Hola, OilersNation! I am your newest voice of chaos in an otherwise reasonable world.
On the eve of Connor’s triumphant night in Las Vegas — his first of what should be many (sorry, Golden Knights fans) — I look forward to Friday night and the OilersNation Draft Party presented by WEM. With our 22nd overall pick, we also get to see the first real look (or confirmation of leaked photos) at our newest silks.
The Oilers brand has seen a couple of reinventions over the years and I thought for my first foray into the world that is the Nation, I would take some time to look back before selling my soul for another new jersey courtesy of the minds over at Adidas — which of course stands for “All Day I Dream About Soc…ckey”. Just kidding! I love you, Adidas (also kidding, but send free stuff).
The Beginning 1979 – 1995
Before 5-14-6-1. Before the DOD. Before Game 7 against the Red Storm that shall not be named. Before it all, there was the WHA. The newly-minted NHL’s Oilers dropped the orange backgrounded logo and swapped in white, making the drop orange instead. The birth of what is still our crest today, and still one of the best in the league. A minor change (though huge to a geek like me) was the fix in ’81 when they added spacing between the numbers and the numbers’ outlines on the back and arms.
Copper and Blue 1996 – 2007
The day the orange died, I still remember how mad my mom was: fuming while watching CFRN and yelling at the TV, “Why’d you have to get rid of what Wayne wore?!” The Oilers made the move over to copper and blue (and red). Those colours became the badge of honour for suffering Oilers fans as we watched our team battle and struggle in the first and second rounds against the Avs and Stars. The jersey was originally introduced with a yoke around the shoulders, but that was quickly removed.
There is a subsection here with Calgary native, and Oilers fan, Todd McFarlane coming into the fold. I’m sure many of you reading this have rolled your eyes into the back of your skulls multiple times, and that’s fine. I LOVED it. McFarlane didn’t try to re-invent the wheel here, he took the wheel and smashed it, replacing it with a flying car. Sure, the car didn’t work and only had five bolts (HOW COOL WOULD AN EMPTY SPOT IN THE COG WAITING FOR THAT SIXTH BOLT BE?) holding it all together, but it was ‘The Homer’ of jerseys. The blue and silver was tight (@ me if you must).
PJ Party at Reebok Edge’s House 2008 – 2011
This was BY FAR the worst of the worst. Almost as if the guy working at Reebok had just finished all 29 teams and then was informed he was short a team: “Who could it be damnit? Dallas? Detroit? Florida?… son of a bee sting, I forgot Edmonton!” So, like a good cut rate designer, he got to cutting. Taking away the piping around the waist that had been there since the WHA days and, for no reason what-so-ever, cutting off the piping around the arms, too. Moral of the story: I bought one of those pyjama-looking monstrosities — #89 Sam Gagner. So, yeah, shame.
Back to the Orange Roots
The year is 2008. FINALLY, the orange has come home. The jersey that everyone, even my mom, had been begging for was back. The Oilers brought back the orange and blue as a third jersey that was instantly a hit with all fans, young and old. The only real deviance from the last time they wore orange and blue was in the pants. WHO CARES WE WERE BACK IN ORANGE AND BLUE!
PJ Party Continues at Home 2011-2012
Afraid that they hadn’t sold enough of the PJ home blues, they opted to stick with it. Meanwhile introducing new road whites complete with a return to the glory that was orange and blue that we have now become so accustom to.
End of the Party 2013-2014
While the team on the ice wasn’t doing so hot, the team off of the ice made a great choice by moving on from the copper and blue days. Gone was the home navy blues, and with it a shot poured out for the notable homies whom had worn those colours for years: Barker, MacIntyre, Schremp, Zelepukin and many other legends of the game. The Oilers now had separated themselves from the rest of the league as one of the few teams that were wearing orange as a feature colour rather than as an accent like in Anaheim.
Era of Orange 2015 – Today
Cut scene to a time when a team was using orange as more than merely a feature colour. The Oilers went all orange up in our orange faces and the combo of orange and orange added the new orange third jersey. This, we now know will be the basis of what is revealed today. The shoulder yokes on the new third would also feature numbers within.
And with that, we’re brought to today’s rumoured big reveal. I can already hear the torches being lit and pitchforks being sharpened. Gord help the OEG’s beautiful new HQ if the new jersey includes the ‘priest collar’ as rumoured.
So, what say you, Nation? What is the part of the jersey in today’s release that you don’t want to see changed? What are you most excited about? Also, with this year being down to two jerseys for every team, do you want to see another third jersey next year from the mothership? Can your wallets handle it? What would you like to see in a third next season?