Fans make noise in stands, on social media for last Oilers game at Rexall Place

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EDMONTON – On what was for some a melancholy evening to say goodbye to one of Canada’s most famous hockey rinks, Edmonton Oilers fans certainly had their fair share of opportunities to make some noise on Wednesday night.

Ahead of the Oilers final game at Rexall Place, fans loudly cheered the team’s greatest player, Wayne Gretzky, as he arrived at the front doors of the building where he created some of the most memorable moments in hockey history. Number 99 took photos with fans in front of the bronze statue that bears his likeness.

The statue was erected in 1989, one year after Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in a move that shocked the entire country.

Watch below: Wayne Gretzky arrives at Rexall Place 

Mitchell Walters, who was at Rexall Place with his grandpa, was one of the fans lucky enough to get a selfie taken with The Great One himself.

“Honestly, I walked out of the building and I saw a whole bunch of commotion over by the statue there,” he said. “I just walked out and he happened to be walking shoulder to shoulder with me so I asked if I could take a selfie with him and he said, ‘Sure man.’”

The game itself was a lively affair as the Oilers handily beat the Vancouver Canucks 6-2 in an emotional final home game at the building where the teams has played since 1974.

On television, the game was called by legendary play-by-play broadcaster Bob Cole, who was also at the mic when the Oilers began their Stanley Cup dynasty run in the 1980s.

The thunderous chanting and applause earned Oilers’ fans a somewhat unorthodox honour: they were named the first star of the game.

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READ MORE: Oilers down Canucks 6-2 in final game at Rexall Place

Social media was buzzing with Oilers and Rexall Place nostalgia as #FarewellRexallPlace was trending on 老域名怎么购买 throughout the night. Data from 老域名怎么购买 show there were more than 33,000 Tweets that mentioned Rexall Place in a 24-hour period, ending at 8:45 p.m. Wednesday night. During the game itself, Oilers’ rookie sensation Connor McDavid was the most talked about player, garnering 2,900 mentions.

A Tweet from the Edmonton Oilers hockey team, showing McDavid posing with Gretzky and former Oilers’ captain Mark Messier, received the most retweets of the evening. A Tweet about the singing of O Canada was the second most retweeted.

A long farewell ceremony followed the game as generations of Oilers players had their names announced on the PA system as they walked out to centre ice at Rexall Place for one last time.

One of the ceremony’s highlights was Gretzky addressing the fans as he stood at centre ice.

Former and current Edmonton Oilers players gather at centre ice for the farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Former player Wayne Gretzky waves to the crowd during the Edmonton Oilers farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Former player Wayne Gretzky waves to the crowd during the Edmonton Oilers farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Former player Wayne Gretzky waves to the crowd during the Edmonton Oilers farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Wayne Gretzky looks to the fans as he takes part in the Edmonton Oilers farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

Former player Mark Messier waves to the crowd during the Edmonton Oilers farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Former player Mark Messier waves to the crowd during the Edmonton Oilers farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Former player Mark Messier waves to the crowd during the Edmonton Oilers farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Former player Ryan Smyth waves to the crowd during the Edmonton Oilers farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Former player Ryan Smyth waves to the crowd during the Edmonton Oilers farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Current player Connor McDavid walks out during the Edmonton Oilers farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016. T

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Former player Jari Kurri waves to the crowd during the Edmonton Oilers farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Georges Laraque waves to the crowd during the Edmonton Oilers farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Former player Marty McSorley walks out during the Edmonton Oilers farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Edmonton Oilers alumni salute the crowd during a farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Wayne Gretzky watches a video of days pass during the Edmonton Oilers farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Former player Ryan Smyth reacts during an interview during the Edmonton Oilers farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Former player Wayne Gretzky is interviewed during the Edmonton Oilers farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Current Oilers player Connor McDavid takes in the festivities during the Edmonton Oilers farewell ceremony at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Walter Gretzky is honoured during the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers NHL game at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

A fan shows his support as he watches the final game at Rexall Place as the Vancouver Canucks play the Edmonton Oilers during second period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Fans shows their support as he watches the final game at Rexall Place as the Vancouver Canucks play the Edmonton Oilers during second period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

A fan shows his support as he watches the final game at Rexall Place as the Vancouver Canucks play the Edmonton Oilers during second period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday April 6, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

“My gosh, I wish we could be out there and play for them again but we can’t do it anymore,” he said as thousands of supporters, many in team colours, cheered. “The greatest thing about hockey is the people you meet.

“The friendships I have, the memories, there’s nothing like it. It’s the greatest game in the world.”

Other Oilers alumni on hand for the ceremony included Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson, Grant Fuhr, Kevin Lowe and Paul Coffey.

READ MORE: ‘It’s a bittersweet day’: Edmonton Oilers say farewell to Rexall Place

The first game at Rexall Place was played on Nov. 10, 1974, when the Oilers were part of the World Hockey Association. It was called Northlands Coliseum at the time and was later known as Edmonton Coliseum and Skyreach Centre. The arena hosted seven Stanley Cup finals, five of which saw the Oilers raise hockey’s most prestigious trophy.

Gretzky led the team to four of their five Stanley Cups, beginning with the first one the team ever hoisted on May 19, 1984.

Watch below: Oilers fans, players say farewell to Rexall Place

‘There’s a lot of memories, a lot of history’: Ryan Smyth says farewell to Rexall Place

01:47

‘There’s a lot of memories, a lot of history’: Ryan Smyth says farewell to Rexall Place

01:25

“I think it’s going to be emotional’: Ryan Smyth on saying farewell to Rexall Place

00:36

Former Edmonton Oilers coach Ron Low shares his favourite Rexall Place memory

03:55

Gretzky arrives at Rexall Place for Oilers’ final game there

01:18

Oilers fans share memories of Rexall Place

04:28

Oilers fans say goodbye to Rexall Place

04:06

‘This is a huge night’: Former Oiler Charlie Huddy shares memories of Rexall Place

01:55

Edmonton Oilers fan goes to great lengths to see final game at Rexall Place

02:19

Former Oilers captain Shayne Corson back in Edmonton to say farewell to Rexall Place

03:14

Edmonton Oilers alumni, fans gather for rally before saying farewell to Rexall Place

03:57

‘I remember seeing Fleetwood Mac’: Mark Messier gets a few laughs sharing his Rexall Place memories

03:32

‘It’s a little bittersweet’: Mayor Don Iveson helps the Oilers say farewell to Rexall Place

03:44

Three-time Stanley Cup champ Craig Muni shares his memories of Rexall Place



The Oilers will move to the Rogers Place arena in downtown Edmonton for the 2016-17 season.

While the Oilers will no longer play at Rexall Place, it is not yet clear what will happen to the building.

Earlier this year, Northlands proposed making it over into an amateur sports multiplex with seven ice surfaces.

The sun sets on Rexall Place on April 6, 2016 as the Edmonton Oilers play their final game at the arena they’ve called home since 1974.

Aaron Streck/ Global News

Connor McDavid scores the Oilers’ third goal during their final game at Rexall Place, April 6, 2016.

Sarah Kraus, Global News

Oilers fans soak in the team’s last game at Rexall Place in Edmonton, April 6, 2016.

Sarah Kraus, Global News

A very enthusiastic Oilers fan is all decked out for the team’s last game at Rexall Place.

Kent Morrison, Global News

Wayne Gretzky stands and takes pictures by the Gretzky statue at Rexall Place.

Kent Morrison, Global News

Wayne Gretzky stands and takes pictures by the Gretzky statue at Rexall Place.

Kent Morrison, Global News

Fans pack Rexall Place wearing their Oilers jerseys for the team’s final game at the arena, April 6, 2016.

Sarah Kraus, Global News

“I came here for one reason.” Many fans disappointed Wayne Gretzky wasn’t at the Edmonton noon hour rally to bid farewell to Rexall Place.

Kent Morrison, Global News

Oilers alumni gather for a rally in Churchill Square as the team prepares to say farewell to Rexall Place Wednesday, April 6, 2016.

Kent Morrison, Global News

The Wayne Gretzky statue stands in front of Rexall Place home of the Edmonton Oilers in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday April 2, 2016. The circular concrete rink in the city’s north end hosts its final Edmonton Oilers hockey game Wednesday.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Jason Franson

Banners from past championships hang in Rexall Place, home of the Edmonton Oilers in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday April 2, 2016. The circular concrete rink in the city’s north end hosts its final Edmonton Oilers hockey game Wednesday.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Jason Franson

Retired players’ numbers hang in Rexall Place, home of the Edmonton Oilers in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday April 2, 2016. The circular concrete rink in the city’s north end hosts its final Edmonton Oilers hockey game Wednesday.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Jason Franson

Quinn Phillips at Rexall Place during the Edmonton Oilers’ 2006 Stanley Cup run.

Global News

The farewell to Rexall Place noon gathering is bringing back things these fans haven’t seen in a while.

Kent Morrison, Global News

For the last national anthem at Rexall Place for an Oilers game, a recording of Paul Lorieau and the fans from the 2006 Cup run is played.

Sarah Kraus, Global News

The Edmonton Oilers’ final game at Rexall Place about to start on Wednesday, April 6, 2016

John Sexsmith, Global News

Big cheers for Mark Messier as fans gather to say goodbye to Rexall Place, Wednesday, April 6, 2016.

Fletcher Kent, Global News

Public rally in Churchill Square Wednesday, April 6, 2016 as the Edmonton Oilers prepare to say farewell to Rexall Place.

Fletcher Kent, Global News

Rexall Place, home of the Edmonton Oilers, is shown in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday, April 2, 2016. The circular concrete rink in the city’s north end hosts its final Oilers hockey game Wednesday.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Jason Franson

With files from .

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