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WTF does this guy get all the blame for?

I know. You're thinking "why doesn't hunter1909 ever write about anything topical?"

The answer is simple. All I want to write about has been said, on other forums and usually it gets me banned. Fuck, I've even said too much on this blog, before going into my trip down memory lane.

Anyway it is bound to piss everyone off who reads it, who thinks the Oilers are still Ryan Smyth's team. Also people argue how Smyth deserves to have his jersey retired, a topic that threatens to give me a brain anyeurism. Why? Because he lost some teeth once. Because he's "a warrior".  Also, and no doubt this is the true reason, because the Oilers are now as lame as possible as a championship franchise, so now we can start retiring numbers of players who lead us to first round playoff  exits. Just like the canucks. 

This is Steve. I used to think it was Kevin Lowe when I was a kid, cuz they both have similar slitty eyes. I couldn't tell them apart.  That Scottish John Wayne look that's ideal for driving cattle on the range. 

Anyway Oilers lost 4 FUCKING GAMES to the Flames in 1986. Not just the game poor Smith know the rest. 

I've never been mad at Steve Smith for that own goal. I'm mad at the Oilers for getting themselves into such a position against those piece of shit, one cup only and it was flukey sons of bitches. To even start with. 

my fifth fave Oiler ever

Yep. Another one of the big five. I always did like winners in sports.

Sport isn't like real life. In life, you can count money made as a measure, or who gets the hot wife, or who turns out to become a rock star, but I always loved one thing about team sports: You can quantify virtually everything. There is fuck all room for debate when counting cups won, or points scored. Which is why I always win hockey arguments with flames fans. 

Islander fans might try to pull the old four in a row argument out, but in the end I wait them out and they usually end up crying. Four in a row is great, but 5 out of seven eventually trumps it every time. 

It's also the biggest reason I'd have loved to have played in the NHL. I'd have gone in knowing it wasn't going to last, so I'd just try to stick around for as long as I could - knowing full well that when it ended I would have something to look back on that I could count, and accept the fact that the rest of my life would be for the most part the same chaotic mess that is it for most people. 

I also happen to hate the current Detroit Red Wings. But I cannot deny that they're a really successful team. 

It wasn't always the case. I remember seriously feeling sorry for Steve Yzerman who was a great young player, because he had to play on such a shitty wings team. Or gloating when Slats raped them in the Jimmy Carson trade that I always thought put the finishing touches on the 1990 cup winning team. How times change. One thing I do like about Detroit these days is their fans(non bandwagon) understand what winning hockey is about.

I never thought much of Jari Kurri until 1990. Up until then, it had been a combination of other players I preferred, as Kurri just seemed too defensive and boring. Sure he'd score a lot of goals, but I thought he was Wayne's goal suck. 

Before you crucify me, I hadn't yet made teenager. I'd grown up watching this crazy team and they had so many facets of interest for me that I'd often end up liking players for reasons other than technical ability. Kurri seemed like one of those old metallic table hockey players, in comparison to some of the other Oilers. 

Then 1990, and the Wayne-less Oilers went on the rampage, after quite a scare at the hands of their playoff girlfriends the Winnipeg Jets. If you think the Oilers were the Star's gfs in the 1990's, you should have seen the Jets. The remnants of their dominating WHA team, the Jets tried to play open hockey against quite probably the greatest attacking team in history. Every time they met in the playoffs, it was usually a nice easy sweep or something. The Jets weren't even girlfriends. The Jets were the chick that blows the team behind the bike shed.

But in 1990, the Jets went up 3-1 in the annual whipfest. It looked like the boys were goners. Then Messier woke everyone up, and bingo the Jets blew the series.

That's when I started to understand just how great Jari Kurri really was. And wow what a player! Defensively so conscientious that the coach could trust him in any imaginable situation and be secure in the fact that Kurri would play perfect positional defensive hockey. I mean perfect. Then, the other Kurri - a goalscoring whiz. The perfect scoring winger. On the same level as Mike Bossy. Seriously.

The reason I'd overlooked him for so long was, he was perfect. Out of all the Oilers dynasty, Jari Kurri was just perfect.

I'm already getting comments about how I need to start picking post 1991 Oilers in my all time fave list. But honestly, who can compare to the 5 players I've listed so far? 

my fourth fave Oiler

Okay. Maybe I should be writing about something topical, like how much I'd like to have the current team draw lots to see which two I'd have shot by a firing squad, probably along with the head coach. 

But no. Instead I'll continue to wax positive, like Black Dog(name dropping) and all the other bloggers who jumped on my case prior to me even thinking about ever having a blog no doubt would prefer.

Besides, it's kind of nice writing about my favorite team, like I know what the fuck I'm even talking about. 

Mark Messier centered my favourite Oilers line. The second line. Messier and Anderson plus Simpson Klima or whoever played like the rest of the league, so I could relate to them better than Gretzky and his angels. I knew they weren't as good, but I like things that I understand. Killer line. 

I got to congratulate him a couple of days after the 1988 Canada Cup. Everyone had just seen that all time greatest shift ever played in hockey history, and it was still fresh and bloody. Messier played great also. In particular I recall him viciously elbowing a Russian behind their goal, and openly gloating about it as he skated off. The Russians all looked the same to me back then. I didn't know what to say to him I was so impressed, so I told him that I thought it had been a great series. He replied with  "Yeah, it was" and that was it. 

Mark Messier was the sole reason I decided to never play organised hockey again. When he was traded for the biggest palooka I've ever imagined compared to the moose, I decided I'd finally had enough of playing hockey. 

At the time I was 14, and had like many kids growing up in northern Canada I always played hockey every winter. In my case, ever since I was 5 years old. For the record I'm Scots Irish on one side, with a long history of half assed but never good enough to make it in the bigs players for 3 generations before me, like a great uncle who was supposed to have tried out for the Rangers in the 1930s or 1940s. In my family hockey playing history dates back to a picture of my great grandfather taken in 1899, aged 14 in one of those classic 3 guys facing off for the camera pics. 

I played left wing, was a natural skater thanks to my mom's side of the family having French ancestry, and an absolute goal suck. I thought defence was for idiots. Goalies were sub-humanoid creatures, barely even worth noticing. 

I knew I was never going to be a professional hockey player. I wasn't stupid like that. There was a kid playing for an opposition team in the league who would go on to play in the NHL, and I knew I wasn't a thousandth as talented as him. 

Anyway I'd accepted the Oilers losing the cup for 1991, but still believed in their ability to return as a champion. They still had the nucleus of a champ, I figured. Then Messier went to the Rangers, for a player who in any sane universe would never be even considered to be traded for a player who ends up number 12 on the all time list of hockey stars. 

It made me want to puke. Right there and then a revelation of future adult life came to me. A premonition of clarity that we all get at extreme moments in life. Unlike the Gretzky trade, when I was still really just a little kid, I was now older and getting more and more cynical by the day. I didn't know a lot about the outside world, but was at that stage in life when hormones start kicking in. Right then and there I knew...I just fucking knew that the Oilers were dead as a dynasty and forever gone as a credible franchise. I knew that from that point on, they might win a few more than they lost, but in the playoff wars they simply wouldn't have the horses. In trading Messier at a stroke the Oilers became the LA Kings of the north.

I told everyone who would listen that I never wanted to play organised hockey again. And I never did. What had taken place was, I'd just made my first executive decision. 

My third favourite Oiler

Okay. I'm probably kind of insane here. I mean, Wayne Gretzky, only third on my all time list?

But that was how I saw it as a kid. 

I loved the Oilers. Growing up as an Oiler fan during those times, you didn't need to read comic books so much. Your heroes were real life dudes, and you could actually see them from time to time, as they went about their business. 

Like this guy. My grandfather has his place right across the street from him. Near Jasper Avenue. Needless to say I was never going to turn down a chance to see grandad at his place, which was convenient for my parents who could dump me off on a Friday night and until Saturday or Sunday.  Sometimes I would see him going to practice in the morning.  

As a player, it was weird. he wasn't like any other player. He wasn't big and tough, he never fought, but he was a genius. 

There are better things written about him than I'll ever be able to write about, so I won't bother analysing his style. What I will say, is the day he got traded I was in shock. I was eleven by then, and didn't want to cry. In a way, I'm still in shock from that day. I still wonder how many more cups he would have won as an Oiler, even as I gloat that he never even got to another final series. He never seemed quite as good after the Oilers. I'll always be quick to mention mean stuff like that, because the way he left town helped betray my childhood worldview. It made me turn bitter towards him, especially after watching him razzing the Oilers bench as his new team came back from being down 3-1 to take the 1989 playoff series. 

Of course he was still a genius, but his heart and soul were left behind in Edmonton. From then on in, everyone still raved and I suppose it's cooler to have John Candy coming to see you instead of me, but he would never experience the level of affection that he was and deep down will  forever be held in the hearts of the Oilers fans who were fans, back when he was ours.

My second favourite Oiler

This guy was simply great. Glenn Anderson played on my favourite Oiler line, back in the day. 

I mean, I knew it was only the second line, but the Messier/Anderson line played hockey in a way that simply made more sense to me than the Gretzky one, who basically looked like a bunch of angels coming down from heaven to play hockey. 

Now on this line, Anderson was just the dirtiest, nastiest and orneriest s.o.b. to play against than I've ever seen play the game. The other teams hated his guts. Sooo much. He seemed to play most of his games whacking the opposition with his stick, then, just when we needed a huge goal, Bang! Anderson scored. 

To a younger Oilers fan, if I were to describe the play of Anderson, it would probably be to say, he was everything Ryan Smyth was, but ten times meaner and with a shot that could thread the eye of a needle. 

There are moments in this life that define everything. Precious seconds that ultimately can make the difference between winning and losing a battle, a business deal, a girlfriend sometimes, or in context of this blog a hockey game. Most people simply don't possess the ability to produce the goods, when under these uber-stressful conditions. They freeze up. Shit themselves. 

Never Anderson. 

If there was one dynasty guy I'd have liked to have magically appear on the ice for the 3rd period of the 2006 finals, it was him. Glenn Anderson would have got them the game winning goal. 

My Favorite Oiler

This is my all time fave Oiler. 

Today, people don't mention this dude when talking up greatest ever defencemen, but for me Paul Coffey in his Oiler days was something else. 

He could skate faster than anyone I've ever seen in my life, buzzing around the rink like an angry hornet. They say his defence wasn't much to write home about, but like Bobby Orr(who I'm totally convinced is the greatest player to ever lace up skates) who needs to defend when the puck is usually on your stick?

I remember going to games at Northlands as a kid and watching the opposition, who more often than most were fucking terrified of being slaughtered. By the end of the first period. They'd have this weird look about them, like they knew they were in for an ass kicking, and there wasn't a thing they could do about it. 

Even Oiler penalties were fun to watch. it was more like "which one of them is going to score a shorthanded goal tonight?" than worrying about letting in goals.  Four on four back then was the way teams had to play for 2 minutes when concurrent penalties to both sides were called. It was almost like a 5 on 3 powerplay for the Oilers. I don't really know who the opposition would put out, but I remember seeing Gretzky, Messier, Anderson, and Coffey...

They were so good at humiliating the rest of the NHL during 4 on 4's that a major rule had to be changed - making it so the teams could both stay at even strength. Only one other team I know of was so good that a rule like that was changed and that's the 1950's Montreal Canadiens. 

I'm glad Paul Coffey went to Mario's Penguins, and won another cup there. Oilers at least didn't get robbed in the trade that brought Craig Simpson, but how many more cups were left in the original big 5 Oilers, Messier, Kurri, Anderson, Gretzky, and Coffey - who started being broken up the day this guy went East? 

Hysterical Oilers Fanclub

Thanks to Lowetide, I've decided to take him up and start this. 

Thanks, Lowetide. 

I probably won't keep this going for long, it's just an expression to show my viewpoint at the worthlessness of the entire Oilers organisation ever since the day they traded Mark Messier away for a worthless Bernie Nichols.

I am old enough to remember, even at the tender age of 31, how even before Gretzky got traded away there was always this talk of how "Edmonton will lose Gretzky".  As a child at the time, this made no sense. After all, the players only made so much money, and wasn't Wayne signed up until 2000?

Silly me. Imagine, expecting people to honour a contract. 

Fast forward to the 90s. The Oilers stink, threaten to leave town constantly, the populace knowing that once the Oilers leave town, CFL franchise aside the city is finished as a major sports/entertainment dot on the map. Luckily Kevin Lowe was there, to tell everyone how once the new CBA was signed, the Oilers would then be ready and able to compete, right up there with the big boys. 

And, Lowe's inability to ice a comprehensive team aside, they very nearly pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat. One game away from winning their 6th cup. 

But I grew up when the Oilers didn't just show up at the dance. The team I saw live 50 or so times as a kid actually used to win the thing. Like Wings fans today, I just knew the Oilers were great, and the odd year they didn't win, well, so what. I knew they would be back, next time. 

Unfortunately Kevin Lowe couldn't keep his team together. All of the good players left, leaving the grinders and slugs behind. Lowe then doubles everyone's pay out of loyalty i guess, and what are we left with today? A team that isn't good enough to compete for the cup. Yet, it's one of the most expensive teams in the NHL!

A lot of Oilers fans these days remind me of people raised in a cave, who have never in their lives seen the daylight. Like the Morlocks, in the movie The Time Machine.  No ability to think for themselves, they blindly believe whatever crap the current Oilers management sells to them. Craig Mactavish, having Chris Pronger and Mike Peca no more to lead the team has shown no ability to develop players, institute comprehensive systems, even keep the right amount of players on the fucking ice, as witnessed by so many too many men on the ice penalties. 

So what do these fans do? They huddle together and endlessly come up with imaginary line combinations, which no one in the world gives a fuck about playing. As the Oilers continue to flounder, these days looking more like a 2008 expansion team than anything else, they actually think/hope that by changing a few players around that it's going to make a difference.

Well. Sorry guys. You've got the wrong end of the stick. What you don't seem to understand is, the Oilers, a sports team, are essentially no different than any organisation, be it the army, a corporation, or even a church. In any of these organisations, everything starts at the top. When the leaders are incompetant, the organisations in question all will suffer.

The fact is, these Oilers show no more proclivity for success than at any time, 2006 playoffs excepted, since the 1990 cup run.

And the way things look from here, it's going to have to get even worse, before it gets better.