Edmonton Oilers confirm owner Daryl Katz dealing with life-threatening illness

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers are confirming that team owner Daryl Katz has been dealing with a life-threatening illness.

Speculation arose Tuesday when Katz appeared at a news conference announcing the hiring of new general manager Ken Holland.

Katz rarely appears at media events and onlookers, and those on social media, noted his facial features had changed appreciably.

Afterward, Sportsnet hockey analyst John Shannon tweeted: “There’s been a lot made publicly today about how Daryl Katz looks. After asking a few questions, I can tell you he has been struggling with life threatening bacteria-resistant sinus infection over the past few years.”

Shannon said it goes back years, including last time the Oilers were in the playoffs, in the spring of 2017.

“(Katz) carried an IV bag 24/7 during the playoff run, 2 seasons ago. The infection has a 50-50 survival rate. He’s had 3 surgeries over the past 10 months with 1 more surgery to go. It is the primary reason why he hasn’t been around Edmonton and the team,” wrote Shannon.

Later Tuesday, Shannon tweeted that while Katz has one more operation, “he is through the worst of it and the long term prognosis is positive.”

Katz spoke to reporters at the news conference but did not speak about his health.

The Oilers administration did not issue an independent statement but confirmed that Shannon’s information was correct.

Katz, 57, is a billionaire pharmacy magnate known to shun the spotlight.

He bought the Oilers in the summer of 2008 and later, in a bruising and protracted round of negotiations with the City of Edmonton, struck a deal to jointly build the new Rogers Place along with surrounding office towers and businesses as part of a larger downtown revitalization.

Rogers Place opened in the fall of 2016.

Under Katz, the Oilers have fared poorly on the ice. They have missed the playoffs every year but one, when they advanced to second round in 2017.

Just Posted

Arctic blast brings shivers to the eastern US

PORTLAND, Maine — An arctic blast that caused record-setting cold in the… Continue reading

Audit finds Canada’s fisheries in decline, says response lacks urgency

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — An annual audit of Canada’s fisheries has flagged… Continue reading

Venice ‘on its knees’ after second-worst flood ever recorded

MILAN — The worst flooding in Venice in more than 50 years… Continue reading

Toronto cop takes stand in assault trial, admits causing victim’s eye injury

OSHAWA, Ont. — A Toronto police officer accused of beating a young… Continue reading

Cirque du Soleil co-founder taken into custody in Tahiti over cannabis growth

TAHITI, French Polynesia — A Canadian entrepreneur and co-founder of the circus… Continue reading

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

Your community calendar

Wednesday Pain 101 class — learn to take control of your chronic… Continue reading

Bernardo Silva banned by FA over tweet to Man City teammate

LONDON — Bernardo Silva will miss Manchester City’s trip to Chelsea after… Continue reading

People magazine names John Legend as 2019 Sexiest Man Alive

LOS ANGELES — R&B crooner John Legend has been named the Sexiest… Continue reading

Elizabeth Banks takes a shot at ‘Charlie’s Angels’

If you’re watching a big studio film featuring a female ensemble, there… Continue reading

Toronto cop takes stand in assault trial, admits causing victim’s eye injury

OSHAWA, Ont. — A Toronto police officer accused of beating a young… Continue reading

High School 4A zone volleyball finals set for Thursday

The Lindsay Thurber Raiders kept their regular season rolling going in the… Continue reading

Quadruple killing trial hears man suffered blows to the head, gunshot wounds

CALGARY — A jury has seen graphic photographs of numerous injuries inflicted… Continue reading

Alberta premier says proposal to pull out of CPP due to hostility from others

KANANASKIS, Alta. — Premier Jason Kenney is defending his idea that Alberta… Continue reading

Most Read