“It will be emotional tonight,” said Oilers alumnus Jari Kurri, looking around and taking in his fellow alumni that surround him.
As Oil Country prepares to say their final farewell to the building that’s housed the Oilers since 1974, Kurri is right, it will be a very emotional night.
“A lot of good memories. There were a lot of records being made in this building, but the first that always comes to my mind is that first Stanley Cup and not knowing what’s going to happen and how everybody reacted — the players, the fans, the city,” said Kurri.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001, the Finnish winger spent 10 seasons with the Oilers, winning five Stanley Cups with the team.
“Coming from Europe, I had no clue how much it meant with winning,” he admits. “I was shocked. People were hugging each other who they didn’t even know who they were. People were driving through the city in the cars and people were all over the place celebrating on the roof and everywhere. It was so much fun.”
As the Oilers host the Vancouver Canucks for their final game at Rexall Place, Kurri said it’s sad to leave it all behind but he looks forward to the Oilers future at Rogers Place.
“Life goes on and everybody is looking forward to the next new building. It’s going to be unbelievable.”