INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.5.2016 / 2:59 PM MT
By Kelli Gustafson - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Alongside Jari Kurri and Grant Fuhr, Jussi Markkanen was asked by the media to recall some of his favourite memories inside Rexall Place.

Instantly, Markkanen jumped to Game 6 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Carolina Hurricanes.

“The fans are yelling… you get goose bumps talking about it!” Markkanen said. “Not just the building, [but] the whole city was behind us. Felt like the whole city was inside that building. You couldn’t hear your own voice on the ice!”

With idols like Kurri, coming from Finland, Markkanen added, “It was a dream come true to come and play in Rexall.”

Looking at the current team, Markkanen is excited to watch the Oilers move into Rogers Place.

“There’s a lot of young talent on the team right now.”

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.5.2016 / 2:58 PM MT
By Kelli Gustafson - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Alongside Jari Kurri’s banner, hangs another Oilers legend — Grant Fuhr.

Fuhr, selected eighth overall in the 1981 NHL Draft by Edmonton, went on to win four Stanley Cups with the Oilers.

“A lot of great memories in the old building,” Fuhr told the media, while reminiscing on the playoff series games.

Fuhr fondly recalls the excitement that was shared between the team and the fans, “Being a small-market team, you’re closer to your fans than you would be in a big city.”

When asked what helped the team perform so well during those years, Fuhr said, “The biggest thing we had was a family atmosphere… they are great friendships that have lasted forever.

“The guys liked spending time together, I think that’s what made us such a good team.”

The move from Rexall Place to Rogers Place will be the second move that Fuhr sees, remembering the move from Edmonton Gardens to Northlands Coliseum in 1974.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.5.2016 / 11:21 AM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers are on the ice for their final practice at Rexall Place.

There aren't any changes to the participants.

Lines:

Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl
Hall-RNH-Eberle
Korpikoski-Letestu-Yakupov
Hendricks-Pakarinen-Kassian
Gazdic-Lander-Cracknell

Stay tuned for full coverage and interviews from the players and coach Todd McLellan.

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POSTED ON Monday, 04.4.2016 / 3:30 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers



The Oilers will host the Vancouver Canucks on April 6 for their final home game in Rexall Place, before moving downtown to Rogers Place in the fall. The post-game farewell ceremony will host more than 100 Oilers alumni in attendance. Each day leading up to that game we are announcing five alumni who are scheduled to attend. Here are today’s five, and this group contains a huge star.

Wayne Gretzky is someone who needs no introduction, but here are some notes on the man they call “The Great One.” Gretzky became the most dominant player in the history of the sport, setting records and displaying skill and talent unlike anything the league has seen. He won the Hart Trophy his first year in the NHL, becoming the first player to do so. He won seven straight scoring titles beginning with the 1980 season. In addition to helping Edmonton win its first four Cups, Gretzky took home an astounding number of awards in his NHL career, including 10 Art Ross trophies, two Conn Smythe trophies, nine Hart Memorial trophies, five Lady Byngs, and numerous All-Star nods. Gretzky played 1487 career NHL games, and 208 in the post-season. Number 99 still holds many NHL records, including most goals in his career (894). He was immediately inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame following his retirement in 1999.

Joey Moss is one of the most well-known and beloved figures in the Oilers organization and in the Edmonton community. Moss, born with Down Syndrome, has worked with the team as a dressing room assistant since the 1984-85 season. He has been with the Oilers for four of their five Stanley Cup championship seasons. He helps clean the dressing room, assists with laundry and handles the towels and water for games and practices, also helping with the distribution of equipment. He is active in the community, including his support of a fashion show supporting the Edmonton Down Syndrome Society and “Joey’s Home” which is an assisted-living home for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Garry Unger ranks second on the list of consecutive games played in NHL history. His iron-man streak lasted 914 games. The Calgary, AB native played parts of three seasons for the Oilers between the 1980-81 and 1982-83 seasons. Unger finished a lengthy and successful NHL career having played 1105 regular season games, scoring 413 goals and recording a total of 804 points. Unger also played in 51 playoff games in his NHL career.

Kirk Maltbywas drafted by the Oilers in the third round, 65th overall, of the 1992 NHL Draft. Although he’d begin his professional career with the Oilers organization, he’s best known for his long run with the Detroit Red Wings. He played over 1000 NHL games in his career, including 164 games for Edmonton, scoring 21 goals and 17 assists.

Jussi Markkanen was a fifth-round pick of the Oilers in 2001. The Finnish goalie played 100-plus games for the Oil, most notably during the 2006 Stanley Cup Final. Following a knee injury to Dwayne Roloson in Game 1 of the Final series vs. Carolina, Markkanen was thrust into action starting in Game 2. Backstopped by Markkanen, the Oilers came just one win shy of capturing their sixth Stanley Cup.

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POSTED ON Monday, 04.4.2016 / 3:01 PM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Two days from now, Oil Country will bid a final farewell to Rexall Place.

As the Oilers prepare to host the Vancouver Canucks, they have been working to regroup from Saturday night’s Battle of Alberta loss and make Wednesday a night to remember.

“It’s something that you’re going to remember for a long time,” said Oilers forward Taylor Hall. “Todd (McLellan) brought it up this morning, Winnipeg was playing their final home game last night and they really brought it, they won 5-1 against a playoff team and their fans were applauding their effort, like they should. That’s what we want to see from our team. It’s incredible what can happen when you play hard in front of these fans, they appreciate it. For us, I think it’s about holding us to a high standard even though we’re not in the playoffs. We owe it to each other.”

Oilers forward Jordan Eberle agrees with his teammate, adding there is a lot of pride in the organization for past and present players and that today’s practice allowed them to regroup for Wednesday.

“Guys are still playing for jobs, they’re playing for pride… they’re playing for a lot of things,” he said. “There should be no reason why that effort shouldn’t come out. We have a chance on Wednesday to feel good about ourselves and to finish well in this rink and give the fans something to cheer about, what they deserve.”

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POSTED ON Monday, 04.4.2016 / 2:25 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Todd McLellan was not happy following his team’s 5-0 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday night. The frustrating and “embarrassing” effort forced the staff to change tactics on Monday at practice. Instead of focusing on tweaking and teaching, the Oilers skated heavily and participated in high-intensity battle drills.

“Today is a disappointing day, in my opinion, because it was a day that we should have been using to advance our team game, polish things up in certain areas, and it turned into reestablishing a work ethic and holding players accountable for lack of work ethic in a game,” said McLellan. “The staff and the players, we get no enjoyment from that at all. That’s like sitting in front of my two boys at home and disciplining them for their inactions or poor choices. There isn’t a parent in the world who likes doing that, and that wasn’t a fun day. But we had to reestablish that there are some expectations when you put the equipment on to be honest at least.”

The Oilers opened practice with some hard laps around the ice, then participated in a drill where two players skate the length of the ice then shoot the puck. Then, the Oilers wrapped things up with a few battle drills including on where two players fight for the puck and then skate to centre ice, then turn and skate back.

“I was disappointed after reviewing the game again, and obviously the effort and the battle level, but even some of the game management situations,” said the head coach. “1:20 shifts, and then still trying to go on offence and complete disregard for back-checking. The day was spent trying to reestablish boundaries and what is acceptable and what isn’t.”

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POSTED ON Monday, 04.4.2016 / 12:38 PM MT
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POSTED ON Monday, 04.4.2016 / 11:13 AM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have hit the ice at Rexall Place. Todd McLellan, who promised his team would work hard at practice following a 5-0 loss to Calgary on Saturday, has begun the skate with hard laps around the rink.

The up-tempo practice continued with full-length of the ice skating, followed by some battle drills. Stay tuned for full coverage from Rexall Place.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 04.3.2016 / 3:30 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers



The Oilers will host the Vancouver Canucks on April 6 for their final home game in Rexall Place, before moving downtown to Rogers Place in the fall. The post-game farewell ceremony will host more than 100 Oilers alumni in attendance. Each day leading up to that game we are announcing five alumni who are scheduled to attend. Here are today’s five.

Mark Messier is second all-time in NHL history in points with 1,887 behind only Wayne Gretzky and as an Oiler he ranks third behind Gretzky and Jari Kurri with 1,034 points in 851 games. “The Moose” won six Stanley Cups — five in Edmonton — and is the only player to ever captain two different teams to the League’s ultimate prize. Messier won the Conn Smythe trophy as most valuable player in the playoffs in 1984, helping lead the Oilers to their first Stanley Cup.

Rod Phillips called over 3,500 Oilers games in his 37-year career. The number ‘3542’ along with Phillips’ name hangs in the rafters at Rexall Place after he retired as the ‘voice’ of the Edmonton Oilers on May 28th, 2010. Phillips started calling professional games in 1973 in the WHA with the Oilers and then continued with the team in the NHL in 1979. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003.

Anson Carter was traded to the Oilers from Boston in November 2000 and played three seasons in Edmonton. Carter had 69 goals and 157 points in 211 games as an Oiler. In 12 NHL seasons, Carter had 202 goals and 421 points in 674 games but is perhaps best known for scoring the game-winning goal in overtime at the 2003 IIHF World Championship to give Canada the gold medal.

Boyd Devereaux was drafted by the Oilers in the first round, sixth overall in 1996. He played three seasons with the Oilers, scoring 15 goals and 46 points in 175 games before moving on to the Detroit Red Wings. He went on to play 11 seasons and 627 games, scoring 67 goals and 179 points.

Cory Cross played three seasons with the Oilers from 2002 to 2006 including the best season of his NHL career in 2003-04 when he had seven goals and 21 points in 68 games with a +9 rating. The Lloydmisnter, AB native and University of Alberta grad played 659 career NHL games with 34 goals and 131 points.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 04.2.2016 / 3:30 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers



The Oilers will host the Vancouver Canucks on April 6 for their final home game in Rexall Place, before moving downtown to Rogers Place in the fall. The post-game farewell ceremony will host more than 100 Oilers alumni in attendance. Each day leading up to that game we are announcing five alumni who are scheduled to attend. Here are today’s five.

Oilers legend Paul Coffey’s number seven is up in the rafters at Rexall Place for a very good reason. In 532 games as an Oiler, he scored 209 goals and 669 points, including an astounding 48 goals and 138 points in 1985-86. The 48 goals is an NHL record for defencemen in one season and the 138 points is second all-time only behind Bobby Orr’s 139. In fact, Orr and Coffey are the only two defencemen in the list of top-10 seasons by a blueliner with each appearing five times. Coffey won three Stanley Cups with the Oilers, racking up 103 points in 94 playoff games including 37 in 18 games in 1985 — an NHL record which stands to this day. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1987 where he won one more Cup in 1991.

Brett Callighen joined the Oilers in 1976-77 and spent three seasons in the WHA and three seasons in the NHL. His best season was 1978-79 when he had 31 goals and 70 points in 71 games playing on a line with Wayne Gretzky and Blair MacDonald. Callighen, who had his career cut short due to an eye injury, had 145 points in 160 career NHL games, all with the Oilers. Over his entire Oilers career he had 290 points and 116 goals in 340 games.

Pat Price was one of the original NHL Oilers, joining the team in 1979-80 after being acquired from the New York Islanders. In Edmonton, the defenceman enjoyed two of the best seasons of his NHL career with a career-high 11 goals in 1979-80 and 32 points in 59 games in 1980-81. In his NHL career, the rough-and-tumble playmaker Price amassed 1456 penalty minutes and 218 assists in 726 games. He also added 43 goals and 12 points in 74 playoff games.

Scott Thornton was acquired by the Oilers in 1991 in a seven-player trade that saw Glenn Anderson, Grant Fuhr and Craig Berube go to Toronto and Thornton, Luke Richardson, Vincent Damphousse and Peter Ing arrive in Edmonton. At 20 years old at the time of the trade, Thornton spent the next five seasons in the Oilers organization. He played 209 games with the Oilers with 53 points before being traded to Montreal in 1996 in exchange for Andrei Kovalenko. Thornton had a successful NHL career with 285 points in 941 games spanning 17 seasons and six teams.

Mathieu Garon is perhaps best known for his improbable success with the Oilers in the shootout in the 2007-08 season. The goaltender stopped 30 of 32 shots to go 10-0 in the shootout, pacing the Oilers to 15 shootout wins that season — an NHL record which still stands today. Garon’s 10 shootout wins in one season is also tied for best all-time in NHL history for one goaltender. He had 26 wins that year with a 2.66 goals-against average. Overall, Garon played 341 career NHL games for six teams with 144 wins and a 2.82 GAA.

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INSIDE THE OILERS BLOG