The crap hit the fan in Edmonton Saturday night, when a fan decided he'd seen enough crap. And then the jersey hit the ice.
At the end of the Oilers' 6-0 blowout loss to the St. Louis Blues, with the fans playing the Oilers out to a chorus of boos following their sixth straight defeat, 29-year-old Curtis Goyetche determined that that wasn't gonna cut it. (After all, this team has been booed back to the room before. It doesn't appear to inspire change.)
So Goyetche pulled off his sweater -- a no. 83 Ales Hemsky jersey -- and tossed it from his ninth row seat behind the penalty box onto the ice.
Goyetche isn't some half-hearted Oilers fan having a laugh. He's a serious Oilers fan that, understandably, snapped. From the Edmonton Sun:
Goyetche said he thinks he's like most Oiler fans.
“I'm loyal to the home team, good or bad.”
But Saturday night just fried it for him, he said.
“I just felt I had to do something.
“I was just fed up. Frustrated. I was just being a passionate fan making my own statement, I guess. It just happened.”
And what a statement, especially from one of Kevin Lowe's precious first-tier fans.
I mean, we'd expect this from a second-tier fan, those savages, but a ticket-buyer? Perish the thought. Suffice it to say, Lowe might be inclined to heed this guy's frustration. He's not alone.
But Goyetche isn't done with the team. He's got four more Oiler jerseys at home, so parting with the Hemsky jersey wasn't all that difficult. (Plus it was a gift from a co-worker anyway.) He'll be back, likely in a Nugent-Hopkins sweater.
That is, unless Dallas Eakins spots him. The Oilers coach didn't think much of the gesture. He weighs in on the thrown jersey at 3:28:
The quote, for the video-impaired:
"That’s about as bad as it gets for me […] I have great sympathy. I understand. I respect their fans. But that's a bunch of bull crap for me… “You guys are in our room. You see the creed up on the wall. The one thing that stands out in big huge letters is I am never out of the fight. And whoever threw that jersey onto the ice, they're out. They've given up. They're a quitter. We don't want that here."
Okay. Two things.
First of all, if Eakins is surprised that the fan base is losing it, he needs to watch his team a little more. As a good starting point, we recommend this sullen Oilers "tribute" video made up of highlights from this season, set to A Great Big World's "Say something".