Other ways to waste your time- Rather than write another post detailing and describing what I think is wrong with the Edmonton Oilers, I thought I would focus this post on alternatives for Edmonton hockey fans. There is much in the way of high-level hockey being played around our region, so if you can’t bare to watch the circus that is the Oilers any longer, there are numerous options to fill the void.
The University of Alberta Golden Bears Men’s Hockey Club is currently ranked #1 in the country and un-defeated in conference play. I’ve written about the Bears before and it is my feeling that they are the best, “bang for the buck,” for hockey fans around Edmonton.
The Bears are on the road this weekend in Lethbridge. According to their website, they Bears are back on November 15th to take on the University of Regina.
For local junior hockey, Edmonton Hockey fans have both the Junior ‘A’ AJHL and the Junior ‘B’ CJHL as options. I omit the WHL and the Edmonton Oil Kings as the Oil Kings are owned by the Katz Group/Oilers. The only way that Mr. Katz will get the message that fans are frustrated is if he starts losing money, so supporting a sister organization would be counterproductive.
The Spruce Grove Saints take on the Brooks Bandits on Saturday at 7pm at the Grant Fuhr Arena in Spruce Grove. The Sherwood Park Crusaders on are the road this week.
In the Capital Junior League, fans have 14 games to choose from starting Tuesday night. Check the CJHL website for more info.
Locally, the ACAC (Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference) features local teams from Grant MacEwan, NAIT, and Concordia. On Friday, the Grant MacEwan Griffins welcome the Keyano Huskies to the Bill Hunter Arena at 8:15pm. On Saturday, the NAIT Ooks take on the Portage College Voyageurs at 7pm at the NAIT arena. Also on Saturday, the Concordia Thunder face-off against the SAIT Trojans at the Glengarry Arena at 8:15pm.
If local junior ‘A’, junior ‘B’, university, or college teams aren’t your thing, you have another Major Junior option in the form of the Red Deer Rebels. If you are like me and don’t want to support the Katz Group/Edmonton Oilers until they start demonstrating that they value their fans and are committed to icing a quality product (and you don’t mind a 1.5 hour drive), going to Rebels’ games versus Oil Kings’ games makes sense. Unfortunately, the Rebels are on the road this week and their next home game isn’t until Friday, November 15th against Moose Jaw.
The point is that there is plenty of quality hockey to watch around Edmonton. The only way the Oilers will start to make any sort of meaningful change is if they start to see empty seats at Rexall. As a fan, the only vote you have is with your wallet. Thats its.
If you give another brand of hockey a try you may find, as I did, a quality product that is worth your time and money.
I didn’t buy U of A Golden Bears’ seasons seats this season as a protest. The debacle with the Oilers hadn’t yet started when I made the payment. I decided to buy them as I went to a playoff game last spring and the on-ice product was far better than I had anticipated. In retrospect, it was a fortuitous move as the Oilers leave me depressed most nights and with the addition of the Bears into my sporting lineup, I have the opportunity to look forward to watching an ultra-competitive team live every two weeks.
If another source of local hockey doesn’t scratch the itch, at least you won’t be out very much money. Admission to the games I’ve mentioned is a small fraction of the cost of even a nose-bleed seat at Rexall.
It is a sad day when I lifelong fan is writing a post like this about his favorite team.