By Colby Cosh - Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 0 Comments
The Oilers’ owner faces a probe over his gift to the Alberta Tories
The public-relations problems continue to pile up for Daryl Katz, the drugstore magnate who wants a new downtown arena in Edmonton for his NHL Oilers to play in. It has been more than a year since Katz Group and the city’s council arrived at a “framework” for an arena funding deal, with Katz relenting on his insistence that the existing Rexall Place be pushed out of the concert business. That framework fell apart Oct. 18 after Katz made new demands and a previously sympathetic council ran out of patience, calling off negotiations and flinging the arena into limbo.
The city had made major concessions to get Katz to back off on the demand for a non-compete agreement with Northlands, the powerful non-profit that operates Rexall Place (i.e., the old Northlands Coliseum, which now bears the name of Katz’s main pharmaceutical brand). But the two sides remained $100 million short of the full amount for the new building—money that both insisted, despite an endless series of fairly strident refusals from the province and Ottawa, would eventually arrive courtesy of “another level of government.” Continue…
By Philippe Gohier - Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 10:20 AM - 0 Comments
Fewer Quebecers have been cracking the Montreal Canadiens’ roster. Some think it’s political.
All it took was for Ottawa to consider sinking $175 million into a new arena for the Quebec Nordiques for those two staples of Quebec culture—identity politics and hockey—to collide and cause havoc for the Montreal Canadiens. Once celebrated as a symbol of Quebec’s unique place in North America, the team is now being derided as a federalist outfit looking to dampen Quebec’s national ambitions. “I think there are people within that organization who are profoundly federalist,” says Pierre Curzi, the PQ’s popular culture critic, “and they’re very conscious that a hockey team is a very important vehicle for identity politics.”
While Curzi’s claims of federalist puppet masters appear unlikely, the crux of the actor-turned-politician’s complaint—that the Canadiens have fewer Quebec-born players—is true. What’s more, the Canadiens have been shedding Quebec-born talent more quickly than the rest of the NHL.
According to Michael Whitehouse, who writes the Habs Analytics blog, the percentage of games played by Quebec-born players on the Canadiens fell to 14 per cent last season, its lowest level in the post-1967 expansion era. And in the 41 full seasons since 1967, only three Habs teams had Quebecers making up less than 20 per cent of the roster: 2009-2010, 2007-2008, and 2006-2007. This year’s club won’t likely buck the trend. Only two Quebecers, Maxime Lapierre and Mathieu Darche, are on track to take a regular shift with the Canadiens.