Somehow or other we find ourselves in Nashville, home of the Predators, Shea Weber and apple pie moonshine. You could call apple pie moonshine a predator too as when we were all drinking it out of mason jars last night at 230 in the morning it succeeded in killing my night in spectacular fashion.

The arena district here is amazing. Directly across the street is a strip of honky tonk bars. Every single joint has a stage and every stage has an amazing singer who plays for an hour and then is replaced by another amazing singer and on and on it goes. And despite the entire area looking like something out of a Waylon Jennings album cover they love their hockey here.

This is a non traditional American hockey market that has worked plain and simple. And from talking with locals a lot of it has to do with the fact that the arena is in the centre of the action. If the team had put the building on the outskirts of town attendance would be much lower they told us. But because it is smack dab in the centre of the bar district people can’t help but hear about the team, interact with fans and ultimately end up watching the Predators themselves.

When we told people we are from Edmonton one chap immediately said "How is Dubnyk as a goalie?" We didn’t have the heart to tell him the answer was "super tall and if people shoot high on him shaky" so we just said "oh fine. Knowing our luck he will win the Vezina here."

Saturday night we are going to go to the Avalanche-Predators game. Maybe we see Dubie2.0 unveiled. Maybe he is the same guy we saw on so many nights. Either way we will report back. Unless we cross paths with Apple Pie Moonshine again. Then all bets are off. 

In a city whose sports teams are chronically short of leadership it is worth noting that the Edmonton Rush are retiring the jersey of Jimmy Quinlan tonight at Rexall Place. The guy is a legend. Second leading scorer in team history. Missed only one game out of 134. Captain. A basher. An all around class act. Gregor has ranted and raved about Quinlan to me for as long as I have known him. 

If the Oilers could invent some sort of heart transplanting device and put Quinlan’s drive, commitment and compete into a few fellas on their roster they would be immediately a lot better on the ice. Good luck in retirement Jimmy. You were a heck of a player.

  • vetinari

    “This is a non traditional American hockey market that has worked plain and simple.”

    No it hasn’t. The ownership is losing money hand over fist. It’s why the previous owner jumped on the opportunity to trade up for the Wild franchise.

  • vetinari

    Apple Pie Moonshine!!!! I was in Nashville for a friend’s stag and wedding last April and it was a riot. Make sure to head by Printer’s Alley in your travels– had fun there. Also, remember to check which bars have “no guns signs” at the front door because if they don’t have ’em, they bring them in!

    As for the team, I’d agree– I was surprised by the number of people that would bring up the Predators when they found out we were Canadians and seemed to know about their team and a little about the rest of the league.

    Safe travels….

  • vetinari

    Absolutely loved the atmosphere in Nashville, they have little sayings they get the whole crowd to yell and when I was there the had an amazing drumline. It was like going to a high school football game. The arena was pretty full when I went (a couple seasons ago), I would say the Predators have done a pretty good job in Nashville. Not every community is willing to plop down $100 for hockey (they can’t all be suckers like us)…

  • paul wodehouse

    Nothing like strolling in 15 degree weather, having a few drinks and going to the hockey game. Too bad that won’t work here in Edmonton. Parking, small roads with windrows, minus 25, heck, would of been easier and so much cheaper to build in the burbs surrounded by tons of parking. Ever wonder why we never see an artist’s conception of the arena district in winter?

  • paul wodehouse

    Pinnizotto is tough as nails, has bite to his game and can play! Keep going MACT!!!!! Great job!!! WONGER’S GETTING A WOODIE!!!!! OIL getting tougher!!!!!

  • Serious Gord

    The brain trust at the top is not smart enough. Edmonton Media needs to recognize that Lowe and Mac-T are NOT SMART Hockey minds.

    They were journey man ex-players, that is it. Even the best player in the world couldn’t coach in Phoenix.

    For the past 14 years during Lowe’s reign, the Oilers have had the WORST record in the NHL. That is not disputable. It is a fact.

    You could take someone who knows nothing about hockey and give them 14 years, they will do at least as well as Lowe. Statistically speaking, it would be very highly improbable to do this bad. That does not say that individual is good, but what is does say is Lowe is a REALLY REALLY BAD hockey executive. In fact, he may be the worst in history (someone look it up).

    So would a player want to play with a management team that has produced the worse team over 14 years. NO WAY. That is the problem. GET rid of Lowe and Mac T. Time for new management with a plan and understanding of what it takes to make a good team. Enough of the journey man hockey dribble.

  • paul wodehouse

    Nashville is one place I’d definitely like to visit. I’m a big Titans fan so I would like to do a football/hockey trip there sometime if it works out.

    These Wanye on the road articles are a breath of fresh air around these toxic parts, that’s for sure.

  • paul wodehouse

    Sorry boys,

    Apparently MacT didn’t like my comment about his transition glasses, Eakins Flow Bee hair do, and Lowe’s “winning record”. He has punished us all with trading big centers (which we need) for a Canucks reject…..this is what we’ve come to…we pick up Vancouver’s barf in exchange for a kid who plays a position we aren’t very deep in – and he’s big!

    I will no longer reference MacT’s glasses of Eakins pathetic hair do…oh and Lowe’s impeccable winning record.

    With my deepest apologies to the proud Oiler Nation…

    Mack Strong

  • paul wodehouse

    I wish you could duplicate that heart Wanye, but as you know there’s only one Jimmy Quinlan. One Jiiimmmy Quiiiiin-laaannnn. There’s only one Jimmy Quinlan.

  • Serious Gord

    Wayne Tourist Tip 1: Do explore Printer’s Alley, as somebody already suggested. You cannot help but have a good time, even with your pants on.

    Wanye Tourist Tip 2: Find 50 people who look like fun and take a riverboat ride. You can drink and do all kinds of other adult stuff nobody here will ever find out about.

    Wanye Tourist Tip 3: Take one step out the front door of Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on Broadway, then one step to the right. You will be standing on the very spot where Kevin Karius laid down and refused to move for quite some time after blowing a road trip worth of per diem in one sitting with an accomplice who shall not be named.

    Wanye Tourist Tip 4: Acts playing the open stage at Legend’s Corner are happy to take song requests, although you might have to wait to hear your tune. On one particular evening at the Entry Draft, Mark Spector and I decided we weren’t going anywhere until one of the bands played “Hot Rod Lincoln.” We found one that did — four bands and three hours after we first sat down. Tip heavily.

    True Nashville One Liner: Former Oiler equipment man Sliver DeLorey and I like music with an edge. On a trip to Music City, I hit a music store looking for a specific CD. Browsed a bit before a ridiculously hot young women working there approached and asked, “Can I help you find something?” “Nashville Pussy,” I said.

    She smiled and said: “That’s the only kind we’ve got around here, darlin’,”

    • paul wodehouse

      Mark me down as shocked that Brownlee is a fan of Nashville Pussy. Wouldn’t have pegged you for the rockabilly type.

      Saw them open for The Reverend Horton Heat many moons ago. Great stage show!

      Also, for the younger folks: a CD is the way we used to get music before iTunes.

  • Serious Gord

    Anyone who still thinks Eakins is the right coach for this team or that he should not be fired need to read this article


    Since taking over the Jets they won 2 in a row by scoring 5 goals each game. Yes one of those teams was the Flames, but you can’t dismiss that they play hard for 60 minutes, and of course Phoenix was the other team who has manhandled the Oilers. Everyone after just one week has bought into Maurice’s system and culture, and even their goalie says he has already seen improvements over the D-game. Mark my words, the Jets team showing up tomorrow to play the Oilers isn’t the same and will beat the Oilers easily. 4-1 tomorrow. Scrivens will face over 30+shots once again.

    Firing a the coach does seem like a terrible idea after so many changes, but in this case unlike Renney and Kruger, is the right move.

    • D-Unit

      Good article, but I, for one, am not willing to say that things will stay that way for the Jets. It has been 2 games. Not saying the Jets won’t do better under a new coach, just not willing to say it is going to be as good for the rest of the season. The article seems to want to draw that conclusion.

      Get rid of Eakins, don’t get rid of him, if that is the only significant change, the Oilers won’t be a lot better in the long run.