It seems as though the Oilers alumni continue to echo one another’s sentiments.
“Good, sad, happy — all the emotions that will be coming tonight for everybody a lot of people that put the uniform on, a lot of people that work for the team, a lot of fans that have been here from day one when it first opened, it will be quite an evening,” said Oilers alumnus Mark Messier.
One of 160+ alumni in attendance today, Messier was in awe of the number in attendance and how the building itself has made its mark in the heart of Oil Country.
“It’s amazing how a building can take on a life of it’s own,” he said. “All the great moments that were played here, one after another, I’ve seen my first concert here — Fleetwood Mac — back in the early ’70’s. Think about all the different — not only the hockey games — but all the other emotions and events that [have] happened here too. It’s going to be a powerful night for the city of Edmonton.”
A sold-out arena will see the Oilers host the Vancouver Canucks for the very last time at Rexall Place, as they close out the night with a final farewell ceremony that will feel like a blast from the past.
“I never thought — like many people — that the NHL would come to Edmonton,” said Messier. “And as a hockey player growing up, I never thought that I would ever have a chance to play in my hometown in the NHL. Both those things happened, and of course, being able to win and [be] part of the team that’s won five Stanley Cups in my hometown, it doesn’t get much better than that. So for me personally, it’s been a long journey seeing this rink built in the early ’70’s and all the moments in-between.”