In The Beginning

April 17, 1996 - The First Logo

There it is, the first logo. It was a simple site with simple graphics made by a true junior in webdesign in MJ. The time was 1996 and the original founders of the site, Michael-John Kozak and Aubrey Chau put their heads together to build up a website dedicated to the Edmonton Oilers. First year U of A students and the Internet was new and exciting. Fortunately there was student accounts available for all U of A students on the web!

This was before any major Dallas upsets that would come in 1997 and 98. The Edmonton Oilers were rising stock in Edmonton, but many fans just didn't care anymore about the once fabled team of the 80s. The Edmonton Oilers Page opened for business on April 17, 1996; hard to say if U of A finals were even over yet for the "hard-working" students of Aubrey and Michael-John. Did it really matter?

First season of Oilers hockey coverage saw the site use a new logo. Thanks to libel cases around the league against fan sites on the Internet, official NHL logos were to be a thing of the past. As if they were ever going to get rid of us!

With the Jets leaving to Phoenix, many websites offered these blue images on their sites in memory of the beloved Canadian team.

So now it's September 1996 and OilFans.com prepares for what will be its first season of coverage. With a team of writers that included just Michael-John and Aubrey, there were certainly no post-game reviews. The summer time used up essentially created a site that contained Oiler stats, records and information that could not be found elsewhere on the Internet yet. Oilers official site? They didn't begin work on it yet. We wouldn't see an edmontonoilers.com until this site had existed over 2 years.

As hockey season started and the site gained some popularity, a new team of writers would join on board for the newest edition of the site, original content. Sure the site was still called the Edmonton Oilers Page, but hey, the Internet was young and the site still had gathered its share of interest. Our founding 8 writers included: Michael-John Kozak, Aubrey Chau, Vincent Cheng, Geoffrey Chai, Eric Hamilton, Craig Sherburne and George Henson, Collin Stuckless. On October 1st, 1996, OilFans.com published its first unique articles on the Internet. Archiving didn't even start until March 30, 1997, so these first article treasures are forever lost.

What did this first site do? Let's be honest here, not a heck of a lot. Once you were done purusing some standings or stats and perhaps reading the latest tidbits from the original 8 writers, you were done. Interactivity? Messageboards? High-tech stuff and nowhere near in the brains of OilFans.com yet.

Quick Fact: November 1996: An average of 124 users visited each day during the month of November. Compare this with a peak of 272 messageboard users online during Draft Day 2003.

Oil Slick Magazine's first logo or OSM as it would be known later.

March 30, 1997. Shannon Rowe, Reanne Booker, Matthew Pitt, Ajay Kapila and Wayne 'Tender' Telfer join on as volunteer writers. The staff is up to 13 and the snowball is starting to roll out of control. There is no turning back. Oil Slick Magazine Issue #1 is released. There would be 5 issues of organized features and columns before the site went into a format where news could be posted at any time or any day when a writer submits their work. Over 7 years later, the same idea applies.

April 27, 1997. Matthew Koncur joins the board. Aub and MJ were not just webmasters, but they were constantly searching for other Oiler fan sites to inspire OilFans.com to get even better. MattyK had a site so good, the duo invited him on to work with OilFans.com and its progress for years to come. What did Matty write for his first piece back then? They Call Him CuJo.

With season 1 complete for Aubrey and Michael-John, there was only room to improve and move on. The first generation of OilFans.com would see its day end November 17, 1997.

MJ's first OSM Column.
Vincent's first OSM Column.
Wayne the Tender Telfer's first OSM Column.


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