Last Festivus I was grumbling about the PK and faceoffs, plus the Katz group and their sabre rattling. With those problems solved, all is well in OilersNation, right? You know, you’d think so.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned since joining Oilers Nation (and doing the radio show) it’s that OilersNation is actually about four groups:
- The old timey guys like me who were lucky enough to see the Glory Years and are impatient for another Stanley but also aware that wandering in the wilderness is as possible as a strong Stanley run.
- The group that became engaged the moment Todd Marchant scored in OT against Dallas. That group is extremely impatient, a blood in the water bunch with vitriol standing by aside their laptop computer and internet portal.
- The ’06 bunch, who appear to be a little less intense than their older brothers and sisters but are definitely more impatient than the older crew. This group can be convinced it’s a process with an energy drink and an Eberle goal.
I will try to be grumpy for all three groups, but feel free to chime in.
- Coach Renney: Why do I always get the feeling the other coach is getting the better matchups? The other night RNH couldn’t hit the urinal without Zetterberg in the photo. When the kid line was ripping it up. you line matched and now you’ve stopped. Why? Is winning still important?
- Mr Tambellini: You spent the free agent money for defense on Cam Barker, whose track record as a legit top 4 NHL defender was, well, there wasn’t one. I understand it is difficult to deal for actual NHL defensemen during the season, they are playing in other towns or Brian Burke has Ron Wilson picking them apart in practice. That said, is it possible that you will find a real defenseman next summer? Considering Ryan Whitney’s health it’s a real big item.
- Daryl Katz: Now that the arena deal has been agreed on, perhaps something from you for the fans? I’m not suggesting some free agent signing, but perhaps a grand gesture like another press conference where you’d take questions from reporters and the public? A town hall forum, since the town delivered in a big way? It would help to hear you say that the Oilers will stay here for decades (and I know that’s part of the deal but put this would put your stamp on it), that the Oilers organization appreciates the enormous commitment from the city and its citizens. Shouldn’t take more than an hour.
- Edmonton Oilers dot com: You know, with all of the interest in the OKC Barons and with Oiler fans unable to see the games, perhaps you could stream a Barons game once a week on your website. It doesn’t have to be on a game night, hell you don’t have to do it on a night when the Oilers play or the Oil Kings are in town. But I think you’d be surprised by the interest level.
- Kevin Lowe: Two things. With the arena on the horizon, perhaps it would be a good time to bid for a future NHL entry draft. Since we’ve watched the last two so closely, it would probably sell out in Edmonton. Also, I’d love to hear the story about how Ryan Smyth was re-acquired. Sounds like a beauty.
- Ales Hemsky: It’s been an absolute pleasure watching you play. Best of luck in your new town.
So, that’s all I have. Hopefully it’ll be a stellar 12 months and next Festivus will be a blank page.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
The Oilers have improved since last December. The storyline is strong, the back stories are interesting and the future is white lightning. Still, a real winner takes time, and honestly the Oilers management seem to have done a few things contrary to their pre-season comments about the importance of winning.
Having said that, the road is smoother than a year ago.
NO REALLY, WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Oiler opponents should look out for snipers. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and all the best for the holiday season.