It’s a brisk and lovely Halloween morning here in the capital city with months still left to wait until the next season rolls around, and that’s given me plenty of time to think about what’s to come for the franchise and the league in general.
REST EASY, JOEY MOSS
I was never lucky enough to meet Joey Moss or interact with him at any level beyond what I watched on TV, but he made more of an impact on my life than I ever could have imagined. One of the first things I can remember about being an Oilers fan is my dad running through the roster of who was playing at the time, the mid-nineties sell-off meant a lot of players came and went during that time so it was confusing for me to keep up sometimes, but seeing Joey Moss post up behind the bench was a constant that you could set your watch to. I remember being about seven or eight-years-old when I learned the story of how Wayne Gretzky got Joey his job as the locker room attendant, and for the entirety of my life, it’s always been a blessing any time I got to see him pop up on my screen or at the rink for any reason.
For me, hearing memories about Joey from the people that actually were able to spend time with him was very special. I was lucky enough to speak with Sam Gagner on Thursday’s Real Life Podcast (the interview is above), and it was great to have him share a few stories from the time they spent together and offer some insight on what he was truly like behind the scenes. Whether he was belting out the anthem or cheering for wins as hard as any of us were in the stands, Joey Moss was a bright light on so many dark nights as an Oilers fan and I am going to miss him very much. That said, Joey Moss will leave a legacy on this city that will last forever and that’s a pretty cool story for a guy that meant so much to so many, or as Barrie Stafford put it, “He is the most famous guy in Edmonton and doesn’t even know it.” Rest easy, Joey.
WHAT WILL HIS TRIBUTE LOOK LIKE
As much as we’ve justifiably made fun of the Oilers over the past 10+ years, one thing that they always do well is find ways to remember their own and honour the players that have meant so much to the franchise and city. When it comes to Joey Moss, his impact on the organization and surrounding community is unquestionable so I’m really curious to see what the team will do in terms of a tribute. If you look around Twitter, fans have been pitching some great ideas like renaming the community rink, putting a statue next to Wayne, retiring his seats at Rogers Place, turning them into a charitable place for making La Bamba the win song, and a whole lot more, so I’m very curious to see which direction the Oilers will go with their plans. Either way, I’d bet Gregor’s farm on the Oilers doing a great job of honouring Moss and I’m very excited to see what they come up with. If you guys have ideas for what the Oilers could do to honour Moss then I would love to hear them in the comments section.
THE THIRD JERSEYS
Another note on the Oilers front, been told the team's reverse retro uniform will be the standard design in white with orange shoulders & blue trim (like the image included). Not sure if the logo colours have been inverted as well, but that would be a nice touch. 📸: @icethetics pic.twitter.com/u1ZdZcJ0MV
— Tom Gazzola (@TomGazzola) October 21, 2020
Just over a week ago, Tom Gazzola tweeted out a potential third jersey design for the Oilers based on the leaks from Icethetics, and while I will admit that I’m over the idea of a new jersey coming out every year, this one is actually pretty fun even though it’s not all that creative. The jersey is a throwback to the WHA days and a colour scheme that we haven’t seen on an Oilers road uni in decades, which makes it slightly more unique from the other designs that we’ve seen in the past while still honouring the logo we know and love. That said, if they are going to do this yearly, I would love to see the Oilers actually come up with something different for once. Something that gets away from the norm. Something that will make Oilers fans do a double-take because it wouldn’t be at all expected. Why not switch up the logo for once? I know a lot of people aren’t fans of the Todd McFarlane jersey that boys wore sometimes in the EIG days, and I’m not even saying that they should bring that back, but it would be nice to see some more creativity for their thirds than simply switching up the colours every year.
KRIS RUSSELL EXTENSION REACTION
With some water under the bridge since Kris Russell signed his extension, I wanted to spend a few minutes looking back on the moments between the time when the rumour first hit that Russell would be signing an extension and the time when the full details were finally revealed. In the hours between PuckPedia releasing the initial tweet that kicked things off to the moment the $1.25 million contract was announced, the reaction amongst Oilers fans was about as entertaining as it gets. For some of us, the idea of a Kris Russell extension was enough to trigger flashbacks to previous regimes where every deal handed out featured a sizeable overpay and it was the kind of stress that no one needed on a Wednesday morning. For others, a new deal for the cowboy meant that the Oilers were bringing back a veteran defender that was willing to sacrifice his body in the name of defence, which is always an admirable trait around these parts. The debates on social media were passionate, the pre-deal overreactions were priceless, and the whole morning was another dose of ridiculousness that we Oilers fans take seriously. For me, arguing about the merits of a contract that hadn’t even been signed yet was as fun as it was stupid and it’s one of the reasons why I love this fanbase as much as I do. We didn’t know anything about what was going on, but we argued and yelled about it anyway and it always makes me laugh. Oilers fans are the best.
WHERE ARE YOU, ETHAN BEAR?
As we roll into November and Ethan Bear is still without a contract, I’m starting to wonder how far apart the two sides are on a new deal. That’s not to say that I think anything is wrong or that a deal won’t get done, but rather that I’m curious where both sides are at with the negotiations. Pre-COVID, I was hoping that Ken Holland would look to extend him longterm at a lower cap hit just like Chiarelli did with Oscar Klefbom, but now that we’re riding through a flat cap, I don’t know how realistic that idea is anymore. My uneducated guess would be that we’re probably looking at a two or three-year bridge deal, which certainly makes sense but could end up costing the team a lot more money down the road, especially if he continues to develop the way we all hope. No matter what is decided, I hope the contract gets done sooner than later so that we can have one more unknown get checked off the list.