Breaking up is hard to do. I remember the first time a girl broke up with me, and after the initial blow to my ego, I vividly remember that I felt relieved. There wasn’t going to be any tears. I guess I wasn’t that into her, but it is funny to recall the sense of relief of not having to be the breaker upper.

Tears are always the worst part when you are the one doing the breaking up. You tell them you aren’t feeling it anymore, and suddenly the waterworks come, then the guilt overrides you and you find yourself staying in the relationship for a few more weeks.

We’ve all been there, well, at least most of guys have. I’m not sure if a guy crying convinces a girl to stick around. I’m certain Wanye could enlighten us on that scenario…but I digress.

The first 14 Oilers games have been very stressful for you the fans.

Anger, disappointment, confusion, heartache and tinges of depression have engulfed you for the past 30 days. You honestly believed this year would be better. The Oilers told you it would be different.

Craig MacTavish’s passionate speech about Bold moves had your loins burning with excitement. You and the Oilers were finally on the same page. Your relationship was on the road to repair. You told the Oilers you needed them to change and they did.

You couldn’t deal with their indecisiveness any longer, so they got rid of Steve Tambellini.

You asked for more commitment, and the Belanger Triangle was bought out.

The one part of them that you always blamed; Horcoff, was traded.

You didn’t want to deal with their baggage anymore, so Pettrell, Whitney, Peckham, Smithson and Hordichuk were flushed from the roster.

You wanted them to be stronger so Paajarvi was traded for Perron. They got grittier, and added an accent. You were giddy.

From July to September you were satisfied and felt secure in your relationship. The Oilers had listened to your concerns and addressed them. What more could you ask for. They were impressing you.

The preseason came and the so did victories. You hadn’t felt like this in months. You started watching games in sweatpants instead of jeans so your excitement was more comfortable.

You started trusting the Oilers again, and then, like a well-placed kick to the junk combined with a knife in the back, the regular season happened.

Suddenly, they reverted to their old habits and as the losses mounted so too did your heartbreak.

The last 30 days have been tough, but I never realized how tough they were for Oilersnation until I received the following "Dear Oilers" letter from Joshua. 

Dear Oilers, 

First of all, let me apologize for taking the cowardly way out and doing this via a letter., We’ve been together so long now that I knew if I did it to your face you’d look at me with those Oil Drop eyes, remind me of the way things used to be, and I’d lose my nerve.

My needs aren’t being met in this relationship anymore.

The red light isn’t going off for me.
There just isn’t enough action in the crease.
It seems like we never go out on a decent power play together anymore.
I don’t feel supported in our own zone, and you forgot to kill our last penalty together!

I’ve loved and supported you through thick and thin, for richer or poorer, and even though I can’t afford to take my kids to the game and share them with you, I always felt like we had a great connection.

But there has to be a limit.

I still care about you and wish only the best for you.  

Make changes to be better, but do it for you, don’t do it for me.  

Until then, I think we should see other teams. Maybe it will re-ignite the passion that’s gone from our relationship.

Maybe one day we can both look back on this and laugh. I’ll just sit in my corner and look longingly at the standings, thinking of how things were. 

I love you. 

Yours in despair and loneliness,


That. Was. Deep. Powerful. Poignant. Touching.

I’m sure Josh isn’t alone, but will he be able to stay away? Many have tried, most have failed, and that is what is so frustrating about sports.

We’d never let a woman/man treat us that way, yet we continually forgive our favourite team.

For years I’ve tried to breakup with the Miami Dolphins, but every August I find myself looking at their roster, then at their schedule and I get sucked back in.

Those Bastards.

Joshua, I wish you all the best, and hope that you can be stronger than the rest of us. We say we will leave, but we never do.

Be strong, be brave and become a catalyst for change.


P.S… No one will judge you when you come back. We’ve all been there.


  • Chaz

    Don’t worry everyone. According to K-Lowe half of the teams in the league would trade their line-up for ours. Which I guess means we should have no trouble making some trades to shore up our deficiencies. Problem(s) solved! K-Lowe wins again!

  • Kumon Iwannasing

    Take some advice from a lifelong Leaf fan. Oiler fans must rise up and make their dissatisfaction known. How about a cap burning rally or something…I know jerseys cost too much.
    There are rumours of young Oilers partying after losses etc. It is in many ways a Winter Camp for Entitled Kids.
    Want to send a message and expedite cultural change. Break up the little clique in the dressing room by trading the ring leader. Bring in some character guys instead like the Leafs finally learned…Clarkson, Bolland, Reimer.

  • S cottV

    Hopefully the Oilers stop the bleeding and start looking like a team going in the right direction – even if the dreadful start turns out to be, too deep a hole to make a legitimate playoff run. My expectation for the Oilers at the start of the year, was for a serious run at the playoffs – that most likely, would come up just short. I suppose a serious run is still possible but the team really looks in disarray under Eakins, his systems and choice of “go to” players. We all or most – like MacT, but his choice of a rookie coach really doesn’t look good at all. Eakins apparent up tempo – pressure forecheck / d zone / penalty kill, all out effort – “approach” is causing a lot of confusion and problems. Overplay at the wrong times will leave you unneccesarily exposed and we have certainly seen the results in the back of the Oiler net. Playing smart – pressuring at the right times and laying back at the right times is something that most successful teams / coaches employ. I think a rookie move perhaps supported by an old guard “run and gun” offence first mentality, that still handcuffs the Oilers organization. Interesting for an example – that the last time we saw the Oilers mix in some pressure forecheck with some lay back trap, the team was one win away from a Stanley Cup. “Patience” / “Picking your Spots” and systems that support this in conjuction with “pressure” / “compete hard” allows a young team to find “balance.” Putting RNH, Eberle and Yak out against an opposition veteran first line with instructions to “go-go-go get it” is a sure fire way to go minus 2 for the night. Throw in J. Schultz and its a minus 4. An evolution into smart – balanced – play is the way out of this mess for the Oilers. Don’t know why the Oilers never seem to consider a guy like local product – Ken Hitchcock. Sure – you may have to eventually fire him, but that is after 3 winning years before the players end up tuning him out – probably for the wrong reasons….

  • Positive Ray of Sunshine

    Anyone who trashes a mention of Steve Ott needs to have their head examined.

    6’0″, 190lbs. Not big. But he plays big.
    Hits a ton and agitates like crazy.

    This is a guy who learned 3 foreign languages so he could agitate other players in their own language. He leaves it all out there. Despite the fact he comes from Buffalo, he is good in the circle, and can play the wing. Slot him in 3rd/4th line centre… even played top 6 in Dallas though some would say he was over his head there. Anyone who things that we couldn’t use some of that on THIS team is nuts.

  • Positive Ray of Sunshine

    The “Bold Moves” Action Plan:

    1. Fire everybody.

    2. Trade all players for better players.

    3. Keep Joey. (He has 5 cups under his administration so I think he knows a little about winning).

    4. Win Stanley Cup

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    The reason this season hurts so much is because it was supposed to be different. New coach, new GM, no Horcoff. Everything should be fine right? Apparently not. The Oilers will not win in this league constructed the way that they are. Too many entitled players. The sad thing is there is no quick fix. The culture of losing runs so deep that I truly believe the only way out of this is to trade one of the wunderkids. Moving Hemsky will not get anybody’s attention even though he has been one of our harder working skill players. Moving out bit pieces in our bottom six or third pairing will not change the fact that our top players get schooled by the other team’s top players on a nightly basis.

    This season is basically lost already so I’m not suggesting that Mactavish panic and ship Yakupov today or anything like that. I’m just saying that by the end of this season, the Oilers need to get used to the thought of building this team around 2 or 3 of RNH, Hall, Yakupov and Eberle.

  • Cowbell_Feva

    I once wished I could live in Edmonton so I could go watch Oilers games live at Northlands. I now live here. I was given two Gold seats for the upcoming Flames game on Dec.7 and I gave them away for free.

    How things have changed. Until there are 7000 fans in Rexall nothing will change with this team. Katz is a business man, not a hockey guru. He just likes hanging out with the Boys on the Bus and enjoying the Vancouver winters while his “team” toils in the basement year after year.

    This organization has zapped any enjoyment I used to get cheering for the Oilers. It saddens me to say, but they have become the joke of the league. If you don’t believe me, then look up the team with the longest playoff drought today. And nowhere near the playoffs I might add.

    But this year is going to be different right?, just like the past five??

  • Looks like Reality has finally sunk in for even the most optimistic Oiler fan out there. Regardless of when you want to start the count of futility – you have discovered why its is so hard to rebuild a team from a draft table…it requires some tremendous gonads to suffer the fate of handing your team over to 18 year olds .

    not all the talk in the world nor the optimistic documentaries produced can hide the fact that when you do hand your team over to 18 year olds…it will take at least 6 to 7 years for the first to reach their potential.

    Then we did it for three years. At best a player hits their prime at 24 ..more often 25. Taylor Hall is 22, Nugent Hopkins 21, Nail Yakopov 20. keep on waiting…

    Changing a coach regardless of how/when/why is a setback – new system, new style, new regiment. Press conferences dont tell you that.

    Hiring Eakins was going to have a setback period.

    Lars Eller was bang on – THIS IS A JUNIOR TEAM – most of them just lost their eligibility. So the Oilers Management team blew it to not shield these prospects behind some legit veterans….they just threw them into the fire on their own for three years now. Longer if you consider Gagner being placed on a roster as an 18 year old centre because the Oilers really didn’t have anyone else to play there period.

    so now your in the mushy gunk ugly pile of dung that is part of a rebuild. the second guessing commences and you begin to question was it really all worth it.

    well it won’t be worth it if you start pulling what Milbury did to the Islanders because of impatience of prospects.

    The Oilers deserve a better record this season. But they don’t have it…oh well to bad so sad….stop making excuses/trades/firings etc…just tell them to buck up… own it..boys need to become men now…enough is enough…put it squarely on the sholders of these young guns … demand more from all of them…

    J.Shultz play better!
    J.Petry are you an offesive dman or not? lets see it!
    N.Yakopov play fearless and backcheck!
    T. Hall when you return take charge..dont even ask for permission
    J. Eberle play with an edge! muck it up sometimes! and limit your toe drags to one a game – play smarter!
    R. Nugent-Hopkins get vocal, challenge your teamates!

    so you have talent…great…are you a leader? stop looking around..take the lead! call out your pissed ..sound off! BE MEN!

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    Since I am at work dressed as Batman, I will say, “it’s always darkest before the dawn.” Unfortunately, I still think dawn is a long way off, meaning it’s only going to get worse. Especially after watching periods two and three from the game the other night, Ferrence couldn’t clear, Yak looked lost, no one could make or take a pass, the swarm might as well have been renamed the giveaway, and the worst were the leaf’s fans out chanting the Oil fans in their own barn.

  • Bonvie

    Is it two early for us Oiler fans to revert to our annual admission of missing the playoffs , and start figuring out who we will take for our lottery pick. All I can think of is how terrible Yakapov is and I have never seen a softer player defensively since watching this one player on my rec team. He plays much the same way floating outside the blue line hoping his team would turn the puck over and give it to him the best player on the ice if you judge best player by the biggest minus at the end of the game. All Yakapov is missing is a nice dark tinted visor, and he is a dead ringer for that Monday Night Hero.

    Can’t Yakapov play junior still. Please management return him to juniors, and maybe find a defenseman that is solid enough to cover for all of Justin Schultz’s many defensive short comings. At least I still like Mr. Schultz for all the good things he can do, but he needs someone damn good defensively to play with.

  • Cowbell_Feva

    Oiler fans. I myself, is on the verge of giving up and hop on a winning team. I truly admire the men and women who watch and go and pay their hard earned alberta money to see these kids play and soil their jock straps every single game.
    Unfortunately, one bold move is NOT going to fix this team.
    Im not going to pretend i know the answer either. But i do have an opinion, and that is that this organization is extremely pathetic, through and through. It shows how pathetic their development personnel is, their scouts pro and amateur (im not talking about the #1 draft picks, its not hard to succeed in that), their trainers, past coaches. EVERY single one of the personnel are pathetic human beings. THE EDMONTON OILERS are absolutely and completely and unfortunately the laughing stock of the NHL. Us fans have no credibility in arguing anything with other fans of other teams because the oilers have given us nothing. But we spend our money anyways on them dont we?
    This team is a joke!!! And im not putting the blame on the current players. This is the result of a poor organization who seem to be taking advantage of its market.

    Slow clap for katz, and i hate to be this guy who says this. But its absolutely true.

    The edmonton oilers do not deserve all this talent on the team. MacT should simply release all these kids to the rest of the league!!! It would only be beneficial for the NHL. Because in all reality, even if the edmonton oilers had nobodies on the team, they would still sell out!
    Let the kids go so the NHL grows! It isnt fair to these superstar caliber players to be on a pathetic team like this. IT IS A COMPLETE WASTE OF TALENT

  • Great letter. Change is promised over and over, but the bad habits just never seem to go away.

    The letter really says it all for me.

    -Want to leave, but have grown so attached to this relationship that I’m afraid of what life without the team would be like. Even if this life brings nothing but heartbreak year after year.

    “Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do things right ALL THE TIME. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”
    – Vince Lombardi

  • The Oilers said that they wanted to model thier team after the Red Wings. When was the last time you saw the Red Wings put every first round pick they get into the lineup the year they draft them? The Red Wings put their rookies in the minors for years to get their game, then bring them up hungry and eager to perform in the system taught by the same system the big teams plays. That gives incentive and makes the players want to perform at a higher level. When your whole team is comprised of rookies you have rookie team. Veteran teams will feast on them.

  • It takes strength to stay in a relationship through the crap too!

    Through sickness and health.

    There was jokes made about ‘jumping’ after tuesdays game and my Dad told me the only place I would be jumping was on the couch to watch Saturdays game.

    He was right.

    GO OIL!

  • Aitch

    I tried to leave in the Fall of ’91 after the Messier and Fuhr/Anderson deals were completed. Didn’t happen. Couldn’t do it then. Probably not gonna do it now. And I’m out on the Rock. So, I’m am literally losing sleep over this team.