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Oil Patch

A New Era of Hope

While ultimately, I did choose to be an Oilers fan, it is something that I was born into. I was born in the ‘80s and while I may not remember details, I remember excitement around the team. I remember celebrations being held at the end of school years, and I remember tears when Gretzky was traded. I may not remember a lot, but what I do remember were the emotions, the excitement and that people were for the most part happy. For years Edmonton has been sold various forms of hope, even HOPE, Taylor Hall, Linus Omark, Magnus Paajarvi and Jordan Eberle. While you can say that times have been tough in Edmonton, they have been really tough since 2006 and every year seemed to get worse. 

With every top pick in the summer, the belief was that the next season would be different, the next season would be when things turned around. Of course we all know how that ended up. But of course, this year is different.

The emergence of Connor McDavid has been watched for years, and Oilers’ fans never thought they would see McDavid wear their jersey. We all know how things happened, but do we all know what this is doing to a broken hockey community?

Last season while the games were technically sold out, you could get tickets to pretty much any game you wanted to, and for a great price unless you were the one taking a loss on your tickets. Personally, I could hardly bring myself to watch an entire game, let alone write about the team. I wanted to believe that things would get better, that the team just needed time but nothing seemed to be changing. It’s funny how a few month can change that perspective.  Plus the changes reflect at virgin games promo code just shows you all is going to improve with the Oilers.

This summer I also welcomed my first child to the world. My son is born into year of great change in the organization and a year when a game changing player comes into the league. Whether or not he will be a hockey fan, let alone an Oilers fan remains to be seen, but what I hope he remembers, what I hope has some impact on him will be the excitement and the happiness of a winter city the way I remember it. 

 

 

With long dark days for half of the year, hockey is a big part of the community from community rinks straight up to the highest level, Edmonton is a hockey city. It’s something that brings us together and something that can pull us apart. This year we hope for the former and really, we deserve it. 

While the Edmonton Oil Kings may not have had the season start that they were looking for, Edmontonians came out to support the team and welcome the start of a new season. On Sunday afternoon’s loss to the Red Deer Rebels there was a crowd of 7216 loud hockey fans. That's something else to be excited for. 

I asked the obviously upset Oil King head coach Steve Hamilton during the post-game scrum what having this type of fan support meant to the team. His response was full of emotion; “it was awesome having them, it was great. Guys really look forward to this game, it was great. Everybody’s into it and wants us to play well. Everybody else showed up, we didn’t the first period, so that was disappointing but at least we rallied ourselves in.” This is a year of transition for the Oil Kings. Their Memorial Cup winning team has for the most part graduated and dispersed, graduating up through the ranks of the hockey world, and the new players have big skates to fill. The Oil Kings will play some exciting hockey this season, people are excited for Oil Kings hockey, but the pressure is off of the Oil Kings this season, now it is up to the Oilers to win, thrill and excite. 

Filed in: Edmonton Hockey, Edmonton Oilers, WHL, Edmonton Oil Kings, | Oil Patch | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid

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About Oil Patch

Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.

Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.

Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.

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