AT RANDOM: HOME COOKING

RogersPlace

It’s been duly noted since the Edmonton Oilers started calling Rogers Place home that the swank new downtown barn doesn’t have the rowdy and raucous vibe old Rexall Place did, spawning the unflattering nickname The Library.

It’s also been pointed out the new rink, for all its bells and whistles and high-tech guts, has lousy ice. That makes it a wash with the old joint, whose reputation for having maybe the best ice in the NHL lasted at least a decade past when it actually was that good.

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What is different as we exit the NHL all-star break is the Oilers have a pretty good – not great — record at home at 13-8-3 for 29 of a possible 48 points through 24 games at Rogers Place. At 28-15-8 overall for 64 points, they’ll make a push to lock down a playoff spot for the first time after 10 years on the outside looking in with 17 of their final 31 games at home.

That better record in large part comes from a 4-0-1 stretch since I was bemoaning their home record yet again back on Jan. 11 – they were 9-8-2. The bottom line: if the Oilers play as well as they have on the road (15-7-5) or close to it in February, when they play nine of 12 games away, they’ll be poised to put the finishing touches on a post-season berth in March with 11 of 13 games at home.

GETTING IT DONE

McDavid DMX

A slightly road-heavy schedule to this point has the Oilers in a pretty good spot. Of the teams holding down a playoff berth in the Western Conference coming out of the break, only the Minnesota Wild, who come calling Tuesday, have more home games left – they have 18 remaining at the Xcel Energy Centre.

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Nashville, like Edmonton, has 17 home dates to play. Chicago, for example, has just 12 home games remaining. San Jose has 16, then comes Calgary with 15 and St. Louis and Anaheim with 14. The Oilers, of course, have to turn those extra home games into points, but having last change and more favourable matchups won’t hurt.

Of those 17 home games, eight of them will come against teams currently occupying playoff positions in the eastern and western conferences – Minnesota, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Montreal, Boston, San Jose and Anaheim. Just four of those 17 games will be against teams with more points than the Oilers have now – Minnesota, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Montreal.

After failing to win even 20 games for the faithful at home in any of the last five seasons, the old term “home-ice advantage” looks like it might finally mean something around here with this edition of the Oilers. The timing of that could not be better.

WHILE I’M AT IT

SoapBox

  • Almost as good, McDavid taking a cross-ice pass from Kesler at the blue line, then breaking in alone on Sergei Bobrovsky and making the Columbus stopper look like a beer leaguer with a nifty backhand tuck for a goal.
  • Loved the photo of Chris Pronger plastering Justin Bieber into the corner glass in the celebrity game, but you know it’s all fun and games at this kind of event because there is no hint of an elbow or a stick to be found in the photo.
  • As an Armchair GM, I often suck. During his time with the Los Angeles Kings, I had Wayne Simmonds pegged as solid third-liner who might, MIGHT, be able to play top-six in a pinch. Sunday, Simmonds was voted NHL all-star MVP.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

RECENTLY BY ROBIN BROWNLEE  

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    • Sean17

      This is correct. I always felt bad for the women always having to wait at RX1. Now it is reversed…

      Could have used just 2 more inches of elbow room. Just 2! I was so excited last game when the couple beside me didn’t show up for the first 10 minutes…. and then they arrived….

      Their current home record with me in the barn 1-3. So, ya, my bad…sorry

      • Spydyr

        I know we are all supposed to say Rogers Place is the greatest arena ever. Well it is not. I went to the Olympics in Vancouver and GM Place was designed right. It had a full concourse on every level . They were wide. I never waited one second for a bathroom and there was never more than three people in front of me in the beer lineup most times there was no one in line. I was hoping Rogers Place would offer the same experience but sadly it does not.

        • ubermiguel

          Compared to other NHL rinks I’ve been in Rogers might be the worst or tied with it (Saddledome being the other). So it’s safe to say I was disappointed too. I won’t repeat everyone else’s complaints, but will agree with most of them. My over all feeling of Rogers is it’s very “McMansion”. It’s large, expensive but lacks architectural integrity, has strange design choices and has poor quality of materials. To balance that I will say I absolutely love the location.

          • Randaman

            So, don’t go then. I have been to one game in the new arena. We had club seats (yes I paid for them). The new arena absolutely blows away rexal or the saddle dump. Getting served drinks without having to leave your seat is awesome. Washroom sizes down below are fine. Pay more, get more. Sorry but I bucked up and had a great experience.

          • ubermiguel

            Glad you enjoyed the experience. I’ve been in several different sections myself already (for Oilers, Oil Kings, concerts) including club seats and in general the in-game experience is a little better than Rexall. I’ll keep spending my money there because I love the Oilers and I love concerts, that doesn’t mean I can’t have standards though.

            And maybe I was being unfair, Rogers is better than the Saddledome. But for the money spent I was expecting so much more. Spydyr and I are getting downvotes but we seem to be the only ones that have been to other NHL rinks and are using those as benchmarks. In Toronto and Montreal I was constantly impressed; I was looking forward to that experience in Edmonton, but (except for the Alex Janvier mosaic floor) it hasn’t happened yet.

      • CaptainLander

        I a have a 9-0 streak dating back 2 years when I attend the games.

        For the good of the team you should probably donate any future tickets to me. 🙂

    • Burns14

      I refuse to complain about the washrooms in Rogers. Maybe I was just hammered, but waiting 5 minutes is not bad…. Putting 10,000 males through the pissers is an extremely hard task. If you compare it to other rinks in the league, those lines are miniscule. I’ve waited the entire intermission at bell centre washroom lineup.

      • Spydyr

        The bathroom situation was better at Rexall. If you build a new arena it should improve things not regress. If you are fine with that, that’s up to you.

      • Cletus Spuckler

        I’ve been to the bell center when it first opened, It was all a little fuzzy, but I recall the washroom situation there being excellent in comparison to Rogers Place. Could have been that I was using a sink improperly…….

  • positivebrontefan

    I’ve been fortunate enough to have gone to 6-7 games this year, and I have to say this last homestand things are a lot louder than they were at the start. I think its starting to sink in that we have a contender here and the last game I was at there was almost a playoff buzz in the air. I went to the 2-1 win over Calgary, the 3-1 win over Arizona, and the 3-2 SO loss against the Preds and all were loud raucous crowds. We’re picking it up, don’t think it will be a library for long if we make the playoffs.

    As far as the lineups for the restrooms, that’s unforgivable, not sure what they can do about it now, but something needs to change.

    The ice, I’m guessing is about getting the buildings H-Vac systems balanced, I’ve noticed a lot of air coming down on us in the lower bowl lately from a real noisy sounding vent, you have to put your jacket back on when it kicks in.

    The one 300 foot escalator is ridiculous, there is a huge lineup to get up there before the game, and in between periods, that completely disrupts the flow of the main concourse in that area.

    It’s a nice building, but it’s not without its warts, I hope they sort these out. Not sure where to lodge a formal complaint, or if they’re even open to feedback.

    • Spydyr

      Those escalators are a massive design error. I’m not sure how they made it into the final design. It might even present a hazard in case of emergency.

      I have heard from quite a few season ticket holders that had lower blues and are not happy being moved up so much higher because of the new design.

    • Cletus Spuckler

      OEG is aware of the buildings short comings, I have seen Bobby Nicks mention the lack of washrooms in an interview, essential point is they don’t care. OEG tasked the Architect to design the building to maximize profit and here is how they did it:

      o Increased lower bowl by ten rows. (More Premium seating – More Dollars)
      o Added more Luxury Suites (Self-explanatory)
      o Implement Loge Level seating (Takes up the lower part of Upper bowl and allows OEG to charge more than the Lower bowl for seats)
      o Develop Theater boxes, Sportsnet Club and Skylounge (Allowing the generally cheapest seats, in the attack once zone upper deck, to be charged at a premium price)
      o Upper deck seats which are the equivalent of the old 300 section in Rexall (charged at the old upper deck prices with increases)

      The biggest problem is the upper concourse, which is lacking in both room to move, washrooms and beverage service. The escalators don’t really matter as the stairs are plentiful and will allow for the rapid emptying of the building in the event of an emergency.

      As a season ticket holder (the cheapest in the building that is…..) I was able to communicate these comments back to OEG in their latest “season ticket holder survey”, however it remains that they don’t care. The only thing OEG wants is to make money off the fans. They are aware that our blind love of the Oilers will continue to fill the building even though it is substandard. Note that the last question on the survey asked what would be a reasonable ticket increase in price for next year, unfortunately there was no option for a reduction.

      If you want to provide feedback just email Rogers place, [email protected] if enough people do it nothing will change, however they may be forced to change their email address at the very least.

      • positivebrontefan

        I haven’t had to go up there other than to take a look around, and I did take the elevator down, you are correct, but that doesn’t stop it from being another lineup to have to squeeze past on the way to the bathroom lineup…

  • Flea

    I think the poor crowd has a lot to do with the poor team over the last 10 years. Rexall was quiet a lot of nights too over the last 10 years, not sure why you said ti had a reputation of being rowdy. It certainly wasn’t over the last decade.

    As these games start to mean more, and the pressure is increased, the crowd will respond.

    As for the rink, the poor ice is pretty awful, they gotta fix that ASAP. I went, and I thought the layout was ok. Is there bottlenecks? Sure – but EVERY venue is going to have those. The escalator is kind weird. I took the elevator up to the top level and it was a little quicker. Took the stairs down and they flowed pretty good (I’m not sure if you can take the stairs up too) Big bottleneck at the exit but I’m sure as the Winter Garden is completed it will disperse more.

    FAvorite memory is going into the Skylounge, unaware that it is a ticketed spot. No one stopped us, we spent 1/2 a period in there watching the game. In the first intermission, when they starting bringing out buffets of food, we realized that we probably weren’t supposed to be in there. Had a couple plates of food and left 🙂

      • Flea

        It was awesome! Full on charcuterie buffet (meat/cheese/olives/crackers), roast beef with au jus, mashed potatoes – no bobby nicks burgers to be seen. My friend I was at the game with commented that I had about $30 worth of cheese on my plate!

        We were kicking ourselves after leaving, though – we never checked if drinks were included with the tickets! Maybe someone here can ease my mind that I didn’t walk away from an open bar.

  • Twitch

    MAKE ROGERS LOUD AGAIN! might as well hop on trends as that’s the best way to make millenials react…how bou dat….but seriously the one game I went to vs. Ottawa McDavid had a breakaway early when it was 0-0 and you’d think we were in a library. Sure there were a few groans when Anderson made the save and few cheers(including me and my daughter) when he got free but that place should’ve been thundering as soon as he got past Methot. I believe we need a culture change here and I don’t know what it’ll take to make the adolescent fans and the suits in the bottom rows react but there has to be a better way.

  • OriginalPouzar

    This most recent stretch has moved our home record from mediocre to “not too bad”. Lets hope the team can continue to play well at home and make Rogers Place as feared destination over the next few years.

  • @Hallsy4

    Can’t wait for post all star game hockey that actually means something! Think it’s time for a trade PETE. Let the team and the rest of the league know we want to win THIS YEAR. Make it so everyone is dreading playing the OIL in the playoffs. The time is now PETE show everyone that you’re not a SISSY.

  • Not a First Tier Fan

    Rogers Place is a pretty slammin arena but for sure there are a few warts. The escalators that keep getting overloaded and breaking down are painful for sure.

    Bottlenecks going out through Ford Hall after the game are brutal too. But I think I figured out a trick to avoid those – just skip down the stairs right before you go out through the security gates. It’s just one storey and it drops you out right on 104th Ave without having to fight through the crowd.

    One question I have is why there isn’t stairs connecting the lowest level of the upper bowl to the next section. Isn’t that against fire code? Right now the only way out of the nosebleeds is to go up and back down. What if a fire or emergency blocked the top concourse? I always thought there had to be two options for stairs….

  • geoilersgist

    Watching games on TV the last 5-6 home games have been noticably louder. The crowd is way more into it. My thinking was like someone else had mentoned, the team is still in it and not just holding onto a playoff spot, bit challenging for 1st. After ten years of suck the fans are also turning a corner. Maybe fans being loud at home is the deadline acquisition the Oilers need!

  • From my experience – early on in the season the crowd was quieter… Things are starting to ramp up and to this fan, the crowd is getting much more into it. The 2-1 OT win vs. Calgary was a big one for the fans, the place was buzzing all night and you could tell the entire crowd was on pins and needles.

    Games against lesser opponents (i.e. Arizona) don’t get as crazy, but that’s understandable… Even then though the recent Arizona game was louder than similar games earlier in the season. It is true that Rogers Place was designed and built for the corporate ticket buyer. The offerings are catered to having a tiered system of corporate $$$, with the gold seats, loge, sportsnet club, boxes etc. When I go to games I notice a lot of suits… not that those folks can’t be fans but they just don’t go as crazy.

    Don’t even get me started on the washroom scenario. I ALWAYS look for aisle seats now just so I can get out quicker, it’s all in the timing. If you are in the middle of a row and looking to relieve yourself in the intermission, be prepared to wait a LONG time. The sad thing is with a little more thought put into it, they could have added at least 50% more urinals in the mens washrooms without even changing the size. We are elbow to elbow in the grandstands anyways!

  • I’ve been pretty lucky with being taken to games in the lower bow, club, and the tables. The washrooms there are, well, very good.

    This idea that Rexall was a loud building I don’t think holds. The building is as loud as the crowd, and the crowd is only as loud as the team is good. There were nights in Rexall where the only sound was the puck echoing off the boards as the Oilers changed on yet another dump in. The building will get louder as the games get more important.
    As for the ice, I think it was the overtime loss to San Jose, but I noticed the opposing team had no problem with the ice. Their passes were crisp, the puck wasn’t bouncing along the boards or over sticks, and it occurred to me that maybe as a team Edmonton is just a little scrambly.

    • RJ

      I think it’s where you sit.

      I’ve sat in the lower bowl and in the nosebleeds. The nosebleed fans were always loud and rowdy, and the lower bowl fans were much more subdued.

      Not to be too stereotypical, but the blue-collar fans were louder, and the corporate fans were much quieter. And you hear this in every sport with a new arena. You price out the blue-collar guys who will make the noise a lot of times, and the new arenas lose crowd noise. (And on a side note, that’s why the NBA has some very cheap seats included. I went to a Suns game for $10 once.)

  • ubermiguel

    I love that Pronger photo too, the look on Pronger’s face is priceless. It’s almost pure joy, except it’s got a hint of that nastiness (i.e.: malice, mean-heartedness) he played with. He was a dirty player, but for one glorious year he was our dirty player. And anyone that teaches Bieber some humility is alright by me.

  • CMG30

    News flash: Arena’s are designed to separate people from their money… I long ago decided that going to games was too expensive. If you don’t like it, don’t go. Or better yet, patronize the junior leagues. They’re often more entertaining anyway.

    The real issue is why the ice is so poor. They made such a massive deal about the crazy number of zones that they could micro-manage during construction that ice quality was the one thing I never worried about.

  • bazmagoo

    @Robin “As an Armchair GM, I often suck.” We all stink at being a GM Robin, that’s why we spend our time speculating on OilerNation instead of getting paid a million $ to do it. Only a weeny would think otherwise.

  • boknowes

    What the downtown arena is missing is Section 300 from the old arena. I had season seats for three years in 302, and that section of the arena was always way louder than the other areas we had seats in. We had the most fun in our years of holding season tickets in this area.

    • Pouzar99

      That is so true. I sat in the second row along the blue line in the Gallery for over 15 years, including the 2006 playoff run, and it was an utter madhouse. Loud, raucous, passionate and knowledgable fans. We are working at turning the top of 210 at Rogers into a similar atmosphere.

  • smiliegirl15

    The upper concourse is crowded, the escalators are stupid bottlenecks. The worst is when people stop at the bottom of them; the people behind have no where to go. There is going to be a serious injury on them one of these days.

    The other worst place is coming out into Ford Hall and wanting to get out toward the casino. Such a bottleneck there too. Not everyone wants to cross the street and exit to the south. I will definitely try the stairwell before you leave the arena proper!

  • evidently the OEG used this break to move the banners which were screwing up HVAC air flow (and freezing the patrons with downdraft).

    FWIW you could watch the ice deteriorate during play as the air flow was not getting to the ice as designed…. as evidenced by the banners flapping… for months.

    What took them so long is yet another tell of the many things that plague this organization. Considering this decade of futility, the preponderance of arrogance that exists around the club is a case study in disconnects.

    It really is it’s own thing. Not a good thing… at all.. but a growing thing, as traction is gained and opportunity presents itself.

  • @Hallsy4

    Unfortunately, it seems to me like they blew it on the Arena to be honest. I went to a game and the seats were so close together I could barely lift my arm to take a sip of my expensive beer. As others have said, that escalator is ridiculous, and seems dangerous. I’m sure they considered the fire code but it seems like a huge issue to me. I found the lines for food/drinks and the bathroom to be no better than Rexall. Basically everything I value in going to a game experience (Leg room, Short lineups for beer and bathrooms, reasonable pricing, convenience in the concourse getting in and out) was a huge miss. I don’t like the look of the outside either, the silver is just so plain…. Personally I think Oiler blue with “Rogers” in Orange would have looked really sharp, but anything would have been netter than what they did. I will say, the location is top notch, but other than that I think the OEG should be embarrassed how the arena turned out. I will never pay money for a game there, I’d rather not sit for 2 hours with my shoulders squeezed in so I’m not half in the persons seat beside me. Hard to believe and frustrating as an Oiler fan, and Albertan who wanted to be proud of the New arena. My honest opinion of the rink is they messed up the most basic things, shame on Katz and his group of hired goons. Reminds me of the Jets making their arena with a couple thousand less seats than they should have. If you’re going to do something, do it right.

  • @Hallsy4

    While I’m venting, Screw Gary Bettman. His interview on TV was extremely hard to watch. Just gross. Spouting off about how hard things are for the owners if they let the Players go to the Olympics. Then the nerve to say they have a responsibility to the fans so that’s why they are being difficult. The fans aren’t stupid, Gary. The fans want to see NHLers at the Olympics, so you being a dink about what should be basically non issues and threatening not allowing the players to play doesn’t help the fans one bit, Gary. It actually does the exact opposite. I wonder if he actually believes the nonsense that comes out of his mouth. He’s an embarrassment to hockey, and he’s going to ruin the game more than he already has. Shame on you Gary you’re a RAT brother.

    • AJ88

      Get your facts straight before spouting off. Bettman represents the owners and believe it or not most owners do not support players going to the Olympics. And as far as the arena goes most all season ticket holders that I know are enjoying the new arena. There are just people on this site (mostly non season ticket holders) that like to whine about anything which also includes some of the writers.

      • Not a First Tier Fan

        You don’t have to be a season ticket holder to have an opinion about the new arena. Poor show buddy.

        Count me in on your oh-so-scientific survey as being a season ticket holder that can admit that the building has obvious problems that should have been caught and corrected in the design phase.

        • AJ88

          I have been to several games, 0 problems, yea, sometimes had to wait to go to the washroom, what do you want, urinals in the aisles? Because you go to one game doesn’t equate to being an design expert either. More like poor show on all the little whiners that can spew nothing but unfounded negativity about the arena and the Oilers.

      • fran huckzky

        Righton. Hallsy4 is totally out to lunch on this and I don’t think he knows much about Oiler history. I am not a Bettman fan but if nnot for him, th Oil would have moved from Edmonton 20years ago. Personally, I think the new rink is something we should all be proud of.

        • @Hallsy4

          I was offended that Bettman was trying to say his position, and the owners, is with the interest of the fans in mind. It’s offensive, its about money and we all know it. So I don’t think I’m out to lunch, and your Oiler history comment I’m not sure relates very well, but I’m thankful that they didn’t move for sure. Praise McJesus. As for my arena comments, it makes downtown 100% better. I was just dissapointed in a few things that I thought they’d for sure improve on from Rexall.

      • @Hallsy4

        My facts are straight, I am well aware that Bettman represents the owners as their puppet. In his interview, Gary tried to say that everything the owners are doing regarding the Olympics is with the best interest of the fans, which is hogwash. It’s all about money, we all know it, so don’t patronize me and tell me it’s for my own good as a fan, Gary. No parties are innocent i’d imagine (Owners, Players, IOC, IIHF), but don’t tell me keeping the best players in the world out of the Olympics is in any way good for the fans, or however you want to word it. That’s what bothered me the most about his interview.

        As I understand, the issues are:

        1) Disruption of the season

        2) compressed schedule

        and

        3) a bitter feeling among owners towards the International Olympic Committee, because the IOC said out-of-pocket expenses for items such as NHL player travel and lodging would no longer be covered.

        4) Although Gary did not mention this, the concern of Injuries to players are likely a big issue. To me, This is the only argument that carries any weight from keeping them from playing, but the potential risk is far outweighed by all the positives.

        So to my point, I don’t think fans care too much about the disruption of the season or a compressed schedule. If McDavid is on Team Canada, I can certainly live without Oilers games during the Olympics, in fact I love watching NHL players in the Olympics, and I think most people would agree. A team Canada with McDavid playing an improving team USA with guys like Mathews is exciting, and to deny the fans that and say it’s a decision with us in mind is insulting. For a slightly compressed schedule, I actually prefer it as a fan. More Oiler games mixed with Olympic hockey during the break sounds good to me. I don’t think many fans would disagree.

        As for what seems to be a main issue, the bitterness between the owners and IOC. Any bitterness does nothing but hurt me as a fan, I don’t see how the owners (and their puppet Gary) can possibly say they are thinking of the fans. That’s non sense, and insulting. It’s about money.

        As I said, the risk of injuries is the only thing that holds any weight from keeping them from going, which I understand, but firmly believe the risks are far outweighed by benefits. Gary did not emphasize this at all, which is the only possible thing that could be for the fans benefit.

        So to your comment, I know Gary represents the Owners, and I know they don’t want their players to go because it costs money and they could get hurt, basically. So the bottom line is money. As a fan I could care less if Katz has to fork out a little bit of cash, I actually feel like the league and owners have a degree of responsibilty to the fans who support them to let the best players play and grow the game. So I was very offended how he tried to spin off himself and the owners he represents being selfish babies as some way looking out for the fans.

        As for your season ticket holder comment, spare me. The rink is better than Rexall, for sure. They just made a lot of (important, to me) mistakes that as an outsider seem like they shouldn’t have made. Seems like simple obvious planning for what the fans value in a game experience. Again, as others said, it’s about money, and maximizing the return on the OEG (and taxpayers) investment in the building. If I spend money to see a game, I’m allowed to say that there was no leg room and my shoulders were uncomfortably hunched in the entire game due to not enough seating room, that there were long lines, and that beers expensive.

        • fran huckzky

          You have made your point over and over and over. We know you don’t like Bettman and you don’t like Katz. THe Oiler ownership group was ready to sell the team because it was no longer economically viable in the Edmonton market and you can be assured that the team would be long gone if not for Bettman,Katz and to alesser degree Mayor Mandel. If you don’t like the beer don’t drink it. If you don’t like the rink,dont go. If you think the owners are selfish babies, don’t support them. I think we know who the baby is here.

          • @Hallsy4

            You’ve personally insulted me twice because I voiced my opinions about the arena and Gary Bettman and the owners position on the Olympics. I’m not even sure we disagree on anything…. NHL players should be at the Olympics and the new rink could have done a few things differently (things that are important to me, and not to others)? Fair enough? I am glad the Oilers are still in Edmonton, but that doesn’t mean I need to like Bettman or Katz. I can still go to games if I think the arena should have done stuff differently, although as you said I don’t have to go, so I won’t unless I get free, or maybe cheap, tickets. I never said I didn’t like the beer, I said its expensive, unfortunately I will keep drinking it when I go to games regardless of price, but that doesn’t mean I can’t say it’s expensive, it is. I do think many owners are selfish babies on the Olympic issue, can I still watch my favorite hockey team? Go pound sand brother, do you work for OEG?

          • fran huckzky

            If you feel personally insulted that would be your prob lem. I do not work for OEG nor do I know any who does.You are entitled ton your opinion and if I disagree with it, I am entitled to call you out on it. If you are going to have a hissy fit you are kind of ghiving creedence to my commemts. I will now sign out and may or may not pound sand,whatever that means.

          • fran huckzky

            If you feel personally insulted that would be your prob lem. I do not work for OEG nor do I know any who does.You are entitled ton your opinion and if I disagree with it, I am entitled to call you out on it. If you are going to have a hissy fit you are kind of ghiving creedence to my commemts. I will now sign out and may or may not pound sand,whatever that means.

            sorry double post

          • @Hallsy4

            Think we both might have had a case of the Monday’s, I know I sure did. Keep on keeping on Fran. I wasn’t really up on the whole relocation thing at the time, but I’m very thankful the Oil didn’t move…. that would have been awful, so if Bettman helped keep the Oil in Edmonton obviously I’m thankful for that. So to your point maybe he’s not all bad! I reserve the right to Boo him though, haha. Anyways God Speed my friend, my apologies if I was a bit unreasonable yesterday. Enjoy the game tonight! I can’t wait.

  • Valar Morghulis

    Re: Olympics

    The NHL never had players at the Olympics before 1998, but there is definitely still a case to be made about pro millionaires competing in amateur athletic games.

    Personally, I have always enjoyed watching the world’s best NHLer’s at the Olympics (winning gold never hurts). Sadly when it becomes all about money I stop caring.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the whole issue about sending NHLer’s to the Olympics the millions of dollars in extra insurance money the NHL or teams will have to pay to “protect” their players?

  • MacT's Neglected Helmet

    The washroom situation at the new arena is so bad that during the last game I couldn’t wait any longer and ended up having to use my empty beer glass to do my business. Not sure what they can do to address this; can they build more washrooms without major renos?

    My second complaint about the new arena is that the beer quality is inconsistent. Usually it’s fine, if not overpriced; but there was one glass that I had during my last game that tasted really warm and weird.

  • giddy

    The main tickets I get for games are lower bowl club seats. No issues with them, good arm and leg room (even for my 6’4″ frame), bathrooms are right behind the seats and there’s a ton of food and beverage down there too, never really wait longer than a few minutes for either a beer or a whiz.

    I sat in the upper bowl for one game, and wow, I can see how people are having issues with them. Arm and leg room were garbage. The seats are so steep that I feel like I’d fall over if I sat forward. One beer concession nearby that was busier than heck every period, think I waited 10+ minutes for each beer. Bathroom I went during the period so couldn’t comment on that. Overall, can absolutely see how people were peeved.

    I also had the pleasure of sitting at a four person loge table. Wow, what an unbelievable experience that was. Seriously redefined watching hockey live. Plenty of room between each table (which was shocking), great service by the staff for food and drinks, very comfortable high chairs to sit in. Overall, can’t say enough good things about them. Only issue is their ridiculous price tag…

    • Not a First Tier Fan

      Wow – some weird owner love going on in the forum tonight. Methinks they doth protest too much…

      There is some spectacular seating and game experiences at Rogers if you’re willing to shell out a the clams or reserve your money for only one or two games a year. For those of us wanting a full seasons worth though, or looking at an already stretched budget these ‘gold-star’ experiences are ludicrously over-priced.

      For those able to get lots of games in the lower bowl or loge seats, good on ya. You must make a helluva lot more than I do.

      But just to end on something nice – I can actually see the jumbotron from my seats now. Couldn’t see it at Rexall. And it is a very nice jumbotron…

  • Jordan88

    You know what I miss about Rexall?

    The feeling of the 80’s the old building gave off.

    I know bald men that walked out with a mullet and a led zepplin cassette after just one game.