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?

1 comment:

  1. My suggestions:

    The Oklahoma City Canadians

    The Oklahoma City Okies

    The Oklahoma City McGraws

    Either way, I sure hope Rob Daum likes cornbread.