As a young hockey player in the city of Edmonton, the legendary Mark Messier has nothing but fond memories. As part of a winning organization, Messier had the chance to share the celebration with the people and the fans.
“I think the beauty of it was that we were able to share it with the community,” Messier said at a hot stove media availability in advance of the 1984 Stanley Cup Championship Reunion. “Even without the social media aspect we were out in the community… We were entrenched in the community. We weren’t afraid to go out in the community. In fact, we relished it.”
The players on the Oilers teams of the 80’s were very much involved with the city and their relationship with the fans became more of a friendship.
“That relationship with the fans became really close,” he said.
“That relationship became one of the things that was so compelling to the players and the fans.”
Messier said the players enjoyed blending into the community and the only regret is that there weren’t more seats in the arena to allow more of the city an opportunity to enjoy the games.
But because of the players’ relationship with the fans, even the people who couldn’t attend the games, “still felt a connection to the team because of our overall emersion into the community.”