Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Hockey News

Yesterday was Barry Bonds' day. He hit his 756th career home run and passed Hank Aaron to become the all-time home runs leader. But lost in all of the excitement was the big day in the NHL.

The 1st thing that happened was about the Edmonton Oilers. The Edmonton Investors Group, the group that owns the Oilers announced that the group rejected the latest bid from local pharmacy tycoon Daryl Katz to purchase the team for $185 million.

This is the 3rd time that Katz's bid has been rejected by the Oilers. And Katz will probably not get another chance to buy the Oilers because the Investors group has voted to take the 'For Sale' sign off the franchise. Katz will still be a part of the Oilers, as he owns the Rexall Pharmacy chain, and Edmonton's arena is named after Rexall.

''Clearly I'm disappointed that the ownership group has elected not to proceed with a sale but I accept their decision and wish them well,'' said Katz in a statement. ''As an Oilers' fan and the franchise's largest corporate sponsor, I will continue to be a major supporter of the team.''

Chairman of the Investors group Cal Nichols said that after some research, the money was not all it seemed. "This morning, our shareholders voted resoundingly to reject this offer," Nichols said at the news conference in Edmonton. "The reported sale price was $185 million, but in fact, it is actually closer to $160 million after capital adjustments and adjustments for tax treatment."

''I hope that this, at least for the near term, puts an end to the offer thing because this has been a bit of a circus for four months and no one in our group was going to continue doing what we were doing,'' Nichols told reporters in a news conference at the city's tony Petroleum Club."

The real problem in Edmonton is getting a new arena. This latest rejection of Katz's bid hasn't shed any light on how the Oilers are going to get the money for the new arena and when it will be built.

One bid to buy a team did go through though, as former Panthers coach Doug MacLean bought the Tampa Bay Lightning yesterday. A group led by MacLean bought the Lightning yesterday in a deal that includes the leasing rights to the Lightning's arena and adjacent properties.

''Typically, you come into a situation where ownership has been an issue,'' MacLean said at the news conference. ''We're following a great ownership group that took the Tampa Bay franchise and really put it on the map.'' When asked about re-location, MacLean quickly answered. "0% chance of that happening".

MacLean led the Panthers the Stanley Cup Final and will look to get Tampa back to their winning ways.

The final news of the day was the resigning of Mike Cammalleri. The forward for Los Angeles had 34 goals and 80 points last season, but will only be making $3.1 million next season after an arbitrator awarded him a 2-year deal worth $6.7 million.

''We got there the hard way,'' Kings GM Dean Lombardi told the Times. ''Nobody wins at these things. I think it is safe to say it came out closer to our end. But these situations aren't for winning and losing.''

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