Edmonton Oilers v Phoenix Coyotes

Edmonton officials cease negotiations for new Oilers arena


Edmonton’s city council voted unanimously in favor of ceasing negotiations with Oilers ownership to build a new arena, according to Team 1260’s Mark Spector and other sources.

That might imply that the arena deal is totally dead, but there seems to be some confusing mixed signals, as many people including Inside Sports’ Dan Tencer indicate.

Council members discussed leaving the door open for future talks and even discussed the design of the arena right after deciding to cease negotiations.

It’s head-scratching stuff, unless you believe that it’s a rather dramatic way of sending Oilers owner Daryl Katz a message.

That seemed to be the case according to many comments, but Mayor Stephen Mandel’s quote to Edmonton Journal columnist David Staples could tell the real story.

“I think everybody is frustrated, council is frustrated, the public is frustrated,” Mandel said.

Beyond being frustrated over the specifics of the dealings, the city might also be upset because Katz has repeatedly refused to discuss matters before the council.

He most recently shot down today’s offer with a highly critical letter that also recommended Gary Bettman’s intervention.

(Bettman should already be in the groove when it comes to high-stakes, high-spin negotiations, after all.)

For even more on this increasingly tense subject, check out the Edmonton Journal’s report.

Avs unveil new third jerseys

Avs Jerseys

The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.

Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.

(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)

While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.

The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.

Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out

Report: Escrow set at 16 percent

Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr
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Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?

Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:

With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.

That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.

Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.

Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith