Five Things I Miss About Oilers Hockey


PRV. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-US PRESSWIRE

You love lists.  You love overpriced beer, hand-held snacks, and lists.  I know you, for I am you.

With the recent announcement that all November games have been swept from existence, now seems like a good enough time to run one of those ‘reminiscing’ posts that we all have seen way too much of. And because I like you guys, I’m not going to even think about making you click five times to see five different reasons.  That’s lame, and you got stuff to do too.

In no particular order, here are five things I really miss about seeing the Oilers.  We’re keeping it to five things, and if the lockout goes another month, we might find another five.  Or ten.  Or six.

1)  Hockey.

Well, yeah.  That’s why we’re here.  Hockey.  It glues us together.  It is our lifeblood.  With apologies to the three futbol fans that are reading this, hockey is the greatest game.  The sight of watching Taylor Hall lumber up the ice, or seeing Jordan Eberle thread through the smallest of tight spaces in order to score on the backhand.  The smell of vulcanized rubber, and the sound of pucks clanging off goalposts and crowds cheering when Sam Gagner hits the scoresheet on eight separate occasions in one sixty minute time frame.  It’s like nothing else in the world.  Watching a last place team is painful a lot of the time, but I dearly miss it.  Oh, and the taste of cold beer.  Let’s hear it for beer, who has single-handedly gotten me through more than one dirt bomb of a game.  Thank you, beer.

2) The story lines and narratives of training camp

You know who would be a fun guy to pull for if there was an NHL season this year?  Taylor Fedun.  He is a prime perfect example of the kind of story I like to hear about during training camp.  A local guy, Taylor Fedun’s hopes of playing in the NHL during the 2011-12 season were dashed in seconds after sustaining a career threatening injury during a preseason game.  Today, he’s currently a contributing member of the OKC Barons.  Would he have made the Oilers out of training camp this year?  Maybe not.  Then again, I didn’t have Corey Potter sticking around last year…

3) Quality writing around the ‘sphere

2006 seems like a few years ago.  Yes, it’s the last time the Edmonton Oilers saw that thing called ‘playoff hockey’, but it’s also when I started a blog that dealt at least in part with the Oilers.  It’s now 2012, and I’ve been at Oil On Whyte since the doors opened in 2010.  Some of the best hockey writers on the planet specialize in writing about the Edmonton Oilers and their plight in trying to find the second season.  If you haven’t afforded yourself an hour, check out the blogroll to the right of the page.  I’m lucky enough to be in the same breath with some of them.

Honk. Photo courtesy Sportsnet

4) Gene Principe

Principe may look like he’s goofing off all the time.  Get past the props and goofiness, and you’ll see that he’s an integral part of the production.  It also helps that Principe isn’t a dummy, and he knows what he’s talking about.  Sure, there are times he’s lobbing softballs to guys like Tambellini, but I like him, he seems to be an honest dude.

I saw him calling what appeared to be a soccer game the other day.  God, I miss hockey.

5)  Devan Dubnyk

Okay, you might be able to file this under the “hockey” category, but this is my list, and I’m choosing Devan Dubnyk at number 5.  Why?  Devan Dubnyk is the best thing this team has in net right now.  He got a whopper of a raise (from 800K to3.5M) this past season, and he’ll have some awfully big shoes to grow into if and when this season ever gets underway.

He had a rocky start to begin 2011-12, but was the clear number one goaltender on the Oilers at the season’s end.  If he can start the beginning of the year like he finished in 2011-12, we might be on to something.

Oh sure, there’s crushing defeat, aimless GM moves, bad PR, Daryl Katz ‘exploring’ Seattle, and the rest of the arena debacle to name a few downsides.

I still can’t wait for opening night, whenever it is.

What’s something you miss about the Oilers?

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