ANSWER THE PHONE

Dear NHL: As an industry, you are badly overlooking the Edmonton Oilers. I have a request: keep doing what you’re doing.

Right now, the NHL and the industry that surrounds it doesn’t really take these young Oilers seriously. Taylor Hall gets benched by Lindy Ruff at the World Hockey Championships, Nail Yakupov doesn’t get enough votes to qualify for the Calder, and on it goes. This is nothing new, hell the Oilers have been in the second division so long there are likely some NHL men and media who can’t name 10 Oilers.

Keep it up. Keep going. Keep taking this Oiler team for granted.

One day soon, the rag-tag Oilers will come in to your town and you’ll contemplate giving away the tickets, or you’ll give them to a staff member who hasn’t seen a game in a decade. Go for it. The Oilers have been down so long the amount of respect they get is somewhere between slim and none and slim just left town.

Sent in your awards votes early? No worries, it’s only the Oilers, it’s just Yakupov out in the cold (on a 33 degree day).

 WHO CARES ABOUT THE OILERS?

Exactly. WHO CARES ABOUT THE OILERS? Oh sure, they were almost in the playoffs for a minute there, but then they realized they were the Oilers and stepped back in the elevator shaft. Who can blame Lindy Ruff for running Matt Read out there instead of Hall–after all, what has Hall ever done, aside from pushing the river at 5×5 since he arrived from the draft and (this past season) finishing in the league’s top 10 scorers? It was a SOFT top 10, right? SURE.

Keep. Doing. What. You’re Doing.

THE PLOT TWIST

Mark my words, NHL. One day your teams will come to our city, good old "2 points in the bank" Alberta and you’re going to get a wake up call. All over. And when it gets very bad, you’ll be dialing 9-1-1 and will hear the operator say "if you’d like to make a call, please hang up and try again!"

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

The Oilers have been out of the playoffs so long my kids don’t really remember what this city looks like when excitement rules the spring and summer.

Oh brother, they will. And Lindy Ruff will know what Taylor Hall can do, and the Calder votes that didn’t go to Yakupov (and Nuge and Hall and Eberle before him) will all be cashed in one glorious movie climax.

Answer the phone.

  • paul wodehouse

    …Taylor Hall played 71 games and had 84 points this year…and at closer look he played only 45 games and had 50 points in the NHL…whats the expression …on pace? …sooo if TH had played 48 games he might well have outscored this kessel fellow you speak of here …no?

  • The Soup Fascist

    Thoughts of the day:

    – Phil Kessel could score 100 points a year and I would not want him on my team. Honestly, there is just something “off” with this guy. He has the personality of a fig. “Aloof” does not come close – seriously get in for some testing, Phil.

    – Stretch 14, if you are going to troll and criticize spelling at least know that the word is “spelled” and not “spelt”. We already knew you were a moron – no need to shout it from the rooftops. And no, “irony” is not a word to describe your wrinkled “I’m With Stupid –>” wife beater.

    – Nice to go an actual seven days in a row without snow. Only 45 days until days start getting shorter!

    – Fun fact of the day: The Stanley Cup holds 14 bottles of beer. Put the “Old Vienna” back in the cooler for the 43rd year Canucklehead fans.

  • PlayDirty

    I’m not sure I understand all this, if we don’t start winning soon, Taylor Hall will want out of town and so will so and so.

    This is Hall’s team, you think players, even on losing teams want to go somewhere where they are not the team star? There are plenty of teams with great players that don’t win, who never ask for a trade.

    Look at Doan in Phoenix, he has actively said he won’t move even if the entire team itself goes someplace else. Or Weber in Nashville, the guy is still there. Or how about Boumester who up until this year had never even been in a playoff game.

    The list of good players on bad teams who don’t go and demand a trade is endless. Players want to be traded when their ice time gets cut, or they have problems with the coaching staff. I can’t see that as the case here.

    Yes we have tanked, but the new GM has already said he is going to try and do everything he can to make this a winning team. Why would you want to leave a team like that?

  • PlayDirty

    As for the Kessel / Hall comparisons, I know this is an Oiler fan site but come on. The kid is just off the charts in terms of scoring chances, driving the play, and so many other important areas of the game. Add to that his reputation for showing up to work, every night, every practice and every shift, and it is clear the Oilers drafted a bonafied superstar.

    Will his entourage of Schultz, Ebs, Nuge, and Yak, Hall is going to lead a very good team of young stars to a cup very soon.

  • bored

    I’m with LT on this…the snubs, the jokes, the mockery that the rest of the league has for the Oilers needs to be used as motivation. I wouldn’t put it past an uber-competitive guy like Hall to go into Eff-You mode next year and take this team on his back. I hope Yak will also harness some of negativity as well and play pissed off next year too…That would get the Oil a few more wins. Of course, management needs to provide a full NHL roster to get the rest of the wins needed for the playoffs….but that’s out of the players hands.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Since when is advancing a straw man to make an argument that doesn’t hold up even under the favorable circumstances of said straw man… an interesting, thought-provoking or informative way to proceed?

  • 2004Z06

    Who cares! Start winning! The respect will come. Hell even a loss with a modicum of effort will earn you some respect. How about we try having this team bring it every night first?

  • 2004Z06

    No need to compare Hall to Kessel, both great players, but under different divisions/systems/coaches and with different supporting casts. All variables that can affect individual performance.

  • 2004Z06

    Have no fear and do not lose faith people, we have Kevin Lowe in charge. There is no way he will allow any GM to turn this team into a perrennial loser.

    Yes Kevin is now in charge, the past 10 years were necessary so that we can truly experience what is feels like to be a loser. Imagine how good it will feel when he decides we have had enough, and will turn the “winner” light on.

    Oh man I can’t wait…….I’m so exicited.

  • Spydyr

    Hall is still making a lot of junior hockey moves.Toe drag, giving the puck up in the neutral zone,not getting the puck deeps when it should be.

    It is about time a coach made him sit and think a bit on the bench.Instead of getting handled with kid gloves.Sometimes tough love is what it takes.

    I’m sure Jasmine remembers Slats sitting Gretzky a time or two.99 always came back with fire in his eyes.

    Hall could use a coach that holds players accountable.