Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

WAA!! Gimme back my superstar!

You know, I’ve made a pretty strong effort to stay out of the Chris-Pronger-out-of-Edmonton scandal, but I also don’t go telling the bank when the ATM spits out too much cash.

But along comes Andy Grabia, who (near as I can tell) has been replaced on the Oiler end at Battle of Alberta, but the kind of replacement where you keep on blogging regularly. He unleashed a little Duck-bashing today, to remind us all that indeed these games do count again and oh yeah, I hate your team.

All this despite the fact that (a) we don’t even play Edmonton until after Thanksgiving United Nations Day, (b) I traded Petr Sykora to Grabia in our fantasy league, and (c) uh, we lost to you in the playoffs, remember?

Do I sense an pent-up case of ProngeRage?

Now, let’s be clear. I don’t have any “insider info” on Pronger or anything, and this Friday will really represent the first regular season game where I actually root for Pronger. I’m not sure that I’m a Pronger groupie just yet.

Even so. Let’s set this straight.

Your underdog team rides a late-season-surge goaltender to 3 improbable upsets and gets to a heartbreaking game seven, one twist of fate from being cup champs. Days later, your hopes at any momentum are shattered as your superstar leader decides he’d rather play elsewhere. And he ends up going to an already-decent-showing team, turning them into cup favorites.

Yeah, sounds pretty fucking sad. Pardon me if I don’t grab you a Kleenex.

Oh, let’s flash back to the distant past, say 2003. The Mighty Ducks also had those 3 improbable upsets against better teams using a hotter goaltender. And though the team had warned their superstar that he wouldn’t be given a $10 million qualifying offer, it was generally understood that Paul Kariya would sign a deal for something like $8 million instead (he also made many references to “next year” at the postseason parade). There was even some speculation that the extra money could land someone like UFA Teemu Selanne.

But then, the first goddamn day of free agency, Kariya landed Anaheim with a solid “fuck you” punch when he signed a one-year deal with the goddamn Avalanche for a “double fuck you” cost of $1.2 million. Oh, and “triple fuck you” Selanne went too.

So yeah, Edmonton? You have it rough? Well, the main differences I see are (a) you got players and picks, we got a postcard, and (b) we still gotta pay Pronger a superstar price. Goddamn Avalanche.

Good news for you? That Kariya-and-Selanne-on-talent-laden-Colorado thing didn’t work out.

Bad news for you? Neither did our Fedorov-and-Prospal-can-be-just-as-good thing.

Odd news for all of us? A fucking Duck fan knows better how to deal with this loss than the boo-hoo Oil fans.

Maybe just because we’ve been kicked and spit on from day one, but Duck fans are pretty thick-skinned to taunts by now. That said, Grabia’s dead right about one thing (though not until Nov. 28 Oct. 25 for Anaheim-Edmonton)—these games do count. Enough screwing around and being all offseason-friendly.

Pronger prefers Anaheim. Wipe those tears and deal with it. Yeah, I got some sympathy for you, but don’t play “poor us” against Duck fans. Fans of this franchise have pretty much got you covered on every level.

The only thing we got going for us, apparently, is that we don’t have to live in the frozen outpost of Hoth. Oh yeah, and we got Pronger, nyah nyah.


Tapeleg said...

Ouch. But true. I'm sick of the Pronger whine.

Jordi said...

I dunno, maybe Pronger likes Anaheim because more girls want him to sign their chests?

But fans never let go. That's what they do... Best.

VeryProudofYa said...


Man, Edmonton fans are so amusing. They're like Down's kids trying to open a locked door. THey just can't seem to wrap their heads around anything.

Miss. Scarlett said...

Your photoshopping skills continue to amaze me.

Anonymous said...

I love that the off-season blogger lovefest is over. There was far too little antagonizing between and with the three 'Battle of' sites as well as between Canadian teams in general.

Off-season's done. Time to drop the gloves.

And that rant about Oilers' fans is right on. One good playoff run and all of a sudden they are 'due' a cup. BS.

Anonymous said...

WHOA, mama! (that was my morning reaction to this post). I'll try to be coherent, but no guarantees...

I've been growing tired of the Pronger-leaves-Edmonton blahblahblah too, so I'm glad you said it, grabbed the bull by the horns and, well, all that jazz.

I love the parallels between us losing PK and the Oil losing Pronger... I hadn't thought of that before, but that must be exactly what it feels like to the Oiler fans...

One hell of a post, E-Sleek, one hell of a post.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and quick note:

Ducks host Oilers Oct. 25.

Oilers return the favor Nov. 28

Earl Sleek said...

Ducks host Oilers Oct. 25.

Crap. I've looked about 2 games into the Ducks' schedule.

Updated with correct matchup date.

Anonymous said...

Boo hoo on both of you. Both of your teams got hot after squeaking into the playoffs and almost won the Cup, which is still quite an accomplishment. Cry me a river about the aftermath.

That being said, Kariya left the Ducks because the team didn't make him a qualifying offer. Not because he demanded a trade. Not because he held out. The Ducks basically gave Kariya an escape clause, gambling that they'd resign him at a lower salary. I imagine the reason Kariya didn't show any loyalty to the Ducks is precisely because the Ducks just expected him to play along with their stupid gamble.

Remember, this is the same organization that had Disney execs calling Kariya up during his last contract negotiation and telling him that if they gave him a big contract, they'd lay off some of the the low-level staff, and how do you feel about that Mr. Millionaire? Sheesh. Would you feel obligated to that bunch of a-holes?

The Oilers fans (and organization) have a much more legitimate beef with Chris Pronger. By demanding a trade before the jock straps were dry from the Cup finals, he lowered his return value, handicapping the team.

Really, fans should be more pissed off at the management of their teams than the players in these circumstances. Except that they don't see the idiotic negotiation and politicking, just the W-L column and crappy play.

But anyway, as a non-Ducks, non-Oilers fan, I've got no particular dog in this fight (go Sharks!). All I can say is, if history is any indication, prepare to have Pronger break your heart one way or another while he's a Duck. Just ask the Blues and the Oilers fans.

Kent W. said...

You'll find a lot of whiners among the Oiler faithful. Their favorite topic, aside from the Pronger lament, is that the Flames are literally nothing without Kiprusoff...

Just wait to see the Stinktown sputtering should they go into another 0-7 tailspin like they did last year. It's quite comical.

andy grabia said...

I see the public school system in California is as pitiful as its reputation. If you could actually read my post, you would see that I didn't whine about Pronger as a Duck even once. I imagine he'll keep on doing what he's always done: not win. Enjoy, and hey, maybe try and win a game against us this year.

PJ Swenson said...

If your team was launched by Emilio Estevez, if Disney tagged your perpetual exapansion team with a "Mighty" label, if the jersey your team wears is purple, and if you have to dodge mobs of children at the rink on game day, then you do not really have to listen to the complaints from other NHL cities.

But I have to hand it to Edmonton, after going Italy on the Sharks and Ducks to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, they took it to another level in the offseason.

Every team has been burned by a star leaving. But how many have had to deal with muliple fake paternity rumors as a result?

Edmonton fan is the new Raider fan.

Earl Sleek said...

If you could actually read my post, you would see that I didn't whine about Pronger as a Duck even once.

Aw, Grabs. I was like Mr. T, trying to pity the fool and get to the deeper issues.

There's been enough ink on Pronger at BoA to warrant a response eventually; you just happened to wake me up yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Oilers fans need to quit whining about Pronger. Its over, get over it.

Anonymous said...

Edmonton fan is the new Raider fan.

Ouch. =D

Anonymous said...

As neither an Oiler fan or a Ducks fan, but someone who reads most of these blogs, I have to stick up for the Oilosphere. The griping was almost completely finished until Pronger brought it up once again in an interview last month.

As a Sens fan, I have to say, at least you don't have players missing almost a whole season holding out for more money or a trade...damn Yashin..

Anonymous said...

I think we can all appreciate Rachel's sentiments and hate Yashin.

BTW...the Sharks/Ducks rivalry WILL be as good as the Oilers/Flames... 2 opposing system...good forwards versus good D-men...

I think Oilers and Sharks will have the upper hand in these rivalries...

Brushback said...

Great post by the way, Earl. This shit's damn entertaining.

macndub said...

Nice rant. I like.

I gotta disagree with the "thick skinned Duck fan" thing, though. I mean, you have a legit alternative in your metro area that wasn't owned by Disney. Even had a couple of hall of famers . Complaining about the angst of being a Ducks fan is kinda like complaining about the shrewish girlfriend--if you don't like being a loser, change up the affiliation. I hear that the Islanders need fans.