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Originally published Monday, September 24, 2012 at 6:53 PM

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NHL's Edmonton Oilers owner, president check out Seattle

A professional hockey team that is seeking a new arena in Edmonton is looking for relocation options if a deal in that city falls through.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Reminds me too much of the Sonics move to Okie Dokie Dust Bowl City. Sold out crowds... MORE
What krigzeit said. The Oilers belong in Edmonton. Hockey doesn't belong in the... MORE
The Oilers simply gotta stay in Alberta. As much as I'd love to see the NHL here... MORE

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The Edmonton Oilers confirmed that members of the NHL team's leadership group, including owner Daryl Katz and President Patrick LaForge, were in Seattle for meetings and attended Monday night's Seahawks game.

The Oilers, whose lease at Rexall Place runs out in 2014, have long been looking for a new arena deal but have yet to come to terms with Edmonton. The meetings in Seattle, according to the team's statement, provide the Oilers with options for relocation if a deal falls through.

The statement also said the Oilers "remain committed to working with (Edmonton) City Administration to achieve a deal commensurate with what Winnipeg and Pittsburgh have done to sustain the NHL in those small markets."

The Oilers' leadership group was reportedly touring KeyArena, which would be the team's home until Seattle builds a proposed $490 million arena in the Sodo District.

The Oilers, who routinely draw sold-out crowds, have been working on an arena deal for four years, according to the statement.

"If we can achieve such a deal, the Oilers will remain in Edmonton and we can get on with the important work of developing the new arena and investing in the continued revitalization of Edmonton's downtown core," said Bob Black, executive vice president of the Katz Group, in a prepared statement.

"Nonetheless, and as the City of Edmonton is aware, the Katz Group has been listening to proposals from a number of potential NHL markets for some time. After more than four years of trying to secure an arena deal and with less than 24 months remaining on the Oilers' lease at Rexall Place, this is only prudent and should come as no surprise."

Jayson Jenks: 206-464-8277 or jjenks@seattletimes.com


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