NHL News: NHL Not Going to the Olympics, and the Calgary Flames Arena Deal Coming Undone
Pulling out of the Olympics

TSN: Though it hasn’t been made official yet, the NHL and NHLPA have agreed that they won’t be going to the 2022 Winter Olympics. Pierre LeBrun:

“When it is made official, this is about the NHL pointing to the Olympic agreement with the players and saying that this COVID situation now, the latest wave, has materially impacted this season, obviously, and that’s just not something the NHLPA can object to based on the way that agreement is written. It’s tough to accept, but it’s reality, and don’t forget the players have as much to worry about in terms of the business of the season with the 50/50 split in revenues, and that’s a point that’s been emphasized as well in the last couple of days.”

Chris Johnston adds that there were one-on-one calls with the players and some weren’t happy with the news and want to know if there are any options for them.

“What’s interesting for me is a number of those player calls you referenced are actually one-on-one calls, because there’s a lot of players that didn’t take too kindly to this news, that they’re disappointed and wanted to at least be able to have some conversation about what their options might be, talk to Don Fehr and the NHLPA lawyers to see if they have any options, and really what they’re being told is, no, there’s no ability here to take a leave of absence and go play in Beijing if you want to go.”

Darren Dreger adds that IOC plans to push through with the Beijing Olympics, but if they do postpone the Olympics, the NHL and NHLPA will be interested in returning.

Flames arena deal coming undone

Jyoti Gondek: (Mayor of Calgary – twitter thread)

“Today, I spoke with Murray Edwards, primary shareholder of Calgary Sports & Entertainment Corp (CSEC), about the future of the Event Centre project. He informed me of the Flames intention to pull the plug on the Event Centre deal. Why? Here’s what I know:

The deal struck in summer of 2019 envisioned a $550 m deal w/costs split equally between CSEC & the City. In addition, the City provided land, 90% demolition of the ‘Dome, excess flood/site remediation, & levies. Total City contribution: $275m + $22.4m = $297.4 plus land.

Plus the value of the land. I supported that deal. In July 2021, CSEC asked to make changes to the above deal. CMLC removed as devel manager, both parties added $12.5m for potential cost overruns & City added up to $10m in event management costs. Total value: $307.4 + land

I did not support that deal. Since I was elected Mayor, Administration & my office have been working with CSEC to mitigate any additional costs. Two costs were identified: climate mitigation of around $4m and road/sidewalk right of way issues of $12.1m.

The City came to the table to assist with $6.4m in roadways leaving $9.7m for the Flames. Based on this gap, CSEC informed me they are walking away from our deal. On a project worth over $650m, to have one party walk away for 1.5% of the value of the deal is staggering.

I wanted Calgarians to be the first to know. I am as disappointed as all of you that this is the way things are ending.”

Ryan Pike: “We’ll get into this in more detail on the podcast tonight, but in the July 2021 tweak to the arena deal, the trade was basically the City agreeing to make transpo plan improvements and removing CMLC as project manager in exchange for the #Flames taking on any overruns.”

Calgary Flames: A full press release from the Flames on the Event Centre Project. Summary of their decision:

“1) Introduction by the City of significant infrastructure costs ($15 million) and climate mitigation costs ($4 million); costs not previously identified as project costs by CMLC or the City nor included in the $608.5 million target budget in July 2021.

2) Continued cost escalation experienced since the approved budget of $608.5 million in July 2021. It has since grown to $634 million based upon design development that was completed in October 2021.

3) High level of risk associated with future project cost increases in part due to supply chain issues and commodity price escalation as a result of the impact of COVID.

While not ideal for Calgarians nor competitively for the Flames, the people of Calgary should understand that nevertheless CSEC’s intentions are to remain in the Scotiabank Saddledome.

We are deeply disappointed with the outcome.”