EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — With plans for a new arena in doubt, the Edmonton Oilers say they are keeping their options open.
Oilers owner Daryl Katz, team president Patrick LaForge and president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe were in Seattle on Monday for meetings about a possible relocation to the city.
The Oilers said in a statement that they still hope to reach a deal with Edmonton on a new arena. But with talks at an impasse and the team's lease at aging Rexall Place set to expire in 2014, the Oilers have started to look elsewhere.
"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," the statement read. "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."
The team added it would not comment on discussions with other potential markets.
The visit by Oilers brass came the same day that the Seattle City Council approved hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen's plan for a $490 million arena that both sides hope will be home to an NBA and NHL team.
Seattle's hockey market is limited to the Western Hockey League's Thunderbirds. The city hasn't had a professional team since the Metropolitans, who won a Stanley Cup in 1917, were disbanded in 1924.