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

Written by admin on 16/11/2018 Categories: 老域名购买

The Edmonton Oilers will play their last game at Rexall Place Wednesday, and to mark the occasion the City of Edmonton held a free public farewell rally over the noon hour.

Mayor Don Iveson and the rest of city council were on hand for the event, which saw more than 150 Oilers alumni together in one place for perhaps the first time ever.

“I’m happy to have one of these hip, new Oilers jerseys. This is snappy isn’t it?” Iveson said with a laugh.

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    Iveson kicked things off by welcoming the alumni back to Edmonton. Then he shared a few of his memories of Rexall Place.

    “We all remember, well most of us if we’re all old enough, will remember the five Stanley Cups. We’ll remember the other runs, we’ll remember the playoff games,” Iveson said. He went to his first Oilers game in 1988.

    “Second row, in the corner, and there’s Wayne Gretzky skating past,” Iveson recalled.

    “I tell ya, I get emotional thinking about it. It was a magical thing for a little boy to get to go to a hockey game.”

    READ MORE: Farewell Rexall Place: Share your favourite memories

    Ryan Smyth also took the podium Wednesday afternoon. As he walked up the crowd began to chant “Smytty, Smytty, Smytty.”

    “It’s a bittersweet day or evening and we all know there’s a lot of memories, a lot of history in that building,” Smyth said. “Without you fans it wouldn’t be the same in that building.”

    “The ’06 run, that’s for sure a big memory.”

    Watch below: Fans, Oilers alumni prepare to say farewell to Rexall Place

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

    03:14

    Edmonton Oilers alumni, fans gather for rally before saying farewell 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

    00:36

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

    01:25

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



    Mark Messier also made a short speech, comparing the scene to 1984 when the city held a rally to celebrate the team’s first Stanley Cup win.

    “Building the Northlands Coliseum in 1974 put us on the map around the world as one of the most sophisticated buildings in North America,” Messier recalled.

    “It’s amazing that a building can actually have a personality and become larger than live.”

    Messier received a few laughs from the crowd after sharing one particular memory.

    “I remember seeing Fleetwood Mac, my first concert as a young person, in Northlands Coliseum.”

    Oilers superfan Blair Gladue was born in 1974, the same year Rexall Place opened its doors. He said he was born an Oilers fan and has been to too many games to count.

    The most memorable game for him was Game 3 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoff series between the Oilers and the San Jose Sharks.

    “We were down two games to nothing,” he said. “It’s two-to-one. Third period, two minutes left, Raffi Torres comes flying in from the left wing and rips it top shelf. We go to one overtime, two overtimes, three overtimes. Third overtime period, Ryan Smyth comes around the front of the net, throws it in front, Horcoff puts it in.

    “We win! And then we win four games straight!”

    Gladue was sitting directly behind the net. He said he threw his popcorn in the air and just started hugging all the fans around him.

    “When you’re an Oilers fan it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what colour you are. You’re loved.”

    While hockey fans were excited to see all the former players, one notable Oiler not at the ceremony was Wayne Gretzky.

    “I was surprised, I thought he was,” said Akram Chehayeb. “If I wasn’t going to the game I probably would be [disappointed].”

    “My thinking is he didn’t come because he wanted all the other people to shine,” Cindy Farnel said with a laugh.

    According to a 老域名怎么购买 post by Craft Beer Market downtown, the Great One stopped in for lunch at some point Wednesday.

    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

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

    John Sexsmith, Global News

    The Oilers take the ice for the final time at Rexall Place, the second-oldest NHL arena in the league, on April 6, 2016.

    Sarah Kraus, 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

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

    Fletcher Kent, Global News

    Fans gather at Churchill Square Wednesday, April 6, 2016 for a public rally to say goodbye to Rexall Place.

    Erin Chalmers, Global News

    Fans gather at Churchill Square Wednesday, April 6, 2016 for a public rally to say goodbye to Rexall Place.

    Erin Chalmers, Global News

    Many former and current Oilers gather to say goodbye to the arena.

    Kent Morrison, Global News

    Long-time Oilers announcer Rod Phillips stands with team alumni.

    Quinn Phillips, Global News

    Churchill Square is packed for the farewell to Rexall Place rally on April 6, 2016.

    Fletcher Kent, Global News

    Fans begin gathering in Churchill Square for the Rexall Rally, April 6, 2016.

    Kent Morrison, 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

    This Oilers fan was born the same year the Coliseum was built.

    Kent Morrison, Global News

    Oilers alumni gather downtown Edmonton as part of a farewell celebration to Rexall Place, April 6, 2016.

    Kent Morrison, 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

    Final farewell to Rexall Place

    The farewell festivities will continue on into the evening Wednesday.

    In order to fit in all of the post-game events, the game was bumped up to a 5 p.m. start. The game against the Vancouver Canucks was originally scheduled to start at 8 p.m. Doors at Rexall Place will open at 3:30 p.m.

    More than 150 former and current Oilers players, staff and special guests will be part of the farewell celebrations, including Grant Fuhr, Georges Laraque, Mark Messier, Ryan Smyth and the Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky.

    “It will be a powerful moment for myself personally because of being from Edmonton and seeing the building built, and seeing Gordie Howe here when I was a kid and Bobby Hull and all the great players back in the WHA there,” Messier said.

    “And then being able to fulfil a dream to play in the National Hockey League here in my hometown. Would never have thought that was a possibility when I was growing up.”

    Watch below: Former Oilers head coach Ron Low says his favourite Rexall Place memory has to do with the Dallas Stars

    READ MORE: Over 150 Oilers players, alumni, staff to say farewell to Rexall Place

    The event will involve a video tribute to the Oilers’ history at the building now known as Rexall Place. The tribute will include memories from the franchise’s time in the WHA, the glory years of the Stanley Cup dynasty teams, the team’s 2006 cup run, the modern era and everything in between.

    “There are so many memories, stories, and hallmark moments in life that have occurred in the building for our fans and players alike, so it is important to recognize our time there with a celebration of this magnitude,” Oilers Entertainment Group vice chair Kevin Lowe said.

    The Oilers have been preparing to say goodbye to the arena all season, with mini “Once an Oiler, Always an Oiler” tributes. Oilers alumni and other prominent people associated with the organization have been showcased at each home game.

    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

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

    Sarah Kraus, Global News

    The Oilers take the ice for the final time at Rexall Place, the second-oldest NHL arena in the league, on April 6, 2016.

    Sarah Kraus, Global News

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

    John Sexsmith, Global News

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

    Sarah Kraus, 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

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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Ken Lowe, a former Edmonton Oilers trainer who spent 21 years with the team, looks on at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Tuesday, March 29, 2016. The circular concrete rink in the city’s north end hosts its final Edmonton Oilers hockey game Wednesday.

    THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Jason Franson

    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

    Rexall Place, home of the NHL’s 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

    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

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