NHL governors approve sale of Oilers to Edmonton billionaire Daryl Katz

EDMONTON – Canadian pharmacy billionaire Daryl Katz has received the final OK from the National Hockey League to purchase the Edmonton Oilers.

In an e-mail response to reporters Wednesday, Katz said, “I am very pleased to have received the Board of Governor’s unanimous approval. We look forward to closing the transaction on or before June 30th and gearing up for the coming season.”

The league’s board of governors signed off on the Katz bid during meetings in New York.

The reclusive 46-year-old Edmonton resident took over the franchise in February after all 34 members of the team’s then-ownership group agreed to sell it to him in a C$200-million deal.

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Katz has said little about what direction he will take the team – which has missed the playoffs for two consecutive years – but has said it would benefit from more aggressive, hands-on management and less bureaucratic red tape.

He has promised to keep the team in the Alberta capital and plans to pursue financing for a new arena to replace the aging Rexall Place.