TULSA, Okla. – There used to be a day in the CHL when the Tulsa Oilers spent their Christmas holiday on the ice. Long gone are those days, but the Oilers have found a way to carry on their Christmas spirit.
Tulsa erased a 2-0 deficit by way of four unanswered third period goals to beat the Allen Americans before 4,246 fans last night at the BOK Center all while wearing some of the ugliest Christmas sweaters you’ll ever see.
Oilers Broadcaster and Director of Media Relations, Rob Loeber, discussed the unique uniforms this morning during a segment on Tulsa television station KOTV.
“I think our general manager Taylor Hall deserves some of the credit,” he said before adding that former captain Tyler Fleck, now the owner of Hardnosed Apparel, played a role in the promotion. “We kind of floated the idea past him and he’s the one who just knocked the ball out of the park and came up with the whole design,” he said.
“All of this is his whole crazy creation – it basically looks like if Christmas threw up on you this would be the result. All the stitching and all the knitting, it just looks like something your grandma made for you,” Loeber told KOTV with a laugh.
Loeber added that the jerseys, which will be auctioned off after tonight’s game, seem to have given the squad a little bit of luck. “We have the mojo going in the jerseys, they’re 1-0, they’ve got some good luck in them and hopefully we can make it 2-0 tonight,” Loeber said.
Loeber explained that the sweaters were created as a treat for the fans, and added that there will be more specialty jerseys later in the season. “We’re only wearing these two times, so it’s kind of a piece of history for our fans and they always support us in these special promotions – we had a lot of people out at the BOK Center last night wearing their own ugly Christmas sweaters. We love doing the special jerseys – we always do one for Pink in the Rink Night coming up in February, then we’ll do one for Military Night coming up in March,” he said.
What do the players think? “They all agree that they’re ugly, but they like it,” Loeber said, adding that minor league hockey players almost expect to wear something crazy occasionally.
He said that once the puck drops, however, it’s business as usual for the Oilers. “For them once a game starts, I don’t even think they realize they’re wearing it or have it on – they’ve got so much other stuff to focus on. It’s really for the fans, but the players are always on board, they’ve been great,” he said.
According to Loeber, the ugly Christmas sweaters have made a splash around the CHL. “I think it’s going to catch on with other teams around the league, so probably by next Christmas in the CHL we’re probably not going to be the only ones wearing these kinds of things,” he said.
The Oilers will be dressed in their wild Christmas creations one final time tonight as they take on the Wichita Thunder at the BOK Center. Opening face-off is set for 7:35.
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