The Oilers will host the Vancouver Canucks on April 6 for their final home game in Rexall Place, before moving downtown to Rogers Place in the fall. The post-game farewell ceremony will feature more than 100 Oilers alumni in attendance. Each day leading up to that game we’ll announce five alumni who are scheduled to attend.
Dave Semenko won two Stanley Cups with the Oilers, but he also served the important and well-respected title of Wayne Gretzky’s bodyguard. He spent just over seven seasons in Edmonton and provided his best post-season performance during the franchise’s first Stanley Cup championship run. He had five goals and five assists in 19 games that 1984 post-season. He fought 70-plus times in his NHL career and played 575 NHL games, almost all for the orange and blue.
Pat Hughes spent four full seasons and part of another with the Oilers from 1981-1985. He once set an NHL record by scoring two shorthanded goals 25 seconds apart. His four years with the Oilers were the best of his career, as he surpassed the 20-goal mark three times. He helped the Oilers win two Stanley Cups during his stay in Edmonton. Hughes played 573 career NHL games and 71 more in the post-season.
Jason Strudwick finished his NHL career, which spanned more than 670 games, in his hometown of Edmonton. He closed out his career with three seasons with the Oilers (2008-2010). Strudwick also played games for the Islanders, Canucks, Blackhawks and Rangers, as well as had stints in Europe. The hard-working, versatile player has made a career after hockey as a radio analyst and now television host in Edmonton.
Chris Josephcame to Edmonton from Pittsburgh as part of the Paul Coffey trade in 1987. The defenceman played parts of six seasons with Edmonton and their affiliate in Cape Breton. He was a big part in the team’s 1992 Conference Final appearance. Joseph enjoyed a long professional career, which began in the 1987-88 season and ended with a stint in the Italian league during the 2005-06 campaign. He played more than 500 career NHL games for the Oilers, Lightning, Penguins, Flyers, Canucks, Coyotes and Thrashers.
Ian Herbers is currently an assistant coach with the Oilers. The former defenceman, a native of Jasper, AB, enjoyed a long and fruitful career with the University of Alberta. That playing career resulted in a chance to join the Oilers. He played mostly with their AHL affiliate in Cape Breton, but laced up for 22 NHL games with the parent club during the 1993-94 season. Herbers left the ice for the bench and became a coach in the AHL, first as an assistant in 2003-04. He wound up taking the head coach job at the U of A, leading his alma mater to two CIS national titles in three seasons at the helm.