December 17, 1999: Dennis King joins OilFans.com. The last cog of the OilFans.com wheel to join up. Dennis' first article was a post game review which can be found here. A long time messageboard member, a bit of convincing got Dennis on board with writing post game reviews and columns.
Now Rivals.com was a project unlike no other. With investors coming from across North America, Rivals.com was the first conclusive site for fan sites for every league and every team. Well, almost. The NHL area contained a good dozen NHL sites through our stay there. Next to college sports, the NHL was it for Rivals.com. All the webmasters even enjoyed a free trip to Las Vegas! When Rivals.com approached OilFans.com about such a partnership, there was few decisions to be made.
The month of December and part of January was used to migrate all the articles from old html files into the Rivals.com database. The Rivals.com layout was quite fixed, so all MJ had to do was provide the logo that is shown on the right. If content was ever to be king, this was the place. Pre-game articles, post-game articles and many feature columns decorated the site.
Here OilFans.com was introduced to old-standbys like calgarypuck.com, canuckscorner.com, canuckscentral.com, penaltybox.com and many more. You want to talk about messageboards? Well this era introduced everyone from MJ to the newest user to what Internet forums are really all about. Undoubtedly, the first moderation challenge for MJ was placed as trolls from other sites on Rivals.com tried to undermine the peaceful, friendly and professional nature of hockey talk at OilFans.com
With other import fan-site webmasters just a couple click away, the cooperation between fan sites improved more than it ever could have as independent sites. With Dan David currently of hockeydraftcentral.com leading the charge, we had a group of guys that believed they could do anything. And man, did the traffic stats ever show that. The traffic on OilFans.com easily tripled or quadrupled with its pressence on Rivals.com.
March 3, 2001: Heckle In Eckville -- With a sloppy move from Rivals.com when they suddenly closed its doors, the archives of Eckville are scant. What can we tell you? Well, here's a roster. Red Deer radio even told people about the event, but few fans ever attended the barnyard-style rink at Eckville. Now onto the ice, well OilFans.com lost 11-6. What can we say, the guys at CalgaryPuck.com were older, slower and more skilled than the youthful roster OilFans.com put up to bat. Eckville is located about 30 minutes west of Red Deer; a perfect midpoint between the rival cities to compete.
And speaking of a sloppy move from Rivals.com? Diehard OilFans actually used an abandoned Florida Marlins board for less than a month while MJ worked away at securing a new home.