One of the many traditions here at the OilersNation.com interwebian website is the annual rite of picking the Goat and the Star for the upcoming season. What began as a way to blame an entirely awful season on a single undeserving player has evolved into a hilarious means of mocking one another to pass the time.

The season draws near – the goats need be named.


We have been picking goats for three seasons now and it has been a triumverate of mediocrity. Here has been the annual breakdown thus far, with links to the original article where available,

2008-09: Denis Grebeshkov

2009-10: Denis Grebeshkov

2010-11: Nikolai Khabibulin

Picking Nikolai Khabilbulin in 2011 to be your goat is sort of like picking Lindsay Lohan to not win any major film awards this year. It is a foregone conclusion right out of the gate and its getting kinda sad to keep poking fun.

Ever since we heard that Khabibulin – already a quiet chap from all accounts – is embarrassed by his DUI, feels bad for all the bad press he has gotten and just wants to move on with his career – we feel as though picking on ol’ Nikolai has lost its fun.

And so he gets a reprieve from the scorching pressure that is being our Goat for the year in the place of a far more deserving gato.


Khabibulin trashing may have lost its lustre, but mocking Tom Gilbert on the other hand – well that just suits us to a tee. He has no adversity to overcome, just a wallet that needs a helicopter to lift and a giant goat shaped target on his forehead.

Mark our words, if Gilbert plays with a healthy Ryan Whitney all season he will undoubtedly rack up a boat load of second assists. This of course won’t be reflected in his season totals. Assists are assists. This will lead the uninitiated – and hopefully some NHL GMs – will think that Gilbert has returned to form and is a point getting machine.

This is false.

Softer than newly baked bread and sporting a shoe fetish Lady Gaga herself would admire, Tom Gilbert just ain’t our cup of tea. If the 2011-12 season is going to see a single goal scored on the Edmonton Oilers or even a solitary loss blemish their record it is going to be Tom Gilbert’s fault.

Believe that.

Who you picking in the 2011 Goat Sweepstakes?



Clearly the funniest photoshop contest entry to date in the history of OilersNation.com is going to win Photoshop III: What If? The winning entrant – Barmstrong – has set the all time bar for photoshop awesomeness to date. As a rich, rich reward he is entitled to a catered lunch for 10 from Oodle Noodle.

As usual we would like to thank our sponsor Oodle Noodle, the champion Barmstrong and everyone who entered. These things are the bomb and there will be another one soon.

Enjoy the delicousness!

  • My top three:

    Khabibulin (aka the “Boozin Wall”) for his inability to stop a beach ball, let alone a hockey puck, on most nights. Is he secretly being paid by Calgary or Vancouver for every goal he lets in? Or is he part of a former Soviet conspiracy to cripple one of Canada’s hockey teams?

    Horcoff for his points per game average when assessed against his insane, overpaid, no movement clause, dead weight contract. Leadership counts for a bit of a bump but he’d have to be Yzerman, Modano or Messier for the rest of his contract to justify the dollars…

    Brule for his wandering around the ice like he’d dropped his keys to his Ferrari and the zamboni driver iced them into the playing surface. Honestly, waive him and let him be someone else’s problem, even if it has to be Oklahoma’s. He may be able to rebuild his game enough to be a useable/tradeable asset by the trade deadline. He’s got a “top 6” pedigree; a “bottom 6” reputation; and, an AHL future.

    By all accounts, all three of them are “honest to gosh nice guys” but all are (grossly)overpaid and the Oil needs to clear them from the decks.

  • My obvious goat is Khabibulin, and/or Gilbert strictly on principle.

    My real goat is Tambellini or whoever is in charge of overplaying Khabibulin this year, thinking Gilbert is the cornerstone of our future D and thus not addressing it, and dithering on signing OR trading Hemsky until he’s out with a shoulder injury in mid-January and we settle for a late 2nd-rounder for him at the deadline (or he subsequently walks in the off-season).
    I’ll try to stay positive now. Sorry!

  • Light, Sweet, Crude

    Hall, Paajarvi, and Lander were all born in the year of the goat.. So that’s lucky because it means they are all immune to goatness.

    So my goat will be that rotten Czerwonka.

  • SuntanOil

    I hope no one takes this personally, as it is not directed at anyone in particular. It’s more of a group dynamic.

    I hate to be that stick in the mud, still I am not a big fan of the goat thing – I am beginning to think that it is one of the ways we as fans begin to run people out of town. It is a fun idea, and like many fun ideas it ends up being taken too seriously by some. As a result we tend to magnify (or even fabricate) every mistake and shortcoming in a players game for an entire season in an attempt to prove ourselves worthy ‘goat-pickers.’ Some of you are even really good at stating your arguments – so much so that many others jump on the band wagon, and the player is soon vilified around the city.

    So if I have to play along:

    Goat – CBC’s Mark Lee – He would only have to be more interesting than Kevin Weekes to avoid this goat tag yet can’t even pull that off. Sad. Really.

    I’ll play along for real in the next article.

    • SuntanOil

      You make a good point, I’m convinced. I’m going to change my goat to Mark Lee and hope enough of the others do so that we can finally run him out of town!!! 🙂

      Wait, that was your point right?

    • book¡e

      I actually think that by exposing the notion of a ‘goat’ that we do the opposite and ridicule the idiots around town who boo’d people like Poti and Arnott out of town.

      • Whoa whoa whoa.

        Arnott for sure, but Tom Poti was a blight on this city. He was Grebeshkov before Grebeshkov was Grebeshkov. If EVER there was a Goat for all to look back upon and agree that “Yes, this man is truly a Goat” then he would be Thomas Q. Poti.

        Talk about an adventure in your own zone. The fact that he resurrected his career in Washington as a “solid defensive player” is proof that souls CAN be sold to the devil for impossible returns. How that plumber woke up every morning and had the audacity to wear an Oiler uniform knowing he could never be deserving of that honour is beyond me.

      • SuntanOil

        I hope so Bookie (I can’t do the upside down ‘!’ thingy) as then we’d be ridiculing those people instead of giving them a soapbox to speak from. I will never argue that the concept of a goat list isn’t a lot of fun and in theory brings a lot of potential for entertaining discussion.

        The issue is how much misinformation is created by some just in an effort to be right. Simply look at how much misinformation and speculation is presented as fact in these comments alone – enough to skew some impartial observers opinions on players. Throw in a few with personal vendettas and some really crazy commenter’s who shall remain nameless and the ‘goat’ exercise becomes something different than what was intended.

        Just my opinion. I hope I am wrong

  • book¡e

    Second on Love Child`s pick of Tenser…

    Khabby needs to play 25 games with a save % above .910 to escape goat status. I think if Chorney makes the team, hes being set up for goat duty. I think Barker could be there too. I hope the best for Brule, but it aint looking like a bed of roses so far him. And even if Jones hits 12-14 goals theres alot of hate for the guy and he might be in the goat category.

  • Dustin Terpstra

    My Goat is….Barker.. Although I honestly hope I am completely wrong here and he turns it around in Edmonton…..Dear Barker: please make me eat my words.

    My Star is Eberle: I think he may have the best season of all our forwards.

  • This team has placed dead last 2 years in a row. It takes more than 1 goat to cause that.

    If Renney is true to his word, then Khabibulin will not be a goat, as he will end up as backup (or sent down to OKC) if he plays badly.

    Gilbert has always tried to play a no-risk, no-reward game where no one will notice him. No hits, no blocked shots, no pinching at the blue line… it’s all designed to ensure he doesn’t make any big mistakes that we can point out later. He should be a goat for doing nothing well and nothing poorly, but really he’s just an overpaid no.5 getting too much ice time.

    Omark is too inconsequential to this team to be a goat. He will surpass his goal output of last year (5 goals! hoorah!) and there will be enough of those fans who still view this team as a bunch of kindergartners to give Omark a gold star for being such a hard-working cutie-pie! Put down your sippy cuy Linus, it’s nappy time.

    I think this year’s player-goat will be Horcoff. I like him, but he will inevitably lose some ice-time to the long queue of other centers on this team, and with that will come a drop in production which will look even worse in the face of his insane contract. Plus, he’s team captain, so someone’s got to answer for another year of missing the playoffs.

    Personally, I think we should also goat Renney, but I’m assuming the question only applies to players.

    • Beavis

      “Gilbert has always tried to play a no-risk, no-reward game where no one will notice him. No hits, no blocked shots, no pinching at the blue line…”

      Not to instantly label myself as a stats guy, but aren’t the stats guys defending Gilbert usually talking about how he leads the team in blocked shots?

      • My mistake and I stand corrected. Although the generous amounts of ice-time and his passive play probably elevate his blocked shot totals. If I was a spectator in my own end and the opposition was shooting at will on my net, I’d probably get hit by a few stray shots every night. Like I said, I’d like to goat Gilbert, but I don’t think anyone notices him enough for him to earn that prize.

  • Morning Coffey

    Goat: Taylor Chorney, Alex Plante (if either of those guys make the team this year) maaaayyyyybbbee Gagner (if neither of those guys make the team) he legitimately must win some face offs this year
    Star: Eberle (I hope that Barker does well too but I also hoped that Foster would do well so I’m not about to risk my star pick again on ‘hope’)

  • m3sh

    Saw someone choosing Brule. Hahaha… ya he has a chance at being the goat in OKC perhaps. I say this as a guy who mistakenly chose Brule as star last year. Sad.

    Goat: Eager. We’ll like his panache, but not his useless penalties that cost us points. Not to mention… already injured? My god does the curse of Edmonton ever *(@#$*(@# end?

    “Honorary” mention to Gagner – not convinced he’s got enough to stick here. Hopefully good enough to get decent return on a trade.
    Damn Lowetide and his hoping for Gagner to have an 82 game season so we can really “see what he’s got”. That’s like speaking the S word in the last few minutes of the third period.

    Star: Hall. Kid’s going to rip it up. He doesn’t have a sophomore slump bone in his body. Too easy? Sure, picking the star should be.

  • I’m torn for who shall be awarded the goat horns. Smid who can’t score against the opposition, but continually fills his own net with pucks. Or Horcoff who is given quality ice time as well as his large contract and declining play frustrate many fans on any given night. How about each get one horn and have a unicorn battle for the honor.

  • Milli

    Are we allowed to pick Mark Lee? Cuz if we are, he is for sure…Douchiest douche of all the……

    Alright, I’ll say Sam Gagner, and Ill hope to hell I’m WRONG!

  • Goat: I’m going with the same guy I did last year. Whitney.

    Some might say he wasn’t a goat because he was the Oil’s best player before he went down with an injury. The reason I said he was a goat wwas because I didn’t think his surgically reconstructed body would hold up. It didn’t, and although the numbers he put up during the time he played made him the teams MVP (apologies to Khabby) for that stretch, the guy he replaced put together a Norris nomination worthy campaign.

    Same issues this year. I’ll bet his games played are even lower.

  • SuntanOil

    Well, it would be east to pick from a few players that ultimately would compete for the goat… i mean, Sutton is merely a harder hitting Strudwick, Smid can be a turn-over machine and visibly give up on plays, Horcoff is Horcoff (however does play reasonable well defensively), Barker was bought out for a reason and is on a short”ish” leash; however, he was an experiement definitely worth pursuing. As much as i love this player, and would ideally respect the Oilers organization for re-signing him to a long term contract, his hostory and this season specifically will be the reason he is the Goat of the 2011-2012 Oilers. HEMSKY. Playing in what will be less than 40 games total, all 29 other organizations will scare away from any sort of reasonable trade as he will not last a post-season if he is deemed ready to play that is. What should be a greater return then we got for Penner, will undoubtedly, turn out to be a negative. Tambs, who is always shy to make any trade, will then sign Hemmer to a contract he will never live up to as a member of the Edmonton Oilers. Yes he is a good player, but unfortunately, being made of glass in todays NHL does not bode well for such a player.

    In short, Hemsky will be the Goat of the year because in a contract year, he will forseeably get injured, reduce his trade value drastically, and sign for a lot of money with the team, the only team, that would offer him such a contract. I blame Tambs and Lowe already cause we all know it will happen. Its not pessimism, its a mere glimpse into our not so distant future.

    As for the Star…. it could just as easily be Hemsky if he stays healthy. But im not certain he can. So i will choose Omark as I truly believe he will fill in nicely for the injuries when they arise.