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 host more than 100 Oilers alumni in attendance. Each day leading up to that game we are announcing five alumni who are scheduled to attend. Here are today’s five.
Oilers legend Paul Coffey’s number seven is up in the rafters at Rexall Place for a very good reason. In 532 games as an Oiler, he scored 209 goals and 669 points, including an astounding 48 goals and 138 points in 1985-86. The 48 goals is an NHL record for defencemen in one season and the 138 points is second all-time only behind Bobby Orr’s 139. In fact, Orr and Coffey are the only two defencemen in the list of top-10 seasons by a blueliner with each appearing five times. Coffey won three Stanley Cups with the Oilers, racking up 103 points in 94 playoff games including 37 in 18 games in 1985 — an NHL record which stands to this day. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1987 where he won one more Cup in 1991.
Brett Callighen joined the Oilers in 1976-77 and spent three seasons in the WHA and three seasons in the NHL. His best season was 1978-79 when he had 31 goals and 70 points in 71 games playing on a line with Wayne Gretzky and Blair MacDonald. Callighen, who had his career cut short due to an eye injury, had 145 points in 160 career NHL games, all with the Oilers. Over his entire Oilers career he had 290 points and 116 goals in 340 games.
Pat Price was one of the original NHL Oilers, joining the team in 1979-80 after being acquired from the New York Islanders. In Edmonton, the defenceman enjoyed two of the best seasons of his NHL career with a career-high 11 goals in 1979-80 and 32 points in 59 games in 1980-81. In his NHL career, the rough-and-tumble playmaker Price amassed 1456 penalty minutes and 218 assists in 726 games. He also added 43 goals and 12 points in 74 playoff games.
Scott Thornton was acquired by the Oilers in 1991 in a seven-player trade that saw Glenn Anderson, Grant Fuhr and Craig Berube go to Toronto and Thornton, Luke Richardson, Vincent Damphousse and Peter Ing arrive in Edmonton. At 20 years old at the time of the trade, Thornton spent the next five seasons in the Oilers organization. He played 209 games with the Oilers with 53 points before being traded to Montreal in 1996 in exchange for Andrei Kovalenko. Thornton had a successful NHL career with 285 points in 941 games spanning 17 seasons and six teams.
Mathieu Garon is perhaps best known for his improbable success with the Oilers in the shootout in the 2007-08 season. The goaltender stopped 30 of 32 shots to go 10-0 in the shootout, pacing the Oilers to 15 shootout wins that season — an NHL record which still stands today. Garon’s 10 shootout wins in one season is also tied for best all-time in NHL history for one goaltender. He had 26 wins that year with a 2.66 goals-against average. Overall, Garon played 341 career NHL games for six teams with 144 wins and a 2.82 GAA.