Loose Change: Covered in Oil

The following is purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laugh while reading this, while framing this, or while burning this. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?

I might as well cut right to the chase. Like it or not, we are about to see another championship banner unfurled fairly soon at Rexall Reach Centre or North Boogie Wonderland Place. Let’s just say Edmonton.

Can you feel it building? Since giving the Wings their recall notice, the Oilers have been living off a steady diet of West Coast seafood and cartoon poultry. They are now a team possessed, spurred on by the ghosts of Mark Messier and Peter Pocklington (who, interestingly, now runs the pretzel stand near the arena’s southwest entrance). Hockey world: prepare for another Edmonton Oiler Stanley Cup, banner No. 6 I believe (they can now trade up to that really large teddy bear they’ve been eyeing all these years).

So, as a service to the rest of the hockey world, nay, sports world, allow me to re-introduce you to the newly-improved, vaunted Edmonton Oilers hockey club. This is truly, not your father’s Oldsmobile (you smashed that up after graduation, remember?).

The city of Edmonton lies at 53°30′ north latitude, 113°30′ west longitude. (This information, I realize, is absolutely no benefit to you, other than for trying to justify blowing over a thousand bucks on that GPS instead getting Mom that kidney she’s always wanted). It has a population of 800,000, which is roughly the size of Indianapolis for those of you from Indiana, or your total number of first cousins named Nate for those of you from Mississippi.

Edmonton is the capital of Alberta. Alberta is a province in Canada. Canada is that little country just north of the United States. Yeah, look up that way. That’s them waving their fingers from behind that hemp shed. We’re number one! We’re number one! (At least I think that’s an index finger).

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The hockey team itself has a rich hockey tradition. They joined the NHL in 1979 after being one of the last rats to leave the SS WHA. They are the only remaining WHA team to still reside at their original locale (two of the other three changed locations, the third is waiting tables somewhere in Arizona).

The small population base in Edmonton forced the Oilers to be creative in financing the team and to form a strong power base. Presently, the team is owned by 31 small investors. For you fans in Chicago, that’s like every one of your season ticket holders having a slice of the team.

Edmonton has been the poster child for the NHL’s new salary cap reality and has flourished in their first season under it. They managed to attract big name players like Chris Pronger and Michael Peca with promises of playoff success and licorice as far as the eye could see.

They have managed to defy all odds and survive through a very rough period when wins were scarce and Kevorkian was on speed dial. They have rallied together in a communal spirit not seen since Salem ceased burning witches and have provided the blueprint for success in the new NHL (available on eBay, I might add).

Be prepared hockey fans. Horcoff isn’t a hooker with a cold, Raffi Torres isn’t a Latino party clown and Fernando Pisani wasn’t a deckhand on the Santa Maria. This year Cinderella has a really bad beard and smells of petroleum. These are the Edmonton Oilers.

Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN’s hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Tuesday and Thursday, only on

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