We have a buddy who has convinced himself for some reason that today – 09-09-09 – is a day of of magic and wonder because of the fact the date can be summarized with the same number thrice. We wonder if everyone has a buddy like this, who looks at the calendar several times a year and exclaims “DAMN SON! Do you realize that it’s (insert stupid date here)” Then he looks around in awe and wonder, as though gumdrops will rain from the sky simply because it’s September 9, 2009.

We may not subscribe to stupidity in a grandiose scale, but we can agree that all sorts of interesting things are happening. Much like our colleague Jason Gregor has already noted today, it seems like forever since we have written on the hallowed ground that is the Nation. But unlike Gregor, who is taking his time away to decipher the transgenderedness of Lady Gaga we have busied ourselves getting things ready for the new season.

If you had told us when we launched this site that it would still be around in 2009 we would have roundhouse kicked you in the thorax and then told on you for lying right to our face. Then after we had calmed down from all the crying, we would have probably asked you “does the 2009 version of the Nation have an edit button on comments?” Then you would have been forced to say no, then it would have been back to the kicking and the tattling.

New site on the way

As part of our “throw your life down the toilet and get on with living in the river valley 2009 Edition” we have sat down with some genius progamming types to plot out the future of the Nations. For those of you folks who are new to the Nation, we have had hilarious problems with trying to improve the Nations in offseasons past. The current version of the Nation was launched in December 2008. But much like a pair of Size 32 trousers on Dustin Penner, we too have since outgrown it. So now we have spent the past 2 weeks looking at other websites, stealing ideas, eating granola bars, talking to people way higher on the food chain than we are and putting together a new version of the Nation which will launch sometime in October.

New Gear on the way

We have also received a few emails from folk asking why we have taken down the Nation Gear store on the site. The reason is quite simple one. But because we don’t understand web development, computers and refer to electricity as “a miracle,” we won’t embarass ourselves with an explanation. Suffice to say that the site kept crashing in large part due to the e-commerce department of the operation. The web developers we are now working with reviewed the site and laughed heartily at many of its components. “Har! Har! Har” they would guffaw, “you must be some kind of stupid to have paid for this garbage Wanye. ”

That was the point of the meeting when the roundhouse kicking and the tattling began anew.

The point of this story? Yes, we are getting new Nation Gear for the 2009-10 season and yes, it is going to be cheaper than it was last year and yes, it is going to be a wicked new design and yes, there are going to be hats too. It truly is a new beginning.

Jonathan Willis


Well, well, well. Speaking of a new beginning let’s take a moment to discuss our good friend Jonathan Willis for a moment shall we? You remember Jonathan Willis right? The guy who has taken more shots to the face than the entire UFC combined from some people over the past 18 months? The guy who has written more articles about the Oilers than the Edmonton Journal in it’s entire history? Well all you Willis haters can just get ready to eat a triple helping of wang because:

*massive drum roll*

Jonathan Willis has been hired by the Score


We can hear the haters right now “But how can this be? What am I to do? Why won’t girls ever talk to me?” That friends, is because you are ugly. Ugly and terrible smelling and you can’t judge talent for shit. Bob Coatsworth, head-big-cheese-massive-deal-guy at The Score sure can though. We discussed this during a lengthy email chat, and we asked him about Willis, the big move and tried to hit him up for a $50 loan (he said he would think about it.)

“We are really excited about this move to bring Willis aboard. As far as hockey bloggers go, there are very few that are as good with analysis, opinion and are especially as prolific as Jonathan. I first started reading Jonathan last winter and kept an eye on him knowing that hiring a full-time hockey blogger was something we’d eventually be able to do. In June we got the okay to do it and then I spent the summer making sure that I couldn’t find someone better. I realized right away that would be impossible.

The Score has recognized the value of blogs for a while now.  There have been blogs of some type on our site going back as far as maybe 2001 or 2002. But it wasn’t until the last three years or so, when more resources started going into the website, that we really put effort into blogs to varying degrees of success and failure.

Sports blogs are a great complement to the MSM. They don’t get much respect because any old keyboard warrior can start one up, but among the hundreds that might do that, there’s always a few that dedicate themselves to it and contribute something really valuable. Gone are the days that it’s necessary to go to journalism school to get this kind of opportunity. The web has proven that.”

Question: How awesome is this? Answer: Very. Big ups to the Score for their forward thinking and general niceness.

Let’s all go look at Willis’ new site shall we?

Does this mean Willis is leaving OilersNation?

Somehow during negotiations, Willis pounded his fist on the table and demanded he be allowed to continue to write here in addition to his duties for the monolithic Score Corporation. And for some reason or other, The Score agreed. While all you Willis haters are scratching your heads over that one, do us a favor and quickly punch yourself in the face. Just a l’il one for your ol’ pal Wanye.


For those of you who skip to the end of articles to start commenting here is a summary:

  • Jonathan Willis now writes for The Score and is bascially guaranteed a Pulitzer Prize within hours.
  • Jonathan Willis insisted that he be allowed to continue to write for the Nations and impossibly the Score agreed.
  • Wanye talked to a big cheese at The Score and he was a nice guy.
  • Jonathan Willis supporters are wildly and violently celebrating in the streets. Willis haters are being brutally attacked in their homes and their businesses are being shunned en masse.
  • Jonathan Willis has the power of X-Ray vision and the ability to fly.