EDMONTON, AB - Oilers defenceman Adam Larsson revealed the inside of his jet-black blazer, showing his name embroidered above the pocket on the left side surrounded by a pocket watch pattern of gold and black.
The momentous occasion of honouring Joey Moss, who has been a staple in the Oilers dressing room for 35 years, required an extra-special touch.
"I actually got it today, so I would say it's a special suit for a special night," Larsson said. "Every time he walks into the locker room, everyone gets in a good mood. He brings a lot of happiness and a lot of fun moments, and I think just seeing how happy he is around the team makes everybody smile a bit more."
The Swedish blueliner was among Oilers alumni, players and special guests at Rogers Place on Thursday night as members of the best-dressed crowd in Edmonton for the 2018 Iron & Frost Gala, this time in support of the Edmonton Down Syndrome Society (EDSS) and Special Olympics Edmonton (SOE).
Video: AROUND THE RINK | Iron & Frost Gala
In honour of 35 years with the organization and his 55th birthday, the event celebrated Joey's commitment to the community. The glamorous, Vegas-style evening included dinner and hot stoves in Ford Hall with players and alumni, a silent auction and a casino on the ice surface with players dealing cards and rolling dice at the blackjack, poker and craps tables.
"This is the second time we've done the Iron & Frost Gala; last year was its inaugural year and it was a wild success," said Corey Smith, board member for the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF) and Iron & Frost Gala organizing committee. "Each year we work with a different beneficiary and this year each of the beneficiaries had specific programs with Joey and his legacy in mind to be unveiled at the Gala."
The night's fundraising will be used to create the Special Olympics Edmonton Joey Moss Invitational Floor Hockey Tournament and the Edmonton Down Syndrome Society Joey Moss Literacy Centre for Excellence.
Oilers alumni and Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, who was instrumental in welcoming Joey to the Oilers family 35 years ago, spoke to the support Edmontonians and Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) have shown throughout the years towards notable causes and members in their community.
"Edmonton has always been a frontrunner in regards to doing special events," Gretzky said. "One of the great things about the city and the Oilers organization is that they've always reached out, so this is a wonderful night for Special Olympics [Edmonton] and of course for people like Joey. It's a night we can all get together and raise a lot of money and awareness.
"At the end of the day, it's really tremendous the current team will be a part of this event. For them to take the night out and be a part of this night makes it all worthwhile. For the older players, it's nice for us to come in and have a reunion."
Moving to the casino floor on the ice surface of Rogers Place, players took to their positions at their respective tables with guests flocking to them with chips in hand. Oilers captain Connor McDavid drew a big crowd at the craps table throughout the night.
"People don't really get the game, but we're having fun anyway," joked McDavid. "But it was a great event. Obviously it's something that touches very closely to my heart and the team's heart having Joey in our room, so it was a really fun night and it's great to see him have such a great night."
Goaltender Cam Talbot, who despite dealing blackjack was more on the side of the participants. "I'm dealing blackjack and it's going really well for me, unfortunately for the unlucky people that came here," the Oilers netminder said. "I like to see the table win.
"This is a great event and has been a lot of fun these past few years. It's something we look forward to every year getting to interact with people and have a little fun doing it."