Oilers’ Eakins on jersey-throwing fan: ‘They’re a quitter, we don’t want that here’

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".

If you can't understand the frustration after hearing Ian Axel sing "Say something, I'm giving up on you" as Devan Dubnyk gets completely dismantled on a partial breakaway, congratulations on being the world's most optimistic man.

Second, Eakins and Goyetche are coming from very different places here. Eakins is a new coach in his first year, working for a new boss. In the quote above, he still referred to the Edmonton fanbase as "their" fans. From his perspective, he's just getting started with this team. They're in year one of a rebuild.

But for Goyetche, this isn't year one. It's year four. Or maybe even year 10. From Sportsnet:

This franchise has given its fans one playoff berth in the past 10 seasons, inheriting the Toronto Maple Leafs record of futility with the longest playoff drought (this will be nine years) in the NHL. There has not been a .500 team here since 2008-09, and this club — in year four of what was supposed to be a rebuild — is the worst edition ever, currently playing .328 hockey. No Oilers team in the 34-year history of the franchise has been this futile.

The Edmonton Oilers — groan — are in 29th place again. The season was over before it started. New coach, new GM, same old laughing stock.

But it's not just the same. Amazingly, it's worse somehow. The Oilers continue to find ways to regress, and if they're going to keep taking steps back, Curtis Goyetche thinks they can take their sweater back too.

UPDATE: Eakins took to Twitter Monday night to offer a clarification on his comments:

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Harrison Mooney

is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!