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Special Delivery

by Ryan Dittrick / Edmonton Oilers
Tom Gilbert & Ladislav Smid share a laugh with long-time season ticket holder, Henry Philipchuk (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)  Watch Video View Photo Gallery

It’s an exciting time of year for everyone involved with Oilers hockey, but for a select number of Season Seat Holders, that excitement was brought to them in a much more personal way Tuesday night. Rather than receiving their season ticket package in the mailbox, they were greeted by three of their Edmonton Oilers at their front door to hand deliver their tickets and spend some time sharing stories of their favourite Oilers memories.

Tom Gilbert, Ladislav Smid, and Sam Gagner joined forces as the trio caravanned around Oil Country to meet with valued customers and bring them a moment they will never forget.

Tom Gilbert said the same about the opportunity to give back to their fans.

“It’s nice because these are the people that come out and watch you play. For us, it’s a pleasure coming out here and being able to do this – to be able to give back to these people that make the game so great for us. It’s a pleasure being here and meeting all these fans that are so excited and love watching the game of hockey here in Edmonton.”

Ladislav Smid, who brought his infectious smile and comedic sense of humour to each house, agreed and commented further on the incredible fan support in Oil Country.

“I told them, we can’t be thankful enough for the support. Whether we play good or bad, they’re there for us. Every night is sold out and it’s just amazing to come to the rink and feel the atmosphere. It’s awesome. It’s a great feeling. We have the best fans in the league.”

While the players seemed incredibly thankful for the support and the opportunity to give back, the Season Seat Holders were equally as thrilled with the experience. Not only did they have their tickets delivered, but they also had the opportunity to take photos, have autographs signed, and talk with the players in a more casual setting. Although the fans had an idea that something was planned, they had no idea what was going to happen.

“My heart was just racing,” said long-time Season Seat Holder Henry Philipchuk. “I knew something special was happening because I got a number of calls asking if I’d be home.  It’s really exciting, and being able to meet them is very, very special.”

Having the players give back with a personal touch meant a lot to the dedicated fan.

“Not everyone can meet them and not everyone gets to see them, but for me this is a very special moment and I know that I will treasure it. I will have lots of stories to tell.”

When all the packages were delivered, Oilers forward Sam Gagner reflected on the evening and commented on the season ahead.

“They were really excited about the upcoming season, so it was good to see people like that being excited after what happened last year. We’re going to do well for them.”
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