Hear that deafening roar? That’s the crowd October 10th at Rexall Place. The Oilers are assembling the team that won the 1984 Stanley Cup for a 30th Anniversary celebration. While I have some questions about kicking off a season with a strong dose of Cup nostalgia, this event is likely part of a series of events that will act as a swan song to the old arena. Think about it, folks. In just a shade over two years, the Oilers will be taking face offs in the heart of downtown. If you want to look back, here’s your chance.
Now, being that the formal event being held to commemorate the occasion is 99 dollars a ticket, only a select few will get to see it in person. Chances are it will get preserved on DVD for season ticket holders. It’s pretty remarkable. Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri. All the greats and all the role players that made it happen, together. It should give attendees chills down their spine to see those players on the ice, conjuring up nights of triumph on that same surface years ago. The reunion is being feted for three days, starting on the 8th. Smack in the middle? The Oilers home opener.
Nothing like having some of the best players to ever play the game on hand to heap on the pressure. In some ways, this event is a garish reminder that the team is likely very far from the heyday of that group. In other ways, it is meant as a galvanizing force, in the same way Ryan Smyth’s retirement game ought to have been a moment to behold and use as a motivational fodder. It seems petty to tear apart such a great event, and the team should not forget its roots, despite the effect remembering them sometimes has. However, the Oilers will need to be sure they are giving the new kids a fresh ride, with a newly cut set of keys.
These boys shouldn’t be riding the bus.