After such a kind and fittingly exaggerated introduction article the other day, I figured I should pop my Nation cherry by telling you a little bit about how I got here.

The past few years of hockey have been nothing short of a disaster: a 2011 back surgery, a failed comeback, a season off to rehab, an NHL lockout and finally another failed comeback that ended with yet another season ending injury.

When the only athlete to attempt more comebacks than you is Brett Favre it’s time to shut er down. The heart was still in it, but the body appears to of had enough. I’m fortunate and thankful to of played as long as I did, and very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

There’s no better place to start then the Nation.

(Wanye note: Nice pic Suds. Great shoes, classic pose. If I had a picture like this from my childhood I would have it tattooed on my back in 2/8 scale)

I was born and raised in E town, growing up an Oilers fan like everyone else but the minute I was drafted that had to go out the window. I like beer, donairs and yelling about hockey. I’m told with that kind of resume, I should be able to fit in around here.

Here now is my take from my first 3 days on the job.

High heels are very uncomfortable. Tight pants and dresses are awesome. 


I attended the Bears Oilers rookie game. I thought Nurse looked young, and that’s ok because that’s what he is. Early in the game he looked a little tentative in his own end and coughed up the biscuit a few times. As the game wore on he looked more comfortable and had a few nice rushes.

It was a limited glance, but his offensive instincts and skating ability for a kid his size were noticeable and of course I liked his mean streak. He jumped right into a scrum at the end of the first period and that seemed to loosen him up a bit. After that he seemed to find his game. It will be fun to keep an eye on him as camp goes along.


Everything you see and hear about this guy is impressive. It’s a refreshing hybrid I would think, for a young team to grow and learn from “players” coaches the last several years to a guy that is going to demand results and pull no punches, while not quite jumping to the land of Mike Keenan.

It would appear he has a real grasp of managing his players individually and wanting to find out what makes each of them tick. I had the privilege of facing the Marlies and an Eakins coached team 4 times last year and I can tell you they were awesome games. We lost every single one and all of them had a playoff type feel. Not a ton of fights, maybe one or two, but scrums and intensity galore.

They made you work for every inch. I can only assume the Oilers will be a much harder team to play against this year.

After seeing photos of 37 year old Ryan Smyth with tubes all over his face and hearing about this 3 minute death skating drill I can honestly say I do not miss the opening of training camp one bit.

Who’s got a doughnut for me?

  • pkam

    “I was born and raised in E town, growing up an Oilers fan like everyone else ”

    This makes a very good resume.

    “but the minute I was drafted that had to go out the window.”

    Don’t like this. No need to throw it out the window, just lock it in a box in the basement so you can get to it later.

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    Beer, donairs, and yelling about hockey: yes please!

    Popped cherry, first blood, and dudes in high heels: was this post sponsored by a bar across Jasper ave from On The Rocks?

  • Bucknuck

    The Nation continues to build on its strong foundation. Welcome to the Nation. Though you’ll be writing mostly on the Oilers I will look forward to your insight into the members of the Nation. Calgary mostly.

    As a long time OilersNation member I am thrilled by the addition of new blood. Jason Strudwick is close to celebrating his first anniversary on the Team. And here on OilersNation.

    Lowetide.Brownlee.Wayne. Gregor.Struds.Sutherby.

    We have perhaps the strongest group of bloggers bar none.

  • pkam

    Great articles Rookie ( I live in NC so felt comfortable beaking). Short and to the point which is refreshing – Welcome to the place Oilers fans check-in first for our daily fix ….

  • vetinari

    Welcome to the nation Brian…

    Wanye has assured us that the secret to MS Paint is guarded like the original KFC recipe– in a vault at the bottom of the ocean… good for you in stealing it…

    As for hockey, if you were GM, any thoughts on who would be good additions to the roster on the basis of “functional toughness”? Some are saying that we need a pure enforcer, and others say that we need someone who can also play 8-10 minutes a night and not be embarrassed in their own zone– any names come to mind that you played against in either the NHL or AHL that would be good roster additions?

    • Brian Sutherby

      Great question, If Eager is willing/able (health) to go with the biggest of boys you don’t have to look much further, he has all the tools.

      If not, a heavy, heavy will only make him or Brown even more effective and all the Oil feel a little bit taller if you know what I mean. Who that is I’m not even sure, but I’ll think on it. If only there were more Chara, Lucic and Chris Neils to go around.

  • Bucknuck

    Welcome to the Nation!! Another hockey player’s point of view can only make an awesome site better.

    Those Oilersnation T-shirts look pretty damn awesome, especially in a posse. I guess I am going to have to get one (or three) so I can represent here on Vancouver Island. We’ll ditch the heels though. Good tip.

  • Kevrock

    Can never have enough E-Towners in the mix. Gotta love the mixture of contributors on this site. The various viewpoints are what keeps this site the #1 site of all Nations. Welcome aboard!

  • pkam

    “Who’s got a doughnut for me?”

    Sorry folk, you just miss the boat. Now is officially the MacT and Eakins era. Something does not get together according to Eakins. Doughnut and Oilers is one of those.

  • Bucknuck

    Damn, now I’m craving a donair for lunch!*

    Welcome aboard man, looking forward to your articles.

    * Ever have a donair that was screwed up real bad and even drunk you couldn’t eat it? I never thought this was possible but my bro and I ordered some one late night and mine was tasty as hell but my bro was disgusted by his. We always ask for extra sweet sauce when they make em and this time was no exception. The problem was they put “tartar sauce” on my brother’s donair, not sweet sauce.

    Muhahaha “tartar donair!”

    • Muji

      I’m guessing they didn’t hire him because of his flawless grammar. I will happily take insight from former players even if it is a bit rough around the edges.