Oilers History: The mishandling of Jason Arnott
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12-09-2012, 03:58 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Evil Empire
Originally Posted by
I hope you are right. Would be nice to hear from the Edmontonians cause u arent one right?
I am technically a Sherwood Park-ian, which is a suburb of Edmonton.
Originally Posted by
most of alberta is like texas, but my understanding is that edmonton is a progressive liberal oasis in that province.
yeah, it's ridiculous. and i'm going to have to paint edmontonians with a broad brush here, and i don't think this is representative of all, or even most oilers fans. as ogopogo notes, i'm sure most reasonable people in the city could give a spit who arnott or eberle or RNH is banging. but i think the city, the press, and the city higher-ups (say, bill comrie) have created a very idiosyncratic relationship between the city and the team; the city's institutions are built around the hockey team in non-economic ways that is pretty unique even for canadian franchises. this is the flipside of edmonton being a great hockey market and adopting its star players as sons. in edmonton, the press seems all up in players' business in a very different way from montreal, and really really different from vancouver and toronto. edmonton is not a small town by any stretch, but its intimate relationship to its hockey team seems to be more like a small town's relationship to its CHL team than a big city's relationship to its NHL team. so the same way that in, say, medicine hat alberta, people in the town whisper and gossip about who the tigers' star center is dating, who he cheated on that girl with, who he got pregnant, edmonton seems to feel that kind of small town intimacy with its millionaire pro players. only of course edmonton is a city with more than a million people, so the gossip mill happens through the press instead of, say, at church or in town hall meetings.
and i think this is very edmonton-specific. the oilers have long been run like a family, with lowe, mactavish, and all those guys sticking around post-career, with a huge emphasis on a guy like comrie, who was the oilers' stickboy when he was a kid, this is really CHL kind of stuff. feels super friday night lights to me too.
there obviously were internal team and private family reasons why comrie and pronger wanted out. but i think if it was toronto, their situations wouldn't have come to quite the head that they did; they maybe even would never have gotten caught. and honestly, you can see why a guy like dany heatley wouldn't have wanted to go there. on the other hand, when it goes well, it goes really well. how sad was ryan smyth to leave that team? the city embraced him like he was their son.
whereas in montreal, the press is all up in the players' business, but it behaves more like the british tabloids. it doesn't come from intimacy, but from a viewing of the habs' players as celebrities whose private lives the public feels a sense of entitlement to.
but all that said, i'm getting a lot of this from what calgarians tell me about edmonton. so grain of salt.
This is pretty accurate.
I think the very love-hate relationship Edmonton has had with some former, or even current players, is exacerbated by the Edmonton media being incredibly soft on both major pro franchises, the Oilers and Eskimos. Pretty much every media outlet will kiss the ass of both teams, managers, and coaches. They would never say anything bad about anyone for fear that the team would stop granting them easy access. That is, until a player/coach/GM leaves, at which point it is open season and they will gutlessly criticize mercilessly. The fans sniff out problem coaches and managers much faster than the media, but since the media refuses to scrutinize (do their job) fans get pissed off and over the top with their vitriol.
When you open a newspaper and see somebody like Shawn Horcoff being defended by a writer who just wants to ensure he gets his free pass into the arena, it just fuels more anger. Wheras if you open the paper and see Horcoff being ripped a new one, you can just nod your head and quietly agree.
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