team … I have rooted for the Cardinals since the early 60s and don’t change allegiances easily. (Only exception: hello Oilers, bye-bye Toronto)

    I always loved Larry Walker as a player, but his departure from Montreal sounded the death knell for Canada’s first MLB team. If they couldn’t keep a good Canadian boy happy, and keep him around to keep their fans happy, well what else was there?

    After some absolutely great seasons in Denver, I was delighted to see Larry wind up his career as a Redbird. He made it to the Series in 2004 and played great but the rest of the team didn’t; and unfortunately he retired the year before they won it all.

  38. Kev says:

    re: psychic bob
    In this case, Stauffer has had an inside source; he has mentioned at least twice on air he plays hockey with one of the owners.

  39. Andy Grabia says:

    Well Haren just got traded to the Diamondbacks. There goes my dream.

  40. Ribs says:

    wow, Dougie Weight’s a Duck.

  41. PunjabiOil says:

    Another 2 point night for Schremp.

    Trukho and Peckham with goals today. Rourke with 2 assists.

    MAP zero points, but +2 in a 4-3 Shootout win.

    Seems like Dubnyk was pulled after 45 minutes, allowing 3 goals on 19 shots.

  42. Ribs says:

    Well what the hey, I was just about to give my report on the Falcons as well, but the damn blog machine ate my post. Punjabioil covered most of the highlights so I guess it’s okay.

    A pretty strange game that saw both teams change up their goalies after Dubnyk and Schaeffer brawl a bit. Trukhno scores in the third to tie the game up.Schremp with 2 ES Assists and a SO goal. Pouliot seals the deal on his second SO attempt.

    Long live the Shootout!

  43. Pat H says:

    for the ‘coast to coast am’ fans out there:

    notwithstanding suggestions that Lowe and Katz are on good terms, is there any chance that Lowe’s 4-year extension was timed in such a way so as to avoid it becoming an issue in the midst/immediate aftermath of the sale?

    Regardless, I think the only place Lowe goes in the immediate future – if anywhere – is up.

  44. honkey says:

    Wild up 5-0 after 2 periods, Scotty or not it’s zero chance this Duck team makes the playoff.

    Jiggy is just bad in goal this and now they have to rely on two 22-year old to provide all scoring for 50 games to make it.
    Scotty is a good defenseman but he can’t fix all the other holes in Ducks team.

    I’ll bet there is a pretty good chance Oilers pick before Ducks in this years draft :)

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