Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cheers to the EIG

So the Phoenix Coyotes have filed for bankruptcy and Jim Balsillie (who was fined millions for backdating options by the Ontario Securities Commission... I wonder why other owners don't think he'll fit in). Some Canadians seem to take delight in the plight of the Phoenix Coyotes and hope for them to move on up to Southern Ontario where the team could make money since it's actually, you know, a hockey market. All of those Les Alexander fans can stick it as far as I'm concerned (I'm sure Mr. Alexander is a great guy but my memory of him, not so much). I remember the days (1995-96) when, even in "hockey-mad" Edmonton, the team was drawing under 13,000 fans per game. Still, they didn't have the worst attendance in the league that year. That honour belonged to the Winnipeg Jets. All I'm saying is we're not immune to hard times here in Canada, especially when faced with a team at the bottom of the standings (when was the last time the Coyotes made the playoffs? I wonder if that has much of an impact on attendance...). I hope things work out for the Coyote fans in Phoenix. I hope that you guys will find your own Cal Nichols, your own Bruce Saville, Jim Hole, Gary Gregg and others (in fact some of them may own winter homes in Phoenix... you may want to look into that). These guys all had strong personalities and they sure didn't always agree, but they all came together to keep hockey in Edmonton. For all the flack the EIG has taken around the Oilogosphere for various and sundry ills it's days like today that we need to raise a glass and remember. Thanks for believeing in Edmonton when the building was two-thirds full, for putting your own money on the line, for letting me go through high school with a hockey team to cheer, for building the Oilers back into something that unites Edmontonians, for standing up to Glen Sather, for spending the money in 2006 and for all the hours of work those things took. Thanks.

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