"Just Like Gretzky Used To Do"

With NFL training camps starting this week, I thought it would be a good idea to re-post this beauty from earlier in the summer courtesy of The Onion. If you missed it, grab your towel and flip-flops, because you're about to enter The Steam Room. And if you saw it when it came out, it's still worth a second look, I'd say. Make sure you catch all the proposed rule changes in the NHL press release. Enjoy.


Six Terrible Jokes About Saskatchewan

Originally uploaded by dullhunk

The Oilers announced their pre-season schedule today, and nestled among the 5 other don't-matter-except-that-player-x-proved-me-right-that-he's-horrible/great games is an outing on Sunday, September 21 in beautiful Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I wouldn't count on much work getting done down at the old wheat pool on Monday (1).

When Garth Snow answered 'Saskatoon, Saskatchewan' to Charles Wang's question about this year's pre-season neutral location, he was immediately fired under suspition of casting incantations (2), and promptly replaced as GM by Dwayne Roloson. Roli quickly cleared things up by drawing Charles a map of the province... Which was easy... Because it's a big trapazoid (3).

The location was chosen because, quote: "We're concerned that Tavares may try to run off at some point during training camp, and this way we'll be able to see him running for days (4)."

So dust off your good overalls (5) and break out the pils (6), 'cause NHL hockey is headed to Saskatchewan.


Go West! This is our destiny!

So the City of Oklahoma City and the Oilers have been quietly putting together a deal that will see Edmonton's dormant AHL franchise heading to the capital of Texas' Toupée (aka Oklahoma). Big Willis Style confirmed as much, and I've been musing over the move for the past couple days. The whole thing seems to be flowing very smoothly, setting it apart from the herky-jerky Oilers offseason thus far. Naturally, I got suspicious and started doing some hard-nosed investigating. As it turns out, my late night dumpster diving is good for more than just finding furniture and meeting singles!

There I was, thigh-deep in Pat Quinn's soiled Depends, and what did I see nestled between a half-eaten tuna melt and a heap of Dany Heatley Oilers jerseys? A document outlining the names they've been knocking around for the new franchise.

The following is a transcript of what the Slow Fresh Oil: Forensic Unit has been able to decipher amid the tuna splatter and cheesy grease stains:


Meeting Minutes
July 7, 2009

I. Call to order
Chairman Daryl Katz called to order the meeting of AHL Franchise Naming Committee at 13:30 on July 7, 2009 in the Executive Board Room located 20 floors below-- [illegible].

II. Roll call
Kelly Buchburger, Secretary, conducted a roll call. The following people were present:
Daryl Katz, Owner, Grand Poo-bah & All-Around Sweet Dude
Patrick LaForge, President & Chief Executive Officer
Kevin Lowe, Alternate Governor & President of Hockey Operations
[illegible, very large glob of tuna]
V. New business
i. Naming of the newly approved AHL franchise in Oklahoma City
Mr. Katz discussed importance of living up to the great naming tradition of Oklahoma City sports franchises. Mr. Katz proceeded to praise the rich history and the effective naming/branding efforts of such storied franchises as the Thunder (National Basketball Association), the RedHawks (Pacific Coast League), the Yard Dawgz (Arena Football 2), and the Lightning (Women's Football Alliance). Interrupting, Mr. Lowe asked for confirmation that all of the listed franchises were indeed real and not figments of Mr. Katz's imagination. Secretary Buchburger showed Mr. Lowe the Wikipedia articles for each franchise on his iPod Touch. Mr. Lowe poured himself a neat scotch and downed it rapidly--
[illegible, small-to-medium cheese stain, likely a sharp cheddar]
List of Suggested Names:

Oil Drops
PROS: Strong link to parent franchise; Strong link to oil industry of target region
CONS: Negative link to plummeting oil prices/struggling economy of target region; Sounds like a Peewee team name

Yard Dawgz
PROS: Strong recognition in target region
CONS: Already used by AF2 team in target region; Stupid name

PROS: Honours prominent Gaylord family of target region; Ending the name with -z, to quote Mr. Katz, "Totally makes it sound totally extreme..."
CONS: "...Wait. Gay-Lordz. Omigod. No dice, LaForge, you giant queer."
Note: Mr. LaForge insisted that the records show that he is all about the punani. Not that there's anything wrong with...[illegible]

PROS: Strong recognition in target region; Logo concept complete, see fig. 1.6 [image shows Unabomber police sketch with hastily drawn-on shutter shades]; See second PRO listed under Gaylordz suggestion
CONS: Negative link to the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to the September 11 attacks; Shutter shades are totally out this year

PROS: Jetpacks are sweet; Star Wars is sweet
CONS: 4 people have read the Arms & Equipment Guide; 4 people!; EVER!
Note: Meeting delayed for approx. 45 minutes to allow for Mr. Katz and Mr. LaForge's debate over the best New Jedi Order novel. It was settled that Dark Tide I: Onslaught is the best novel.

Flaming Lips

PROS: Honours famous band from target region; Possible cross-promotional opportunities
CONS: Compromises planned sponsorship by Rexall-brand herpes medication; Possible link to Calgary Flames organization

Note: At this juncture, Mr. Katz proceeded to play She Don't Use Jelly at an excessive volume, ignoring the meeting. After lighting a marijuana cigarette, Mr. Katz informed all attendees that all "squares" would be fired and that he could "totally feel" the lyrics of the song. Mr. Katz then ate four donuts in rapid succession and fell asleep under the catering table.

Meeting was adjourned by Mr. Lowe, who deemed Mr. Katz incapacitated and incapable of fulfilling his duties as chairman.

Next meeting: TBD


There you have it! A thrilling peak behind the scenes of the fast-paced world of professional hockey franchise ownership. If all their meetings are anything like this one, I think the fans in both Edmonton and Oklahoma City can all look forward to a great new franchise.

I mean, it can't be any worse than Springfield... Can it?


Dog Days of Summer

Gary Larson's hilarious musings aside, there's a lot of uncertainty about when exactly man domesticated the dog. Was it the mesolithic age? The neolithic? The consensus in the archeological community seems to be that humans and dogs began their 'best-friend' relationship somewhere between 10 and 30 thousand years ago. That is why it is with great pleasure that I can announce that SlowFreshOil has obtained evidence that canine domestication began much, much earlier:

I can't quite tell if we're looking at Homo Habilis or Home Erectus here*, but based on these findings, I think we can all agree that we're talking early Paleolithic age. Probably 1.5 - 2 million years ago.  It's nice to finally put this archeological mystery to rest**.

*Grow up.

**And seriously, good on Zack for getting out into the community in the off-season and putting in face time for a worthy cause.


City of Chumpions

What is that sound high in the air
Murmur of maternal lamentation
Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon only
--T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland

It's been a wild couple of days in the NHL and the Oilers have been prominent as always. Unfortunately, prominence is an axe that swings both ways and, by most accounts, the Edmonton Oilers' very public inability to woo or keep any big ticket players (the most recent example being Dany Heatley) has branded the club and, by extension, the city as a post-apocalyptic no man's land where hockey goes to die. We must look quite the fools sending our leprous management team, dressed in crudely patchworked scraps of 1980s power suits, to convince actual hockey players to play for us. Even when we manage to reel in a star, it doesn't take very long for them to grow weary of the daily deathmarch over cracked earth to the mausoleum that is Rexall Place, thrusting up at the sky like a gravestone on these empty plains. Lucky for them, we, the fans, are much too down-trodden and wrapped up in our own self-loathing to notice them leave.

Everyone over at ON seems to be steeping in vitriol over this Heatley fiasco and they are sending out the call that we should pull back our tattered hoods, squint through the clouds of ash and pestilence, and look for the milky white dot that used to be a blazing sun of hope. And we will. We will rekindle that fire in our hearts that gets doused every off-season and we will work ourselves into that all-too-familiar frothing mob of loyal fans (last seen when the Oilers managed to string a pair of wins together). With or without Heatley, we're still lucky enough to have a professional hockey team in Edmonton. A team that bares its intentions for all to see and has the scars to prove it. A team that does not differentiate between desperation and passion. A team, God bless it, that will fly its three top execs to the summer home of a bonafide goal scorer at the 11th hour, just on the off chance they could convince him to end this madness and agree to score those goals for us.

So it didn't work. Yet. So we're all going to have to continue playing the waiting game. For now. So we're the laughing stock of the League. Fuck it. We're the goddamn Oilers and we're gonna do whatever we damn well deem is necessary to grab the bull by its short and curlies and, if we get shaken off, you can bet your ass we'll stand up and try again.

So, gentle readers, we're all in this together. We gotta hang on tight, prepare for anything, and hold onto what is really important in the midst of all this insanity:

Someone better remember to pick up Nikolai at the airport.