The ever-elusive Daryl Katz phoned in for a media conference call today, and the assembled media jackals got a chance to pepper him with hard-hitting questions like "Have you seen the "Daryl Katz is Batman' Facebook Group?" and "What was your favourite Oilers player?"
Actually, I'm kidding a little bit as some decent questions were asked, but Katz wasn't going to say a whole lot while the sale of the team is yet finalized (he did promise some media face time when the deal is approved). Still, it would have been nice to hear more about how he runs the privately-owned Rexall Group, his business philosophy overall and more details about how he negotiated for control of the team.
Otherwise, Katz was no-nonsense and somewhat humourless, which is oddly reassuring considering the circumstances. The highlights:
- Will form a community advisory board that will include 5 current EIG shareholders and other comunity stakeholders
- Thinks an arena will “revitalize” downtown (sigh).
- Rexall and Oilers, the “two best brands” wearing copper and blue, based in Edmonton.
- Not exactly hands off – Katz will talk to management each day; willing to personally sell free agents on Edmonton if need be; decision-making will involve "little bureaucracy"
- “Lived and died by the Oilers” in the 1980s.
- Waiting for the arena feasibility report and its recommendations, although it's obvious that's he's looking to build a rink downtown and it's also obvious that the report will recommend it.
- fenced off questions about management changes, although he praised Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish.
- Katz reads Oilers blogs (this is probably not a good idea).
- Prepared to discuss a location agreement with the City.