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BLOG: Alumni join farewell festivities

by Meg Tilley / Edmonton Oilers

In two weeks, Oil Country will celebrate the last NHL game in Rexall Place history.

The Wednesday, April 6 game vs. Vancouver and post-game farewell ceremony will feature 100+ Oilers alumni in attendance. Each day leading up to the game, we’ll announce five Oilers alumni who are scheduled to attend, starting with the first five today.

Jari Kurri joined the Oilers in 1980 and played 10 legendary seasons, winning five Stanley Cups. Not long after his arrival, he was paired with teammate Wayne Gretzky, and the duo became one of the most prolific scoring tandems ever to play in the NHL. In the 1984-85 season, the Finn scored 50 goals in his first 50 games and finished the year with 135 points. Kurri recorded 601 goals and added 797 assists in 1,251 games for 1,398 points with Edmonton, as well as 233 points in 200 career Oilers post-season games.

Willy Lindstrom started his hockey career in the World Hockey Association with the Winnipeg Jets. He went on to play nine seasons in the NHL, two of which were spent as an Oiler. In that time, Lindstrom recorded 40 goals and added 41 assists in 163 games for 81 points and won two Stanley Cups in 1984 and 1985.

Petr Klima played four seasons with Detroit from 1985-89 before being traded to the Oilers (along with Joe Murphy and Adam Graves) during the 1989–90 season. The Czech forward played four seasons with the Oilers, recording 118 goals and 85 assists in 258 games. Klima scored the winning goal in the third overtime of Game 1 of the 1990 Stanley Cup Final against former Oilers goalie Andy Moog of the Boston Bruins. Klima played for the Oilers until 1993, winning the Stanley Cup in 1990.

Eddie Mio was part of the legendary WHA trade that sent Wayne Gretzky (along with Peter Driscoll) from the Indianapolis Racers to the Oilers. The 5-foot-10 goaltender played two seasons with Edmonton, seeing his first NHL action during the days of the Oilers’ transition from the WHA. Mio won 16 games in 1980–81 before he was traded to the New York Rangers.

Ryan Smyth was selected by the Oilers in the first round (sixth overall) in the 1994 NHL Draft. The winger went on to play 15 seasons with the Oilers. He spent 12 seasons with Edmonton before he was traded to the New York Islanders in 2007. After five seasons playing with three other NHL teams, the Oilers reacquired Smyth in 2012. The perennial fan favourite recorded 386 goals and added 456 assists in 1,270 games for 842 points with Edmonton, as well as 59 points in 93 career Oilers post-season games. Smyth is tied with Anderson for the most regular season power-play goals in franchise history with 126.

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