Gretzky endorses Katz's offer Staff

1/9/2008 9:08:09 PM

In an interview with the Team 1260 in Edmonton, former Oiler great and Phoenix Coyotes head coach, Wayne Gretzky gave his endorsement to Darryl Katz and his latest proposal to purchase the Oilers.

"There is no question in my mind that if he got the opportunity to take over, he would do a great job," Gretzky told the radio station.

"Daryl Katz is a wonderful Edmontonian. He really cares about the city [and] he would be a tremendous owner."

Katz, the founder of drugstore giant Rexall, has tried several times to purchase the team - without success. His most recent bid of $188 million will be voted on by the Oilers' shareholders at a January 21st information meeting. The Board of the Edmonton Investors Group, the community-based group that owns the Oilers, will reportedly recommend rejecting the offer over concerns regarding the arena and whether the team might be moved.

However, not everyone on the Board shares those concerns. In January, Cal Nichols resigned his position as chairman of the Board in order to explain to shareholders why he believes they should accept the offer.

While Gretzky commended the efforts of the EIG for keeping the Oilers in Edmonton, he also expressed great respect for Nichols.

"One of the nicest people you can ever walk into is Cal Nichols. If Cal Nichols is smart enough and good enough to give [Katz] his endorsement than that's good enough for me."

Katz's offer expires January 31st.