Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz has been battling a potentially life-threatening infection over the past few years, the team says.
Katz, 57, made a rare public appearance in Edmonton on Tuesday at a news conference to announce that Ken Holland has been hired as the teams’ new general manager and president of hockey operations.
The change in Katz’s appearance quickly became a focal point on social media, prompting questions from fans.
The Oilers Entertainment Group confirmed Katz has been dealing with a life-threatening sinus infection.
John Shannon from Sportsnet posted on Twitter that he had asked about Katz’s appearance after seeing so much public reaction.
“He carried an IV bag 24/7 during the playoff run, two seasons ago,” Shannon wrote. “The infection has a 50-50 survival rate. He’s had three surgeries over the past 10 months with one more surgery to go. It is the primary reason why he hasn’t been around Edmonton and the team.
Tim Shipton, senior vice-president of communications with the Oilers Entertainment Group, confirmed to CBC that Shannon’s tweets were factual.
Katz purchased the Oilers hockey team in 2008.