The Edmonton Sun is reporting that Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz wants to buy a PCL team and move it to the Alberta capital. The team he’s reportedly targeting? Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s.
Of course, Pacific Coast League president Branch Rickey Jr. is denying everything. But “Edmonton Oilers president and CEO Patrick LaForge says that’s OK, that’s what he’s paid to say.”
By all accounts, Edmonton’s previous Triple-A team, the Trappers, were a success. Both on the field and in the stands — moving only for political and geographic reasons.
Personally, I hope Katz is able to pull this off. It’d do wonders for baseball in Canada and specifically for the Jays. Toronto likes to market itself as a Canadian team and this would go a long way toward proving that they are in fact Canada’s team. Hosting a series in Vancouver and/or Montreal would help as well, but I digress.
I know Toronto’s contract with Las Vegas expires after this season, but if the 51s move to Canada, the affiliation’s got to continue. Geographically, it’s not great, but it’d be too much of a marketing opportunity for someone like the Beest to pass up.
Speaking of the minors
Kyle Drabek, the key to the Roy Halladay deal, threw a no-hitter the other night for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Here, via Go Jays Go, is video of the final out.
(Two things to look for: The amazing sky in the background; and how quickly Drabek works. Love it.)