In less than 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.
Fred Brathwaite was an undrafted free agent who earned his first NHL contract with the Oilers in 1993. During his three seasons in the Oilers organization, he split his time between Edmonton and AHL Cape Breton appearing in 40 games at the NHL level before moving on to the IHL’s Manitoba Moose. Brathwaite enjoyed a successful pro career, playing 254 career NHL games over a span of nine seasons with Edmonton, Calgary, St. Louis and Columbus.
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Acquired by the Oilers in the Wayne Gretzky trade only months after being drafted by the Los Angeles Kings, Martin Gelinas' time with the club would be known for much more than his involvement in the historic trade after helping lead the Oilers to their fifth Stanley Cup in seven years in 1990. In his rookie campaign, Gelinas was a member of the “Kid Line” as a 19 year old alongside Joe Murphy and Adam Graves. Gelinas would go on to play 1273 NHL games with 309 goals and 660 points over 18 seasons.
From Stettler, Alberta, defenceman Bob Falkenberg was a member of the original 1972-73 Alberta Oilers. It was a homecoming of sorts for Falkenberg, who played with the Edmonton Oil Kings in the early 1960s. Falkenberg played two seasons with the Oilers plus two additional games in 1977-78 at the end of his career. Over his time with the WHA Oilers, Falkenberg had five goals and 46 points in 158 games.
Marty McSorley joined the Oilers in 1985 after being acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins. In three seasons with the Oilers, McSorley had 22 goals and 55 points in 160 games plus 647 penalty minutes before being moved to Los Angeles in the Gretzky trade. McSorley returned to Edmonton for one more season in 1998-99 and had two goals and five points plus 101 penalty minutes in 46 games. In his NHL career, McSorley had 108 goals and 359 points in 961 games. His 3381 career penalty minutes ranks fourth all-time in NHL history.
“The Magic Man” Kent Nilsson was a trade deadline acquisition for the Oilers from the Minnesota North Stars in 1987 and had an immediate impact in helping the Oilers win their third Stanley Cup. He had five goals and 17 points in 17 regular season games to finish the 1986-87 regular season and then added six goals and 19 points in 21 playoff games. After a stint in Europe, Nilsson returned to the Oilers during the 1994-95 season for six games at the end of his career, scoring one goal. After his playing career, Nilsson also worked as a European scout for the Oilers.