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Bettman, mayor try to calm Oiler relocation fears

Tuesday, 09.25.2012 / 3:51 PM / News

Associated Press

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman downplayed the threat of the Oilers moving to Seattle on Tuesday as the Edmonton mayor predicted that an NHL team in Seattle wouldn't sell out its games.

Bettman says an arena deal in Edmonton is achievable, "and with a new arena there should be no reason to have any doubts about the future of the Oilers in Edmonton."

The team's lease at aging Rexall Place is set to expire in 2014, and Oilers owner Daryl Katz and other officials were in Seattle on Monday for meetings about a possible relocation.

Mayor Stephen Mandel said in a TV interview Tuesday that Seattle already has a crowded sports calendar and may not sell out all its games. He notes the Oilers have a long consecutive sell-out streak, more than 200 in a row, according to a team website.

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery