2017 Festivus Grievances

My friends, if you’re a Seinfeld fan you know that December 23rd is Festivus, and that means it’s time for the airing of a few grievances.

Before we get started, I wanted to say that airing your grievances does not make you any less of an Oilers fan. In fact, I’d say that complaining about the team you watch multiple times per week and loving them anyway is the ultimate in fandom. That’s a dedication that the Oilers are lucky to have, and these grievances are only trying to help them get better. With that out of the way, let’s get to it.

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Peter Chiarelli’s summer of doom

Alright, Peter, it’s not exactly a secret that the fanbase isn’t too happy with you right now. Over the past year you made some moves that weren’t exactly popular and the bad start to the season didn’t exactly help your cause. You signed guys to contracts that are worth too much, and the guys that were traded away were replaced with lesser versions of themselves. Not to mention, what’s the deal with the unused cap space? You traded Eberle for Strome and $3.5 million in NHL player tokens but did absolutely nothing with it. What’s that about? I’m not going to complain about the trades again, but selling the fanbase on dollars saved and doing nothing with it was a weird move. Never would have happened with a Yale man.

The Special Teams

I don’t know what’s going on with the special teams this season but they are dogshit, and that doesn’t make a lick of sense for a team that has as many talented players as the Oilers do. The power play is too stationary, you can read the plays like a book, and the fact that they’re still trying the same things is mind blowing to me. Frankly, I’m getting to a point of just being thankful that the PP doesn’t allow a chance on the Oilers’ net because scoring goals often seems like a pipe dream.

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The penalty kill, on the other hand, is somehow worse than the power play. Actually, it’s getting to a point where it could be historically bad and that’s something that needs to change ASAP Rocky. At this point, I don’t know what would be more effective in terms of killing penalties — doing the same thing and failing about as often as not, or spending those two minutes on the ice crying. Something has to change.

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Singling out the skilled players

If there’s one thing that drives me nuts about the Oilers’ media it’s when they single out the skilled guys and blame them for losses. We’ve had the same guy say Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had to justify his spot on the roster and blame Connor for a loss on a night when he had three points. I know this city loves blue collar guys, but it’s the skilled players that put asses in the seats and it’s generally those same guys that are big parts of wins. The media often likes to use the ‘eyeball approach’ to watching hockey but sometimes I just have no idea what the hell they’re watching.

Bloggers vs the MSM

It’s a fight that has gone on for ages and one of the dumbest arguments in all of sports — the mainstream media vs the bloggers. Frankly, I can’t think of anything sadder than this played out pissing contest that seems to flare up every few days/weeks/months. The reality is, there are plenty of bloggers out there that have been hired by NHL teams because of their work and the idea that both sides can’t have valid arguments is ridiculous. The funniest part, though, is when the MSM get high and mighty because of their access to the dressing room as if that makes their opinion any more valid. I mean, having dressing room access is great if you use it. But why is it that I don’t have a press pass (don’t want one either) and still beat all you clowns with the news of Adam Larsson’s return by more than 24 hours? Way to use your access.

Rogers Place Crowd Shots

If you’re lucky enough to get tickets to an Oilers game then I think the whole night should be an event. People shell out plenty of dough to be entertained and I think that should also consist of when there’s nothing going on on the ice. Why is it that the only move the in house media team has is to show crowd shots between every play? I remember when I was a kid and there would be game highlights spliced into movie clips, out of town highlights, trivia questions, and just general ways to make fans of the other team look like idiots. That was all good stuff. What happened to that? Does anybody remember laughter? For as much as you’re paying to be there, the Oilers should be doing more to provide value for your ticket. I need you guys to go to other arenas and see what they’re doing for their fans because the crowd shots thing is getting tiring.

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Matinee Games

While I generally appreciate a good opportunity to get day drunk, I’m annoyed by all of the matinee games the Oilers have played this year. Who was it at the NHL scheduling office that decided it would be a good idea for the Oilers’ weekend schedule to be filled with early starts. To make matters worse, the Oilers have lost four of five of those games and, all of a sudden, my daytime buzz has turned into an angry hangover by dinner time. Hockey is best played when the sun goes down, and I don’t care what baseball tells you.


As OW-20 pointed out in the comments, no Festivus is complete without a few feats of strength. While the start of this season hasn’t necessarily gone as planned, 2017 had plenty of highs to go along with those lows. Here are a few feats of strength that come to mind for me:

  • Connor McDavid hits 100 points, wins the Art Ross and Hart Trophy
  • First playoff appearance in a decade? Yeah, buddy.
  • Kassian’s playoff sideburns inspired a Nation
  • Draisaitl’s playoffs were a thing of beauty
  • The Year of Nuge is upon us
  • Talbot should’ve had a Vezina nomination last year
  • *TING*


With that, I have aired my grievances for another year and I feel better about it. If there’s something I missed, hit me up in the comments section. If there’s something that’s been bothering you about the team all year, I want to hear about it. It’s on this most special of days where we can look at the team we love and mercilessly complain about them. For if we do, a Festivus miracle may appear.

  • EastVanOilFan

    I agree about the “eye ball” approach by the media, which is furthered by some fans themselves. Honestly if half the fans ripping on our stars knew 1/4 as much as they think they know they “might” have jobs with a hockey team. So until then stfu and let our 20 y/o stars develop. Did you just further play out the msm blogger pissing contest? Matinee games should be played by eastern teams in the west, or by teams in their own time zone, that’s fair. Also when trying to converse/debate with fans online why do they resort to taking cheap shots about someone in your profile picture who isn’t part of the conversation, it’s classless and tasteless and has nothing to do with the oilers or the debate and it makes them look like halfwitted morons. GRIEVANCES AIRED!

    • Danoilerfanincalgary

      Actually the Oilers are 26th for a PP % of 16.3 with Chicago Columbus LA Buff and Carolina worse than our team. The players just need to shoot the damn puck more and I am pretty sure the coaches have instructed them to do so.

  • I Appreciate all of the work you guys do. I am more fond of the legacy writers around here though. Maybe I’m just gettingnold, or maybe I just don’t share their opinions.

    Happy Festivus!

  • MessyEH!

    The early starts are so the Eastern markets can watch McDavid at a decent time. It’s good marketing to promote your hottest stars to the biggest markets during prime time.

  • Prairiechicken

    I shouldn’t complain about going to the games. First world problems. But to double down on the in game fan shots … The worst is when they superimpose pumpkins, Santa hats etc on the fans heads. Cheesy to begin with, it goes on for way too long, and half the time it doesn’t work. The technology was better 5 years ago on my phone.

    I cringe every time …

  • Bumbo

    4 years at 4 million for Kris Russel. What were you thinking Pete. There’s 5 defenceman I’d play ahead of him on the the team right now and probably 6 next year. And to boot Kris is cowboy tuff so he’s never going to be out of the lineup. Ps Kris Russell seams like a super solid dude and wish him the best and a very merry Festivus.

  • FISTO Siltanen

    After the early season swoon and the glib analysis from much of the eastern media I have little interest in hearing what any of them have to say save maybe Ray Ferraro.

    The rest? One minute the Oilers are going to the Cup final. Next they are struggling and the season is lost. Next they’re back.

    Do they see anything interesting or are they just parroting what everyone else says?

  • Beer

    WOW!! What is with this love affair with Eberle? The perception of his work ethic by other GM’s in the league must be unfounded. Have a look at his scouting report from draft year. I’ll say it again, Eberle was traded because Eberle.

    Please, which big ticket UFA’s could/would have signed for no term? Furthermore, trading the few good prospects we have for the short term is organizational suicide.

  • Dirtbag Daddy

    I agree with a number of statements that BM has written, but there are some that I don’t agree with. I agree that singling out star players is not a good thing. This is a team game not a boxing match. They play as a team and lose as a team. They play a lot of games in a year and when the star player is run down or having an off game he shouldn’t be criticized. Blame it on coaching or the management if the streak continues as they will be the first fired.

    Edmonton, in my opinion is a hockey hotbed. You could play a number of minor league players and everyone would be okay with it as long as they gave their best effort. The fans are expecting every player to show up and give there best effort and if they don’t, the fans expect the coach to have a little discussion with them or bench them. EFFORT is the biggest asset a player can have. The fans also expect a player to be paid their market value, not over pay them as some players appear to be. There should be a clause in the contract that if a player does not play as well as their contract year, they should give the money back. It would almost guarantee that the signing of the contract doesn’t weigh down their wallet. (Maybe this is what was meant that the Oiler’s are a slower team)

  • OliverPromenade

    Anyone else just loving the Seinfeld marathon going on on the comedy network? My laptop is toast so the archaic ways of cable TV are saving my life at the moment

  • slats-west

    For grievances – the PP easily is tops. Until they get someone who can get a hard shot on net from the point then it’s too easy to key on McD and Drai. Letestu has been a giveaway machine any time he handles the puck. Lucic needs to get his sticks on more pucks in front as well as most seem to hit goalie in the chest. Still perplexed why Darryl doesn’t get a shot on the point and Pooparty? Stubbornness of coaches is weird. What are you rewarding incompetence?

    PK is better and will improve with Dadbot back to form and Sekera return.

  • gordo

    grievances? why don’t the broadcasters display a shot clock? some of us like to calculate save percentage on the fly. why do the really knowledgeable hockey guys like ferraro, and mackenzie work for the network that never broadcast oiler games?

    • @S_2_H

      Because Sportsnet got the nhl’s National rights a couple years ago, so now we have to ingest more Doug Maclean and Jeff Marek than any one person should have to endure.

  • oilerjed

    BM, the beef between MSM and bloggers is pretty simple IMO. Bloggers represent a threat to their livelihood. Right or wrong you would probably lash out too unless/until you were able to adapt. Everyone’s gotta eat

  • Festivus is a special time of year. No year is complete without the airing of grievances and don’t forget the feats of strength. Every good son should wrestle his father. It’s all about respect after all.

    My grievance is there should be an outdoor game Xmas day. No, I don’t care about others and their wishes. Merry Christmas!