October 3, 2017 7:19 pm
Updated: October 4, 2017 7:18 pm

‘You can feel the excitement in the city:’ Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz looks ahead to 2017-18 season

Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz speaks during the ribbon cutting ceremony at Rogers Place Arena, the new home of the Edmonton Oilers, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday, September 8, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
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Edmonton Oilers owner and governor Daryl Katz made a rare media appearance on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer on 630 CHED on Tuesday to talk about his team heading into the 2017-18 NHL season.

“I’m the biggest fan, and you know it’s been hard for me over a lot of years. But I think having the building open last year, and having the team come along last year, it was really fulfilling,” said Katz. “To be going into this year, you can feel the excitement in the city.”

LISTEN: Daryl Katz chats with Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now


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The Oilers are coming off their first playoff appearance since 2006. It was a big first step for this young Oilers team led by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who gained valuable playoff experience.

READ MORE: Great expectations: Edmonton Oilers prepare for year with bull’s eye on their backs

But with that success, comes increased expectations, and there’s no denying the fact that expectations are high for the Oilers moving forward.

“Obviously there is big expectations and I think that everyone feels the pressure,” added Katz. “We don’t want to get a head of ourselves, but everyone can see the potential of the team, particularly led by Connor here.”

“Were in this thing to win, but I think we have to not get ahead of ourselves and everybody needs to keep their feet on the ground.”

With McDavid and Draisaitl signed long-term, the Oilers have the pieces in place to be a contender for a long time. That’s been something that Katz has been hoping to establish since he became owner of the team in 2008.

Watch below: For years, the Edmonton Oilers didn’t make the playoffs and now they’ve become a Stanley Cup contender again. As Sarah Kraus explains, it’s been years since Oilers fans have been this excited to see the puck drop on a new hockey season.

“We’ve always said, and it’s certainly been my objective, for the team to be in a position to compete for the Stanley Cup year in and year out. You know the way it works these days, if you get in the playoffs, anyone can go all the way,” said Katz.

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid, left, Leon Draisaitl, centre, of Germany, and Matthew Benning celebrate their win following overtime NHL hockey round one playoff action against the San Jose Sharks, in Edmonton, Thursday, April 20, 2017.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

The Oilers almost did just that last season taking the Anahiem Ducks to game seven of their second round series.

Only time will tell what’s in store for the team this season as the Oilers take the ice for real on Wednesday night against the Calgary Flames at Rogers Place.

Puck drops at 7 p.m. and the action will be broadcast live on 630 CHED, starting with a special extended edition of the City Ford Faceoff show at 6 p.m.

 

 

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