Originally, my plan for today’s post was to recap some of the top stories of the year that Zach Laing has been aggregating over the past month or so, but then when I sat down to write, I decided to pivot. Rather than recapping the recap, I decided I would be better served to use this time to say thank you to all of you that have been reading and interacting with us throughout these past 12 months. You have no idea how much it means to us.
There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that 2020 has been the weirdest year I’ve ever experienced. Things actually started out pretty great, we packed a bus full of people for another road trip to Calgary in early January, I went to Mexico late in the month to watch a friend get married, we took an amazing group of citizens for a Nation Vacation down to Vegas in February, and the Oilers looked like they were legitimately turning a corner after the calendar flipped… For me, the first couple of months of the year were actually working out pretty well before the wheels came off. Then, just over a week after we got back from our trip to Vegas, COVID-19 forced us to close Nation HQ, the NHL season was postponed, we all went into the first lockdown, and not a whole lot has really felt very normal ever since.
Yet, despite the oddness of our new reality and total lack of real hockey news to talk about for months on end, we’ve still managed to post hundreds of articles to the site to try and keep everyone entertained while also maintaining some level of normalcy. If even for a few moments, it was important to give people a place to go and feel like things weren’t a total disaster. This job basically turned from our normal duties of reporting on the Oilers to working through an extended creative writing exercise, and that was a real challenge for all of us as we always wanted to make sure that there was content up for people to read if they wanted. Thankfully, your support and willingness to follow us down the rabbit hole on some of the weirder ideas we had to run with meant that the site was able to survive and float through what was basically two separate offseasons in a single year. When I think back on the last 12 months, it’s almost unbelievable that we finally made it to New Year’s Eve despite all of the challenges we’ve had to overcome.
In a normal year, we’d be closing out the calendar with an Oilers game day post from Gregor and a Wrap Up shortly after the final buzzer, but instead, I’m here with a quick post to say thank you. Thank you to everyone that continues to read the articles even though we’re still over a week away from the season even starting, I know that seems like a casual thing to do but I can’t even begin to come up with the right words to express how much that means to us. You folks are the backbone for the incredible community that surrounds this website, and we’re eternally grateful that we were all able to ride through this shitty puddle of a year together. It may not have been what we wanted or expected, and we may have even disagreed on how things were playing out, but I’m thankful for every minute we’ve shared on this strange trip called life.
From all of us here at Oilersnation, I want to thank all of you for sticking with us this year and I cannot wait for the Oilers to come back so that we can all do what we do best — argue about every single aspect of this team’s existence regardless of how things are going. After the year we’ve all had, the idea of talking about the powerplay and whether or not Dave Tippett has his line combos right seems like the kind of reward that we all deserve, and I’m beaming with excitement that we’re so close to being able to do that again. And even though I know there will still be challenges coming as we head into 2021, it makes life feel a little bit brighter to know that we’re all going to build those bridges together.
Thank you, Nation, and Happy New Year.