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The Oilogosphere is the name collectively applied to blogs that cover the Edmonton Oilers ice hockey team. They are widely considered to be among the best and most popular hockey blogs on the internet, with Globe and Mail sportswriter James Mirtle estimating in late 2007 that "five or six" of the best hockey blogs were members of the Oilogosphere.[1] Many of its flagship blogs started in 2005, near the end of the 2004–05 NHL lockout (though Edmonton journalist Colby Cosh was making Oilers-related posts on his blog before that time).[1] Observers have credited the Oilogosphere with providing greater depth and drawing the reader in more effectively than the mainstream media.[1][2] Reviews of the Oilogosphere in the print media have generally been positive, with one reviewer praising it for its "smart, opinionated, ferocious and utterly entertaining commentary and analysis".[2]



Though the Oilogosphere has no clear borders, some of its more prominent blogs include

  • The Battle of Alberta focuses on the rivalry between the Oilers and the Calgary Flames, and includes contributors from both teams' fan bases, including Andy Grabia and Hugh McKenzie (who posted under the name 'sacamano') for the Oilers and Matt Fenwick for the Flames.[1] As of January 2008, the blog had become primarily a Flames blog, with virtually all posts being written by Fenwick.[3]
  • Hot Oil is written by three female Oilers fans—Vancouverite Erin Loxam, Torontonian Alana Pentney, and Edmontonian Heather Smith—and focuses on the players' physical attractiveness. Writing under the slogan "Giggling is our biznaz and biznaz is good", the site hosts an annual "Hot off" in which readers vote on the most attractive Oiler (champions to date include Ethan Moreau in 2006, Ales Hemsky in 2007, and Lubomir Visnovsky in 2008).[4]
  • Lowetide is written by Allan Mitchell, a local father of two and radio ad salesman. He often posts about Oilers history and prospects and is, according to the Edmonton Journal, "seen by the younger bloggers as the calm and kind father figure of the Oilogosphere".[1] Vue Weekly has said that his blog is for "the Oiler fan who watches the game with a beer in hand and a copy of Ken Dryden’s The Game to read during intermission."[3]
  • MC79, named after Mudcrutch, focuses on in-depth statistical analysis and is written by Toronto lawyer Tyler Dellow.[1]
  • OilersNation is a group blog, with contributors including local journalists Robin Brownlee and Jason Gregor and amateur Jonathan Willis.[3]

Former members

  • Covered in Oil was written by David Berry, Chris Boutet, and Mike Winters, all alumni of the Gateway, the University of Alberta student newspaper, and focused on irreverent commentary and humour.[1] In October 2008, Berry announced his departure, which he attributed to an incident in which he was ejected from the Oilers' press box (where he was working for a media organization) for liveblogging a game between the Oilers and the Colorado Avalanche, and with a general disillusionment with the Oilers organization and professional sports.[5] Winters followed suit November 8, saying that blogging entailed "pretending to care about the team 30% more than I actually do".[6] As of January 2009, no new posts had been added since November 17, 2008, and was being called "as good as gone" in Edmonton media.[3] On August 20, 2009, Winters formally announced the blog's retirement.[7]

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Staples, David (2007-11-19). "Oilogosphere proves fans are out there". Edmonton Journal. http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/sports/story.html?id=7fe7e457-8971-4911-8af1-198a7df3a467. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Zenko, Darren (2006-05-04). "Dispatch". Vue Weekly. http://www.vueweekly.com/article.php?id=3745. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Young, Dave (January 1, 2009). "In the Box: In the Oilogosphere". Vue Weekly. http://www.vueweekly.com/article.php?id=10656. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  4. "Some blogs hot enough to melt ice". Edmonton Journal. 2006-05-04. http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/sports/oilers/story.html?id=6fa9d250-e4dc-467f-9da4-69c43cdc4ffd&k=10485. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  5. Berry, David (October 17, 2008). "It Ends". Covered in Oil. http://coveredinoil.blogspot.com/2008/10/it-ends.html. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  6. Winters, Mike (November 8, 2008). "Goodbye to all that". Covered in Oil. http://coveredinoil.blogspot.com/2008/11/goodbye-to-all-that.html. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  7. Winters, Mike (August 20, 2009). "In a better place now...". http://coveredinoil.blogspot.com/2009/08/in-happier-place-now.html. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
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