It’s never easy to be an Oilers fan, or an Edmontonian. Even with five Stanley Cups from 1984 to 1990, the Oilers were always on borrowed time, weren’t they? Gretzky, Kurri, Messier, Lowe, Coffey, Fuhr… they were never going to stay, were they?
And, what about in the last 22 years? Sure, there was that run to Game 7 of the Cup Finals in 2006, but that came out of nowhere. It wasn’t planned. It was as chaotic and random as the plot of the movie Crash, and its Oscar. The Oilers have had three straight number one draft picks, and now they get a lockout which will almost surely last 12 months.
So, what happened today? Why is this article being written? Because now, the Oilers might move to Seattle.
This tip comes from the news that Darryl Katz and Kevin Lowe were in Seattle on the day the Emerald City passed a 7-2 vote to approve the construction of a new stadium, or arena, which is valued right now at $490 million. Basketball and Hockey. Both are now possible in Seattle, and nobody in charge of the Oilers is denying the possibility.
In these cases, it’s always been the same… where there’s smoke, there’s an oil leak.
“As the City of Edmonton is aware, the Katz Group has been listening to proposals from a number of potential NHL markets for some time,” said the Oilers brass, in an article posted by The Score. “After more than four years of trying to secure an arena deal and with less than 24 months remaining on the Oilers’ lease at Rexall Place, this is only prudent and should come as no surprise.”
Gretzky’s exit was bad enough, and that was 24 years ago. Edmonton is right up there with Winnipeg in the battle for the NHL’s Siberia. It only exists because Hockey Night in Canada has a duty to remind us how “Canadian” the city and its team all is.
Even Wayne, for all his loyalty to Canada and all the great things he’s done, lives in Los Angeles. And, Phoenix. And, once, New York.
Sooner or later, everyone leaves. And, if they don’t leave, they get mad at everyone else because they’re pis*sed off they got to escape and the one whining didn’t.
So, congratulations, Seattle. It will be nice to see the Canucks’ travel time halved.