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.