Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Daryl Katz Meet 'n' Greet

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.


Art Vandelay said...

Well if he's reading this blog:

Katz, if you want a new playpen for your employees, sell more prescriptions, feminine hygiene products, greeting cards, or cans of 7-Up, but don't expect to put your hands on my property taxes to the city of Edmonton or any money I pay under threat of imprisonment to any level of government, without a lot of kicking and screaming.

If you want an arena, pay for it yourself, or slap a surcharge on Oilers tickets. Whatever.

We already ran one carpet-bagging used-car salesman out of town in the 90s, though not before he'd extorted a now-useless baseball field out of the city.

mike w said...

Art, I'm pretty sure he only reads Hot Oil.

Andy Grabia said...

I feel like we dropped the ball on not getting Dellow to ask some questions. I mean, Eklund's site got to ask a question. We should have sent Dellow in to lawyer him up.

Anonymous said...

I'm not quite sure what you expect that "lawyering him up" consists of. Besides, if I had phoned in, you would have heard this:

"Follow up to the Batman question, Mr. Katz - accepting that analogy as accurate, who is your Robin?"

Lord Bob said...

Dear Daryl,

Hi. I have only one request of you, my new pharmaceutical overlord. If the Oilers trade Joni Pitkanen, can you kill Kevin Lowe? I don't mean 'fire him'. I mean kill him. I mean cut off his head and put it on a pole in front of Rexall Place as an example to those who follow in his footsteps.


Lord Bob

(P.S.: Actually, two requests: the Rexall in downtown Victoria is only open until, like, eight. What the hell, buddy?)

Art Vandelay said...

Lord Bob,
Closes at 8? Thanks for the tip.
The Pharmasave in Esquimalt closes at 7. Seven! Like this is 1950.

Andy Grabia said...

It's Victoria. Doesn't everything close before 8?

Andy Grabia said...

I'm not quite sure what you expect that "lawyering him up" consists of.

Generally, asking more pertinent questions than, "people want to know if you're going to move the team? They do remember a guy by the name of Peter Pocklington, you know."

Simon said...

Did anybody else find him to be a utterly anti-social? I suppose sitting on a couple of billion dollars would make one a little bit squirrely, but man...

Slipper said...

Evidently, Terry Jones still has influence in this city.

Why can't Katz hang anymore, man?

Pleasure Motors said...

I'm sort of surprised that completely bitchin' haircut has escaped mention for this long.

mike w said...

Or that Katz is apparently wearing some sort of variation of the "magic eightball" jacket...

David S said...

Magic eightball jacket -


Andy Grabia said...

I mentioned that haircut on BoA. He looks like a Sweathog. I didn't notice the Eightball jacket, though.

Daryl's friend, circa 1987: "Daryl, do you think you'll ever own a professional sports team?"

Daryl: "All signs point to yes!"

I bet you he's a facepainter, too. Ah, Puddy. How can you not love an owner like that?

Doogie said...

I mentioned that haircut on BoA. He looks like a Sweathog.

Me, I think he looks a little like John Belushi in that picture. Toga, toga, toga!

heed said...

does this mean the oilers will now hit the ice with loverboy blaring over the system?

Andy Grabia said...

How is that different than now?

heed said...

Why dont you turn me lose,
Turn me lose,
Turn me lose,
I gotta do it my way,
I wanna fly.