It’s summer at the Nation Network. All five sites’ teams missed the playoffs this season — a new record — so thanks guys. The annual “the Oilers missed the playoffs so Wanye goes running off into the world to backpack and pout” trip is now over. We are looking straight down the barrel of another Charity draft party and are starting to shill tickets.

The machine can’t stop turning just because every single team we cover has failed epically.

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The Nation Network welcomed its 57 millionth visitor in company history a couple weeks back. 38% of those visitors came during the last seven months, so we are growing at a good clip. This perpetual balancing act of technology development, advertising sales, content creation and keeping all these here plates spinning in the air can be tricky business.

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We are tremendously proud to have 49 writers on the team. For our money these are the best crew of hockey writers in the business and we are looking to expand this roster aggressively in the coming months. It’s also tricky work convincing new recruits to bring their talents to our sites and, once on board, keeping all of these digital pirates under control requires an iron fisted overlord with a heart of gold – or at the very least heart muscle.

The job was initially done by our dear bingofuel back in 2007. He helped your ol’ pal Wanye start up OilersNation and we sat around scratching our respective heads wondering how the internet worked for a good three years as the network grew to 3 sites – OilersNation, FlamesNation and CanucksArmy. Then bingofuel bounced to go be a social media strategist, taking a bag of cash with him on the way out the door.

Then in 2010 the torch was handed over to Kent Wilson, who was Editor-in-Chief for a three year span before he too wisely bounced for a lucrative position at a money printing enterprise in Calgary which invented crude oil or something. In any event, Kent still runs FlamesNation and does a great job keeping that ship pointed up. 

But the big chair has been empty for nearly a year now.


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Clearly your ol’ pal Wanye can’t be trusted to motivate and provide support to all our beloved writers. We are far too eccentric and far too remote to be counted on. Unread emails pile up in our inbox by the minute, and we legitimately have not answered a phone number we didn’t recognize since 2005. This is no way to run a plentyoffish account, much less a business trying to find it’s way in the world.

No we want to work on writing more articles and work on getting our new startup launched. We need to call in the big guns to help with this gig.


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What we need now is somebody with nerves of steel. Someone who won’t be phased if the readers of CanucksArmy go bananas and turn on each other. Someone who isn’t concerned by internet trolls with flame throwers in hand. Someone who won’t cower under his bed when Robin Brownlee calls looking for blood for some matter or other.*

Enter Brian Sutherby.

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A veteran of 460 NHL games, Suds came aboard as a partner last season upon the completion of his hockey career. In that time he has been establishing himself on the radio co-hosting the Jason Gregor show weekly on TSN 1260 in Edmonton. He has also been making his mark at NationHQ, swaggering around, attending meetings, building himself the finest desk in all the office and sitting in a chair so ornate it is usually reserved for ruling Emirate Sheiks.

And now he has been named Editor-in-Chief and given the enviable task of opening the Nation Network American HQ in California. Commuting back and forth between the frozen streets of Edmonton and the sunny shores of Cali, Suds will be operating a strict regimen of no nonsensery, professional conduct and ass kickings where merited.

Asked for his take on the promotion, he was quoted (by me, just now) as saying “Hey man, if it gets us started on growing the Network in the States, I’m in. Someone has to go to Cali, it might as well be me.”

Then he started talking about being an Anaheim Mighty Duck or something. We can’t really recall. Being so relieved that the sceptre of power had once again been handed off from our slothily lazy hands, we immediately went to sleep under our desk.

So good luck to you, Suds. Please bring pocketfuls of that Cali sand to Edmonton when you come back for meetings. And good luck to all our writers. The new boss used to fight super heavy weights for a living. If anything, retirement has made him grumpier.

*See Gretz, Wanye 2007-present.