In honour of Halloween, I'd like to try something that is really a throwback to my "frat" newspaper days. In case you weren't aware, on Halloween people dress up for various reasons. The idea behind this blog post is "what if the Edmonton Oilers all had to dress up as their comic book counterparts?" In other words, what comic book characters do I think match up well with individual Oilers. Before I get crazy, I can't take full responsibility for this idea. My idea came from the Guardian Project. I know that video doesn't tell you much. Basically the NHL has teamed up with comic book genius and hero to all nerds Stan Lee. Lee will be creating 30 superheros, one for each NHL team. Click here to read a bit more about the project.
If you're still interested, here in numerical order are the Edmonton Oilers as comic book characters:
#2 Jim Vandermeer - Thing. He is a big boy, and loves to smash things. One problem, he moves around like he is made of rocks.
#4 Taylor Hall - Superboy. Born out of death, a "gift" in the wake of Superman. He is young an unproven, no one really knows what he is thinking, but the weight of the world is on his shoulders. Is he the hero, or simply a youngster that will never live up to his name. For my sake, I have a sizable bet going on with PST Free Hockey star Richard Shilling, I hope he becomes the white knight
#5 Ladislav Smid - Emma Frost. She is part of the X-Men now, a good guy, but no matter how hard you try, how hard you enjoy her wit and candor with other X-Men, it is impossible to forget her dark past (I'M TALKING ABOUT THE PRONGER TRADE!).
#6 Ryan Whitney - Storm. Billed as one of the most powerful X-Men. Second in command, definitely a leader. You can see glimpses of her power and potential, but all too often, she is the first hurt in battle, before she has time to act. Perhaps she doesn't act or think out her actions quick enough.
#10 Shawn Horcoff - Batman. He has no super powers but he gets the job done. His superhero companions (in this case the fans) often see him as a liability but Batman uses his intelligence to his advantage and contributes to the cause in his own unique way. Horcoff may not be the flashiest player, but he contributes using his speed and smarts.
#13 Andrew Cogliano - The Flash. All the speed in the world and really no idea what to do with it. Speed should be the ultimate weapon, but when it comes down to it, an outstretched leg always appears, tripping him and rendering the Flash useless. When he is on his game though, the Flash can be quite the opponent.
#14 Jordan Eberle - Spiderman. The comparison is simple, Spiderman is normally portrayed as a younger superhero, but it is his wit that makes him Jordan Eberle. Although the season is young, Eberle seems to only like to score highlight reel goals. Scoring dirty goals like that are a kin to making wise-ass remarks and always having the last word like out friendly neighbourhood Spiderman.
#16 Colin Fraser - Captain America. You always talk about Cap in the past tense, the great things he did in WWII, and how he helped win the war. No matter what he does, that is what he is known for. Remind of a certain Oiler with a large Stanley Cup ring???
#26 Kurtis Foster - Cyclops. Despite his great power and leadership capabilities, every time we see Cyclops we are reminded of his physical flaws, and inability to control his power as a result of them. This means I am sick of hearing about how Foster broke his leg every game.
#27 Dustin Penner - Henry Pym. Has the ability to grow and be that size of a giant, or shrink and be the size of an ant. He thinks and acts like he is smarter than everyone around him, and he might be.
#28 Ryan Jones - Aquaman. I know he is there, I like what he does from time to time. I'm just not sure how necessary he is. Easy to replace.
#33 Steve MacIntyre - The Hulk. Everyone knows the Hulk is a giant beast filled with anger that cannot be contained. What you may not know though is that the angrier the Hulk gets, the stronger he becomes. When you see #33's face go into anger mode, it means he is about to knock someone out.
#35 Nikolai Khabibulin - Iron Man. The Avengers are never really sure if he will show up. When he does, he is a strong team member, some say the strongest, when he doesn't show up, the team is left wondering why. He enjoys the occasional drink (cheap shot).
#38 Jeff Deslauriers & #40 Devan Dubnyk - Multiple Man. Really, these two are so close it really is a crap shoot. Pick your favorite and then stick by him. There are so many copies of Multiple Man around the league that sending one of him down shouldn't be an issue.
#43 Jason Strudwick - The Vulture. He is old and surrounds himself with younger people to absorb their youth so that he may continue to battle.
#46 Zack Stortini - Wolverine. Definitely a fan favorite. Despite his size, he never backs down from a fight. Stands up for his teammates. Brings energy and aggression but does have some character flaws. Not exactly a role model. Weapon of choice is his hands. .
#49 Theo Peckham - Luke Cage, Hero for Hire. Cage may not always make the wisest decisions, but his strength and use of brute force to get his way are undeniable.
#67 Gilbert Brule - Puck. Despite his diminutive stature, Puck is able to launch himself at his enemies with devastating force. His body at the same time is his greatest weapon and his weakness. He was also once a member of the Canadian super group Alpha Flight.
#77 Tom Gilbert - Daredevil. All of his senses are enhanced, except for his sense of sight which he lost early in life. In the case of Gilbert, he often has an amazing sense of when he should join the rush. At times he will seemingly appear a the top of an opponents crease. He may be the Oilers best puck mover on the back end, but sometimes he just plays like he is blind.
#83 Ales Hemsky - The Human Torch. When taken at face value there is not much to be in awe of when looking at Johnny Storm. Once he catches fire though beware. He can be shifty, fast, and will burn you up. Torch is prone to fancy antics that get him a lot of attention, when they work he looks amazing, when they don't he looks silly. Being overzealous and cocky sometimes puts the Torch at risk of being injured.
#89 Sam Gagner - The Phoenix/Jean Grey. You never really know which one you will get. The mild mannered Jean Grey who limits herself in order to protect others from her power, or the Phoenix, and entity of pure power. The Phoenix is a force that can destroy even the mightiest of enemies, Jean Grey, although powerful, can be defeated.
#91 Magnus Paajarvi - Thor. He is a son of Asgard (Sweden) but chooses not to live there. He could have returned but he knows, the people that really need him are in Midgard (Edmonton). He also lives by himself and is a bit of an oddball.
On to other matters: I have yet to decide on a Halloween costume. Currently the front runners are the great State of Idaho, or my crafty alter ego, Guy Incognito.