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Elmer Goes to Edmonton


From his humble upbringing as a Midwestern farm boy, to his meteoric rise to the position of general manager of one of the most mediocre franchises in NEFHL history, the story of two-time Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award winner is one not likely to be coming to theaters near you any time soon. His father a witty a former sharecropper turned screw, his mother a graphic artist and part time librarian, the young man acquired the gift of gab from an early age. He took well to writing, once he got past the kindergarten teacher with the knuckle-rap for every time young Jarrett took to writing with his left hand. And let us not forget the second grade teacher who assigned him the only C he would receive in elementary school, in handwriting. He fought back the tears, and pushed onward and upward, devouring novels and mastering the French language.

As a young man, he studied the art of building, but it was also during this period of his life that he discovered a love of the great game of virtual hockey. He quickly mastered that one shot that was frequently ruled illegal in NHL’94 (SNES), and dominated his new-found world of virtual hockey. With Lindros sweater in hand, he would head to the Windy City, where he would quickly learn that one Bill Wirtz had sucked all of the love out of hockey in that great city. He turned to alcohol, virtual baseball and virtual football to ease the suffering. But the virtual love of his life continued to call his name.

It was a dreary day in April of 2012 when Jarrett received the call from Steve Reisman, general manager of the Islanders. The Islanders had just finished the season second-to-last in the league, failing to even achieve success in failure, as the Avalanche locked up last place overall. Reisman knew from years of working alongside Jarrett that if there was one thing Jarrett knew about virtual sports, it was how to drive a team into the ground. Jarrett’s scorched earth policy in lesser known leagues such as BABL, BAHL, SL and BBJFL was exactly what the Islanders needed. With the offer of assistant general manager on the table, Jarrett entered the world of NEFHL and never looked back, taking the reins as the general manager of the Oilers in February of 2013.

In 2014, after his first full season in the league, Jarrett would win his first Elmer Ferguson Award, for chronicling his team’s road to the playoffs with a monthly journal and accompanying calendars. Top stories that year would include such gems as Bobrovsky Splits for Edmonton, Thanksgiving Edmonton Style, Super Duper, and one of the league’s most popular stories, Oilers Big Ballin’ Their Way Into New Year (1932 views to date).

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As the years rolled on, Jarrett would maintain the quality of work and the humbleness that had brought him the initial award, but he found it more difficult to find inspiration for his stories, particularly with his team mired in something more awful than mediocrity. His Oilers had become a cellar-dweller. As his rebuild began, he would find renewed interest in his young up-and-coming players, and his love for the league and its history grew deeper. With the launch of The Oil Fire Blog, Jarrett’s own fire was rekindled.

At an afternoon ceremony to present the 2018 Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award, Jarrett took to the microphone to express his appreciation at receiving the recognition, “To be enshrined with such great names in hockey journalism as Steve Reisman, Marc Dumont, Eric Gerestein … and … Jay Jefferson … is very humbling. I look forward to the season ahead, particularly with the Oilers on the verge of icing what may be the greatest team in franchise history. I have some intriguing stories in mind for this season and really look forward to unspooling them. And, to all of my French speaking brothers out there, I would just like to say; Oui, oui! Très fromage! Où est la discothèque?"