Rules of threes?

Jason Gregor
November 27 2008 01:16PM

I’m not sure who Edmonton fans want ousted more, Craig MacTavish or Danny Maciocia. Well one group will be rejoicing today, because one of them is moving on.

They say things happen in threes. For the past two years, all three pro teams in Edmonton missed the playoffs. And Wanye, DJ Spyn Cycle and Amber all got busted for a variety of off-Nation antics in the past four months.

Well now the second head coach of the three sports teams seems to be set to move on in 2008. Paul Day got axed from the Rush last February, and now today sources say that Danny Maciocia is leaving his post as head coach and becoming solely the GM. So if you believe in, “Things happen in threes,” then is it possible that MacTavish will move on before the end of the calendar year?

Maciocia moving upstairs isn’t that surprising. Handling both roles is difficult, but also very time consuming, and having three young children at home I’m guessing Maciocia is missing watching them grow. Not to mention that his regular season record as a coach was a disappointing 22-31-1 in three years.

Who will replace Maciocia? There is lots of speculation that former Bomber head man Doub Berry, who Maciocia worked with in Montreal is a front-runner. But I have heard that isn’t as hot a possibility as before.

Out of the current coaches, Rick Worman, Noel Thorpe or Rick Campbell would be the most qualified. Campbell has no shot, because that would be a marketing nightmare for the Esks. Do the other two enough X and Os experience to run an entire team? That’s a question Maciocia has to answer.

So Day was fired, Maciocia moved upstairs, would MacTavish resign? Doubtful, but unless the Oilers start to play with some more passion, generate some offence and stop turning the puck over in the neutral zone, his tenure will surely end soon.

If the theory of the threes does indeed work, then the 3rd shoe will drop by Dec 31st. I’m not holding my breath but you never know.

—Listen to Gregor weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. on the TEAM 1260 or online at www.justagame.ca.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 JB
November 27 2008, 01:38PM
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Awesome. If most organizations were run like professional sports franchises in Edmonton, guys missing their performance targets would be running the company in short order. Embrace the mediocrity!

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#2 Bottsy
November 27 2008, 01:41PM
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ALL OF EDMONTON CAN ONLY HOPE IT HAPPENS IN THREE'S, LOVE THE SHOW GREGOR KEEP IT UP!!!

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#3 Clarkenstein
November 27 2008, 01:47PM
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I would have preferred the other one go first but at least it's one down one to go!!

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#4 MJ
November 27 2008, 02:01PM
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JB -- honestly in both government and private business I have seen people promoted when they are unable to handle a lower position. I sometimes think the key to getting a promotion is doing just under average at a lower-end position. Well and sucking up cannot hurt if that's your chosen career path.

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#5 Rick
November 27 2008, 02:05PM
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So with the top notch media connections that Oilersnation can boast, isn't there anyone here to calm us panicking masses by filling us in on if there are any rumours or whispers out there about what the Oilers may be doing?

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#6 JB
November 27 2008, 02:08PM
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Knowing jargon is helpful as well MJ. If you can remember acronyms or contractions and toss them around at meetings like you know what you're talking about, the sky is the limit. For example: "We need to limit Ricky's INTs" or "We need to reverse the inverse relationship between our PPG for and SHG against." The use of workplace specific language can allow any cockknocker to sound like they know what they're talking about.

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#7 pdan
November 27 2008, 02:13PM
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"Embrace the Mediocrity" ... nice. That should be Edmonton Sports official slogan for '08.

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#8 JB
November 27 2008, 02:19PM
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It's not as catchy as "City of Champions," but it is a call to action of sorts.

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#9 Deans
November 27 2008, 02:43PM
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If the Oilers lose their two games this weekend, this rule will apply sooner than later.

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#10 Rindog
November 27 2008, 02:47PM
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Which one would I prefer to be fired first? Hmmmm, let me think about that????

Would Danny M play Pouliot more than Hemsky in a 2-1 loss to the LA Kings?

I think you have my answer....

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#11 baggedmilk
November 27 2008, 02:49PM
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Can I toss out another point as to why I would rather have the firing MacT over Maciocia...

I don't care about the CFL... The Eskimos play in the league with 8 teams. They are practically in the playoffs by default.

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#12 JB
November 27 2008, 02:53PM
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Whoa! I just about spewed coffee all over my desk, but you're right. That is not good. Of course, MacT also has a journeyman veteran taking up the minutes of the only breathing piece of the Pronger trade on the roster, while said piece plays 4th line lw. Frankly, Rod Phillips could be playing with Hemsky and Horcoff next game and it wouldn't surprise me.

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#13 Colin
November 27 2008, 02:57PM
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Rod Philips may actually bring the heart that this team needs. He would probably leave it (metaphorically and physically)out on the ice. MactT needs to go before this happens. Fire MacT to save Rod Philips!!

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#14 Rindog
November 27 2008, 02:59PM
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JB, it gets even better!!!

While trying to mount a comeback in the 3rd period last night - MacT gave MAP 6:39 of icetime and only gave Hemmer 5:36???

There was only 1 penalty (to us) the entire 3rd period as well - so he can't us the PK as an excuse....

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#15 JB
November 27 2008, 02:59PM
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Phillips would bring it; he can make a Zach Stortini fight sound exciting, so he'll bring some sorely lacking passion at least.

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#16 Jason
November 27 2008, 03:04PM
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I'm having a hard time taking the team blowing goats for a 3rd straight season. Something is wrong which I can't put my finger on.

But it comes down to a simple question:

Is it the players, or the coaching?

There's only one way to find out the answer to that one. That is to can the coach. What if the team still sucks after that though? It's on our management then.

But there's only one way to find out. So get after it Tambellini.

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#17 JB
November 27 2008, 03:10PM
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Rindog, thanks for the breakdown. That is just brutal. I will grant Hemsky didn't look like he was feeling it last night, but he has got to get the minutes regardless. I don't know if MacT has noticed, but Hemsky has sort of been carrying the team offensively, and did score a goal. MP couldn't score on a Shooter Tutor. Why did we re-up him and let go of Glencross again? Maybe the $ was a bit steep for him, but at least he played like his manhood depended on it. Oh well; at least Stortini received a 2 year deal. That clearly demonstrates talent assessment; if Glencross is easily replaceable, what is Stortini? The equivalent of hockey tape?

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#18 heed
November 27 2008, 03:19PM
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they say that cream rises to the top. i can think of something else that floats to the top and it ain't cream.

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#19 Jason Gregor
November 27 2008, 03:21PM
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Rick,

Well I can tell you that the Oilers sent Sestito back to the minors today. No one has been recalled yet, but if they do expect Mr. Brule to be meeting them possibly in St. Louis or Dallas.

As for the coach, don't expect a move anytime soon. After this weekend, they have 5 of 6 at home. That will be the turning point for this team. If they go on a winning streak I don't expect a change, but if they continue to struggle then, Tambellini will have no choice but to make a move.

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#20 Jason Gregor
November 27 2008, 03:23PM
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And one editting note...Maciocia's actual regular season record was 33-38-1 not 22-31-1 as I screwed up in the original order.

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#21 Chris
November 27 2008, 03:25PM
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Love that Picture of Maciocia. I was all set to e-mail that exact image to my Saskatchewan friends had the Esks advanced to the Grey Cup. I love the CFL. The Eskimo's finished dead last in the west...yet had a shot of advancing to the big game. Would someone please tell Oilers management it doesn't work the same way in the NHL.

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#22 Chris
November 27 2008, 03:34PM
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Hey Gregor...What is your take on Moreau's responsibility in all this? Has there been any type of player only meetings? I thought players were supposed to play for each other...If that is so; dare I pose the question: Has the captain lost the room?

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#23 Rick
November 27 2008, 03:38PM
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Jason Gregor Says: As for the coach, don’t expect a move anytime soon. After this weekend, they have 5 of 6 at home. That will be the turning point for this team. If they go on a winning streak I don’t expect a change, but if they continue to struggle then, Tambellini will have no choice but to make a move.

...

Thanks for that but wouldn't it almost make a coaching change pointless.

Losing the majority of the next 8 games would pretty much sewer the season as well.

If they are considering it an option to fire MacT then I don't see any reason that they should gamble the season away in addition to it.

I would still prefer a player move or two instead of canning MacT but what ever they decide I wish they would get on with it instead of waiting another two weeks.

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#24 Tim S
November 27 2008, 03:44PM
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What if MacT playing Roloson is a message to the boys upstairs?? As in get rid of a goalie or I will continue to play the one that makes the least amount of sense, the one that has no future beyond this season? The one that sulked at being the backup last season. That would make the most sense would it not?

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#25 Jason Gregor
November 27 2008, 03:46PM
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Chris,

From my understanding there has been a players meeting, but not one that peeled the paint just yet. The fact that Moreau has been one of the few who you question his effort, and how his teammates talk about him, I don't think he has lost the room.

The fact is this team doesn't have many gritty players, and I doubt any one player would be able to turn many of them into grittier players.

Rick,

If they lose eight then of course the season could be in jeopardy, but management believes this team can be better. When I said move, I meant it might be a trade before a coach firing. That option is still much more possible than a firing. And if it is a move it would have to be a fairly substantial one.

And to date I haven't heard any rumours that make sense. I do know the Oilers contacted Atlanta about Kovalchuk, but they said he isn't available. I know they contacted Ottawa last summer about Spezza, but the rumours about Horcoff and Roloson for him are bunk. The Oilers would need to sweeten that pot for sure.

It will be curious to see if Tambellini is as patient as Kevin Lowe was. I sense he won't be, nor will their new owner.

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#26 B.C.B.
November 27 2008, 03:46PM
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What I don't understand about Edmonton Fans. (assuming they are fans of both the Esks and the Oil)

We complain when we hire old players (MacT) with little coaching experience, and not a coach who has learned- working up through the ranks. We complain when we hired a coach (Maciocia) with a track record of winning at every level he is been at, because he is not an old player.

But we always complain when we lose, and sometimes when we win. I think we like to complain.

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#27 Jason Gregor
November 27 2008, 03:47PM
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The fact that Moreau has been one of the few who YOU DON't question his effort....thankfully edit button is coming.

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#28 JB
November 27 2008, 03:52PM
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B.C.B. - I understand your frustration, but my dislike of Maciocia has nothing to do with the fact he never played, but rather with the team's lack of success and at times totally predictable and boring style of play. Similarly, I could care less whether MacT played or not, but he's been here a hell of a long time with an underwhelming amount of success to show for it.

I think the frustration with MacT is the sense that he will blast players, mix lines, pcik favourites, bench guys, but is never held accountable for his failures.

And yes, we like to complain. But dude, look at the last few Esk/Oiler seasons. They have been a huge bag of suck.

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#29 Chris
November 27 2008, 03:54PM
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Please understand I'm not questioning Moreau's effort. His on ice play has been one of the few bright spots. I'm just asking about dressing room leadership. I know Moreau was the pulse of this team a few years back...but with all the roster changes etc I wonder if this is still so?

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#30 Rick
November 27 2008, 04:00PM
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Jason Gregor Says:

When I said move, I meant it might be a trade before a coach firing.

...

My bad, I kinda jumped to a conclusion there.

We always complain about running players out of town too soon so this may sound bad but I would like to see them trade Cole.

He is having zero success here and he is a pending free agent.

I can't imagine that he would be jumping at the bit to sign back on in a place where he can't find his groove. He is a proven enough name that someone is bound to have interest in him for something other than just a bag of pucks and used jock.

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#31 Sing A Song For SingSing
November 27 2008, 04:02PM
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Everyone should join the,

"For The Love Of God, Fire MacTavish" group on Facebook.

Shapin' up to be a beauty.

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#32 baggedmilk
November 27 2008, 04:21PM
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Burke has reportedly signed a 6-year deal in Toronto. Is anyone as shocked as I am.

:| <--- that's my shocked face

Let the parade planning begin.

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#33 mjsh
November 27 2008, 04:26PM
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Interesting times in Oilerland. No question that this team has never come together. Who knows what the fix is. I like Mac T. and I like most of the players. To be at .500 after the terrible travel schedule was not a bad spot to be in. (I did travel daily in an old job that I had and I know that it takes it toll.)

So what is the problem? Is it the team or our expectations? This is the second year that the Oilers have been close to the salary cap and it certainly looks like another year with no playoffs unless they put a winning streak together.

Most of the games the lack of effort has been apalling. Last night there actually looked to be effort but no teamwork. Too many guys trying to do too much, especially in the third period trying to gain entry to the Kings zone.

Do we stay patient or do we jump on the fire MacTavich bandwagon?

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#34 Rick
November 27 2008, 04:27PM
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Re: Burke

I'm blown away, talk about out of left field.

I wonder if he believes in karma?

He works in an industry where people are hired to be fired (Edmonton aside) and he had a position where he could have basically written a life long ticket of employment to go work for the most inept organization in the league.

Talk about taunting the gods.

It reminds me of when Keenan became a god for winning the cup with the Rangers and decided his ego needed to be GM in St. Louis.

Here's hoping Burke's decision ends just as successfully.

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#35 mjsh
November 27 2008, 04:28PM
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What happened to my last sentence?

It should say too many guys trying to do too much, especially when trying to gain entry to the kings zone in the third period.

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#36 jeanshorts
November 27 2008, 04:32PM
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hahahaha they just said on sportsnet about Burke signing, that it was "the story broken by Nick Kypreos". He's really got his ear to the ground. Pulitzer prize winning journalism right there.

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#37 baggedmilk
November 27 2008, 04:34PM
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This story was broken by Nick Kypreos, followed by him flaunting his Stanley Cup ring and retelling the story of the time he put 9 past Greg Zaun.

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#38 |\|0081?|\|þ®1|\|(355
November 27 2008, 06:25PM
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F the O's in their A's. Bunch of F'n Aholes

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#39 Newsman
November 27 2008, 09:40PM
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Maybe when it comes to choosing an new coach the Esks can follow the Oilers winning tradition of keeping it in the family?

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#40 oilerseasonticketholdersince99
November 27 2008, 10:21PM
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Breaking News!!!! The oilers room was bugged and they have figured out what the problem is with the players. They cannot understand Mac T blah blah blah blah blah blah was heard on the tape. Along with Mac t throwing Penner under the bus and playing Rollie ahead of Garon even though it was Rollie who let in 3 out of the 4 goals in the Detroit game, or did Mac t forget who started that game? Enough allready fire him!!!!!! No more chances!!! 1 run to the cup final does not give him the job for life.The players have tuned him out,free agents do not want to play here cause of Mac t. They are not stupid, they talk to each other and they also see what happens here, every player wants to be thrown under the bus in public, you just do not do that .What goes through the players minds when he keeps playing these Mac t pets (Rem Murray,Reasnor,Toby Peterson ,Pouliot)It has been said before, why do players that play here under perform? Then they get traded and light it up? one reason only the coach. Every one else can see this, but upper management. Come on wake up and smell the friggin coffee allready!!! If this plays out for the whole season or until we are out of a playoff spot which wont be long at this pace, Then the whole management team and coaching staff should be fired!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#41 Cam
November 28 2008, 09:09AM
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Folks,

MacT isn't going anywhere, Tambellini said as much last night on CHED. Heck, he admitted he wasn't motivated to make any changes at all. We are stuck there, so let's not get the blood pressure up quite so high.

As for Penner, the last three games since he was benched he has been one of the best Oilers. I don't think the other players minded him being called out as I am sure they get just as pissed at MacT when teammates play a lazy game.

Right now I think the organization is trying to get everyone to quit grabbing their sticks so tightly.

I remember reading some stats on recently traded players that showed a trend towards a dropoff in the first season that a player was with another franchise. There are always exceptions to this, but I think that is what happens to a lot of players as they are learning their teammates etc. I believe this is part of Cole's problem, though I admit he has been sucking too much for it to be 100% of the problem.

The Oilers have been sucking hard, but we are one four game winning streak away from everyone dancing in the streets and saying how wonderful a team they are.

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#42 Cam
November 28 2008, 09:12AM
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And for the record I want MacT to move on as much as anybody, I just know it isn't going to happen so I don't let myself get worked up about it.

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#43 Jason
November 28 2008, 11:35AM
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Change won't happen until seats go unfilled in the stands. Which makes us the Toronto Maple Leafs because we as stoopid fans lick this crap up. We're that gullible folks. A sad reality, and don't think the Oiler brass don't know it. They laugh at us. They can piss in our cornflakes and we'd accept it as we are no better than Leaf Nation. Buy the gear, buy the tickets, buy everything. Results don't matter.

Rock on Leaf, er I mean Oiler Nation!

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