Traditions are traditionally something that occur over and over and over again. Christmas. Easter. Your weird uncle telling the same three stories after a few scotches at every family gathering since the mid 90s. You come to count on them. You stand behind them. You guarantee them. 

And so goes the annual goat selection here at OilersNation.


Many many moons ago we used to sit around with our buddies and discuss the Oilers at extreme length over poker games of extreme length. Blame would be showered on 91% of the lineup on any given night only to have the same buddies declare their undying love for the same players they were dissing the night before.

It got annoying and as the seasons ran on and the Oilers floated gently to the bottom of the league floor we decided that all the negativity needed to be contained and the braintrust of the boys decided to name a goat. The goat is the player that you blame for everything that goes wrong.

As we so eloquently explained it back in 2009:

Ales Hemsky whiffs one? Damn the Goat for passing him the puck in such an off tempo manner. Oh it wasn’t the Goat that passed him the puck? Damn his poor positional play causing a hurried pass. Goat boy wasn’t on the ice for the whiff? Curse his bench sitting technique all to hell!

Now should your Goat actually cause some sort of unfortunate incident on the ice? Now you’re talking! Friends witnessing the gaffe will often look to you and say “good call going with ___ as your Goat this season. That guy is twelve shades of shit.” You can then sit back, smug in your predictory skills, almost taking pleasure at the brutalness of Senor Goato.

This is the way we pass the winter Nation. Until we figure out a way to keep Edmonton 24 degrees year round, this is the best we can do.

Ah 2009 Wanye. How precious you were back then. If we could only go back in time and tell you what was on the horizon in your life wearing #14 and needing only to flash a single gap toothed smile to melt your heart.


The pantheon of previous Goaterati reads like a who’s who of crap. Theo Peckham, Tom Gilbert, Denis Grebeshkov (2x) Nikolai Khabibulin. They are generally overpaid, completely unsexy and whipping boys for yet another season gone awry.

We try and limit our goats to players who are paid to be impact players, expected to be impact players, projected to be impact players yet do little to help our beloved Oilers climb out of the nearly decade long hole in which they are plugged.

There is no sense naming a fourth line player or a prospect a goat. What do you expect from the guy? He is doing his best to remain in the lineup. He should be celebrated for trying to overcome long odds not heaped with scorn. For this reason ol’ goatie McGrebs will be spared a record third year of being named our goat.

No Grebs its impressive that you have somehow found your way back to our remote Canadian outpost from whatever frozen Russian outpost you have been at for the past while. We wish you nothing but luck in your quest to return to the NHL. Should you land a roster spot and sign a long term deal you will be back on blast.

But for now – good luck.


Jeff Petry.

We see you there Jeff. Wearing the ol’ Boris Mironov #2 special. Growing out your hair to look like your presumed hero Tom Gilbert. You play a lot like Tom Gilbert too – soft as a tub of margarine left in the sun in a town square in Yemen on the hottest day of the summer.

Yeah Jeff – you are exactly like that.

Do you know where your hero Tom Gilbert is playing now? Exactly. No one knows. He hasn’t been heard from in months. And if you don’t start to turn the corner and cash in on all of your promise you too will be on isolation island just like your best friend Tom.

You had 5 whole points and went dash 12 last year in 35 games Jeff. That’s absurd. Get ready for a year of scorn from your ol’ pal Wanye.


Please name your goat in the comments below and explain why he or she is the worst player in the history of organized sport.

Thursday is star day.

  • Selecting the only dman first line caliber in
    1. first line comp EVGA
    2. Evpoints
    3. EVAssists
    4. PKGA
    5. Hits
    6. Blocks
    Last year!

    The only Dman.
    Not Chara
    Not Weber…….on and on.

    Brave to choose him.

    Anyone who is going to make a goat comment about Petry should problem start the goat converstion with, “I know I am a bit of a moron but,”

    • Dan 1919

      Those are some pretty special stats there.

      You will learn more about hockey as you actually watch it, this year you will see Petry slip into a more accurate 5/6 roll as the Oilers will actually start to show signs of being a competitive NHL team.

      Ference, Schultz, Schultz, Belov, and Smid will likely all be higher ranked than Petry by the end of year because of his weak to mediocre own-zone play.

      Taylor Fedun could also be a very pleasant surprise. By the end of the year the Oilers’ defence core could look very different than most people expect… i.e.. guys like Nick Schultz and Petry not even playing regularly.

      Anyone who mentions Petry in the same breath as Chara and Weber should start their conversation with, “I am very unintelligent and my life has been unsuccessful thus far because I choose emotion over reason when making decisions. I will not change because it is everyone else’s fault I am a disappointment.”

      • Quicksilver ballet

        I read the title, and then try to see how the pictures apply. Who has time to read all the fine print.

        Should a rookie coach really be the focus of your avatar, what are you like 10? Put the Messier stare up there, instead of your Barney the dinosaur look alike.

  • Dan 1919

    I agree, Petry needs to make all of this overhyped potential a reality.

    Why’s he so overrated anyway, he can skate fast and pass the puck hard sometimes… so can Belanger.

    Us poor Oiler fans have gotten so use to the bottom that when we have a 6/7 NHL defencemen playing the 1/2 spot, we eventually just start believing he actually is 1/2 caliber.

    I hope he turns into a great d-man, but as of last year he was the most overhyped player on the Oilers since Schremp.

  • Oil Fan in Ottawa

    My 2013-14 Goat is….Jordan Leslie Eberle. Shower me with your trash but I do not see him living up to a $6M salary and thus receives my scorn. Bahhhhhhh!!!!

  • vetinari

    My former favorite– Ryan Smyth. He broke our hearts when he selfishly refused to sign for a pittance less money and forced ol’ Six Rings and co. to trade him to Fantasy Island only to work himself back to the true north, out of energy, and unable to skate the length of the ice without needing an oxygen tank and a walker. He also became one of the three points of the notorious Belanger triangle and has since been upended by newer, shinier toys on the Oiler roster. Ryan Smith. My former favorite. My goat.

  • 2004Z06

    I should have gotten some bonus points last year with the ridiculously overhyped Teemu Hartikainen as my goat pick.

    This year is tough. Nobody stands out. Can’t pick Gagner after the jaw and it would be counter-productive to pick one of Perron, Gordon or Hemsky, the obvious candidates.

    Discounting out new goon squad of Brown, MacIntyre and Eager, I have to go with Dubnyk, and hope I’m wrong.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Here he is… Wax Man’s goat for the magical 2013-2014 season……..

    Ryan Jones.

    Making more money than Jesus at $1.5 MILLION!! You sir are my goat for the year. You once scored 17 and 18 Ginos, but I have watched you shovel the puck out of the corner right on an opposing defender’s stick one too many times (and by my count, last year was 48 times… so maybe 45 too many times).

    You are here to provide some grit. some jam, some sandpaper, some truculence. The only thing you provide is a lot of hurried chaos without getting much done.

    Ryan Jones. Your hunting buddy SMac is back, but you will have more time to work on your shooting, when you should be working on your shot.

    You sir, are my goat.

    • DaveChamp

      I’m also gonna go with Nick Schultz. He was traded to replace the goat and now looks slow and contributes nothing offensively.

      I hate picking goats and think it’s actually a pretty bad thing to do which gives merit to everything people say about Oilers fans, but if we’re going to do it, I’m gonna pick Schultz.