Well, I can't let Tom Gilbert show me up with his new blog, so it's about time I filled you in on what's been going on in the Oilers office these days.
The past few weeks have been busy, for obvious reasons. Marc was on vacation when we received word about the coaching press conference, so there was a lot of cross-continental scrambling between him, Steve and I, and Joe Landolfi at NHL.com head offices in New York to get the technical aspects of the live feed figured out. I had never set up the live feed, but Steve had a good idea on how things would work. We got a lot of help from our friends at Aquila Productions (who ran the cameras and switcher), and (phew) everything went off without a hitch.
Over 35,000 people logged in to watch the live press conference, and the place was packed with journalists, cameras, and Oilers staff. Although my sightlines were limited from the side of the room, it was pretty cool to be there in person at such a historic event.
Steve and I participated in the post-presser scrums with our new coaches Pat Quinn and Tom Renney, as well as GM Steve Tambellini, but that's as close as I've gotten to meeting the new hires. They'll be around more as the summer progresses, and hopefully I won't have to wait too long to introduce myself. I mean, I'm sure Mr. Quinn is already a fan of this blog, so we can skip over all the basic stuff and dive right into BFF territory.
THE DAILY GRIND
Other than that big announcement, I've spent a lot of time writing plans, attending planning meetings, and planning for planning meetings. We're also covering a few player appearances each week and keeping our 2009 Draft section updated with stories and features.
It's REALLY nice to have evenings off and (most) weekends. I've been making the trip to Rexall Place every couple of weeks to help shoot The Link, but it's always a strange experience going there in the summer. The biggest difference is in the atmosphere. The arena is about 15 degrees warmer than it is during hockey season, and unless there's a concert or event set-up, it's quiet and hollow like a tomb. (Not that I've been in a tomb, but I've seen enough adventure movies to justify the comparison.) I actually kind of enjoy it.
DIAMOND IS A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND
As far as sports facilities go, I've been spending far more time at Telus field than Rexall Place. If you're not aware, Telus Field is the home of the Edmonton Capitals, a Golden League Baseball franchise that's owned by the Oilers.
Now, I don't call myself a baseball fan because I don't follow the sport, but I LOVE attending Caps games in downtown E-town. There's something relaxing about sitting outside, eating hotdogs, and booing teams like the Chico Outlaws, Long Beach Armada, and – of course – Calgary Vipers.
Although I have an intense fly-ball phobia, the fun outweighs the fear and I brave the ballpark on a regular basis. In fact, today is Marc's birthday (Happy birthday, boss!) and we will be celebrating at the Caps game Friday night (June 5). If you're in town, you should really come join us. With $9 tickets and fireworks post-game, you can't go wrong.