Wednesday night saw 160+ Oilers alumni and current Oilers staff and players recognized and join in on the Farewell Rexall Place celebrations.
Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan was one such individual that was greeted by a roaring — almost deafening — applause when he stepped out onto the carpeted runway that lead to his spot that was positioned around centre ice.
“I was a [small] piece of that ceremony and that’s just the way you look at it,” he said. “It’s never about me, it’s never about the coaches and in fact it’s not even about this year’s team. That night, that was about the building in the past. I was lucky enough to be part of it. I am truly honoured to be an Oiler.”
Though McLellan said he didn’t necessarily notice the difference between the applause for one member versus another, he was certainly one to experience the intense passion the fans exhibited throughout the building.
“It was a goosebumps moment because of the building and the people that were around me,” he said. “And the fans showing their appreciation, I sat in that chair and I looked around, I tried to find an empty seat and you couldn’t. And I think that speaks volumes of the fans. It’s as much about them as it is about the 150-200 coaches and players that were out on the ice.