NO MORE GUNS IN THE VALLEY

Watching Canada say goodbye to hockey is about like watching Joey call after Shane as he rides past the grave markers to his own death.

I used to play road hockey right after the coach didn’t call the house each fall (I couldn’t skate well forward, and backwards travelling put my career to rest) but loved the game from an early age.

I think that’s the thing to hold onto as we head into another lost season. You can blame lawyers, or American lawyers, or American lawyers who own teams but the bottom line is we’re all miles away from Octobers of our youth when the cold air of Saturday morning burned our lungs.

At 50+, this old rider won’t shed a tear but I won’t roll my eyes either. This is a damn shame what’s happened to the game and I sincerely hope the culprits wake up to horse shit at their bedside this and every morning until they expire.

Someday, there’ll be no more guns in the valley.

We wait.

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54 Responses to "NO MORE GUNS IN THE VALLEY"

  1. OilOnWhyte says:

    This is a damn shame what’s happened to the game and I sincerely hope the culprits wake up to horse shit at their bedside this and every morning until they expire.

    I’m none too happy about it either.

  2. sliderule says:

    Alan Ladd was a short little guy.most of his scenes with leading ladies were shot with him standing on a stool .
    My point is that like Ladd the nhlpa and NHL are both creating their own illusions of how the cab should govern the game.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Sliderule: Legend has it there was a trench dug all around the set for Shane, with all actors not named Alan Ladd walking in the trench so Ladd looked taller.

  4. Henry says:

    Horseshit is too good for them. Pig would be preferable.

  5. Jordan says:

    Henry,

    Truthfully, I’d much rather it was a random selection each day. Pig, Chicken, Turkey, sheep, cow, horse… they all have their own unique stink.

    That said, at this point they are all bad men in my books. Owners, players, lawyers, and reps – they all get the same brush.

  6. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    They should wake up next to horseshit with a scorching case of Gonorrhea, mix in some chicken pocks, with some measles and mumps, and for good measure throw in some dysentery and call it almost even.

    Bunch of S.O.B’s

  7. rich says:

    Well said LT, well said.

    A pox on both their houses.

  8. hunter1909 says:

    Shane. Incredible movie. Jack Palance 5 star performance.

    Let me attempt to put this in perspective. I’m not a fan of the NHL, only of the Oilers. What is good for the NHL makes zero difference to me, so long as the Oilers win, or else fool me into believing they might win.

    This upcoming lockout will be good for the younger teams(why I don’t really understand), and bad for the older teams. When play resumes, Oilers will be probably be improved beyond what most commentators have predicted(lottery to 10th place team).

    Therefore, the lockout is good. And besides, we can speculate about Krueger’s influence on the future of the team. He appears to have everyone’s support. He might even end up the guy who wins the cup as head coach next. Heady days lie ahead.

  9. Lois Lowe says:

    The sheer amount of lawyers on this blog ought to show you that, as a profession, there are some good ones. It’s a damned shame that no one from here works for the NHL, NHLPA, or as agents.

  10. Reg Dunlop says:

    The NHL is described as a gate driven league. Does the gate really provide that much revenue in places like Florida, Carolina or Arizona ? Small crowds and cheap tickets… I just can’t see it. The TV deal with Versus must be a substantial contributor to the bottom line of these bottom feeding markets. Is there any $$$ comming in from this TV deal during the opening few months of the season before Versus starts televising games? I don’t know but if there isn’t then there will be no new CBA until the owners start missing out on this cash. Also… Ebs, come back.

  11. commonfan14 says:

    Whitney is scheduled to make $5.5 million this season and may never get another big payday if his mobility doesn’t come back.

    He must be going nuts.

  12. art vandelay says:

    This upcoming lockout will be good for the younger teams(why I don’t really understand), and bad for the older teams. When play resumes, Oilers will be probably be improved beyond what most commentators have predicted(lottery to 10th place team).

    If the lockout lasts two seasons, the Oilers will be so far ahead the NHL can just award them the Stanley Cup.

  13. jake70 says:

    Reg Dunlop:
    The NHL is described as a gate driven league. Does the gate really provide that much revenue in places like Florida, Carolina orArizona ? Small crowds and cheap tickets… I just can’t see it. The TV deal with Versus must be a substantial contributor to the bottom line of these bottom feeding markets. Is there any $$$ comming in from this TV deal during the opening few months of the season before Versus starts televising games? I don’t know but if there isn’t then there will be no new CBA until the owners start missing out on this cash. Also… Ebs, come back.

    The idea of TV revenue in general doesn’t come up a lot. But it seems like the teams that lose money in non-hockey markets must be kept afloat at all cost to satsify requirements of the networks who shell out the big dough. They will accept teams losing a boatload of gate revenue as long as said teams are in big population markets to satisfy the TV people. Not sure I am making sense. All part of Bettman’s master plan.

  14. Ducey says:

    I especially blame Fehr. He was part of the gang that turned baseball into the sham it is today – with many teams reduced to being developmental systems for the Yankees and having little or no chance of ever winning anything. He cares about nothing about the game.

    The photo ops of him standing in front of all the players make me very angry.

  15. Moosemess says:

    3 lockouts in an 18 year tenure as commissioner. I think it’s safe to conclude that Bettman cares very little about the fans or the legacy of the sport itself, and is instead content to play his role as the owner’s high paid hatchet man.

    Can’t lay it all at the feet of the lil weasel however, when NHL owners have always chased short term gains over long term growth. One could only wonder what this league could achieve if they ceded authority to a truly visionary commish instead of the puppet show we have now.

  16. sliderule says:

    The NHL wrote the agreement after the last lockout.They had the nhlpa by the nuts.

    Apparently they did such a bad job of writing that agreement and they want so many changes that we are going to have another lockout.

    If I was an NHL owner I would want to know why Bettman is still driving the bus.

  17. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    “Watching Canada say goodbye to hockey is about like watching Joey call after Shane as he rides past the grave markers to his own death.”

    They’ll be back to break our hearts again.

    But in the next few days Shane may well ride past some grave markers in the Valley of the Sun leaving the Coyotes to finish dying. The candidate owner is trying to use Doan’s hard CBA deadline to break the logjam on the leasing deal. Don’t believe it will work.

  18. Bar_Qu says:

    Frankly, we only have ourselves to blame as fans. We ran back to the game in such droves an d so quickly after the last stoppage, the league made even more money than before. So they rightly believe there is more money to be made than they are currently. When baseball did the same thing their fans spanked them hard enough to ensure the two sides solved all issues to avoid stoppages at all costs. We really need to not show up when the league finally starts to let them know how little they can count on fan support for these types of interruptions.

    It won’t happen of course, but it would the way to hurt them all.

  19. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    Hard pressed to pick between Fehr and Bettman. But gotta reserve maximum contempt for the guy who killed a season heading into the playoffs. A lockout at the beginning is rational in comparison. If it goes beyond New Years the divide is bigger than either of their egos.

  20. OldLurk says:

    I was saddened when I realized the game had become a business, I was disgusted when I realized the business had become a game….

  21. Captain Obvious says:

    Ducey:
    I especially blame Fehr.He was part of the gang that turned baseball into the sham it is today – with many teams reduced to being developmental systems for the Yankees and having little or no chance of ever winning anything.He cares about nothing about the game.

    The photo ops of him standing in front of all the players make me very angry.

    This is a lockout not a strike. Moreover, it is a lockout of a profitable business that is becoming increasingly profitable. No other industry locks out their workers while they are profitable. People should be upset about this but they shouldn’t blame both sides. This fight is unnecessary and the owners picked it. Blame them. The fact that ignorant fans don’t understand this makes me very angry.

    I’ll also add that before the baseball union the other teams in baseball actually were feeder systems for the Yankees (look up the Kansas City Athletics) and witnessed the greatest period of one team domination in the history of baseball.

  22. Moosemess says:

    On a positive hockey note, it’s good fun watching TSN’s rebroadcast of the 87 Canada Cup Final.

    It’s scary to think how good Team Canada could’ve been if so many great D-men hadn’t been out with injury that summer (Potvin, Wilson, Lowe, MacInnis). And to think that Norm Rochefort made the squad over Scott Stevens. wtf?

    For me, one unexpected result of watching this, is an immediate end to all Gretzky/RNH comparisons.

    I love the Nuge and expect great things from this young man, but lest we forget, this tourney reminds us what a transcendant talent the Great One truly was. His ability to read and anticipate the play is near telepathic, and his skills….stickhandling, shot/passing accuracy, reflexes. There was no one better at any one of these disciplines. Talk about a 5 tool player. Wayne was the veritable tool chest.

    And Paul Coffey. Like Orr before him, he’s the one player worth the price of ticket just to watch him skate it out of the zone. For shits n giggles, Krueger should throw Hall on the point for the PP now in the hopes that we can all enjoy a brief cup of Coffey comparison.

  23. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    Captain Obvious,

    Baseball fans stayed away in droves after a season was killed heading into the playoffs. That takes sport into Bobby Ewing in the shower territory. Not going to pin this on either side when Fehr of all pieholes is the guy saying let’s just play until….

    I blame Alan Eagleson. The players finally have a guy who isn’t the reaction to the reaction and there is going to be a fair bit of kumbaya in the PA before these guys settle down the middle and each declare victory.

    If it was me 50% goes to the players, 43% directly to owners, and 7% goes straight into revenue sharing. But what do I know. These guys will be worse than lawyers splitting up a tab at a restaurant. And they’ll insult our intelligence by telling us that their feelings are important.

  24. Captain Obvious says:

    An agreement would already be signed if it included no salary rollback and significant revenue sharing.

    Since a general salary rollback is an absurd and unreasonable request in the context of a profitable business and since the resistance to revenue sharing comes from the owners, there is nothing for the players to do but wait.

  25. prairieschooner says:

    Not sure what the percentage is but at around 57% to the players or whatever the actual number is, that is a huge amount of money.
    Salaries for players is pretty much over the top and has been through this whole contract
    If an era of players has been getting paid as much as they have and that appears to be continuing why does the revenue sharing have to be anywhere near to what it is?
    I do not understand why the players “need” any significant percentage of league revenue???
    Can anybody explain where they use this money?
    I think the shame is on both groups.

  26. Captain Obvious says:

    It’s not a huge amount of money if the business as a whole is profitable. Remember the players aren’t just salaried employees, they are also the product.

    Revenue sharing is necessary because, insofar as the NHL has an economic problem, it is with individual franchises and the salary floor.. Solving a particular problem with a general solution is like using a sledgehammer when you need a screwdriver.

    If the NHL as a whole was losing money then reducing the overall % of salaries would make sense. However the NHL as a whole isn’t losing money, individual franchises are. In this case, the solution should be to distribute revenue more equitably and/or lower the salary floor. If the owners are worried about competitive balance issues (I don’t think they actually care but either way) then this can be compensated for by increasing the years until players become UFAs. Spending more money isn’t a large advantage if players don’t become free agents until their late thirties. If the NHL actually cared about small markets what they would do would be to give in to the players on % of revenue in exchange for getting back two years of free agency. The total amount of money allotted to players would stay the same while struggling teams would see their payrolls reduced while simultaneously keeping their young players longer. It’s win-win for everyone but the Leafs–Flyers–Rangers etc.

    Even though a general change is unnecessary I think the players would agree with it, if it was implemented gradually and accompanied by revenue sharing. That’s the compromise and the players are a lot closer to that position than the owners.

  27. rich says:

    There are a number of dynamics here but among the most significant ones is that the larger market owners have little interest in subsidizing smaller market teams because they only care about winning at this point.

    While it’s good for the business overall to have a “competitive league”, they don’t really want parity, they want to win and it’s part of what’s happened to the American sports landscape since the mid-1970′s and free agency – which started first in baseball and has moved on to other sports.

    I too think the players would agree to a lower figure (% of revenue) if it were tied to more revenue sharing on the bottom end – because it would also in the long run mean more money for them (with less paid into escrow). They haven’t shown that card yet in their negotiations and Bob McKenzie did a very nice job detailing their offer yesterday (and the owners too).

    While I’m not a fan of Bettman, anyone who thinks that the real drivers of this bus for the owners aren’t named Snider or Jacobs is kidding themselves. Bettman is the front man for these guys and their proposal right now is a total turn-off. And quite frankly, that still does not solve the issues of some of the smaller revenue teams (Phoenix, Sunrise and Columbus among them). Sure it lowers the floor as a starting point but down the road, revenues in these markets can’t grow as fast as they can in Toronto, NY, Boston or Philadelphia so this only slows the bleeding.

    Maybe the real negotiating will start in late October after the first pay check is missed by the players. The small market owners – especially the ones who had to pay out bonus money won’t be happy, but the big market owners run this league and they will hold it hostage until they get a deal they want.

  28. Szach says:

    LT – the imagery is delightfully frightening…. brings history of relatively recent past – a little fresher than Joey and Shane with much more Italian as opposed to American flavor. We can only hope that with the season seemingly gone we can strive for more dramatics courtesy Hoffa and the Commission(er) as stars…. It seems to me that the commission of the 30 families that run the NHL has much more time and influence than players playing time. For every player there are 100 soldiers and associates but not that many bosses to build Coliseums.

    Now would be good time for a Sicilian Kiss and then another…

  29. Moosemess says:

    I think people are more inclined to side with the owners if they see them as ‘builders’ without whom the NHL would not exist. If you take that view, then you’re likely inclined to view the players as selfish bastards who already earn far more than they should for playing a game.

    The reality is NHL owners are a far more greedy, shortsighted lot who’ve typically taken more from this great sport than they’ve given. Many of these owners benefited greatly from the corruption and collusion that existed when Alan Eagleson was the head of the PA, and the league’s history in regards to employee relations is shameful at best and morally bankrupt at worst.

    It’s also important to remember that there are far more people that want to own sports franchises than do, particularly in the most lucrative markets, and for that reason, the owners are eminently more replaceable than their employees (i.e. the gifted athletes who actually put the bums in the seats and the viewers in front of their televisions). Given the average career length for a professional athlete and the very fact that they are the ‘product,’ I think it’s reasonable for the ‘employees’ in this matter to stand their ground. Particularly when, as noted, the owners are proposing a salary rollback during a time of unprecedented revenue growth.

    What strikes me as particularly noteworthy is the timing of all this. Having achieved such massive concessions from the players a mere 8 years ago, what could possibly have changed so much that the owners feel compelled to play labour dispute chicken again?

    I think one possible explanation is the web. Long frustrated in their bid to achieve a broadcast deal equivalent to the other major leagues, the NHL made a very smart and fortuitous decision following the last lockout to invest major infrastructure in the buildout of their web properties. Ultimately, we are moving towards media convergence on the web which will render the old broadcast methods and infrastructures largely obsolete, and when it does, the folks who own NHL franchises will be in a very advantageous position whereby they’ll own the broadcast rights AND the broadcast infrastructure for their product. Think Netflix, but NHL branded. When that occurs, we the fans/consumers will be asked to pay through the nose and their profits will skyrocket. I suspect this day is coming sooner rather than later (as evidenced by Rogers/Bells purchase of the Leafs) and the owners want to lock in their majority share now before the pie becomes much, much bigger.

    In the last 20 years, sports franchise owners have pushed ticket prices into the stratosphere. Now, they want to do the same for broadcast access. Smoke ‘em while you got ‘em.

  30. Ducey says:

    Since a general salary rollback is an absurd and unreasonable request in the context of a profitable business and since the resistance to revenue sharing comes from the owners, there is nothing for the players to do but wait.

    To say that the players have no responsibility for the current impasse because ‘its a lockout’ is silly. If the owners didn’t lock out the players, don’t you think Fehr would just pull the plug later and have a strike before the playoffs? Wouldn’t that be even worse?

    Fehr took about a month to get back to Bettman after the owner’s first proposal. He knows exactly what he wants and he wants a lockout. He is betting that all these bonuses the owners owe are going to cause them to collapse and that the players will stick it out because they are getting the rest of their money from last year on October 15.

  31. Moosemess says:

    Moosemess:

    I think one possible explanation is the web. Long frustrated in their bid to achieve a broadcast deal equivalent to the other major leagues, the NHL made a very smart and fortuitous decision following the last lockout to invest major infrastructure in the buildout of their web properties. Ultimately, we are moving towards media convergence on the web which will render the old broadcast methods and infrastructures largely obsolete, and when it does, the folks who own NHL franchises will be in a very advantageous position whereby they’ll own the broadcast rights AND the broadcast infrastructure for their product. Think Netflix, but NHL branded. When that occurs, we the fans/consumers will be asked to pay through the nose and their profits will skyrocket. I suspect this day is coming sooner rather than later (as evidenced by Rogers/Bells purchase of the Leafs) and the owners want to lock in their majority share now before the pie becomes much, much bigger.

    In the last 20 years, sports franchise owners have pushed ticket prices into the stratosphere. Now, they want to do the same for broadcast access. Smoke ‘em while you got ‘em.

    Incidentally, as usual, the NFL is two steps ahead on this strategy. Through the buildout of nfl.com and the creation of the NFL network broadcast entity, the pigskin boys are already well underway with their own content creation and distribution. Once broadband penetration equals the reach of conventional television with the masses, the NFL will cut out the middle men once and for all (seeya Fox, NBC, CBS, etc.) and will reap massive profits from charging consumers directly.

    Ain’t monopolies great?

  32. Szach says:

    Moosemess:
    I think people are more inclined to side with the owners if they see them as ‘builders’ without whom the NHL would not exist. If you take that view, then you’re likely inclined to view the players as selfish bastards who already earn far more than they should for playing a game.

    The reality is NHL owners are a far more greedy, shortsighted lot who’ve typically taken more from this great sport than they’ve given. Many of these owners benefited greatly from the corruption and collusion that existed when Alan Eagleson was the head of the PA, and the league’s history in regards to employee relations is shameful at best and morally bankrupt at worst.

    It’s also important to remember that there are far more people that want to own sports franchises than do, particularly in the most lucrative markets, and for that reason, the owners are eminently more replaceable than their employees (i.e. the gifted athletes who actually put the bums in the seats and the viewers in front of their televisions). Given the average career length for a professional athlete and the very fact that they are the ‘product,’ I think it’s reasonable for the ‘employees’ in this matter to stand their ground. Particularly when, as noted, the owners are proposing a salary rollback during a time of unprecedented revenue growth.

    What strikes me as particularly noteworthy is the timing of all this. Having achieved such massive concessions from the players a mere 8 years ago, what could possibly have changed so much that the owners feel compelled to play labour dispute chicken again?

    I think one possible explanation is the web. Long frustrated in their bid to achieve a broadcast deal equivalent to the other major leagues, the NHL made a very smart and fortuitous decision following the last lockout to invest major infrastructure in the buildout of their web properties. Ultimately, we are moving towards media convergence on the web which will render the old broadcast methods and infrastructures largely obsolete, and when it does, the folks who own NHL franchises will be in a very advantageous position whereby they’ll own the broadcast rights AND the broadcast infrastructure for their product. Think Netflix, but NHL branded. When that occurs, we the fans/consumers will be asked to pay through the nose and their profits will skyrocket. I suspect this day is coming sooner rather than later (as evidenced by Rogers/Bells purchase of the Leafs) and the owners want to lock in their majority share now before the pie becomes much, much bigger.

    In the last 20 years, sports franchise owners have pushed ticket prices into the stratosphere. Now, they want to do the same for broadcast access. Smoke ‘em while you got ‘em.

    Not sure I agree – what is easier – walking into a job and having a guaranteed salary or building a massive structure to attract seat fannies.

    Ticket prices are a function of the marketplace – if you cannot afford them there are are still 17 thousand in Edmonton, Vancouver, Montreal or Toronto who can. The same is not true currently at any price in Phoenix or OKC for that matter. Players also have an interest in ticket prices being higher as they get a piece of that pie – so not sure the argument holds regarding owners being greedy.

    I’d rather phrase the current situation as a gentlemanly disagreement over the farmers’ (ticket-payers) trough.

  33. Halfwise says:

    A big welcome to the Cyrillic NINTENDO 64 poster. Are you some kind of XODDOG? :-)

    This lockout is the owners’ responsibility and is because they play us fans and the players like fish. They have the revenue, they have the monopoly, they have the brand. These were the conditions that spawned the WHA back when everyone’s skates had those funny plastic things on the back end of the blade to keep us all safe. And hockey gloves were brown, period. Anyone else use a Hespeler Green Flash stick?

  34. Captain Obvious says:

    Ducey,

    The player’s wouldn’t strike if they had a new agreement. The lockout is a solution in search of a problem. The NHL does have problems in some markets but what the NHL is asking for will not solve those problems.

  35. Mr DeBakey says:

    I especially blame Fehr.

    I especially blame Bettman.

    Lyin’ scumbag said cost certainty would fix everything.
    Who wudda guessed he was full-o-shit?

  36. Szach says:

    Ducey,

    Not absurd and not unreasonable. Owners should be compensated at higher rates than players. Like with options – the bigger the risk the bigger should be the potential gain.

    Look at it another way: if you invest 200 million (or have that as your market value) what would you like your real cash return to be? 5 and 10 million are 2.5 and 5% respectively. Now look at player development costs – overall its a big sum – but individually calculated not so much. I would suppose – 200K per player (have no idea). One player receives 6 mil while many others get 60 K to play in the minors. If the players cared for each other that gap would be much less significant. Absurd is the fact that NHL teams do not invest as part of their obligation to the masses a significant chunk of their money into minor league development as both the owners and the players are the direct beneficiaries of its existence.

  37. Captain Obvious says:

    Why are we spending taxes on building an arena to facilitate an owner’s profit taking? In that case, the city (i.e. us) takes the risk while the owner takes all the profits. It’s elementary. If arena’s are profitable the one who profits should be the one who invests. Conversely, if arena’s are not profitable then they shouldn’t be built.

    The time has come for all of this to reach a tipping point and for everyone, fans, media, citizens, politicians, to turn against the owners. They are leeches who suck us dry and provide nothing. An NHL team in a city is not a gift to the city from the NHL. It is an opportunity the city provides to the NHL by existing. That is the proper way of looking at this. If the NHL doesn’t want to take advantage of the opportunity that’s their problem. Cities bribing sports franchises to come to their town is shameful and counterproductive. They need us more than we need them.

  38. Moosemess says:

    Szach: Not sure I agree – what is easier – walking into a job and having a guaranteed salary or building a massive structure to attract seat fannies.

    I don’t think the genetic gifts and years of training it takes to perfect these skills to reach elite hockey player status can necessarily be described as ‘walking into a job.” These players are world class athletes and entertainers and are a far more rare commodity than someone who can pay to erect a big building. Particularly when many of the owners in question rely on the public trough nowadays to build their palaces.

    Szach
    Ticket prices are a function of the marketplace – if you cannot afford them there are are still 17 thousand in Edmonton, Vancouver, Montreal or Toronto who can.The same is not true currently at any price in Phoenix or OKC for that matter.Players also have an interest in ticket prices being higher as they get a piece of that pie – so not sure the argument holds regarding owners being greedy.

    I can afford the tickets thanks ; ) I’m not presenting ticket prices as the sole evidence that the owners are greedy, short sighed or vindictive. Google “nhl pension lawsuit” or “ballard neilsen paperbag” or “pocklington gretzky sale” That should be as good a start as any to help you remove the blinders.

  39. Captain Obvious says:

    Or just watch what happened today. The city cut Katz a sweetheart deal and he’s coming back for more.

  40. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    Captain Obvious,

    @Moosemess

    I’m Sorry but you are misinformed about the tax’s to build the arena.

    http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/projects_redevelopment/arena-funding-faq.aspx

    As for Owners vs Players, if it wasn’t for 30 Edmonton and area business people we wouldn’t HAVE the Edmonton Oilers.

    If we didn’t HAVE Katz we would be cheering for a team with a payroll of somewhere around the salary floor just barley hanging on and your take would almost certainly be different.

    Balance is the key and right now that doesn’t exist.

  41. Captain Obvious says:

    Wes Mantooth-11,

    I fail to see how that link demonstrates that I am misinformed.

    In this context balance is a word that doesn’t mean anything. It implies a sense of objectivity, however if that objectivity is measured in relation to the subjective views of an individual it, by definition is not balanced. Balance is a word that should never be used in this discussion. Bargaining does not exist in relation to an objective world of measurement.

  42. Moosemess says:

    What’s your point Wes, that the owners are entitled to be greedy because the alternative is far worse? Isn’t that the sword of damocles argument that we’re always given by the owners i.e. you think we’re bad, imagine life without us?

    CaptOb raises a good point. Edmonton is one of the best hockey markets in the world. Yet from Pocklington to Katz, the City is always being threatened with the loss of the franchise unless we give into their demands? I’ll give Katz his due. His threat is implied whereas Peter Puck was exceedingly obviously. But the threat remains nonetheless. What does that say about the gentleman that own and operate these enterprises? Savvy? Yes. Greedy? Undoubtedly.

    Btw, this is coming from a guy who favors public funding of the arena as I’m of the belief that the City should ultimately own this asset and not the druglord. I can’t argue with the assessment however that Katz was offered a sweetheart deal which apparently is still not sweet enough for his liking.

    Whether it’s the impending lockout or this arena deal, that’s the problem with this whole thing. As much as one loves this sport, the business side of it has always smelled.

  43. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    I like to imagine that when the mediator requested more money on Katz’s behalf, Mandell walked over, bitch slapped the mediator, and told him to go home.

  44. Mr DeBakey says:

    If we didn’t HAVE Katz we would be cheering for a team with a payroll of somewhere around the salary floor just barley hanging on and your take would almost certainly be different.

    In the first place, you have no idea how the current owner would be spending.
    In the second, 3 first overall picks in a row, 5 top ten picks in the last six years.
    If we didn’t have Katz!

  45. Bar_Qu says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    If we didn’t HAVE Katz we would be cheering for a team with a payroll of somewhere around the salary floor just barley hanging on and your take would almost certainly be different.

    In the first place, you have no idea how the current owner would be spending.
    In the second, 3 first overall picks in a row, 5 top ten picks in the last six years.
    If we didn’t have Katz!

    +1 to this

    The whole issue of who is right or wrong is absurd. They both are. Neither wants less than what they have and have both proposed deals which give them more. Neither will negotiate their terms (we want more) and insist on calling the other intransigent. So as a result I will take my kids to see WHL this year and won’t fork over a red cent to watch NHL coverage.

    And Katz just cooked his own goose by saying what he said. I may not agree with either Staples’ or WG’s explanation of the lease deal, but it doesn’t look good for Katz to come hat in hand at this point of the equation. Kick in your few extra million and be done with it.

    Rookie mistakes.

  46. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    @ Captian Obvious

    Well, show me where it say’s funding for the arena is coming from the taxpayer?

    Balance is exactly what the NHL is looking for, regardless if you believe it to be a word used in negotiations or not, brass tax it is what there trying to achieve, you can word it however you want too.
    @Moosemess

    To your first statement.
    Pockligton used the Oilers as leverage in other deals because he had NO money; He sold Gretzky because he needed to pay debt down and actually used Gretzky as collateral on deals, Pockligton actually did sell the Oilers! So those were not idle threats. The ATB stepped in and blocked the sale to Les Alexander.
    Katz is completely different owner, he’s committed to Edmonton, the community and more important for the Oilers, when he bought the Oilers a stipulation was he could not move them. So how is that threatening to leave? Or implying to leave? When did Katz ever threaten to leave, those both are bogus arguments.
    Katz is willing to spend 150 million dollars to help revitalize a dying city core, I would say that has it’s risks.
    A new public project would encourage private sector investment that otherwise would not occur. The resulting new development generates tax revenue that would not otherwise occur, and raises property value within the area, how is this a bad thing?

  47. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    Mr DeBakey,

    Your right, I wouldn’t know how Katz and the Oilers are spending in the top ten payrolls in the league.

    Nor would I have any idea that the EIG had a budget of 32 million while other teams had north of 55 million or the fact the Oiler for the better part of a decade couldn’t keep million dollar players.

    ya, wouldn’t know that.

    PS. Katz never made the team a 30th 30th 29th place team!

    Good bloody grief!

  48. Captain Obvious says:

    Wes Mantooth-11,

    To what do you think “public” in “publicly funded” refers?

    “Katz is willing to spend 150 million dollars to help revitalize a dying city core, I would say that has it’s risks.
    A new public project would encourage private sector investment that otherwise would not occur. The resulting new development generates tax revenue that would not otherwise occur, and raises property value within the area, how is this a bad thing?”

    To this, I don’t even know what to say. Why would anyone believe any of this is true. The 150 million is an imaginary number and there is no evidence that public projects generate private sector investment. I’d like to believe it’s true, and it might even be a gamble worthy of some kind of shared venture. However this isn’t a shared venture. It is the raping of the public trust by a private individual. On the terms of the deal Katz is going to get 100% of the profits while putting up none of the money. That’s highway robbery. Meanwhile the city is going to take out the loans that will be paid back by hypothetical future revenues while gaining no direct dividends and gaining no assurances or control over the Oilers.

    I mean seriously they are building an arena that costs more than the team. Why don’t they just buy the team. At least that way the city would be getting the profits.

  49. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    @ Captain Sorry, but “public project” doesn’t mean public fund’s it! It’s being built for the public, big difference there.

    As for “there is no evidence that a public project generate private sector investment”

    You’re kidding right? Nobody, absolutely nobody is going to bring in shops, bars, stores, restaurants?

    I’m here to tell you that if the arena gets built, it will be the best place and area to go to in Edmonton, hands down.

    Explain to me how Katz is “Raping the public trust”

    “On term of the deal Katz will get 100% of the profits while putting up none of the money” Completely untrue!

    9. Is the Katz Group providing cash for its $100 million contribution?
    The Katz Group’s $100 million contribution will be paid over 30 years, at an estimated $5.5 million/year. This total includes the cost of interest to borrow this money. The actual cost would depend on the actual interest rates.

    10. Is it right that the Katz Group will receive all revenues from events held in the new arena?
    The Katz Group will be responsible for all arena operation expenses and the costs of all capital upgrades, maintenance and improvements. In return they will receive the operating revenues, including naming rights and parking revenue.

    The City would own the land and arena. The city will get all tax revenue associated with the entire area and building around the arena plus ticket tax on shows at the new arena.
    “At least the city would be getting all the profits” Then you must assume they would be taking all the risks too, plus all expenses I mentioned above.

    Two way street here, If you can find another Billionaire that wants to invest money in the city and our sport teams then go ahead., but it took over ten years to find this one.

  50. stevezie says:

    There’s an idea being floated out there that fans can send a message without boycotting the NHL (which we clearly won’t do), we can boycott the owner’s other products:
    http://youhavetwoweeks.com/

  51. Captain Obvious says:

    Wes Mantooth-11,

    I can only say that you don’t understand what you are talking about. For instance:

    1) If you consider the time value of money then 100 million dollars spread over 30 years is significantly less than 100 million dollars right now. Therefore it is simply not true that Katz is putting in 100 million dollars of his own money. To say otherwise is to speak from ignorance.

    2) This isn’t a public project. It is a private project that is 100% paid for by public funds, a percentage of which will be paid back. 100% of the profits from this publicly funded project are collected by Katz. If the city benefits it is only through ancillary benefits. All of this is directly confirmed by your own link.

    3) Insofar as there are ancillary benefits to this kind of public investment there is neither empirical nor theoretical evidence that these benefits could not be duplicated by an equivalent amount of public spending on other ventures. $450 million + (and we all know the final bill will be higher than $450 million) should result in more than a few more restaurants.

    4) You talk about owning the arena and the land as if these are good things. They only own the land because Katz forced them to buy it from him. The arena itself is is a depreciating asset. In the context of the deal with Katz it has negative value. Owning it just means the city gets to pay to tear it down when Katz is done extracting his profit. LIkewise owning the land doesn’t do the city any good, unless you think the city buying land now and sitting on it is a good investment. Once again, considering the time value of money, a much better deal for the city would be for Katz to own the land, and the city not be forced to buy it from him.

    You’re out of your depth here.

    If you want public investment in an arena district a good way to spend $450 million dollars would be to spend it on infrastructure around a privately funded arena. That might actually revitalize downtown and draw more private money.

    If cities didn’t subsidize arenas and stadiums they would still get build because they are moneymakers. This isn’t an either/or proposition. Moreover, if they are not moneymakers that is even more of a reason not to subsidize the arena because in that case the ancillary benefits do not come.

  52. DSF says:

    Captain Obvious:
    Wes Mantooth-11,

    I can only say that you don’t understand what you are talking about.For instance:

    If cities didn’t subsidize arenas and stadiums they would still get build because they are moneymakers.This isn’t an either/or proposition.Moreover, if they are not moneymakers that is even more of a reason not to subsidize the arena because in that case the ancillary benefits do not come.

    Let me echo that by saying you final comment is nonsense.

    Three of the four arenas that were built in Canada (and Rogers Centre/Skydome) with private money in Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver were all later sold for pennies on the dollar because their developers were teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

    While I agree Katz has been bending over Edmonton taxpayers to a large degree, suggesting that some other white knight will ride to the rescue is just not true.

    What the most vociferous of the arena deal opponents won’t admit is that an arena IS public infrastructure and, given the right deal, there is a compelling argument for public investment.

    Each city is unique in that Edmonton and Ottawa are small markets while Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal (and, to some extent, Calgary) have access to much higher revenue streams than Edmonton ever will and, even in those cities, Toronto excepted, an arena funded entirely by the private sector failed.

  53. shane leavitt says:

    Yes, quite a movie. Father enjoyed it so much, I ended up with the name.

  54. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    Captain Obvious,

    It seems to me that you have a serious hate on for Katz, and no mater what anyone tells you or show’s you, you will rebuff anyways.
    Will the City of Edmonton pay the entire costs of building an arena?

    No. The framework agreement approved by Council limits the City’s contribution to $125 million. A portion of that, $45 million, will be raised through a CRL and another $80 million will be raised by redirecting current support paid to Rexall Place and new revenue sources. Another $125 million will be raised through a user-pay Facility Improvement Fee and the Katz Group will contribute $100 million.

    The Katz Group’s $100 million contribution will be paid over 30 years, at an estimated $5.5 million/year. This total includes the cost of interest to borrow this money. The actual cost will depend on the actual interest rates. This will be kept in a city fund/trust and NOT in Katz own bank.

    The City will borrow funds for the construction of the arena. Interim financing will be required to bridge the gap until revenue for covering those costs is realized. Interest costs are factored into the City’s plans to pay for the arena.

    Together, these 3 options will generate $350 million for the project. The City has approached the federal and provincial governments asking them for support for the remaining $100 million. The cost of the arena building is capped by City Council to be no more than $450 million.

    As for your theory on increased investment.

    The City anticipates a new arena will spark new business development in the area around the proposed site, which would result in new tax revenue for the City. A portion of this new tax revenue would be dedicated to pay some of the cost of arena construction raised through a Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) would be dedicated to the costs of the arena.

    In any CRL, there is a risk that development won’t occur as anticipated. However, as part of the approval process for a CRL, the City must clearly outline its strategy to address this issue. Usually what happens with a CRL is that there is a catalyst project or projects that spark development and result in the lift in taxes being collected. Again this is not a tax increase for businesses or residents within the CRL zone.

    This is part of the basis in which the arena will be built, it uses NO direct public taxes, and it will get tax money from future investments within the CRL and arena district area, this project is funded on the notion it will create the funds needed to repay the project.

    Not to mention that two 38 story high rise condominiums have already started there construction, in direct relation to the arena district. Please explain this investment? Would this not count as “Empirical Evidence?”

    You have almost ZERO explanations of how Katz is directly using Tax payer’s money! Show me evidence! I’ve shown you how Katz, The city and provincial government are using the funds to help build a public project funded by future tax revenue created by the CRL and the arena district, to help revitalize a dying downtown core and an economic stimulus plan to generate investment in the area.

    You can keep complaining and arguing that Katz is the devil doesn’t mean your right.

    The city in keeping it a joint effort, will ensure it succeed for the benefit of all involved. This will make money for everyone. NOT JUST KATZ!

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