Saturday, May 27, 2006

So even though I'm trying to push the letter-writing campaign on everyone...

and I wanted it to be the first thing seen when visiting our lovely little site, I'd feel like a bad fan club president if I let a week go by without posting.

I was at the game on Thursday with a fellow Oilers fan (a Oilers playoff game...what a strange place to find an Oilers fan). We are always rushed to get to games in between meeting up after work and trying to get into our costumes, so I demanded this time that we arrive in time to see Ulanov on the playoff video. We did, and I was happy. Until the game started, anyway. After the game, I received a message from two friends who were also there to tell that one of them had almost walked right in to Ulanov outside of Rexall place, and to rub it in. I was, of course, rather envious.

This brought up a discussion between my friend and I about my priorities concerning the Oilers. My friend (we'll call him "Jason") demanded to know if I would rather have run into Ulanov outside of Rexall and the have the Oilers lose, or if I'd let that go and have an Oilers win. He's asked me before if I'd rather watch Ulanov play and have the Oilers lose (not to say that the two are related), or watch a game like any other and have the Oilers win. Of course I chose an Oilers win, for the following reasons:
1. I am madly in love with the Oilers as a team.
2. A longer playoff run means more time before a possible Ulanov retirement.
3. Fans would find some way to blame the loss entirely on Ulanov, like the predatory fans on the Oilfans Forum are doing to Staios and Spacek after Game 4.

A sign confiscated from a fan at Game 4: Fuck an emu for Teemu. Sound advice.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Time to bombard Kevin Lowe!

With letters, that is. The fan club executive has already decided that when the time comes for Ulanov's retirement, there will be a retirement party in the name of Ulanov. this party will be held somewhere classy, like perhaps the Powerplant, and I will drink one too many pints of a classy beer, like UAGD, to drown my sorrows. It could be followed by loss of consciousness in the middle of quad. Anyway, I'd like to delay that sort of thing by at least a year. That's where you come in, folks.

See this picture? It's from the 19 December game against Calgary, in which Ulanov scored not one, but two goals (I just finished watching the highlights from that game again. It makes me happy every time)! This alone proves his awesomeness. Letter Writing Campaign Numéro Dos is in order. In this one, we have more time than the last, so I will become very aggressive in trying to get people to participate. Our goal? To get Lowe to re-sign Ulanov for next season. A lost cause (maybe), but a cause nonethelesss. I declare the weeks of 22 May-4 June to be the Weeks of Trying to get Ulanov Re-signed (WTUR).


  • Once again, use your manners. Rudeness never gets you anywhere, and there is far too much of it in society already.
  • Don't knock the other players. You can mention others' strengths or weaknesses, but don't makederogatoryy comments.
  • Pretend your life depends on the re-signing of Ulanov.
  • For the love of God, use grammar and spellcheck (although it will insist that Ulanov is not a word).

There are a couple of options for you. You can write your own letter and then mail it to the address below. Please let me know if you have written one so I can keep a count going (you can e-mail us), and if you're particularly proud of your letter, e-mail it to us and we'll put it up here.

There's a second option for you as well. If you know nothing about Ulanov or hockey (or are just too lazy to write a letter) and stumbled upon this blog by accident while searching for the French Backstreet Boys Fan Club or trying to find out if Shawn Horcoff is married (he is), then e-mail us and I will write one for you. You will have to print it out, sign it, and mail it (otherwise it will just look like I sit in my basement and write letters from fake people...and that won't help the cause). An exception to this rule: If I know you, I will write it for you, print it out, drive to your house (provided it's in the Edmonton area), get you to sign it and then I will mail it for you. Also, tell your friends. I can do the same for them.

Mr. Kevin Lowe

General Manager

Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club

11230-110 st.

Edmonton, AB T5G 3H7

There you have it. Please participate in WTUR, and I will be forever grateful. Ladies and gents, start your word processors (or your pens/pencils)!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Oilers fans everywhere are experiencing vicious hangovers today.

Woo! Whyte Ave. wasn't as crazy as it was when I was there on Friday, but it was still a grand time. There was a street hockey game a la Labatt beer commercial, fake oil rigs in the backs of trucks and general noise. We ended up at The Strat, arguably the world's classiest bar. I was there with my brother and some of his friends because all of my friends either have their priorities messed up or were working, so I had to borrow some of his. In the Strat, we managed to get a five person chant going of "Ulanov! Ulanov!" I was so proud. it also appears that "let's go Oilers, fuck you Cheechoo!" has now turned itself into "Let's go Oilers, fuck you Teemu!" in preparation for Round Three.

Moving on. One day last month I was surfing the Oilers wbsite and came across computer wallpaper. I was delighted to find the above picture available for download. Since that day, they have also added several Stanley Cup themed choices, as well as wallpaper for both Matt Greene and Brad Winchester. It appears that Rem Murray is the player without wallpaper. Speaking of excluding players, The Journal has once again left Ulanov off of the dreaded Scratches list. I died a little bit on the inside when I read the paper this afternoon.

It's time again to take a look at what kinds of things people have googled in order to find this sexy blog. We've had hits from people searching for Pronger, Peca, Horcoff and Torres fan clubs, "Horcoff Russian," "Raffi Torres Beard," "Backstreet Boys Edmonton Sun 2006," "Chelios beats children," "Pants off for Samsonov," "Kransokamsk picture," and my personal favourites: "Chuck Norris fan base," "What happened to Igor Ulanov," and "Why isn't Igor Ulanov playing playoffs 2006." The last two are fine questions.

Can someone tell me why I bought a giant bag of peanuts last night?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Minimal Rowdiness in the Name of Ulanov

I'm starting to write this post thirty-five minutes before the game is scheduled to start.

My friend and I went to game 4 on Friday, where the process of losing my voice began. It was, of course, and exciting game. I'm sure I experienced more hearing loss, and I will probably curse this playoff series when I'm forty and deaf. We went to Whyte after the game, along with the rest of Edmonton, apparently. There were fireworks, police, people throwing things at the police (future constable me does not approve of this behaviour), people climbing things (lamp posts, bus shelters, the Chapters doorway). The police pretty much let people run amock in a the blocked off part of the street.

The chants were ever present, the most popular being, "Let's go Oilers, fuck you Cheechoo," with many "Oilers in six, Show us your tits!" I did not succumb to any of these chants, as I was completely sober. I would still probably have behaved myself had I been drunk (I don't tend to destroy public property ever...the only things I tend to destroy when drunk are personal relationships and my dignity). I countered every "Shirts off for Samsonov" with "Pants off for Ulanov," until I lost the rest of my voice. I tried to demand the compliance of the people of the male gender, but they insisted that I go first. I found a major flaw in their demands, however, as I wasn't wearing pants. I had thought this one through.

Semi good news: Ulanov is back on The Journal's scratches list. It appears that it is now Todd Harvey who is being punished for no reason.

If San Jose wins tonight: Oilers in seven, show me your Van Massenhoven (be still, my beating heart)!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Separated at birth?

Well, no. I suspect that they were born in two different places. The left picture is one I took when I went to see Gogol Bordello (a band based in New York made up of Ukranian immigrants)at the old Sidetrack in January. This band puts on an amazing show and they have a very unique sound to them. If you haven't heard their music, go listen to it!

As I had previously mentioned in a post soon after this fan club was started, I found the accordian player to be very Ulanovesque in looks (except for the extreme lack of hair under that hat). In fact, the very first search engine hit the fan club received was someone looking for "Gogol Bordello Sidetrack." Anywhoo, the accordian player is great.

The picture on the right is of Ulanov, of course, whose arse I did not pinch behind the Sidetrack after the Gogol Bordello show.

In other news: I'm tired, but I don't care. Staying up to watch the game was totally worth it.
In Ulanov news: My coworker told me yesterday that she took her two sons to a Junior Oilers autograph day, and that Ulanov was really nice to them. Small news perhaps, but I still enjoy hearing about what a stand up guy he is. I'd hate to think that we started a fan club for a complete asshole. On a somewhat unrelated note, it appears that Ulanov is no longer good enough to merit his name being put on The Edmonton Journal (they don't get a link because I'm angry with them)'s Scratches List. Maybe another blurry picture is in order.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

So close, yet so far.

I heard the news yesterday before I even picked up a newspaper. Dick Tarnstrom wouldn't be playing. I know that Greene is the seventh defenseman and Ulanov is the eighth, but there was just a faint glimmer of hope inside of me. Then it was crushed. Then the Oilers were crushed. Again.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Recipe for Rage

1. Preheat oven to 370 degrees Farenheit
2. Become a fan of Igor Ulanov
3. Watch as he plays less than half of the games in the regular season
4. Remove and serve immediately. Rage, unlike revenge, is better served piping hot.

Read this Edmonton Sun article to see just how good-natured Igor Ulanov is regarding the fact that his regular hang out is the press box.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Igor Ulanov, Texas Ranger

Finally, it's here! It's time for the excerpts from Letter Writing Campaign Number One (the second will be coming shortly). To my knowledge, three people participated in the first one. A small number, but a noble effort. We'd like to see that number be quite a bit larger for our next campaign. Anyway, I'm finally delivering on my promise. Here are bits and pieces of our letters to Craig MacTavish back before the last two home games of the regular season...

The Prez:

"First let me say that I have held The Edmonton Oilers in high esteem for a very long time. I love the team when they win, and I love them even if they lose (only perhaps a little less so). I especially liked the Oilers during the 1999-2000, the 2000-2001, and the 2003-2004 seasons, as well as the current one. Now, you might ask, what do all of these seasons have in common? It’s simple: Igor Ulanov was part of the team.

While Mr. Ulanov may not have the largest fan base of all the players, he is the most senior and therefore is owed a certain amount of respect. Now I understand that part of the job is to keep the fans happy so that they will spend their hard-earned dollars on the hockey club. It seems that these days though people will jump on and off the bandwagon of any given player/team faster than you can utter the word “Krasnokamsk.” Ulanov may have a somewhat narrow fan base, but it is unwavering in its devotion. And the somewhat narrow fan base has not been happy as of late.

Igor Ulanov has proven that he has heart and that he is more than willing to put his various body parts in front of the puck. He is willing to make sacrifices for the team that has been keeping him in the press box. I know that everyone was excited about the shiny new defensemen acquired this season, and I agree that for the most part they have been a nice fit, but the honeymoon phase has ended. It’s time for the return of the 220 pounds of Krasnokamsk muscle to Rexall’s alluring ice surface.

The addition of Sergei Samsonov to the team has been a good one, but in terms of country of origin, one is the loneliest number. Two Russian-born players are better than one.

I know that this letter has arrived very late and that you will likely not read it before regular season ends. Or ever, for that matter. But I have thrown together a last minute letter writing campaign to plead the case of Igor fans everywhere. You may only receive one or two more letters concerning this subject, but it is exam time. For every letter you get in writing, there are another five people who would have written one had they had the time. Thank you for your time."

Don E. Coyote:

"I am writing you to express my concern about a matter of great importance. It is my firm belief that Igor Ulanov should play in the final two games of this 2006 regular season.

I believe that in these disheartening times, the Oilers need a defenseman who plays with heart. Igor certainly plays with all of his, every single game. He may not be the most technically gifted player, but he has a deep understanding and love of the game of hockey, not to mention a fierce loyalty to our team.

It is never a mistake to have the seasoned hand of a veteran on our side, especially when so much is at stake, as it is right now. I hope you will take this letter into consideration when creating the roster for those final two games.

Thank you for your time."

The Prez's brother, Steve:

"Like many Oilers fans (and, I’m sure, like you), I have been distraught by the team’s play of late. The team has being playing indifferently and hasn’t looked like it wanted to be in the playoffs. Some people are saying that this is your fault, but I know that no matter how good a coach is, it’s the players who have to perform, and yours aren’t.

There are things a coach can do, however. The team has plenty of skill, but the character’s been lacking. The team needs some veteran leadership. More specifically, the team needs some veteran Russian leadership.

I know that Igor Ulanov isn’t generally looked upon as one of the team’s leaders – I mean, you’ve got four players who have worn the C on NHL teams and you’ve got Ryan “Captain Canada” Smith [sic]. But I can’t help but to notice that this leadership isn’t getting the job done.

Igor Ulanov has played more NHL games than any other Oiler except Jason Smith, Chris Pronger, and Radek Dvorak. He’s been in the league longer than any other Oiler. He’s the most senior in years. None of these guarantees that he can turn things around for the team, but it’s not like anybody else has stepped up to the plate.

And you know what else? Igor Ulanov cares about the Oilers. They’re the team he wants to play for. After Glen Sather lured him to New York after his first stint with the Oilers, he came back here for another go round. When so much of the roster is taken up by short-term rental players like Spacek, Tarnstron [sic], Peca, Roloson, and Samsonov – and don’t get me wrong, all of those guys have been, in their own ways, pretty useful pickups – who have no long-term commitment to the club, we need to inject some Russian passion.

Have you ever seen that website where they have all of those “facts” about Chuck Norris? Like “Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.” and “The Chief Export of Chuck Norris is pain.”? Well, Igor Ulanov has said that pain doesn’t hurt – that sounds like something that’s straight off of that site! Except it’s not about Chuck Norris, who’s down in Texas preaching the gospel and kicking bad guys’ ass, it’s about Igor Ulanov, who’s waiting right there in the press box for his chance to shine anew.

Do you remember that night that he scored two goals? Do you remember the fans chanting “Igor! Igor!” whenever he touched the puck? Hasn’t that been lacking from home games lately?

I’m not going to tell you how to run your team – you’re the NHL coach, after all, and I’m not. But even though I’m not a connoisseur of the game on the level of you or Scotty Bowman, I know what I like. And I don’t like the play of the Oilers lately. And I do like Igor Ulanov.

You know what to do. Give us a reason to cheer."

Alright, so by "bits and pieces" I clearly meant "every letter in its entirety." Also, I'm aware that it looks like I don't know how to quote multi-paragraph creations. Not so. I just don't care. I also think that Igor Ulanov is the most capable of dining on shark. San Jose shark. For that reason alone, Russia should take over Sweden and a select area of Michigan, USA.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Planting the seeds of destruction.

Maybe I will stop having nightmares about Miikka Kiprusoff now. That would have made for a damn good series, but I think that a Battle of Alberta would have resulted in several deaths.

I went to Monday's game (just thought I'd rub it in) and it was insane. We failed miserably at the Wave because people were too busy harassing Legace. I think they must have run out of the pom poms for that game. It seems that hardly anyone had them. We made do, though.

After the game, we went to O'Byrnes (my second home) on Whyte. Only after a victory like that could I wear a beach towel as a skirt to the bar. Actually, that's a lie. I'm not opposed to wearing that on a regular day. Pants are the tool of the devil. My ear is stained oragne, my scalp is stained blue and I've gone partially deaf. All in the name of the Oilers.

Monday, May 01, 2006

In the meantime...

Well I'd write about what I promised to write about (excerpts from letters in letter-writing campaign number one), but my Nova Scotian friend is stuck in Red Water, so I have to devote most of my brain trying to figure this situation out. Needless to say, Greyhound Bus Sevices is now on my naughty list. Someone is getting coal in his or her stocking! So this will have to do in the meantime.

I just thought I'd tell you all that the NHL '95 version of Igor Ulanov scored his first goal of the season. And the Jets beat none other than...the Detroit Red Wings! This is clearly a sign that Ulanov should play tonight. Perhaps Hell has frozen over. We'll have to get Todd Bertuzzi to send us a weather report.

Wish me luck!