All Festivus Eve

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.


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. 


Oiler opponents should look out for snipers. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and all the best for the holiday season.


  • geoilersgist

    I’m another of the half breeds that are Group1/2. I see nothing but good things with this team and they are showing much more potential than they did last year. I too just hope Tambi grows a pair and does something to help this team out if he really wants to push for the playoffs. Hemsky has to go because it just seems like he has no interest/drive at all. The team is much better off without him it seems which is sad as I love watching him play.

  • DieHard

    Group ONE here. AH, the glory days.

    This is a re-build and not a re-tool. It takes time and needs patience. A trade for trade sake is not what we need. The team needs a 2C and a 1D and we will be elite for a decade – then we do re-tools. The needs we have are everyone’s needs and they are hard to get.

    I expect no playoffs this year but a real push next and contending the year after that. If not, then I’ll lose it!!!

    Merry Christmas all.

  • geoilersgist

    Re: Hemsky.

    Watching him duriing the Detroit game I thought we were starting to see some flashes of the Old Hemsky we loved so much. But you could see that he is not healthy. He has no pop to his shot, I got the feeling that it wasn’t that he didn’t shoot but that he couldn’t shoot.

    My greivance – Too all the Hemsky haters – Let him heal before we run him out of town.

    • justDOit

      The problem with all the Hemsky lovers ( I was at one time) is that they refuse to accept reality. The reality of a player being passed by younger more effective players………and holding on to the notion that some miracle will bring his hockey skills back?

      You mention that he has no “pop to his shot”……….is shooting not fundamental to the game of hockey? May I suggest that if he is still hurt……. than what the he’ll is is doing playing hockey? If he is still hurt and cannot shoot he should be placed on the Injured Reserved list!

      I suspect that most people that rail against Hemsky are just fatigued by all the excuses ……….it’s no coincidence that when ever he is not playing we seem to win mo often than we lose.

      Prediction as long as Hemsky is out we will do better than when he is in!

  • RexLibris

    Original 6 Grouping

    (Clearly remembers Gretzky in Cincinnati)

    Let the professionals so their job, right from Katz on down. Things WILL workout as NO ONE likes p**sing money into the wind. If one thinks these people aren’t trying to improve the Oilers, you are all mistaken. You can’t snap your fingers & produce exactly what it takes to win a Stanley Cup. Ask a St Louis fan if you don’t believe me.

    1st couple of season’s for Gretzky’s group was nothing to write home about except for flashes of brilliance that boggled the mind. Sound familiar to RNH & Eberle?

    Merry Xmas all

  • KidsInTheHall!

    Spoiled Group 1/2er, thought 91 and 92 were odd, seeing as how we’d always won the cup.

    LT, not sure if this is your area of expertise, or a Willis job, but any idea where I can find transactions per season based on teams/GM’s

    I mean, I agree that Tambellini isn’t doing enough, but I would love to know how he or Lowe would compare to the average of NHL-to-NHL transactions (avoiding the standard call ups/demotions)

    Are our GM’s really that inactive?

  • RexLibris

    I’m a tweener of group one and two, also. I watched the Oilers beat the Flyers and Boston (twice) and fell asleep in the back of the Subaru when my dad took me down to Jasper Ave in ’84. I was also inspired by Marchant’s goal, and the play of Weight in the Colorado series the next year and spent a lot of time hating Dallas. I grew up with names like Ham, Moon, Coffey, Huddy, and Gregg floating around like they were family members. I watched David Oliver and Shjon Podein spend too long here, and then saw guys like Mike Grier and Miro Satan leave too early. I, too, anxiously waited for a sighting of the elusive Joe Hulbig and wondered just who the heck Mario Nobili was.

    My grievance is twofold: one with some fans and bloggers who want us to trade away some futures for an immediate improvement that, in my estimation, would only return for us a moderate improvement. I’m very willing to be patient, like 3 to 4 more years patient, with this forward core and let our defence develop and spend the time finding the right complementary forwards in order to build not just a contender, but a dynasty. I don’t want this incarnation of the Oilers to win a Cup, I want them to win many Cups. I want to win another five before Calgary gets a sniff at a second. I want to lap the Bruins. I want Eberle, Hall and RNH to have a place reserved in the rafters when they are still five years from retirement. My second grievance is actually more one in waiting. And it has to do with what I fear might happen amongst Oiler fans. I don’t want the success that I hope for to become a negative surrounding this city and this team. In other words, I don’t want Oiler fans (or bandwagoners) to become like Canucks fans. The franchise used to be known as a classy one, and I want the fans to embody that as well.

    Done, here endeth the rant. Sorry about that.

    Oh, and what about that mysterious fourth group? Or is that the legion of Oiler fans growing up right now who will come of age when names like Hall, Eberle, and RNH will seem like they’ve been around forever?

  • Milli

    Group 1er from day one,

    Ales Hemsky is an excellent leader!

    He leads everyone off the practice ice. He leads everyone out the dressing room door.

    He always wants the puck and only gives it up to the other team. He’s got moves that we rarely see anymore.

    He’s a point a game player as long as you play him on PP1 AND PP2.

    Actually, I do wish he comes around and adds to the success rather than take away from it.

  • DieHard

    Group 4 must be the group that can’t count.

    I was a long time Detroit fan but joined Group 3 in 2006. Wow that was an exciting year. I’ve been hanging on waiting to enjoy the playoffs since.

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      You Benedict Arnold you!!

      That’s hilarious! You left your old team right after we beat them in the first round? amazing turncoat abilities!!

      Great story. It made me relook at the 06 run

      I had completely forgotten that in the west the bottom 4 teams ALL knocked out the top 4 (the east was the reverse), how weird is that!? and isn’t it nice to look at a nuck-less playoff bracket… how I pine for those future days.

      great your an Oil fan… every fan is sacred.

      oh and Have a Fesitivus Smythmas Everyone!

  • Milli

    Group 2.

    Beat the F@#K1ng Flames, beat them all the time.

    Klo, Tambo & Renney, get your goddamn team up for the BOA, stress the importance of winning those games like Sutter did. We fans have the shame of back to back dead last finishes, the least, absolute least you can do is punish the Flames every game. That is all!

    oh, and how bout that Eberle kid!!!!!!!

  • GSP

    Group 1 here…remember being at the last draft held in Edmonton..was one of the ones chanting “Doan, Doan, Doan” & we got Kelly 🙁

    Would love for the draft to come back, would be awesome as it has grown in popularity since it was here last especially since Gregor and Brownlee have been covering it live.

    As for Hemsky, I agree with the others that say if he is not 95-100% dont play him as it takes up a spot and just risks reinjury. Let him rest up and rehab another month or so, let him audition for other teams for 4 weeks before trade deadline and get what you can for him. Even if he wants to resign here, I wouldnt go for it.

    Merry Ho Ho Nationers!!!!!

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    I’d settle for an occasional radio broadcast via 1260 of the Barons.

    NHL Entry Draft. They give tickets away in most cities for this event. Why should we pay? Gouge the fans some more. If you want me to pay to see the Oilers draft last, then I want that money to go to the Stollery or the Oilers Foundation.

    When Katz is building his new hockey arena I would like to see a section for the kids set aside every game. 500 seats for the little tykes. Or Mom and Dads on marginal incomes so they can take thier kids out to a game during the season. This game cannot and should not be kept out of reach of those in society who have less. You do a great job Gregor of promoting the Donate your seat. Something more structured is needed to ensure that the fanbase continues to grow through the development of programs that ensure that children are in the seats at New Rexall Place.

    Lastly. I would like to see Oilers Nation more visible in the community . This blog needs to do more. It needs to expand from a “guy in his underwear in his mom’s basement”(Jay Feaster 2011) to something more concrete. The Nation fan base here in Edmonton is growing and growing. OilersNation needs to be at the forefront. The leading edge of the cyberworld and of the real world. This blog needs to morph into something more than it is now. We are the leading fansite on the Nation. We need to take it one more step. Lowetide brought OiilersNation to the airwaves in 2011. Its time for a rethink and I think that we’ll find a way to make OilersNation the sports blog in all of hockey.

    Happy Festivus