The 2010s brought us more than plenty of memorable Oilers moments, from the opening of a new home to the start of promising careers in the Orange & Blue.
Sit back and enjoy as EdmontonOilers.com takes you through some of the club's most defining events of the last decade.
"Hopkins with a chance, another chance, he scooooooores, he's done it!
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, his first National Hockey League goal has tied this game at one!
Get that puck for number 93!"
What a debut for the man they call "Nuge" as Sportsnet's Kevin Quinn so eloquently captured the 2011 first-overall draft pick's unforgettable first NHL game.
The Oilers opened the 2011-12 season on Oct. 9 on home ice against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who brought a perfect 2-0-0 record into Rexall Place for Edmonton's first game of the campaign.
Kris Letang spotted the Penguins an early 1-0 lead with a power-play goal just 3:03 into the opening frame, but the teams were deadlocked from that point on until the 18-year-old rookie stepped into the spotlight and scored the equalizer with 4:55 to go in the third.
Nugent-Hopkins passed the puck down to Taylor Hall behind the Pittsburgh net, Hall sent a backhand pass between his legs intended for a streaking Ales Hemsky, but it missed the winger and instead hit the skate of defender Matt Niskanen. RNH had darted to the net after passing to Hall and collected the loose puck from the cluster in front, beating goaltender Brent Johnson on his second shot attempt to make it 1-1, sending the capacity crowd into a frenzy.
The milestone moment was sweetened further when Hemsky and Jordan Eberle scored for Edmonton in the shootout, and only future Oilers forward James Neal tallied for Pittsburgh, with Devan Dubnyk stopping the other two attempts to secure the 2-1 win for the home team.
Just six days later, Nugent-Hopkins notched his first career hat-trick against his hometown team, the Vancouver Canucks, scoring all three of Edmonton's goals in a 4-3 defeat. What an opening week for the baby-faced centreman from Burnaby.
RNH unfortunately missed 20 games during his rookie season due to a shoulder injury, but he still finished with 18 goals and 52 points in 62 games, getting selected as a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy but finishing second in voting to Colorado Avalanche freshman Gabriel Landeskog.
It was a sensational start to what has turned into a solid career for the now 26-year-old NHL veteran, who has now scored 412 points in 580 regular season games.
The night of Feb. 2, 2012 didn't have the makings of a legendary NHL moment.
Until it did.
Safe to say, Sam Gagner producing the 13th eight-point game in NHL history, and first since Mario Lemieux back in April of 1989, will live in the minds of Oilers fans and the record books long into the ensuing decades.
The Oilers fell behind 2-0 to the Chicago Blackhawks 40 seconds into the second period before the sparking of history embodied itself in the gloves and stick of Gagner after a shuffling of lines in the intermission.
"I think looking back on it, I wasn't happy with my first period," he said. "I didn't play very well and then our whole team was kind of in a funk, so we switched lines and I got moved up with [Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle]."
"It was just one of those nights where everything started to go my way."
Gagner, then a 22-year-old already in his fifth NHL season, had a goal and two assists at the end of the second frame with the game knotted at three heading into the final 20 minutes.
"We kind of clicked right away in the second and then in the third period it felt like every time we had a 5-on-5 shift, we scored," he said. "It was one of those things where I wasn't in a rush to do anything and the puck was just following me around. I felt very patient in letting the game come to me."
Gagner scored off a rebound inside the first two minutes of the third frame and assisted the Oilers fifth of the night before patiently notching his hat-trick goal and fourth of the game on back-to-back tallies.
"I probably could've played the whole third period if it came down to it," he said. "But it was one of those where you don't want to take ice time away from other guys. I felt good, and they kept putting me out there. Those games you have unlimited energy."
With the Oilers up by three and the win all but secured, there was only one result on the minds of those fans in attendance at Rexall Place or watching intently at home as the clock dwindled to the five-minute mark.
From inside the left circle, Gagner found a wide-open Eberle at the back door for a tap in that would be his fourth assist and eighth point of the night as his teammates mobbed him and celebrations from his eight-point exploit went far beyond the final buzzer.
"It was one of those games that will probably never happen for me again in terms of the feeling I had," Gagner said. "Then in the third when fans are chanting my name, I don't think there's a way to recreate that feeling."
There were very few dry eyes to be found in Rexall Place on April 12, 2014 as Oilers fans said farewell to one of the franchise's most beloved players, Ryan Smyth.
The native of Banff was selected sixth overall by Edmonton at the 1994 NHL Draft and went on to play 971 career games for the Oilers, which is the second-most in team history behind Kevin Lowe with 1,037.
Only Wayne Gretzky (583), Jari Kurri (474), Glenn Anderson (417) and Mark Messier (392) have scored more goals in an Oilers uniform than Smyth, who lit the lamp 296 times during his two stints with the club. An amazing 126 of his goals came on the power play, as he tied Glenn Anderson for the franchise lead in the 19th-last game of his illustrious career.
With the Oilers set to close out the 2013-14 campaign against the Vancouver Canucks, the team presented Smyth with the captain's 'C' for his final performance, with usual captain Andrew Ference giving up the letter to honour the man of the day.
"I've said it many times, but it's an honour and a privilege to play this game," Smyth told his teammates in the locker room one day prior to the season finale vs. Vancouver. "A friend of mine told me once, 'You think it's hard to get into the game? It's even harder to leave the game,' and that is true… I want to enjoy these next two days and have a memorable moment that I'll never forget."
Both the team and the fans gave Smyth his memorable moment as the Oilers defeated the Canucks 5-2 with number 94 donning the 'C' and playing a team-high 23:46 in the victory.
When the final buzzer sounded, Smyth's teammates embraced him in the Oilers crease and the sold-out stadium gave him a standing ovation that lasted nearly 10 minutes. During that time, Henrik and Daniel Sedin led the visiting Canucks back onto the ice as each Vancouver player shook Smyth's hand and wished him well. Smyth's wife Stacey, son Alexander and daughters Isabella, Elizabeth and Gabrielle then joined him on the ice for his final send-off.
Chants of "Smytty! Smytty! Smytty!" rained down from the Rexall rafters as tears gushed from the eyes of the emotional, heart-and-soul forward who finished his career with 1,270 games played plus 93 more in the playoffs. He scored 842 regular season points, as well as 59 in the post-season, highlighted by 16 points in 24 games during the team's unforgettable 2006 run to the Stanley Cup Final.
In addition to his NHL achievements, Smyth earned the moniker "Captain Canada" by becoming the only player in history to win gold at the Olympics (2002), World Cup (2004), World Championship (2003, 2004), World Juniors (1995), and Spengler Cup (2012). He was the literal captain for Team Canada at six World Championship tournaments as well as the Spengler Cup.
Smyth was named to Hockey Canada's Order of Hockey in Canada in 2018.
'The Next Great One'
'The Next Sid the Kid'
'Future Hall of Famer'
It's true, Connor McDavid has been given plenty of monikers over his hockey career - even long before entering the NHL.
Back then, he was the kid from Richmond Hill, Ontario granted exceptional status in the OHL after tearing up Minor Midget AAA as a member of the Toronto Marlboros with 209 points in 88 games at 14 years old.
The young phenom completed his rookie season with the Erie Otters above a point-per-game and his final campaign with 120 points in only 47 contests, finishing with 78 goals and 309 points in 200 career OHL appearances.
There he was again, this time at the IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto & Montreal, donning a black cage as an underage player but playing years above the competition with blistering speed, cerebral playmaking and deft puck control as Team Canada captured the gold medal on home soil.
The levels of excitement and expectation directed towards McDavid were ones reserved for the few, with his name included on a shortlist of talent that had reached the heights of such fanfare as teenagers including the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, and Sidney Crosby.
Yes, Connor McDavid was destined to be a first-overall pick. It would just be a matter of figuring out who be given the right to secure the generational talent.
Let the chips - in this case the ping pong balls - fall where they may.
The 2015 NHL Draft Lottery was one rife with anticipation for the management and fanbases of the 14 NHL teams who could have the outlook of their franchise changed by the arrival of a hockey talent that comes once every decade in the NHL, if you're lucky.
The Oilers held the third-best odds at 11.5 percent, with 115 of the potential winning combinations out of the 1,000 possible.
Respective general managers and team representatives surrendered their phones and stepped behind closed doors into a secured room for a 25-minute process of watching balls 1 to 14 dropped into a container and four being plucked in 10-second intervals.
"And we have a winner," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. "The first-overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft belongs to the Edmonton Oilers."
And with that, the course of Connor McDavid was destined to lead to Edmonton.
The league's next superstar pulled on the Oilers sweater on stage at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on June 26, 2015, signalling that the arrival of number 97 in the NHL would happen in Oil Country.
The 2010s will be remembered as the decade when the long-forecasted storm of McDavid was unleashed upon the NHL, and that his reign would come in the colours Orange & Blue.
With a long-awaited new arena in downtown Edmonton near completion and just a few finishing touches needed before hosting its inaugural season of Oilers hockey in 2016-17, there was still a proper farewell to be had.
It was time to say goodbye to one of the most hallowed buildings in the NHL and the confines that witnessed the franchise hoist four of its five Stanley Cups.
When its doors opened in 1974 it was the Northlands Coliseum. Then for a moment in the mid-1990s, it simply went by the Edmonton Coliseum. For a time it was dubbed Skyreach Centre and finally, when the Oilers skates hit its ice surface for the final time on April 6, 2016, they did so in the building known as Rexall Place - the organization's home for 42 years.
After a packed day of festivities around Edmonton including a rally at City Hall, the Oilers bid a proper on-ice adieu to 'The House That Gretzky Built' with a 6-2 victory over the rival Vancouver Canucks with Leon Draisaitl scoring the final Oilers goal on Rexall Place ice.
Following the game, many of the names that echoed in the historic halls of the building were given the opportunity to cross its threshold one last time. In an incredible post-game ceremony that saw roughly 150 alumni introduced and honoured in front of the packed building, cheers rang out for the likes of the many legends as well as unsung heroes that suited up for the Orange & Blue throughout franchise history.
After a touching final tribute video highlighting some of most memorable moments in the building, the long-time in-arena voice so iconic to generations of Oilers fans in Mark Lewis rang out for the final time.
"Oilers fans, with sincere appreciation for your endless passion and support all these years, one last time at Rexall Place, your Edmonton Oilers."
The nearly 200 current and former Oilers gathered at centre ice lifted their sticks in a final salute to the fans and building that witnessed so much greatness and with that, a city, fanbase and franchise officially said Farewell, Rexall Place.
After a proper farewell to the hallowed halls of the only home the Oilers had ever known, followed by an off-season of anticipation, the fall of 2016 saw the culmination of nearly a decade of planning and over two years of non-stop construction. On Sept. 8, 2016, Rogers Place officially opened its doors.
The occasion was marked with an opening ceremony that saw Oilers Entertainment Group Chairman Daryl Katz on hand for an official ribbon-cutting ceremony alongside Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson. Katz spoke to the incredible milestone as the state-of-the-art facility geared up to usher in a new generation of Oilers hockey.
"I'm very proud," Katz said. "I'm very proud of what everyone has accomplished together. The amount of work that went into this, the resources, the people, the time that was required was an enormous undertaking. To see if all come together like this is exhilarating. I'm proud for the city and for everybody who worked so hard for this day. It's really fulfilling."
With the surrounding ICE District rapidly coming together around the cornerstone piece of Rogers Place, Katz foresaw Edmontonians and visitors alike taking in all the new facility had to offer.
"There is nothing like it in the world and that's something Edmonton should be proud of now, having a world-class downtown. From the outset, that was our intention."
It was only fitting to have the man who helped make Edmonton's first NHL arena so special on-hand for the introduction of the next one. Wayne Gretzky stepped to the podium that day to also remark on the franchise's new home.
"It really is a special arena," The Great One said.
"It's friendly, it's classy, it's warm. I hope you guys make some new memories and win some more championships."
As that September wore on, Oilers training camp was held, pre-season games were played and all but an official regular-season game was had until finally, on Oct. 12, 2016, it was, and in dramatic fashion. It seemed only natural to bust Rogers Place doors open with a good old-fashioned Battle of Alberta and the first one on Rogers Place ice certainly didn't disappoint.
After an incredible ceremony that showed off the arena's next-level game presentation capabilities, two Oilers legends in Gretzky and Mark Messier were welcomed to the ice to take a lap and salute the crowd. Moments later, the lights dimmed and for the first time, the Oilers skated out for a pre-game warmup in their new home with newly-named captain Connor McDavid leading the charge with a solo lap.
Then, it was game on.
A sold-out crowd of 18,347 eager to see who would christen the new home with its first Oilers goal didn't have to wait long. Just 1:10 into the first period, undeniable fan-favourite Patrick Maroon tipped a Leon Draisaitl point shot past Flames goaltender Brian Elliott and just like that, a new era of Oilers hockey was ushered in.
McDavid would go on to tally two goals and an assist as the Oilers began their Rogers Place residency and 2016-17 campaign with a decisive 7-4 victory over the Calgary Flames.
After an excellent 2016-17 regular season that saw them secure 47 wins, 103 points and second place in the Pacific Division, the Oilers returned to the playoffs for the first time since their epic run in 2006 to square off against the third-place San Jose Sharks in the opening round.
In just its first season of operation, Rogers Place welcomed the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Oilers fans flipped the brand new facility into post-season mode immediately as parts of the building were literally vibrating when Game 1 arrived in Edmonton on April 12.
The home team emerged with a 2-0 lead after the opening period on goals from Oscar Klefbom and Milan Lucic, but it was the Sharks who survived the early deficit and tied it up with goals from Joel Ward and Paul Martin. Melker Karlsson's game-winner just 3:22 into sudden-death overtime gave the visitors a 1-0 series lead and gave the Oilers even more urgency heading into Game 2.
Once again, Edmonton opened up a 2-0 lead with shorthanded goals from Zack Kassian and Connor McDavid, but there was no Sharks comeback this time as Cam Talbot stopped all 16 shots he faced for a 2-0 shutout, sending the series to California knotted at 1-1.
"He was unbelievable… He was a physical presence and scored a big goal for us," McDavid said of Kassian, who also had six hits in Game 2, many of them thunderous. "It was his show tonight and we're happy for him."
Two completely different games were contested at the Shark Tank, as Talbot and the Oilers blanked the Sharks again in Game 3, getting a lone goal from Kassian and 22 saves from number 33 in a 1-0 decision. Refusing to face a 3-1 series deficit heading back to Edmonton, the Sharks attacked with seven goals in Game 4 and got 23 saves from Martin Jones in a 7-0 shutout to even the series at 2-2.
The San Jose split set up a pivotal Game 5 back at Rogers Place, resulting in the defining performance of the series for the Oilers as they rallied from a 3-1 deficit and won 4-3 in overtime to go up 3-2. Patrick Maroon made it 1-0 Edmonton early in the first, but the Sharks scored the next three before Mark Letestu's power-play marker made it 3-2 heading into the third.
It appeared as though the Sharks would hang on for the slim victory until Klefbom sent a Klef-BOMB into the back of the net with a titanic slap-shot at 17:14, pushing the game to sudden death for the second time in the series. While the Sharks scored the OT winner in Game 1, it was Edmonton's turn now as the teams played almost a full extra period until David Desharnais buried a brilliant saucer feed from Leon Draisaitl with 1:45 on the clock.
"What an effort tonight for our group," said the OT hero Desharnais, who sent the home crowd and entire city into a frenzy. "We stuck with it and it's a great feeling."
The electric Game 5 finish sent the series back to San Jose with Edmonton up 3-2, and the Oilers made no mistake putting the Sharks away, winning Game 6 with a 3-1 decision. Draisaitl and Anton Slepyshev scored breakaway goals 56 seconds apart early in the middle frame, McDavid delivered the dagger with an empty-netter and Talbot turned aside 27 of 28 shots to send the Oilers to the second round.
The Anaheim Ducks were next up for the Oilers after they eliminated the San Jose Sharks in six games during the opening round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The second-round showdown couldn't have started much better for the Oilers as they waltzed into Honda Center in Anaheim and posted back-to-back road victories to jump out to a 2-0 series lead, winning their fourth consecutive playoff game going back to the opening round vs. San Jose.
Leon Draisaitl's dominant series started in Game 1 as he scored once and added three assists as Edmonton earned a 5-3 decision. Power-play goals from Mark Letestu and Ryan Getzlaf in the second period made it 1-1 through 40 minutes, but a wild final frame saw the Oilers get two goals from Adam Larsson and one each from Draisaitl and Letestu, combined with 33 saves from Cam Talbot, to draw first blood in the series.
Game 2 saw much more defence on display as Andrej Sekera and Patrick Maroon scored for the Oilers, while Talbot turned aside 39 of 40 shots in a titanic performance, to give the visitors a slim 2-1 decision and a 2-0 series lead headed back to Edmonton.
Unfortunately for the Oilers, the trend of road team success continued as the Ducks quacked back in Oil Country with a pair of victories to knot the series at 2-2.
Jakob Silfverberg scored his third and fourth goals of the series to lead Anaheim to a 6-3 win in Game 3, with the Oilers getting tallies from Maroon, Anton Slepyshev and Connor McDavid. Silfverberg struck again with the overtime winner in Game 4 as Milan Lucic and McDavid spotted the Oilers an early 2-0 lead before Anaheim tallied three in a row in the middle frame, leading to Drake Caggiula's third-period equalizer that sent the game to sudden death.
With the series tied 2-2, the teams headed back to Orange County, and just like it was in the first round against the Sharks, Game 5 proved to be the pivotal matchup, but unfortunately it didn't end in Edmonton's favour.
Draisaitl, McDavid and Caggiula gave the Oilers a commanding 3-0 lead through 40 minutes, and Talbot appeared unbeatable as the game entered the latter stages of the final frame. However, Ryan Getzlaf, Cam Fowler and Rickard Rakell each scored in a span of 3:01, including Rakell's equalizer with just 15 seconds on the clock, to send the teams to OT for the second game in a row.
The Oilers and Ducks played nearly 27 minutes of scoreless sudden-death hockey until Corey Perry played the role of hero for the home side and gave Anaheim a 3-2 series lead. Talbot finished with a remarkable 60 saves in the marathon matchup.
With their backs against the wall and their season hanging in the balance, the Oilers exploded for seven goals back in the friendly confines of Rogers Place for Game 6 two nights later, crushing the Ducks 7-1 to even the series at 3-3.
The iconic moment of Edmonton's playoff run came in the first period of this game as Kassian scored his third goal of the playoffs to make it 3-0, chasing Anaheim goalie John Gibson and leading to an unforgettable scream of jubilation shared through the plexiglass between the Oilers forward and fan Brad Ferguson.
"I'll never forget about that for the rest of my life," Ferguson said. "He got the goal and I jumped up. He came to the glass with a lot of excitement and an intense look on his face screaming. It just transferred over to me and I was super excited and pumped. It was just awesome."
"You just kind of let out a scream, then he's looking at you and you're looking at him," Kassian explained. "I never plan celebrations or anything… I was just so excited that I just celebrated with the guy."
The unforgettable moment was a microcosm of the blowout victory, as Draisaitl scored three goals and two assists while Talbot made 34 saves as the Oilers forced Game 7 with an exclamation point in what would end up being their final home game of the season.
After surrendering seven goals in Game 6, the Ducks defence locked it down in the rubber match as Anaheim edged Edmonton 2-1 to advance to the Western Conference Final.
The Oilers were unable to achieve their ultimate goal of winning the franchise's sixth Stanley Cup title, but their 13-game post-season run reignited the playoff spirit in Oil Country.
Connor McDavid has notched six hat tricks in his career to date.
But during the 2016-17 season, he experienced one like no other with his first foray into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, a trio of hardware, and an eight-year contract to cap off a banner year for number 97.
The 19-year-old's rookie campaign a year prior at Rexall Place was limited by a broken clavicle, and his 16 goals and 48 points in 45 games still had the sensation on the fringes of earning the Calder Memorial Trophy as the League's top rookie.
The next season, however, would not be that type of season.
Now playing out of the Oilers new home in Rogers Place and having been anointed the club's 15th captain in team history - the NHL's youngest ever at 19 years and 266 days - McDavid took the league by storm.
Scoring twice and adding an assist in a season-opening 7-4 victory over the Calgary Flames officially opened the doors to Rogers Place and snowballed into an incredible season for both the captain and the Oilers.
He scored a goal against the Los Angeles Kings on March 28 to help clinch the Oilers their first playoff berth since 2006 with six games to spare.
From there on out until the end of the regular season, it was Connor Watch.
McDavid scorched the earth beneath him on his path to the Art Ross Trophy as the league's top scorer, registering two helpers in the last game of the campaign against the Vancouver Canucks to stand alone at the top the scoring race as the only player to eclipse the 100-point mark with 30 goals and 70 assists in all 82 games.
The Oilers ensuing post-season run and the first Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance of McDavid's career can only be described as a success after coming within one game of the Western Conference Final after sinking the San Jose Sharks in the first round and falling in Game 7 to the Anaheim Ducks.
What followed for McDavid at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas was nothing more than historic.
Already with an Art Ross to his name, McDavid made it a hat trick of hardware by being elected the Ted Lindsay Award winner by his peers and earning the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's Most Valuable Player.
"I'm sure tonight, when I put my head on the pillow and I go to sleep thinking about what happened, then it'll start to really sink in," McDavid said.
"To see the trophies up close and personal, touch them, and get your picture with them, it makes it a little more real. Today is a very special day in my life for sure."
Signing an eight-year, $100-millon pact with the Oilers on July 5 was the third goal of a hat trick of achievements for the budding superstar in 2016-17, whose value to the Oilers and the NHL can't be measured in dollars.
Hail to the King.
Leon Draisaitl's wealth was measured in goals when the Deutschland Dangler ascended his throne to become one of two 50-goal scorers in the NHL during the 2018-19 season.
He broke through offensively in the opening game on European soil, just days after the red carpet was rolled out for him and his Oilers counterparts in his hometown of Cologne during the NHL Global Series. He flaunted the toe drag in Toronto, and bent the knee to nobody to himself as he mastered the art of the quick release and accuracy with a 22.5 percent shooting efficiency coming out of a meeting with other NHL royals at the All-Star Game in Las Vegas.
He staked claim to his title when he buried #50 past his side's arch-rivals rode when he and the Oilers ventured into the charred fields of Calgary in the final battle of the season.
The German's net worth stood at 50 goals and 55 assists when the fog of battle was lifted at end of an 82-game campaign, with 39 of those conquests reaping red-lamp rewards.
He's the latest in a long line of Oilers to wear the mantle of '50-goal scorer' by following in the footsteps of his predecessors that include Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri and Glenn Anderson.
But a king is nothing without his legacy.
Even from the heights of a career year and 100-point season alongside his ally Connor McDavid, he'd trade it all for a shot at the biggest prize after a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs alluded the Oilers.
"If I scored 20 goals this year and we make the playoffs, I don't care, I'm happy," he said in the Oilers Hall of Fame Room. "I'd be happier than I am now."
Draisaitl's need to prove his worth as man of his people is one unneeded by Oil Country, but that's not going to stop the German from solidifying his standing in the ranks of offensive oligarchs.
"I'm going to come back next year and try to do it again," said Draisaitl.
"That's what we do. We try to prove ourselves every year, prove ourselves to people, prove ourselves to the organization. I'm going to work hard in the summer and try to do it all over again."