The NHL edition of the Battle of Alberta has not been much of a heated rivalry for many years. Either the Oilers were decent and the Flames stunk, or the Oilers were terrible and the Flames were okay, but, sadly quite often both franchises were bottom-feeders.
Right now, it seems the biggest rival the Oilers have during the Battle of Alberta involves The Edmonton Rush.
CTV news reported earlier this week that the Oilers had trademarked the phrase Battle of Alberta, and asked the Rush to stop using it during marketing campaigns.
I did some digging and I can confirm this indeed is the case, however, the Oilers have had the trademark since 2002. So I ask, why pursue this now?
The Oilers filed to trademark the term Battle of Alberta in March of 2000, according to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
CIPO says the Oilers have had the Battle of Alberta trademark registered since 2002, but 13 years later they decide to send a cease and desist note to the Rush.
Are they really that concerned about a pro lacrosse team that averages 7,000 fans a game for nine games a year?
It looks that way, and even if they have the legal right to do it, it comes across like they are a bullying one of the small fish in the Edmonton sporting landscape.
Why else would the Oilers do it now? The Rush, Eskimos and many other sports teams have used the phrase during the past decade.
I understand trademark laws, and yes it is within their legal right, but was there a need to enforce it now, and more importantly, why did they trademark it in the first place? Edmonton and Calgary sports teams have competed against one another well before the Oilers came to be.
The Edmonton Eskimos and Calgary Tigers debuted in the Western Canada Hockey League in 1921. The Eskimos won the WCHL in 1923, but lost the Stanley Cup to the Ottawa Senators.
The Edmonton Eskimos football team has battled the Calgary Stampeders for decades and they have played on Labour Day since 1949, excluding a few years, the most recent being in 1981.
The Oilers and Flames were not the first pro teams to engage in a Battle of Alberta.
The Rush are not impacting the Oilers bottom line; hell, the Rush are barely meeting their own bottom line, so what was the point of the letter to the Rush?
The Oilers are the biggest player in the Edmonton sporting scene.
It isn’t close. We all know it.
Hockey is deeply implanted into the heart, blood, soul and psyche of Edmontonians, even despite the Oilers being the least successful team in the NHL for the past nine seasons. Edmonton fans have proven they will support their team through the hard times, so shouldn’t the Oilers do the same to a fellow franchise in Edmonton?
The Rush are the opposite of the Oilers. They have a great team on the floor, but they aren’t having any business success. They too have made some bad decisions. Canceling their school program has impacted ticket sales.
The Rush need to make in impact in the community and their school program was doing that, but they abruptly cancelled it last season and I know that annoyed many lacrosse fans and is a major reason ticket sales have decreased this year.
The Rush need to do more in the community, and the Oilers didn’t need to send out another cease and desist order.
The timing of the order tells me they aren’t even that upset or mad about it. They sent it out a few days before the final home game involving Calgary. If they really wanted to enforce it they would have sent it out a month before the Roughnecks visited the Rush in early March.
A source told me the Oilers actually informed the Rush in 2006 that they needed to write a letter to the Oilers asking permission to use the term, but it was never sent and the Oilers didn’t press the issue.
Why are they now? I’m not sure, but I think both organizations look bad in this situation.
The BOA should be about Edmonton and Calgary, not two teams in Edmonton squabbling with one another.
In my opinion, the Oilers should focus on improving their team, but also improving their image within the community.
Fans are tired of losing.
They are tired of increased ticket prices, beer prices and food prices.
They didn’t appreciate trips by the owner and management to Seattle disguised as veiled threats to relocate the team during the arena negotiations.
They are frustrated by an owner who never speaks to his customers.
With the team struggling as much as they are on the ice, I think the Oilers should be even more diligent about their off-ice actions.
Sometimes it is better to be the “bigger person” and let things go.
The Oilers are the Blue Whale amongst Edmonton sports franchises, they don’t need to be nipping away at the small fish in the pond.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will not play for Team Canada at the World Championships after all. His injured foot has not progressed enough, and despite his best efforts to be ready the medical staff of the Oilers decided it was best he not go to Prague.
- Nail Yakupov is also out of WC. He was supposed to go to Russia’s training camp, but the Oilers announced he won’t be going due to a hip injury. This is more surprising than the RNH announcement, because Yakupov didn’t miss any games late in the season. I like this decision. Yakupov gains nothing from playing injured at the WC. He had a decent second half of the season, but he needs a productive off-season to ensure a strong start next season.
- My first round picks: Jets, Blues, Blackhawks and Canucks in the West and Montreal, Washington, New York Rangers and Tampa Bay in the East. I have the Blues and Rangers in the final with St.Louis winning their first Cup, which likely means the Blues will lose in the first round.
- Due to popular demand we have added a 2nd day for our MS Bike Tour
charity poker event. The winner receives flight, hotel and a seat at the WSOP main event. (Costs $10,000). Ten days left until the event and You can register at jasongregor.com. Good luck.