Bakersfield Condors could be sold to NHL's Edmonton Oilers? Condors, Oilers management: "No comment"

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Bakersfield Condors could be changing hands, but Condors and Oilers management cannot speculate on a deal.

According to Edmonton Sun columnist Terry Jones, the Condors will be purchased by the National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers.

Bakersfield Condors team president Matthew Riley said he cannot comment that such a deal even exists. That is in the hands of team owner, Jonathan Fleisig.

The Condors are the Double A minor league farm affiliate of the Oilers. The team is currently owned by Jonathan Fleisig, who also owns several other minor league baseball clubs.

According to Jones, the purchase would give the Oilers a location to stockpile hockey prospects and undrafted players, giving pro scouts more time to evaluate their talent.

The Condors currently outdraw the Oilers' AHL team, the Oklahoma City Barons, despite playing in a much smaller city -- another benefit listed by Jones.

On Tuesday, Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun reported that the NHL's Oilers are on the verge of acquiring the Bakersfield Condors.


"It is my belief is that it will be announced within the next two weeks," Jones told 23ABC over the phone on Wednesday.


The deal would be big news for Bakersfield but also for Edmonton. No NHL team currently owns a majority share of an ECHL team, the Oilers though, weren't so forthcoming.


"It's not our organization's policy to comment or speculate on reports of this nature regarding our business," Oilers Media Officer Tim Shipton explained.


The Condors did call a press conference on Wednesday and explained that team president Matthew Riley would provide a brief statement.

"The team is owned by Jonathan Fleisig, I am not Jonathan Fleisig and so I cannot comment on the sale of the team," Riley said in the team statement, "but how about that win last night?"

The Condors won 7-2, which was a great game but not exactly a game-changer.


"One of the things [the Oilers] are quite delighted with is that the town is all in," Terry Jones explained, "the people they have in place do an exceptional job especially on the promotions side and they seem to have the hockey operations in order."

One serious question fans would have if their team was bought by an organization in Canada is whether the Condors would leave Bakersfield and migrate up north. Well, they say there's not much to worry about, that scenario is highly unlikely.

"If you look at teams relocating from the NHL level it is extremely rare. We have had a lot of success, we have no plans to go anywhere," Matthew Riley told the media on Wednesday.

"I would say zero percent," Jones said of a possible relocation, "the reason they want them is because of what you have there, they aren't looking to move."

The difference between the current affiliation by the oilers and actual ownership would be that instead of partial control of 6 Condors players, Edmonton would have complete control over all 23. Jones says the interest is born of necessity.

"I think is experimental," Jones explained, "they have to become the best developmental team if they are going to have any success and this is a part of that strategy."

For any sale to go through, it must be approved by the ECHL's board of directors. There a board meeting next week in Philadelphia.

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