The Edmonton Oilers announced this morning that they will play the 2015-16 season without a captain. Instead, they named four assistant captains to lead the group by committee. Matt Hendricks will wear a fifth “A” while Jordan Eberle is on the shelf with a shoulder injury. 

It was a tough situation for Andrew Ference in terms of retaining the captaincy. He’s at a place in his career where he won’t be in the lineup every night, and the Oilers were in a spot where they couldn’t have their captain sitting in the press box. Spreading the leadership around through four alternate captains make sense to me. It makes even more sense if the plan (if there is one) is to give the “C” to Connor McDavid when he’s ready. A move needed to happen and the Oilers have handled it well. 

I think we’d all agree that Andrew Ference is a wonderful human being, and a leader in the community, but the fact remains that his decline in play is the reason this move had to be made. They need their captain to be in the lineup. The Oilers are a young team in transition and need the leadership to follow suit. This team needs to be “handed” to the young core that will lead them for the next decade, and this is the first step to making that happen. Keeping Ference as an alternate captain also shows respect to a veteran player, and I commend the Oilers for showing some class in a tough situation.



  • Serious Gord

    Everyone saves face and keeps the C open for mcdavid in a couple years. Ho hum.

    The next post should be about speculation over which if the five As will be traded or off the roster first. I give it a better than 50 % chance that it won’t be ference.

    And do please spare us the “Ference is a great guy stuff” – his politics are repugnant at best and downright dangerous at worst. The media in this town are either too gutless to call him on it or too clueless.

    • Randaman

      Why don’t you ask Spider Mable what she thinks of Ference and his politics??

      That carries way more weight community wise than a stupid hockey game.

      Perspective Gord

      • Serious Gord

        Name the players who would not have been involved in the spider mable event.

        His political views – that he publicly talked about frequently and at length – would if acted upon have caused great harm to this province, country, and the world. It is entirely appropriate to criticize them and him.

        • Randaman

          No wonder people get pissed at your phone calls to the call in shows!

          Do you actually think it goes that deep?

          You should run for political office. You say lots without knowing what you’re saying. Not to mention the fact that nobody listens.

          You should have extended your hiatus this summer. It was a lot nicer here with you gone.

          It’s HOCKEY Gord. Try to stay with us here.

        • PlayDirty

          Ok, my friend, we get it.

          You have made a good living off the oil industries, as have many.

          To hate Ferance because he brought up the fact that the oil sands are not exactly environmentally friendly and alternatives should be explored, is a bit of a personal agenda, no?

    • chickenStew

      Betting on the one guy with a no movement clause not to be moved.. bold prediction.

      You might be surprised how many people value character and action over greed and short sightedness in this world. It’s nobody’s job to call out a hockey player on his political views. There is a federal election campaign ongoing where the “media” can call the politicians out, even though that isn’t their job either. It’s our job as citizens.
      You like other people to do your work for you don’t you? Easier to criticize it I guess?

      Bottom line – you ignore the hockey skills (good or bad) of Ference to focus on his political views which don’t jive with yours; all the while dismissing the enormous contributions to the community he undertakes quietly and consistently.
      This is what you want to be “spared” from?

      • Serious Gord

        He will be gone at the end of the season. Will anyone on that a list be gone before him?

        The media regularly reported on his politics and he regularly spoke public ally about it. Thus he is fair game.

        • chickenStew

          What do his politics have to do with his place on the hockey club? Do you think his views on climate, human rights, etc. have the slightest bearing on whether he stays or goes?

          And how is he gone by season’s end? He is untradeable, he can’t be sent down, he won’t be bought out, there is no reason for him to retire and lose millions of dollars.
          How do you see him leaving?
          Lightning strike?
          Meteor impact?
          I’d put those odds at less than 50% too.

          • Serious Gord

            Last first – I think he will take a trade where he might actually get some ice time. I could be wrong.

            As for his political positions _ why don’t you ask him why he thinks his pro hockey status gives him the platform to spout off on politics? I would be mute on .his positions if he was.

    • Got your back here Gord. It wont be popular so trash away. While it is awesome for her family and especially Mable to have this experience , it reminds me of fading rockstars that come up here to bash the oilsands just because they are fading from the public spotlight. Ference has used the media in the same way, but it does not change his capabilities or lack there-of.Reminds me of the Horcoff contract, both their agents would have to be idiots not to sign what the Oilers offered, now they need to rid themselves of the stench of the Eakins era, and he is a BIG part of that.

    • chickenStew

      Repugnant politics? It’s fair game to disagree with someone, but it is a small and sad person who believes that those who possess different political leanings do so because of a some kind of moral failure or deficiency.

      I hope that if people dislike Serious Gord, it’s not because of his politics but his raging jackassery.

      • Serious Gord

        He wants to shutter the oil sands and turn back the global economy to pre industrial levels putting billions of people into abject poverty. That’s repugnant

          • O.C.

            You should stop creeping people in your long black trench coat. Go to one of his early morning workouts and observe what giving back to the community is all about. He is a class act and represents himself and the oilers very well.

        • chickenStew

          1) He can’t do that

          2) Turn back the economy to pre industrial levels? You might want to re-evaluate that statement.

          3)There are already billions of people living in abject poverty, try thinking of them when you “discuss” politics. Lining your pockets while ignoring them is the definition of repugnant.

          • Serious Gord

            1. That’s not the point

            2. He wants co2 levels of production reduced to a point that based on population would be lower than existed per capita in the 1860s.

            3. Actually according to the world bank barely a billion people global live in extreme poverty. Reduce co2 generation to the amount in point 2 and that number at least triples.

          • ubermiguel

            Trying not to feed the troll, but I am greatly amused by the specious connection of “CO2 generation” and wealth generation, as though people somehow buy their groceries with CO2, and we’d all be wealthy if it weren’t for those mean trees eating our money out of the air.

            Anyways, an in-depth discussion of the environmental, geo-political and economic impacts of the oil sands is probably not an appropriate topic for a hockey blog. When Ference runs for political office we can all vote or not vote for him as we see fit.

  • Kr55

    Smart move. Our young players still don’t know what it takes to win in this league. Let them learn together and drive each other. When we are finally competitive again, I think it will become obvious who among the young guys to give the C to.

  • Happy McDavid Decade

    I don’t know who needs to relax more… fans who are hitting the panic button on the doom that is the Oilers season, or Serious Gord’s soapbox on our former captain and his political stances.

  • O.C.

    Gosh, crisis averted through a stroke of genius! This is such a relief. This “Captaincy thing” was going on for months. I am weak from laying awake at night.

  • McDavid for PM

    I can’t believe the amount of negativity there is on the comment thread. How many good things have to happen to the organization in such a short amount of time and some fans are still unhappy. I’m sure there will even still be people complaining about something when the cup parade is going through the city. The team is headed in the right direction and we also have the most coveted player in the last 10 years on OUR TEAM. Minor details like who the assistant captains turn out to be add to the greater picture that Oil organization is trying to build. Cheer up people, its a great time to be an Oiler fan!

  • PlayDirty

    I like the captaincy deal. The plan is quite likely to give the C to McDavid as early as next year and this deals with things in the meantime.

    I’m a big fan of Hall but I’m good with him not having a letter. I think he’s better when he plays with emotion and that’s not always good as a C, or even A. It’s hard to dial it back ‘only a bit’ and if he dials it back too much, then he loses some of that edge. Nurse has that edge too but he might have more natural leadership.

    Really, I don’t know. I’ve never met them. Just my mumble jumble.