‘Tis the season for forced family time, outdoor hockey with your garbage friends, sugar and sodium-filled delicacies, booze and, of course, gifts.
Being the exceptional group of investigative journalists that we are at Oilers Nation, our team of reporters (aka me) was able to bribe its way to get a sneak peek at what Santa, Peter Chiarelli and Daryl Katz have en route for the Oilers and their fans on Christmas Day.
Here’s what will reportedly be making its way under the tree:
To: Connor McDavid, From: Darryl Katz
A $200 Rexall gift card.
Following a recent “slump” in which McDavid still scored at around a point-per-game pace (but wasn’t his usual otherworldly self), No. 97 was apparently infected with every single virus known to mankind, according to multiple reports and summed up by this spectacular Sportsnet graphic. The team will obviously need its captain to be at full capacity the rest of the season, so former owner Darryl Katz pulled some strings and is generously providing Connor with all the support he needs in the form of a gift card to everybody’s favourite pharmacy — Rexall!
To Oilers Fans, From: Santa
Framed stills of Jesse Puljujärvi.
The graphic posted above went viral for another reason, which was the insanely hilarious, Shrek-like facial expression rookie Jesse Puljujärvi was caught making as the list of “illnesses” flashed across the screen. A quick google search will reveal Puljujärvi’s true facial-expression prowess (utter domination, really), and after everything Oilers fans have gone through in the first part of the 2017-18 season, good ole St. Nick decided to bless everyone with a framed 8 x 10 photo of the finish face-maker extraordinaire.
To: Oilers Fans, From: Peter Chiarelli
A lifetime subscription to the Nuge.
Who needs Netflix or Spotify, just give us more Nuge. Despite the up-and-down struggles from the Oilers this season, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has put up the best campaign of his career so far. He’s developed into one of the best true No. 2 centres in the NHL and is on pace for career highs in goals, points and powerplay points while boasting a shooting percentage of 16.7% — 5.5 points higher than his career average. Unfortunately, Oilers fans have become accustomed to seeing its start forwards flipped to other clubs after investing years of development, so this holiday season Santa is making damn sure that Chia gets nowhere near that “trade Nuge” button for a long, long time.
To: Kris Russell, From: Santa
A military-grade ballistics vest.
Forget your Corsi and possession metrics, nerds, NHL shot-blockers are the real heroes among us. Sure, maybe he’s playing in his end way more than he should, but Kris Russell has absorbed a shit-ton of rubber this year as he leads the NHL in blocked shots (99) and blocks per game (3.13). A nice, well-built, military-grade ballistics vest will give Russell all the protection he needs from the massive amount of flying frozen biscuits coming his way, while also keeping the defenceman safe from the barrage of shots that fans and media tend to fire at the slightly-overpaid blueliner on a regular basis.
To: The Entire Roster, From: Santa
A special edition DVD of Old School. (With this part on loop)
After the team dug themselves quite a hole through the first 30-something games, Edmonton will need to go on a couple of serious winning streaks to have a chance at the postseason this spring. There is no better sports psychologist and mind coach than Will Ferrell, obviously, so Santa is bringing a special version of Old School with the infamous “we’re going streaking!” scenes on full loop. Let yourself go and allow Frank the Tank take you where you need to go, fam.