Edmonton city councils ceases negotiations with Oilers owner on downtown arena, Daniel Alfredsson comments on the league’s latest proposal, conflicting reports on Andrei Markov’s future plans, plus the latest on the Flames and Canucks.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Edmonton city council has voted to cease negotiations with Oilers owner Daryl Katz regarding the building of a new downtown arena, and are considering options that include building the arena on their own.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Katz group has stated they won’t play in Rexall Place beyond 2014, when their current lease agreement expires. Katz has already tried a heavy-handed, and ultimately embarrassing, attempt to threaten moving the Oilers to Seattle if a new arena agreement wasn’t in place soon, but few expect the league would allow that attempt to relocate, especially to a market like Seattle where the Oilers would be less of a draw than they currently are in Edmonton. Katz has handled this very badly, and if the city constructs a new arena with its own money, or outside investors, he won’t get nearly as good a deal as he could’ve had if he’d stuck by the original agreement with the city that was hammered out last fall.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Daniel Alfredsson cautions fans believing the league’s latest offer could bring the lockout to an end to keep their emotions.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets forwards Andrew Ladd and Olli Jokinen also cautioned against believing the latest offer by the league could result in a swift end to the lockout.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The word emerging from various players around the league is cautious optimism but still believing there’s a long way to go toward a settlement. The league’s demand for the players share of revenue to drop from 57 to 50 percent of HRR immediately, and deferring extra escrow payments until later in the deal, are issues of significant concern for the players, who would prefer a gradual easing into the reduction of HRR to lessen the impact of the increased escrow payments.
RDS.CA: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov said in an interview he didn’t know if he would return to the NHL once the lockout ended.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before you freak out, Habs fans, Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette conducted a follow-up with Markov, who told him his absolute intention is to return to the Canadiens once a new NHL CBA is in place.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: “Bieksa’s Buddies”, a team made up of locked-out Vancouver Canucks and several other NHL players, raised $200,000 for charity in a game against the UBC Thunderbirds, which saw singer Michael Buble help coach Bieksa’s team.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster discussed his team’s system of “meritocracy” during a recent interview.