December 29 2011 01:22PM
With the exception of an inexplicably timed New Years Eve matinee game against the Islanders, tonight's game against the Minnesota Wild will bring 2011 to a close for the Edmonton Oilers and us legions of fans all around the world.
Some will tell you that the year can't end soon enough. Early season expectations have evaporated quicker than a Texas Mickey of Rye at Wanye Manor during the holiday season* Ryan Whitney and the Oilers defensive corps have all sorts of issues and one of last year's super rookies is now playing in the AHL.
Despite betting Jason Gregor that the Oilers are going to make the playoffs and lipping off Brownlee at every turn for his nay-sayery we have a harder time every day believing all that playoff kool aid we've been drinking.
It's a good time to be a hater if that's your inclination.
Regardless of how the Oilers try and spin another season of losing - which may or may not occur we shall see - it's clear that the blistering incompetence and blinding arrogance that cripples this organization will actually end up building a tremendous hockey team for years to come.
Moving out the remaining non-trying cheque-collecting veterans will eventually occur and all of the free agents that wouldn't have touched Edmonton with a 10 foot pole a few years back will be lining up to play with Captain Jordan Eberle, the Transcendant Nuge and the studly Taylor Hall.
All of a sudden the weather won't make a lick of difference and hockey wives complaints about the shopping here will be ignored by players who are looking to win.
Count on it.
SO THAT HAPPENS WHEN?
It ain't gonna be today Nation. But it is coming. The big pieces are in place with 4, 14 and 93. And for the first time in the history of the franchise the Oilers will be able to afford to keep their superstars in the long term. Say what you want about his arena building skills - Oilers fans will be praising Daryl Katz's wallet in the years to come.
But for tonight the Oilers are going to face Minnesota. The Wild are currently in 6th place in the conference, boring as all hell and would probably trade rosters with the Oilers in a heartbeat. Despite this fictional trade and a bright future, the Oilers are in 13th place in the Conference and are running a stellar 3-7-0 record in their past 10 games.
The Oilers have yet to tweet the lines or the starting goalie for the game as of press time but they did note that Ryan Whitney had an extended skate after practice with Andy Sutton, Darcy Hordichuk and Devan Dubnyk.
That's something right?
We depart in the morning to go backpacking in Asia until March. This was a rash decision made in a series of double dares with some buddies and it is designed to start 2012 with a bang. Cause to be totally honest 2011 was a bit of a bitch.
The loss of a parent, breaking up with a long term gf and the other assortment of the usual malaises of someone our age have piled up and it is time to go blow off some steam until the money runs out.**
As was the case a couple years ago when we tried out backpacking in Europe, we will be filing reports from all over hells half acre here on the Nation. And we have an unlocked Blackberry and will be tweeting like the Dickens from the different scenarios we find ourselves involved in.
So if you want to see pictures of a romantic misunderstanding with a Ladyboy or the inside of a Thai Fight Club at 4 AM - all in the middle of the day thanks to the magic of time zones - give your pal Wanye a follow on twitter @wanyegretz.
It's gonna get really real, really fast.
"Enjoy the best days in your life, cause you ain't gonna get to live it twice." - Mac Miller in the video above.
Good call Mac. Pray for Wanye.
*2 house parties actually killed a Christmas Texas Mickey this year. Impressive.
**It is estimated that will take 12.5 hours