With promising young stars like Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, fans of the Edmonton Oilers have a lot to cheer about. So much in fact, they'll have some added voices at Rexall Centre later this year.
"Gimme an E....gad!"
Last week, Oilers president Patrick LaForge announced that the five-time Stanley Cup champions will be the first Canadian National Hockey League team to have cheerleaders, a move he said will "enhance the in-game experience."
Cheerleaders already exist in 23 NHL arenas and LaForge added it's something fans - who have endured a team that hasn't made the playoff since their Stanley Cup run in 2006 - have been asking for.
Here was Dave's question to you: "What is your opinion of cheerleaders in Canadian NHL arenas?"
And here are the answers that Dave liked best:
"Have you ever been to Edmonton in the dead of winter? They can warm us up any way they like." - Kevin, Edmonton
"Boys in the buff aren't necessary. Oh, you mean FEMALE cheerleaders! Of course you do. Rampant sexism in pro sports strikes again." - Nancy, Vancouver
"Beautiful women will always have a place on my TV screen, especially now that games are being broadcast in 3D." - Ken, St. John's, NF
"If you can't watch hockey without loud music, tee-shirt guns and half-clad women, you're not really Canadian." - Peter
"I grew up going to the Forum where you dressed well, sat up straight so you wouldn't block someone's view and the experience was enhanced with ice cream and hot dogs." - Andrew, Montreal
And Dave's Reply To All Jeering the Cheering:
So what about a cheer for the Oilers? "Gimme an O.... Gimme an oh-no!"
I really thought someone would say "cheerleaders are a great idea, but only during shootouts." And what would I say to that? That I like shootouts but I think cheerleaders are cheesy? They don't belong in hockey, just football?
Actually, my first reaction was: They don't belong in Edmonton. It reeks of a desperate marketing plan where somebody said, "If Taylor Hall isn't the answer, let's try 18-year-old girls."
But what am I suggesting? That the Oilers aren't the team to try this because it's too easy to ridicule them for other reasons?
So it should be Vancouver, the home of Swedish twins? Or Montreal, for easy one-stop recruiting at you know where? I'd say Ottawa, but it's the Senators who don't play hockey who need the encouragement.....to show up regularly.
Back to Edmonton - win some games, and see if fans cheer on their own. They used to.