EDMONTON, AB -- Tonight, the Edmonton Oilers will honour the 30th anniversary of the 1984 Stanley Cup team with a pre-game ceremony that coincides with their home opener ceremony.
At times, teams may choose to remain in their locker room rather than watch these events, citing the need to focus.
Head coach Bob Hartley, on the other hand, believes it's beneficial for his team to take in the pre-game ceremony.
"We will be on the bench," head coach Bob Hartley stated emphatically. "I learned that those guys, the Gretzkys and Coffey and Messier and Lowe, all those guys, they’re a big part of the history of the Oilers but they’re also a big part of the history of hockey. Whether you retire one jersey during the regular season or you recognize a great hockey club like they were, us as an organization has to show respect for this so we’re going to be on the bench for the opening ceremonies.
"I think it’s great for all of us. We can always learn from other people that won and for our young players to be able to see those guys and see what’s going on, I think it’s a big positive for us."
At one point in his career, Hartley had a different mindset about these events.
When he was the coach of the Atlanta Thrashers, he and his leadership group opted not to partake in a ceremony honouring Serge Savard in Montreal.
"They kicked our butt and we missed the ceremony," he lamented. "This summer, I met Serge Savard and I apologized to him because I think that on my part, it’s a big lack of respect and tonight it won’t happen.
"I addressed it with our players and whenever there’s going to be a retired jersey or a ceremony like tonight, you can count on the Flames to be a part of those ceremonies."
Game time is set for 7:30 PM MT. Sportsnet 360 will carry the television broadcast while Sportsnet 960 The FAN will carry the radio broadcast. @NHLFlames will live-tweet the game and bring you exclusive pre and post-game content.