Daryl Katz, Gary Bettman

Oilers owner explains why he won’t attend city council meeting


Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz issued a lengthy letter explaining why he won’t show up for an Oct. 17 city council meeting regarding the team’s fledgling new arena deal.

Katz believes the two sides “remain far apart both on substance and process.”

“I fear the City has approached this negotiation based on narrow political considerations rather than a genuine desire to strike a deal that is fair and makes economic sense for both sides,” Katz wrote.

One might say that the team and city are now farther apart than the NHL and NHLPA are in CBA negotiations, which would be a timely comment since Katz finished the letter by recommending an intervention by Gary Bettman.

“I also want to remind you of Commissioner Bettman’s offer to come to Edmonton to help forge a deal,” Katz wrote.

Katz stated that he’s sorry for taking Oilers fans for granted, but it’s clear that hasn’t softened the way he works with Edmonton city officials.

(One might even note that Seattle’s revised arena plan was approved yesterday.)

Either way, it seems like the two sides might be in for a protracted battle, which could remind Oilers fans of another politically-charged hockey haggling session.

For more selected quotes from that verbose letter, check out the Edmonton Journal’s report. For the full piece, click here.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara
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Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: