EDMONTON, AB - The memory of Joey Moss will live forever because legends never die.
In the Oilers dressing room, Joey's second home since the 1980s, his legacy and spirit reside in a beautifully sculpted statue that breathes his passion for life, the city of Edmonton and of course, the Orange & Blue.
Crafted by visual artist Ryan Kurylo, who specializes in portraiture and figurative sculpture, the Joey statue is mounted near the entrance of the room to wish the team good luck with a warm smile and high-five before they take to the ice.
"We really tried our best to make a really honourable tribute to him and I think we created a great talisman for the locker room that is going to bring great energy and continue his legacy," Kurylo, explaining the inspiration for the statue, said.
No detail was overlooked in the work of art. The piece sees the long-time Oilers Locker Room Attendant posing happily with his hand raised - Joey in his natural form. The scale is true to Joey's size and his sculpted hand features the tracing of his actual palm print. "The expression on his face says, 'I believe in you. You can do it,'" Kurylo said. "And when you high-five him, it's actually Joey."
Video: JOEY | Locker Room Tribute
Adorned in his Edmonton Oilers tracksuit, which he would wear while completing vacuuming or laundry duties, Kurylo included symbolic representations into the swirly texture of Joey's wardrobe. There is a purpose for that, the sculptor says.
"It's got an artistic texture to it but it almost represents the ice after it's seen a lot of action. Joey saw a lot of hockey action. Few people in Edmonton saw as many great games as he did."
Joey left an indelible mark on the community and was an inspiration for all.
In September, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation organized the Joey Moss Memorial Golf Classic in support of the Winnifred Stewart Association to continue Joey's legacy of advocating for employment and other meaningful opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. And in June, Edmonton Public Schools announced the construction of the Joey Moss School, which will open in the fall of 2022. "He was a legend and created a legacy. He's forever loved by everyone," Oilers Alumni Member Barrie Stafford said.
Joey's love for singing the Canadian national anthem at home games, dancing to "La Bamba" and winning wrestling matches will always be cherished, alongside the impact he had on the city.
"When you walked into the room and you saw Joe, he brought a smile to your face. He wasn't just a token part of the dressing room; he was a part of the team," added former Oilers forward Craig Simpson.
Now, In the Oilers dressing room where Joey shined, he is immortalized.