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Edmonton Oilers Bittersweet Celebration
The Edmonton Oilers are beginning their regular season with a colossal, extravagant celebration. On Friday October 10th, the Rexall Place will host a 30th anniversary jubilee commemorating the Oilers’ 1984 Stanley Cup championship win. As every hockey fan knows, the Oilers’ 1984 championship win was the commencement of a period of Oilers dominance which endured until the early 90s. The 1984 Stanley Cup win changed absolutely everything for the Oilers, and launched the team into an era of incomparable prosperity and abundant success.
The celebration will feature a reunion of legendary Oilers such as Mark Messier and Paul Coffey. However, the icing on the cake is the inclusion of the greatest hockey player of all time, Wayne Gretzky. Benefiting Stollery Children’s Hospital, the special reunion will see these Canadian treasures reminiscing about their experiences with the Oilers. In addition, the reunion will also feature the return of Peter Pocklington, the former owner of the Edmonton Oilers who traded Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings. Gretzky’s trade was a deciding factor to the decline of the Oilers, and his presence is sure to cause quite a stir. Years after the infamous trade, Pocklington was found guilty of perjury and bankruptcy fraud.
There’s something exceptionally bittersweet about the upcoming celebration. Not only is the bash a commemoration to the excellence of the past, but it is also a testament to the mediocrity of the present. The Oilers of today are a far cry from the Oilers of the 1980s, and it’s nearly impossible not to be swept up in the disappointment of this once-powerful team.
The undistinguished pre-season has done nothing to quell our doubts, and the team’s weakness at centre is far too apparent. Indeed, the team possesses only two NHL centre ice players – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Boyd Gordon. The Oilers have turned to rookies and free agency in desperation, but to no avail.
Hopefully, the upcoming celebration can instill the team with a much-needed jolt of adrenaline, and remind the world of what the team is capable of.
The Oilers will commence their regular season on October 9th by facing their arch-rivals and fellow Albertan team, the Calgary Flames.