INFINITE UNHAPPINESS

It takes everything in our Jordan Eberle loving heart to come on here and write anything other than a 900 word swear parade. We had a very sombre Sunday indeed after the Oil decided to get shelled 5 squat after getting pumped 4 nothing earlier in the week. 

There are no words to describe how bad things are at the moment. On a personal note we can’t recall being this unhappy ever really. The comments section here at the Nation is melting with our fellow citizens venting fire and brimstone in every direction. People are getting clever with getting swear words on the site bypassing our naughty filters.

Originally we were going to delete them – but then thought better of it. There are times when swearing is completely appropriate. And with this All You Can Eat Crap Buffet we are being asked to enjoy for 7 years now why not let a few blue words out if it makes you feel better.

It breaks my heart to read comments like this as correct as they might be. And the 139 props from so many of our fellow Oilers fans that feel something is dying inside them too? Unbearable to read. OilersNation.com wasn’t built for this.

It’s the age of infinite unhappiness.

REMEMBER

You may find it ironic that this is the new NationGear design. Talking about Stanley Cups in Edmonton makes about as much sense as Lindsay Lohan keeping her schedule open on Oscar Night. But it is precisely now at the darkest moment that hope becomes so crucial. 

Hope is one of the most important things we can have. If we believe that this is our lot in life – cheering our collective hearts out for a group of unperforming non caring trillionaires working for an organization that takes us all for granted then the sun will never rise again. The minute we feel that a current squad of losers is all we deserve the light of hope will be snuffed out forever.

We will never let hope die.

We would use this horrid Monday to remind everyone what the concept of the "Oilers" really means. Kevin Lowe is not the Oilers. MacT, Eakins and the rest of the Coaching staff aren’t the Oilers. None of the players or Daryl Katz himself are the Oilers. They are merely the current crew piloting a ship that is far bigger and more important than any of their piddling efforts can destroy.

The Oilers are Fernando Pisani and Company bringing us to our feet in 2006 for one glorious spring. It’s Doug Weight getting 104 point season back in 1996 blowing minds in the process. It’s Cujo flying across the crease to rob Niewendyk in the playoffs. If you are old enough the Oilers are the glory filled 1980s. We are too young to remember them but we understand it was quite the time.

The concept of what being an Edmonton Oiler means might be lost on 75% of the people collecting cheques from Kay-Z but we must all keep our heads held high through this darkest time in franchise history if ever we are going to find our footing again. If this current iteration of players don’t want to show up and compete they are free to leave. They are not Oilers and we refuse to acknowledge half of these crumbs going forward.

Being an Oilers fan is the aggregate of all the good times we have had with the team in our lives. The Oilers are the team that we would listen to as a kid on the radio late into the night before John Short would tuck us into bed. The Oilers are Dr Randy Gregg taking an 8 year old Wanye into the dressing room to meet his hero Craig Simpson who couldn’t have been nicer.

The Oilers are a rookie Ryan Smyth talking to a 13 year old Wanye outside Rexall Place for a good 15 minutes when he must have had many better things to do. The Oilers are the team that played an OT playoff game during a high school dance that had the entire school watching the game on a tiny TV in the cafeteria while a confused DJ spun tunes for an empty gym.

This current squad is simply an unimportant chapter of a story that will outlive them all.

IRONY

It is some strange sort of a twist of fate that we picked the worst 6 year stretch in franchise history to make the Nation Network and commit a good part of our day to supporting the team. We can’t stand the Oilers at the moment but our love for OilersNation grows by the day.

We have made so many friends all around the world from this site and reading the tweets and comments of all these folks we have come to know over the past 6 years is heartbreaking. But it is some small mercy at least we still have each other to talk to in an uncensored environment that is telling it like it is.  A place for top drawer fans that deserve so much better than what we are currently getting.

Fans like Mr and Mrs Towelboy who came in from Lloydminster to take their lovely daughter to her first Oilers game on Saturday night. Driving for hours in the hope that they will give their kid a night she will remember fondly in years to come. The minute folks like this say "yeah it’s probably not worth sacrificing the weekend to see the Oilers get pumped" we are all screwed.

They deserve more.

AN OATH

We actually considered taking some time off from the Nation yesterday. We don’t intend to be some voice in a chorus of negativity screaming and yelling about how crappy everything is. But there is something deep inside us that believes a better day is on the horizon that prevents us from quitting. So we will slog on even if the divide between the actual Oilers and OilersNation increases by the hour. 

We have been saving free vehicle stickers for a few weeks now hoping something awesome would happen and then we could drop them in celebration. But it seems as though that day is far off in the distance for the time being. In any event our friends at Auto Canada have partnered to distribute awesome free vehicle stickers. You can click here to order them for pickup or delivery depending on your locale – completely free.

Cop these stickers Nation and rep them proudly. Most people with a functioning brainstem would take one look at this team and say "I wonder what’s showing on HBO right now?" Luckily we are made of tougher stuff. We are Oilers fans.

And if you want to drop some money on hope – with a portion of the proceeds going to our friends at the ICCP – go buy some NationGear here. Hope must never die no matter how dire things seem.

Meanwhile in Pittsburgh….

  • Admiral Ackbar

    Brian Burke must be laughing at the hack called Kevin Lowe.

    If Kevin was a true Oiler supporter he would resign. You are embarrassing

    RESIGN KEVIN LOWE

  • BleedOil4Life

    Anybody that says they are done watching is bull$&:!
    They will come back….it’s tough and I don’t wanna watch but I will continue
    Because I watched the worst teams play in the 90’s and I will continue to
    Watch this team because I will always have hope and it will turn for the
    Better….to say you are done is just a lie because if you are a diehard fan you will
    Stick it out and always tune in.

    It’s a FACT!

    • Quicksilver ballet

      To a point you are true, but if losing becomes the norm, endless people will tune out

      but until then, hills and valleys, yes we are suckers, we’ll stay for that, but always to a point

      The level of mediocrity by this franchise is unparalleled and could get worse who knows?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    A fine effort on display here Wanye. Some of your best work to date. Almost feel like we’re all at a crossroads like when Smytty was moved years ago.

    It must be tough to sell the farm when you have so little to sell. Rather than compare this team to others who’ve gone through similar transitions, it’s time to reassess and factor in some additional challenges that are Edmontons alone. The fact that the up and coming talent was almost non existent compounded the problem.

    Time to re-lower the expectations of the coming next season or two. After 4 difficult years it’s easy to see the 5 assets the Oilers have, aren’t near enough of a foundation. They need yet another couple lottery picks, along with perhaps Nurse and Klefbom to come in as advertised in a year or two.

    MacTavish has 2,5,15,40,77,83 and 89, try and use these guys to try and increase his chances for a stronger selections in the next two entry drafts. Perhaps there’s another Toronto/Bruins scenario to occur like the one in 2010, on the horizon for that 2015 entry draft.

    The long haul is going to be a little longer than initially anticipated.

  • reaperfunkss

    Boycotting a game wont work since most of the tickets will have been paid for. Boycott the concessions and beer and merchandise for a couple of games. Dont give em any extra until they show that they want to win

    • 2004Z06

      Boycott a game. Yes the tickets are paid for, but the loss of concession/merchandise/parking revenue will hurt.

      That aside, the most significant impact would be the television coverage. Imagine the impact of the world seeing a consistently packed arena…..EMPTY!!!!

      The silence would be deafening!

      I guarantee the message would be received!

  • DSF

    In other news, the sad sack Winnipeg Jets have outshot the Detroit Red Wings 14-9 in the first period and lead the game 1-0.

    For those keeping score at home, you’ll remember the Oilers also had 14 shots on goal against the Wings but it took them THE WHOLE GAME to accomplish that feat.

    Now back to our regular programming…we’ll be joining the “November Dirge” which is already in progress.

    • Greg the Goalie

      MacT: Please Mess, I’m begging you, please ask Slats if I can be his Associate GM…things ain’t looking so good in E-town for me.

      Messier: Go pound sand dude! Haven’t you seen that Martin Short has replaced me at Lay’s? I neeed this! And what the hell is with this only in Edmonton Associate position role bullcrap??!

      MacT: Well, what exactly are you doing in your role with the Rangers?

      Messier: Hey! I’ve won Cups, man.

      MacT: Yeah me too! And I never wore a helmet, you pussy.

      Messier: FU! And, what? So your telling me that deal with you and Kev and Katz may be off now?

      MacT: Hey, I think I saw Glen walk by…hey, hey…Glen! Mr. Sather sir!!!

  • It is amazing the Oilers have the worst record in the NHL since the 2004–05 NHL lockout .

    Kevin Lowe is the common denominator and people think that getting a few players will help. Wrong Philosophy that is why they are losing. That is why having the #1 pick for the next 5 yrs won’t change much.

    The Elephant in the room is KEVIN LOWE.

  • M22

    Rave on Wanye Gretz, rave on thy Hockey fool.
    Down through the OilersNation pages.
    In the loss-borne dark dank hockey pools,

    Rave on, down through the organizational evolution.
    Empiricism, atomic and nuclear age.
    Rave on down through time and space, down through the Oiler corridors.
    Rave on words on printed page.

    Rave on, you left us infinity.
    And well pressed pages torn to fade.
    Drive on with wild abandon;
    Uptempo, frenzied skates.

    Rave on, Robin Brownlee, nose down in note pads.
    Rave on fill the senses,
    on Rexall’s bright white shiny ice.

    Rave on Jason Gregor, Rave on Brian Sutherby.
    Oh, what sweet wine we’ll drinketh:
    The celebration will be held on Whyte.
    We will partake the wine and break the Holy Hockey bread.

    Rave on let a man come out of the draft.
    Rave on Mr. Katz.
    Rave on down through Wayne Gretzky Drive.
    Rave on down through the Oilogosphere, and the Copper Dawn.
    Rave on through the writing of “A Vision”.
    Rave on, Rave on, Rave on, Rave on, Rave on, Rave on

    .

  • Greg the Goalie

    The Oilers are Bill Ranford in 1990 in game 5 against Winnipeg reaching back and saving the series to rally and win the Cup. I’ve waited this long for another cup- can’t give up now!

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Being a devoted fan for just the past 4 years, I guess I was hoping the talk of rebuilding was done and this team was going far. Thus far it has been frustrating, maddening and even sad for me. Yes I am guilty of calling out players and coaches on twitter but truth is, I still have hope and pride for MY Oilers!

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I’m glad this is happening, in a sense.

    Like most diehard sports fans we’re going to microanalyse every single detail on this Oiler team.

    But the Oiler problems are far more fundamental, and the recent woes should have made that painfully clear (which is what I’m glad for).

    The team is lacking a team game and are often forgoing the fundamentals.

    I’d hope that everyone is in agreement that while we don’t have the perfect Stanley Cup contending roster (yes there are roster holes) we are underperforming as a team and the reason for that has to do with these basics.

    Blaming who we picked during the draft is not going to solve anything. We should be winning without Yakupov, he’s just gravy.

    Our powerplay stinks and can be faulted for taking us out of games, but let’s all keep in mind that the #1 team in the league, the Ducks, are sitting at a PP% of 6.7!

    We can blame the GM for not making a particular move for a particular 2nd line D-man, when a team like the Flames are doing more with less.

    We can blame a particular roster position for being weak but again that doesn’t address the lack of fundamentals that lead to odd man rushes, opposing chances from the slot, and turnovers (that aren’t a result of a weak roster spot, but our top end talent not keeping it simple).

    So let’s just accept this problem and move forward with the most reasonable solution.

    This is where we can all disagree and come up with our own solutions, including firing Kevin Lowe if that suits your fancy. But let’s focus on solutions rather than harping on the past.

    And on a related note…

    We have to recognize the Oilers pathetic home record. We have to recognize that we have a quiet barn compared to most teams in the league.

    We can blame the Oilers lack of success for Rexall being so quiet…but this is where I’ll forever disagree with a lot of the fans in Edmonton (I’m in Calgary). I’m there to cheer the team on, win or lose. Down 5-2? I don’t care, I’ll yell “Let’s go Oilers, let’s go!” until we’re tied.

    I get it, it’s frustrating to see your players stinking up the ice. But what if they’re one shift away from turning their poor play around?

    I’m beginning to hate the boo-birds. Why? Because it’s getting nonsensical. If you have a friend struggling with something, do you go “booo! You’re horrible! What the hell man? Why can’t you be better!” or do you encourage them? Booing has it’s place, if the team is cycling and isn’t shooting on the PP, it’s a good way to get them to do it. But now we’re throwing it out there and it’s losing it’s meaning.

    Say the Oilers are stinking up a PP, the opponents send the puck down the ice. “Booo! Your current performance is unsatisfactory! You should be doing better! [like the players don’t know that] I do not approve! Boooo!”. That’s just lame to me. It doesn’t communicate anything other than your disappointment. Who cares about your disappointment? Really, these guys are making their money, should they really care?

    Alternatively you can cheer them on just before they try another zone entry (booing at that point is just…odd timing). You can get them on positive vibes. This isn’t astrology or phony feel-goodery (no offense to those that practice either) it’s basic human interaction. A team and their fans constantly feed off of each other, it’s how it works.

    I know for a fact that as a fan I have a direct influence on the game, whether it is influencing the ref’s calls, to hyping up the players on their next shift, to raining down the boos on the opponent’s goalie and team hindering communication on their bench during a time out.

    I don’t see why we have to wait for the playoffs to get these guys pumped. These kids haven’t seen anything like it, let’s make them look forward to playing at home, at least for the rest of the season.

    Let’s prove to the rest of the league that even with a freaking embarrassing record of 3-10-X (I stopped checking so hell if I know the record) that we are the best fan base around.

    Let’s see if we can be the defibrillator and jumpstart this team back into a winning groove.

    I know everyone here, save for a handful of crazies like me, are going to disagree with me but I think we need to start some sort of…OPERATION PLAYOFF ATMOSPHERE and get Rexall rocking starting next week when Dallas shows up. Make the place freaking LOUD. Who cares what anyone thinks? What do we have to lose? If you’re embarrassed about cheering, give your ticket to someone who isn’t. If you loathe the idea of cheering the team when they’re down 3 goals, do it anyways, you’re out of options now.

  • 2004Z06

    Wow. I didn’t expect an article about hockey to make me have Deep Thoughts, but here we are.

    I’m thinking about how hockey. for me, was always so tied to my dad, and how Oilers’ decline has sort of foretold the decline of my relationship with him.

    I grew up in a hockey-watching house, but only started seriously watching in my late teens/early 20s and a big part of it was that it was something I could share with him. We weren`t close when I was a kid or a teenager, he worked lots, I dated boys he didn`t like, no one`s fault. Suddenly we had something in common.

    My dad was with me in 2006 on Jasper Ave after one of the final round wins. Then things went south and never really recovered. Now I`m at a crossroads, like you, where I`m trying to figure out how we go on, and if I even want to. Your post has me thinking about lost causes and hope.

    Sorry, this comment is probably kind of weird and heavy! This was really well written and I`m glad it`s getting shared widely. I hope you stay an Oilers` fan. I`m pretty sure you will.

  • 2004Z06

    All the small market charm from this team has gone. Ever since the lockout of ’05-06 this has been a cap team. One Stanley Cup Finals appearance had us mezmerized for the next seven years. Gone are the days you felt that you were a part of something real, much the same way a Packers, Athletics and Riders fan feels. The Oilers used to stand for something that just felt right in those lean years.

    A young fast exciting team that competed hard everynight against the bug money teams in the US. Hell even Calgary could afford to keep their players in those days. The warm spring night when Marchant took a pass in the neutral zone in Dallas and blew by Grant Ledyard to go roof daddy on Andy Moog is still burned in my memory. That night it felt that the little guy was ready to stand up to the big guy and have his lunch too.

    These days all of that small market charm has gone and this pompous arrogant attitude poisons the very foundations of this once proud franchise. Gone are the over achieving big fast strong players who captured our hearts and in are these millionaire pussies who can never backcheck much less throw a check. There isnt anything now that closely resembles why I felk in love with the Oilers in the late 90’s here and now. I’m almost to the point where I’m ready to end this affair and move on. This was one of the most poignant articles ever written by Wanye for a group of fans that feels universally alienated and betrayed by an organization that after seven years clearly cares nothing about us. Forget about back checking or checking or fore checking, this team just cashes checks. The hell with us!!

    • 2004Z06

      Truer words were never before spoken.

      This is exactly how I feel and it’s funny because I think we started loving the Oilers at the same time.

      The factors that made us love a struggling, small market hockey team are all gone…the team was never flashy or the best, they were never the Red Wings or the Penguins, but they captured your heart with determination. The underdogs that never stopped fighting and players who were proud to be the underdogs. THAT is Oiler hockey.

      This team now is just a wet fart…

      Trade Hall or Ebbs…send a message to the team that makes them all understand that just because they’ve signed a big NHL contract doesn’t mean they’ve made it. You have to play to stay.

  • M22

    Reading this article made me feel sad like I was going through a break up. Then I read the Sidney Crosby article afterwards and I started crying. What a mess. What a mess……

  • outdoorzguy

    Edmonton needs to stop living in the past. This is not the “CITY OF CHAMPIONS” anymore. There hasn’t been a championship of anything in what 30 years?
    Wake up and start voicing your displeasure. Stop going to the games. Stop buying Oiler crap. Stop going to Rexall Drugs. The only way anything might start to get done is if the money stops flowing to Vancouver and Katzs’ bank account.