The Edmonton Oilers are hoping that a new locally based owner will lead them back to the glory days. Unfortunately, Darryl Katz did not make his money in the human cloning business, so the return to glory will not be based on the actual return of Gretzky, Messier, Lowe, Coffey, Kurri and Fuhr.
Reportedly, Katz, whose Katz Group also owns the Edmonton-based chain of Rexall pharmacies, outbid his competitor, actor/takeover maven Wilford Brimley. Brimley’s offer to the imaginatively named Edmonton Investors Group reportedly consisted of “a lifetime supply of diabeetus testing supplies.”
Katz upped the ante by offering to throw in $188 million and free insulin, not only to members of the EIG, but to the first 12,000 paying fans on certain Tuesday and Wednesday night games. “Insulin has many uses, from control of diabetes to dangerous and illegal use as a weight loss and bodybuilding supplement,” Katz said. “I’m proud to be able to supply my fellow Edmontonians with this wonder drug.”
“Oh, and this will be real human insulin–not that cow insulin crap. And when your free sample runs out, be sure to come by your local Rexall Drug for a refill.”
Although Katz does technically need approval from the NHL Board of Governors, Edmonton fans are already hoping that he will pick up most or all of the tab for a new arena to replace the aging Rexall Place (hey, wait a minute!).
Estimates, in the TSN story linked above, put the cost of such an arena at $1 billion. With a “b”. Whaaaa? That’s like New Yankee Stadium money! Since when did the Edmonton real estate market catch up with NYC? I would think you could build a hockey arena, a new city hall, and a couple of hospitals in Edmonton for $1 billion, and still have enough money left over to buy everyone free needles to go with their insulin. Then again, I’m still having trouble with this whole exchange rate business.