There’s something odd going on in Oiler camp. Maybe you’ve noticed. No? Well…psssst, here’s a little theory: Oilers’ brass have a hot little weapon they think is going to lead them back to Stanley’s promised land. It’s not Taylor Hall or that fresh-faced little hot-shot, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. And certainly not goalie Nikolai Freeman Khabibulin.
River City residents might have seen the subtle beginnings of this potentially history-changing weapon a few years ago with the first appearance of the retro orange and blue jerseys. Connecting the dots to identify the nature of the weapon would have been difficult as the retro jersey had a mere moment under the lights — lost beside the regular jersey, the MacFarlane cartoon monstrosity, and the white throwback jersey used but once in the Heritage Classic (before becoming the primary jersey along with its blue brother in 2009-10). The appearance of the retro Orange-and-Blue was really the first test of the new weapon; a trial run. Management must have liked the results because the retro uniform is the primary uniform for the upcoming season.
So the weapon was cloaked in secrecy then. Today, however, the blogs and headlines buzz with conjecture about the weapon. RiverCityAlberta has moved beyond conjecture into the real world of weapon identification. What is the Oilers’ new weapon, you ask? It is a new, state of the art (digital and with excellent reporting capabilities) Super Time-Machine-i-Phone!
Developed in top-secret Microsoft laboratories, the Super Time-Machine-i-Phone was first test-run in the 1985 Stephen Spielberg production, Back to the Future. It was a promising start — so much so that in the spring of 1986, the Oilers begged Mr. Gates to release a beta version to them. It’s easy to look back now and suggest the Oilers wished to scrub a Steve Smith from their registry, but that is only speculation. The STMiP was further tweaked in Back to the Future 2 and Back to the Future 3. It’s been rumoured that Mr. Spielberg begged for Microsoft funding to make one more movie, Back to the Future 4-Ever. Their final conversation on the matter is said to have gone like this…
“Billy, Spielberg here. Are we gonna do 4-Ever — can you back me one more time?”
“Don’t think so, Steve-o. Busy launching Windows 3.0 — but I’m really excited about the early work on 3.1. Did you know the 3.1 will have–
“–I don’t care about that Billy, with all due respect. I just need to know, unequivically, will you fund 4-Ever?
“Sorry, Steve-o. Can’t do that to Fox. Mikey J gets shorter and shorter every time we send him back. Can’t do that anymore.
“But Bill, Mike’s Canadian; he won’t say anything.”
“Can’t do it, Steven. That’s the end of the matter.”
Years would pass while the STMiP was tested and polished. Field work was completed with the Harlem Globetrotters, the Boston Red Sox, and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The ‘Trotters and Sox had good success with the beta versions but the Leafs almost destroyed the prototype. The STMiP was saved but the Leafs remain somewhere back in the late 60’s.
Fast-forward to 2011, today. Now the signs of STMiP with the Oilers are evident. Consider:
- The afore-mentioned retro jersey, now front and centre in every game
- Kevin Lowe was brought back to the Oilers. Yes, several years ago, but it took the STMiP some time to work the Lowe bugs out.
- Ryan Smyth has again donned the Orange and Blue. As testament to the quality of the STMiP, Smyth’s mullet is as it was. Perfection.
- Daryl Katz has morphed into Peter Pocklington, you betcha. To wit: “The Oilers will not play in Edmonton beyond 2014.” Unless he gets his $100 million, of course.
The Oilers and their new weapon fully expect to bring Lord Stanley back to River City. Work continues to bring STMiP free agents Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier back to the fold. Rumours abound that the Super Time-Machine-i-Phone is having a bit of trouble recreating Messier’s hair.
(cue Springsteen’s Glory Days)
Rexall Place could be rockin’ round the clock this season.