According to Paul Lukas of ESPN.com, the Edmonton Oilers have the 14th best jersey in the NHL. A middle of the pack ranking coming from a network that would rather show ten pin bowling than focus on the NHL. A network that focuses on college football and basketball and if you polled their entire staff, I’m willing to bet over half of them wouldn’t know what offside is.
So do we take the good with the bad in this case and accept the ranking? Or is sitting at number 14 a blatant showcase of disrespect for a franchise that has much history? ESPN would likely discredit the jersey given it’s a Canadian franchise, not knowing what the copper and blue truly represent.
Lukas has ranked the Montreal Canadiens as number one followed by the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers. The Chicago Blackhawks and their fans are likely feeling disrespected with a ranking of eighth. Here is a jersey that is deserving of being in the top three, further discrediting Lukas and his theory.
The Toronto Maple Leafs could be ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers for number five given their original six status, but that’s a minor point in this case.
After the Hawks, the Minnesota Wild, Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils, Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers sit ahead of the Oilers. Are kidding me? The Wild? What kind of name is that let alone their jersey and logo is horrific. And the Panthers? It’s a cat that hasn’t changed since their inception. It’s boring and aside from tinkering with the details and color scheme, the Panthers jersey stinks.
Lukas wrote this about the Oilers uniform:
The Oilers were ranked 26th in the NHL in last year’s Power Rankings, which sparked a bit of an outcry. Totally justified, too (the outcry, not the ranking), so here’s a heartfelt apology to the team and its fans and a revised ranking that more accurately reflects the team’s aesthetic status. Hey, we all make mistakes.
What the hell is he trying to say? Some mumble jumble about the power rankings from last year so he feels compelled to rank the team’s uniform higher based on the reaction from the fans? At least he admits he made a mistake and this year is another one. Give your head a shake Mr. Lukas, this is an abysmal job of trying to understand a sport that clearly isn’t for you.
David Staples from the Edmonton Journal also disagrees with Lukas’ ranking of the Oilers jersey. Staples points out the history behind the epic Oil Drop, referencing the glory years of the “NHL’s greatest attacking team.” He also uses the analogy of the Oil Drop symbolizing a tear drop from the Gretzky trade, arguably the biggest trade in modern sports and could be compared to that of Babe Ruth being dealt from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees.
Thank goodness it’s Friday and the weekend is here. After reading that piece by Paul Lukas of the all mighty ESPN, I need a drink. It’s five o’clock somewhere right? Consider the source on this too though. Lukas ranked the Oakland A’s as the the third best uniform in baseball, ahead of the Yankees, Red Sox, Giants and Dodgers. I guess he likes the color green.
To echo the words of the San Jose Sharks twitter account, maybe ESPN should try showing more hockey highlights. Maybe then they would come to understand the game of hockey and the history that comes with it.