Daryl Katz Apologizes to Edmonton. Yeah, That’ll Work.

This is that moment you never wish happened. Maybe it’s when your feet leave the bridge and you’re staring down at the water, for the first time realizing that’s where you’ll stay. Maybe it’s simply something you wish you never said to somebody – whether they’re someone you love or someone you hate. Either way, in that split second, you’re just squirming, desperate for an apology or a second chance.

Maybe that’s why Daryl Katz sent out an open apology to all Edmontonians on Saturday – a full-page newspaper ad – hoping for some kind of, “Oh, no worries. We understand.”

“Daryl Katz came as close Saturday as he ever will to admitting he acted like a jerk when he made a public display of visiting Seattle after a tiff with Edmonton city council over a new arena,” wrote David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail.

“When council did not immediately open its wallet when the Edmonton Oilers owner demanded more public money for the $450-million downtown arena, even though he agreed months ago on how the project was going to be financed, he hit the road for Seattle. With executives from the Oilers and his development company, the Katz Group, in tow along with Edmonton icon Wayne Gretzky, Katz toured Seattle’s old arena on the same day that city approved a plan for a new $490-million (US) arena it hopes will eventually house NBA and NHL franchises.”

Is Edmonton still pissed? Were they ever? Certainly, we could only imagine the heartbreak or the palpatations they were feeling when Katz bluffed with the whole move to Seattle idea. Not only would it mean their Oilers are gone – does any NHL franchise mean more to its city? – but they would be in Seattle. Damn Seattle. The place with the Starbucks and the rain and the football team with the neon, teal, and silver jerseys that only wins when replacement refs are on the field.

(*This is all exaggeration, of course.)

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“Seattle, Washington: The City of Champions” – White Cover Magazine (Sept. 24, 2012)

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But, here’s the thing: nobody can blame Daryl Katz for considering a better business move, if you could call it. He’s an owner. He has to represent his franchise.

But, he put it out there. Katz tried to play coy. He tried to just show up for a Seahawks game, he put himself in front of the camera, and then he knew the rest of us would connect the dots. He waited for Edmonton to connect the dots. He let them wriggle and tie the nose around their own necks. He let them continually get crazier before he really responded.

It was all under the guise of, “We have to consider any option.” But, really, he was trying to do more than that. He was trying to be clever. He was trying to be smarter… than everyone.

And, once the dirty trail got traced back to his feet, he stood there with an open mouth and nothing to say.

Nobody can blame Daryl Katz for being an owner. But, nobody should feel sorry for him, either.

Ah, who are we kidding. Nobody does.