Embrace the Hate, Nation

There are fans and pundits around the NHL that think the Edmonton Oilers don’t deserve Connor McDavid… Hi haterz!

The future of the Edmonton Oilers took a hell of a turn when those four bingo balls came up with our winning combination on them. I thought that the NHL might collapse on itself at the thought of the Oilers falling into the next “next one.” No one could have expected this. If Gary Bettman got any angrier about the result of this lottery he probably would have burst into flames. The NHL didn’t want this, but the hockey gods did. Personally, I’m not ready to rule out some kind of deal with the Devil. This type of “luck” has Satan’s filthy fingertips all over it, but that’s a story for another day. I want to talk McDavid.

There were 30 teams that would have gone from six to midnight had their number been drawn. Only one team got lucky enough to have the universe line up and it happened to be the Oilers. The Buffalo Sabres literally traded any and all NHL players that they had on their roster for a better chance at winning the lottery. With an 11.5% chance at winning, I had already set my eyes on who the Oilers would be drafting at fourth. I was expecting someone else to win the draw, and for the Oilers to drop down a spot. Strome? Hanifin? There was a case for either prospect, in my mind. Then it happened. When Bill Daly showed the golden card I had to rewind my PVR several times before it could sink in. I still don’t think it has if I’m being honest. 

WE DESERVE THIS

Shawshank

Now that the lottery is said and done we’re seeing an endless supply of bullshit claiming that the Oilers didn’t deserve to win another lottery. I’ve seen everything from angry tweets to articles claiming the NHL should have rigged the lottery for the Leafs. We don’t deserve it? Kiss my ass. Obviously you haven’t been paying attention to what Oilers fans have been through. Do we deserve Connor McDavid? Hell yes we do. Does management deserve Connor McDavid? Likely not, but here we are.

Oilers fans have been through more shit in the last nine years than any jealous Twittererer cares to acknowledge or remember. Did your team trade their franchise defenceman a few short weeks after losing game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals? No. Has your favourite team missed the playoffs for NINE straight years? No. Has your owner threatened to move your team to another country if he didn’t get a new arena? Nope. Has anyone in the management of your favourite franchise called you a “tier two fan” just for watching the games from your home? I don’t think so. To say that WE don’t deserve it? You’re blind or just not paying attention. 

Connor McDavid just might be bigger than hockey in Edmonton. He might bring change. Not only does Connor McDavid bring hope to our city, he also brings a sudden realization of how poorly managed this franchise has been. Within days of the lottery, Bob Nicholson has already brought in Peter Chiarelli for an interview of some kind, presumably in hockey ops. Who knows if it will go anywhere, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a fresh set of eyes checking MacTavish’s work? Say what you will about the Seguin trade, Peter Chiarelli took the Boston Bruins to the Stanley Cup finals twice (winning once) in the same time frame that the Oilers have been spinning their wheels. This team needs an overhaul, and there’s no bigger pressure to do that than the idea of landing a generational talent and messing that up.

Maybe Connor McDavid can change more than just the depth at centre? We deserve that. 

PULL A LINDROS OR FADE AWAY 

Lindros

One of the more popular insults that opposing fans are throwing at the Oilers/fanbase is that Connor McDavid is going to pull a Lindros and refuse to report if when drafted, or that his career will wither and die for being here. Envy is an ugly mistress, no? The whole thing is hilarious to me. I don’t think any moment in history has ever lured more body language experts out of the woodwork than the Connor McDavid lottery. Who knew that seeing the face of a nervous teenage for a split second could reveal his inner most thoughts and aspirations? You’d think that we’d get more done as a species with so many experts out there. 

The list of people with hot takes on the situation grows by the minute. There are endless variations of stupid out there that are represented by the following. 

Go to die, huh? This season aside, Taylor Hall has been one of the most productive left wingers in the entire NHL. Nuge? He just set a career high in goals and is already playing huge two-way minutes against the top lines and defensive pairings from around the NHL at the ripe old age of 21 – oh the horror! 

GET IT?! HA! Edmonton is totally in Alberta… so good! *cough* The irony is that the tweeter is from New Jersey and would likely be pressed to point out Alberta on a map. 

I can’t imagine a Canucks fan from Vancouver would have any bias.

You get the idea…

Connor McDavid hadn’t even been born yet when Eric Lindros refused to report to the Quebec Nordiques. When Connor McDavid was born the Quebec Nordiques didn’t even exist anymore. Times have changed since the 1991 draft. Kids aren’t refusing to report to the teams that drafted them. We heard this same thing with Hall, with Nuge, and with Yak yet here they are. Besides, saying McDavid will Lindros the Oilers isn’t nearly as fun after his dad, GM, and Wayne Gretzky spoke about how he’s not that kind of kid and would be a great fit in Edmonton. 

EMBRACE THE HATE

EmbraceTheHate

I don’t think I’m out of line in saying that Edmonton has been a better place to be since Saturday’s lottery. I’m seeing a lot more Oilers gear around town and people generally seem to be in a better mood. I’d like to think that some of that upbeat attitude comes from the fact that the Oilers are once again the most hated franchise in the NHL. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to say that. 

From where I sit, there’s nothing some jealous crank on the Internet could suggest that will ruin my McDavid glow. Insult our city? Rolls off my back. Say that McDavid will refuse to report? Here’s a tissue for your issue. The real story here is that the Edmonton Oilers lucked their way into the end of the rainbow, and everyone else is sporting a sad face emoji. Rather than argue with trolls I encourage you to thank them for their thoughts and wish them a McDavid day. “And a McDavid day to you too, sir!” You get the idea.

I don’t blame them for their jealousy. I may have felt the same way had the precious fallen into the hands of another. Luckily, the precious will soon be home where we will love him like no other as he helps guide us from darkness. In the mean time? Sorry, haters, nothing you say can really bother me right now.