I had to check the calendar to make sure that it wasn’t April 1st yet. It’s not, and this is very real.
Visitors to the Oilers’ website are being asked to fill out a survey about premium content. Would you pay for premium content? Catch a little peak behind the scenes? Get in-depth interviews that are not available to the regular non-paying public? Maybe, maybe not. The questionnaire asks you all about the services you might (or might not) be interested in for you to plunk down some cold hard cash.
The one that grabbed my attention? An “Oil Change” style program, available only to subscribers.
You had me at “hello”.
“WE’RE GOING FOR IT”
Yes. I’d spend around $10 monthly for a program that is similar to “Oil Change”.
“Oil Change” was probably the most entertaining thing about the Oilers during the decade of darkness. If you missed it, Oil Change was a behind-the-scenes series that chronicled the Edmonton Oilers’ rebuild. It lasted an amazing three seasons from 2010-13. It was must-see TV. You’d get an interview with Jordan Eberle who would talk about the club’s optimistic future, you’d get another with veteran Sam Gagner about how the club had evolved over time. Craig MacTavish would tell you a story about Kiril Tulupov. You’d get a chat with Nikolai Khabibulin because... well, you’d get an interview with Nikolai Khabibulin. Some of this content was pretty interesting. Sometimes you’d get a chat with Rick Olczyk about the next Oilers draft.
Sometimes Steve Tambellini would trade a fourth round pick for Jerred Smithson at the 2013 NHL trade deadline and trumpets would blare like something out of a Mike Winters comic, except unironically. Jerred Smithson! We’re going for it!
This is the content I’m here for, and it’s stuff I would gladly toss a few dollars at. It’s got to be absolutely as serious as the first three years of Oil Change though. Imagine Ken Holland having a camera follow him at the table of the what-feels-to-inevitable Luke Glendening deal. Let’s go for it.
I don’t know how many fans would be willing to part with actual dollars to watch their favourite hockey club’s executives do mundane things like meander around a draft table or to listen to one of this club’s fourth liners talk about character in the dressing room. If “Oil Change” or something like it comes back, it’s a fair bet that the stuff that costs a few bucks is far better than after game audio.
For better or worse, a program like “Oil Change” would offer some can’t miss material from some of the hockey minds that have put this roster together. Depending how you feel about the Oilers, this will either install confidence or drive you mad.