Before I kick off the 2015-16 Goat Witch hunt and explain it to anyone unfamiliar with what is going on here – there is a disclaimer that should
be made.

I have half a mind to nominate Peter Chiarelli as my 2015-16


The damned guy went and shipped Nikitin to Bakersfield
smashing my goat plans right in the grill on the eve of the season starting. Come on Peter. Give me a break.
Nikitin is the worst signing since the invention of the pen. And you have the
audacity to send him down to the minors? What is happening here? We let our
goats fester in the lineup around here Sir. 

We don’t send down D with rich NHL
contracts unless they are sexy Sheldon Souray and are burying him in the minors
due to a personal grudge with management. Maybe you are new to the job so we
will cut you some slack. But for a Harvard grad you seem quite
unfamiliar with the intellectual skill level required to be Oilers GM.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves here. What is a goat?
2009 Wanye – bless his heart he had no idea how long his hopes and dreams were
about to rest on the ocean floor of the NHL – said it best.

The purpose of picking a Goat is to be able to hang your hat on an Oiler and blame him for the entire buffet table of bitter tasting woe that the Oilers serve us on such a regular basis. When you name a particular player as your Goat he becomes the whipping boy for the entire team and a theraputic release for all things bad.

That makes sense 2009 Wanye. Remind me to tell you about how Robbie Schremp will turn out by 2015 when we have a minute. You will be amazed.



We name goats so that you channel all your negativity and
frustration at one player not the whole team. It may sound silly but I STILL find myself blaming long time goat Denis Grebeshkov for things going wrong on the ice and he hasn’t been an Oiler for years! Thats classic goat echoing if ever I saw it.

A goat can’t be someone who has nominal expectations on the
team and lives up to them. A 4th line winger can’t really be a goat
– what do you expect him to do? Score 50 and be inducted mid career into the
HHOF? No a goat needs to be someone that is paid highly, has high expectations
and for whatever reason insists on being garbage, eating garbage and other
goatie things that goats do. 

Everything is the goat’s fault. Everything.


Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 1.36.29 PM

So who is left let’s see here. No Nikitin. No Scrivens. In fact the goalies listed as 1 and 2 in the depth charts have never appeared in a regular season game for the Oilers, have never let us down or broken our hearts. They won’t work as a goat either.

(scans lineup in a stern manner looking for goats)

McDavid – Not even a chance

Eberle – Clearly no

Hall – No although tempting

Letestu – that’s cold give him a break

Kiri Te Kanawa – oh wait that’s a New Zealand opera singer whose voice has been described as “mellow yet vibrant, warm, ample and unforced.” She can’t be a goat.

(Continues scanning)

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 1.43.04 PM

Well hello there Justin Schultz. You will fit the bill
nicely. Note Tambo getting out Katz’s chequebook to throw at Justin in the photo. 


When Justin Schultz signed with the Oilers I thought Bobby
Orr reincarnate had just agreed to play for the team. I gloated to any and all who were listening that the other
29 teams couldn’t touch what the Oil had to offer Schultz – a cool young team
with super studs and a future so bright you gotta wear a welding mask. 

Then the
strike happened and Justin went to the AHL and proceeded to lead the entire
league in scoring – the entire league fancy that! Then he came to the big leagues. Then Dallas Eakins forced him to give up all his free wheeling ways and creativity went on the shelf in favour of carrying wood and chopping water. Then Eakins got the ol boot and Schultz never recovered. And then we arrived at where we are today. All this guy needs is a poorly planned EPCOR commercial and he his a certified Goat across the board.

There is a verb for Justin Schultz goating up the
ice for heaven’s sakes. ‘Jultzing’ is a real thing and in the Oxford dictionary to boot. If that doesn’t
make a man goat worthy I don’t know what does.

I want you to be good Justin. So badly. The Oilers need you to step up. I want you to win the Norris
and vindicate MacT’s bold predictions. But I also see a tendency in your play
to be butter soft. I’ve seen people around NationHQ fight harder for Friday morning off than I have seen in your on ice play. 

Gone are the days where you would be behind the offensive net pinching in further than anyone I have ever seen. Your tactical wrist shots don’t find the net with frequency anymore. Completed crisp passes from the point into the slot are rarely seen. You have forgotten what you are good at, aren’t good at what
Eakins wanted you to be good at and now are caught in this no man’s land where I
can’t figure out what you are anymore.  I have figured out that you are making $3.9 million this season however. For that kind of smoke we need to see more.

In a season of positivity I proclaim you my Goat. May you
live with the responsibility and the alternating shame and pride forever.

Who are you naming as your Goat this season? Leave your
goat-shaming comments below.

  • T.J.F.M.

    Whenever I try to visualize a goat I often picture a large man throwing his back out eating pancakes. Penner was the ultimate goat. Over paid, over estimated, big man that would get Squirmish at the thought of throwing a body check. To me the guy on this team that best fits that bill ( sans Nikitin) is Purcell. Big body, that doesn’t play big, even bigger salary, and always hearing about potential, but I believe he will be a boat anchor to nuge. Numerous off sides because he is too slow, missed chances because his hands aren’t as smooth as people say and when the team is healthy he will drop down the line up. Never finding his place, just filling a spot. Until ultimately he ends up in the press box. Fans will demand to have him traded, but will fail to see why other teams won’t give up a first round pick for a 4.5mil 12 point player that can’t stay in the line up.

  • I think it’s between Teddy bear Purcell and Jultz. I don’t think anybody expects anything from Purcell except that he will fade into the abyss by season’s end. Jultz, on the other hand, had a solid pre-season so expectations for him are on the rise. I’m picking Jultz as my goat.

  • My goat for the year is either Talbot or Sekera. Only because our expectations of those two are quite high. What if Sekera doesn’t provide us with a calm presence in the top 4?

    What if Talbot isn’t the goalie to make ridiculous saves after defensive turnovers in the slot?

    After watching the preseason, I’m not as confident with Sekera as I was. I know it’s only preseason, but damn man, a pass right to a Canuck? Doing anything positive for the Canucks is blasphemy ’round these parts.

  • geoilersgist

    Hall. Until he learns to back check and stops getting blown-up by the opposition’s defence I have little time for him. His skill is undeniable, so too is his goat-like stench.


  • Oilers Coffey


    It’s been said here already, soft as butter, disappearing act who’s eating 1st line prime time ice time. Early indications look like even Roberts training regimen can’t get the hustle into Purcell’s game.

    Goat = PURCELL

  • Rob...

    “Kiri Te Kanawa”

    Admit it Wanye, you pulled that name out of a Star Wars fanboy fiction novel, didn’t you?

    I’d rather not pick a goat, because I think management and coaches this year will have no problems sending anyone without a NMC to the farm. With that said, I guess Purcell will do. Not because he doesn’t try, or because of a lack of hockey sense. I just think he’s a seat warmer for whatever upgrade we get next offseason.

  • Rob...

    My goat for 2015/16 is… the cynical Oilers fan and Oilogosphere.

    Seriously, how much more reason for optimism do you need? Every demand you’ve had has been met: the coach, the management, the out-of-shape and the broken-down, and more than a few players who were talented and capable, are gone. Yet here we are giddily plotting who next to run out of town. Give it a rest. Learn how to cheer someone on for a change. Otherwise, when all else has been stripped away, the rotten core of the team is us.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Taylor Hall for me…some say he’s a top 5 left winger in the NHL but he’s never played a full season for the Oilers. He’s a good player but sooo overated.

  • Rob...

    “Nikitin is the worst signing since the invention of the pen.”

    “The purpose of picking a Goat is to be able to hang your hat on an Oiler and blame him for the entire buffet table of bitter tasting woe that the Oilers serve us on such a regular basis.”

    These are but a couple examples of why I love Wanye.

  • BobbyCanuck

    This article is meant to be facetious, not sarcastic, take it for its intent, just a little humour to get us pumped up for the season.

    My goats, the same as last year, with the same reasons

    Defense: Jultz, because he just does not seem to care

    Offense: Eberle, because he does not back check

    A goat has to be one of the star players. Are we really going to blame Yak or Fayne for ALL the Oiler woes?

    I really want Yak to be our Unicorn…Yakicorn has a certain endearing ring to it.

    I promise to change my avatar if we are at .500 on Rememberance Day

  • oilerjed

    My first reaction was to reach for my Jultz stickers and paste them all over this comment but I am still not over last year’s dismal goat letdown thanks to Nikki. Once bitten twice….

    Then I was saved as I remembered the boat anchor we are throwing on our first line. I’m saved!!

    Teddy bear Purcell- our top line muscle, cant be cuz Mr Nuge makes him look so pillowy(sp?) soft?
    Sniper? Pfft
    Speed demon? Nah.. But we could use him to beef up Jultz, have him push him up the ice on rushes for extra leg training.

    Either way Ted “softy” Purcell will be my goat for this year. Fail hard or just give up trying.

  • GeneralJultz

    My all time favorite goat is Dustin Penner. Despite him scoring 30 goals, he was easy to blame because he skated like a pancake filled fluff ball and his name is easy to yell in a disappointed way. Pennerrrrrrr!

  • T.J.F.M.

    A goat is typically someone that we assume will be good. NN, Purcell, Scrivens, Ference, etc are all players that are fringe-NHLers at best.

    We expect Nilsson and Talbot to be good due to there pedigree and their pre-season play. But i suspect that they will be sub-.900 save percentage goaltenders as a tandem and will largely be the reason we suffer through another painful season.

    The expectations for them are just too high, so my goat prediction is goaltending in general.

    And next July 1st, we will have the pick of the litter to overpay a proven #1G.

  • T.J.F.M.

    Purcell can’t be a goat. I really hate to say this but I agree with Gordo on this.

    Reinhart is a potential goat, but I think he’ll be fine. Sekera will be fine but I’ve lowered by expectations with him already.

    Talbot is my only concern. Can’t win without a goalie. I’m still suffering with the Scriven’s hangover. Good record as a back up.
    Whether it’s team defense, goalie coach or whatever, Edmonton is the place goalies come to die, at least until someone breaks the mold.

    I hope Talbot is the guy to break that mold. He hasn’t wowed me yet but he also hasn’t had the opportunity to prove it yet.

  • OilLeak

    Ference is the clear goat on the team(if he ever gets into the line-up) it’s either him or Gryba, but Gryba is a stop gap and will be sent away fairly soon.

    I know he’s a great guy, but he’s the worst player on the roster next to Gazdic.