Thursday, April 7, 2016

Farewell Rexall Place

Here are my thoughts on the day and attending the final Oilers home game at the Edmonton/Northlands Coliseum/Skyreach Centre/Rexall Place.

Churchill Square Rally

  1. I popped out from work at lunch to hit Churchill Square and see over 100 Oilers alumni gather on the steps.  There were thousands of people there.  We're crazy stupid fans still hanging on to old 1980's and 2006 dreams.
  2. God love Ryan Smyth but the guy can't talk in public with a darn.  That said, the love for him is 2nd to Gretzky, maybe 1st.
  3. Later at the Westin, I bumped into and said hello to Gretzky's old linemate, B.J. MacDonald. I said, "Blair MacDonald?" He said, "Yes."  I said, "Welcome back to Edmonton."  He said, "Thanks!" 
  4. Saw Grant Fuhr, Mike Krushelnysky, George Laraque, Willy Lindstrom, Craig Simpson, and Brett Callighen.  Fun!
  5. Lots of collectables fans parked in front of the hotel.  Lots.  Fuhr singed everything.


  1. Traffic getting to the barn around 4:30 wasn't too bad.  I won't miss that now being able to just walk two blocks from the office downtown.
  2. I've never seen so many fans in Oilers gear before.  I wore my #94 Ryan Smyth away jersey and I stood out because there were like maybe 3% of fans in white jerseys.
  3. Singing O Canada with the late great Paul Lorieau one last time was a treat and so very 2006.
  4. Connor McDavid won the Molson Cup despite missing half the season.
1st Period
  1. The Oilers didn't take a shot on net until the 10 minute mark and they were on a power play.  
  2. It was an excruciatingly boring period.  Almost like watching the Coyotes and Wild play.  
  3. The Oilers were terrible.  T e r r i b l e !
  4. The fans were getting bored, and were very quiet.  It was eerie.  It shouldn't have been that way.
2nd Period
  1. McLellan likely inspired them in the 2nd intermission because they came out flying at that point.   Yak's sniper, penalty, and giveaway will be the last time you see that happen on that ice or in an Oilers uniform.
  2. Coliseum beer is cold.  I hate Coors Lite and Molson Canadian is one of the worst lagers ever.  Please let there be some variety at Rogers Place!  I mean, I had a full big cup of Guinness at Yankee Stadium.
  3. None of us are going to miss the stupid onscreen Esso car race game and 3 puck flippy thing. None. Of. Us.
  4. My buddy left just before for the kiss cam.   I get no love.
  5. We had great seats at the top row of the blues on the isle in front of the skyboxes.  I had never been up there before.  And I never will again!
3rd Period
  1. The 3rd period was fun to watch. Four goals.  Glad Hall, McDavid, and Draisaitl potted one.  Patrick Maroon is turning out to be the best trade transaction at the deadline in the whole league.  I am very interested to see what Chiarelli can pull off other teams.  Hello Shattenkirk!
  2. Talbot played very well and was very square to the puck.
  3. The Vancouver Canucks are an awful hockey team now.  Why the Sedins don't want to bolt out of there is beyond me.  They remind me of the 2009 Oilers, a few years after they went to the Cup final.  T e r r i b l e.
  4. When Mark the announcer guy (I'll miss THAT voice big time) said, "Last minute of play at Rexall Place" the whole crowd got up and cheered and cheered.  It was so 2006.
Farewell Celebration
  1. There were so many players' names that came out on the ice I did not recognize and I'm freaking old.
  2. There were lots of notable alumni players who weren't there.  Glen Sather and Craig MacTavish being the most notable.
  3. Many of us were holding our opinions when Kevin Lowe was talking at the podium. He's a terrible public speaker.  T e r r i b l e.
  4. Sportsnet guy John Shannon didn't hold the microphone close enough to the Oiler speaking and none of us could here.  Wake up, John! 
  5. Who doesn't love Joey Moss?  If you don't, you are a terrible human being.  T e r r i b l e.
  6. Conversely, why is there so much love for George Laraque?  I'll never understand.
  7. What Mark Messier said that everyone on the team is important and if everyone on the team  doesn't give it there all every game they have a 0 percent chance of winning, was so directed at the current team, let's hope it rings in Connor's ear.  I know it will.
  8. Why didn't Gretzky get to speak more?
  9. The last three Oilers to leave the ice were:  3.  Ryan Smyth, 2. Connor McDavid, 1. Wayne Gretzky.
After all that, I went up to several senior coliseum staff members, shook their hand and thanked them for their service to the fans.  

Lots of memories.  But too many losses in the past 9 years for anyone to take.  Let's hope the Curse of Rexall Place is gone.


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