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Hockey Helps the Homeless event has record year in Edmonton

Oilers Alumni, volunteers and participants help make this year's event the best yet with $230,000 raised

by Jessica Kent /

As Canadians, there are many things that unite us coast to coast. The game of hockey is one of them. Whether you play it, watch it, or live for it, hockey keeps us warm on those bitter-cold winter nights, and for the past two decades, hockey has been helping the homeless.

"In Canada hockey is the game and anytime you can lace up your skates and head out on the rink with two guys who played in the NHL, whether it be our alumni or others for charity, it's a winning combo," said Ron Low, Oilers Alumni and Honorary Chair for Hockey Helps the Homeless. 

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COMMUNITY: Oilers serving up love in a bowl through Soup Sisters

The Oilers traded in their skates for kitchen knives to help make soup for at risk women and children

by Jessica Kent /

In what feels like a seemingly endless winter, sometimes the only warmth can come from a hearty bowl of soup. For women and children who have fled domestic violence at home, that bowl can mean so much more.

"Soup is one of those things that makes you feel happy and warm so it's great that it's going to women and kids in need," explained Brooke, Oilers defenceman Alex Petrovic's girlfriend.

"We strongly believe that food is a really great way to show love," said Mary Anne Nguyen, Marketing and Communications Coordinator at WIN House. 

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COMMUNITY: Ava shines bright on Hockey Fights Cancer night

Toque sales from Sunday's game to help kids affected by cancer return to normality through the BrainWorks Program and Kids with Cancer Society.

by Jessica Kent /

EDMONTON, AB ­- As kids, many of us couldn't wait to grow up and live out our childhood dreams.

For youth fighting for their life at the Kids with Cancer Society, they're forced to grow up too fast.

"I don't know too many adults who can take on what these kids take on. It's so beautiful to watch," Melissa Bandi, mother to Ava DeGannes, a 13-year-old battling cancer, said. "I think the worst part as a parent is you can't help them, and you have to answer questions like, 'Will I die?'"

"These kids become adults very quickly," Val Figliuzzi, Executive Director of the Kids with Cancer Society, explained. "A lot of them endure in a very short period of time what adults won't ever have to face, and they take it in stride."

Taking it in stride with hope on their mind.

Video: COMMUNITY | Hockey Fights Cancer

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BLOG: Ty Rattie worked all summer to be McDavid's right-side man

"Every single player in the world wants to play on the right side of that line and if I'm lucky to get that chance, I'll do whatever I can to not let it go," said forward Ty Rattie

by Jessica Kent /

EDMONTON, AB - It's a "do or die" season for Oilers forward Ty Rattie.

"I've had my chances and been through a few teams and you can only have so many chances before the whole League just says, 'Maybe you can't do it,'" Rattie explained Thursday at Oilers Main Camp, where players underwent medicals and fitness testing.

The 25-year-old Airdrie, AB, native spent the last year as a leading goal-scorer with the American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condors and was re-signed to a one-year contract with the Oilers in the off-season. He appeared in 14 games with Edmonton to close out the 2017-18 campaign, playing alongside Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and said the prospect of continuing to line up with the Oilers captain kept him motivated all summer.

"I thought about it every day I think," he said. "Just the player he is, who wouldn't want to play there? I want to make the team first and foremost but I worked my whole summer to prove I can be in that spot... I probably skated twice as much as I've ever skated and I'm ready to go."

Video: CAMP RAW | Ty Rattie 09.13.18

For McDavid, he's hoping Oilers Main Camp will be the time to build chemistry with his projected linemates and strengthen relationships.

"I like playing with Ratts and I'm glad he's motivated," he said. "We've got to find a way to click here early and build that chemistry. I'm hopeful there's a line that sticks and we can build and work on our game together, whereas last year we bounced around lines and didn't find something successful until the end of the year."

Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan confirmed Thursday he will keep the RNH-McDavid-Rattie trio together to start training camp and pre-season.

"He's a player that was almost at the end of opportunity and took advantage of it and we expect him to continue to hold onto it," he said.

Rattie says if he is given the chance to be McDavid's right-hand man on a permanent basis, he'll do everything he can to not let it go.

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BLOG: Bouchard wants to stay in Edmonton as long as he can

"I look at it as if you're ready or not, size wise, speed wise… for me I've been training to make that jump all summer."

by Jessica Kent /

EDMONTON, AB - Evan Bouchard says Oilers Rookie Camp is his time to prove he is ready to make the jump to the NHL.

"I feel good, I've been working it all summer, improving my speed as the game keeps getting faster," the 18-year-old prospect explained. "The expectations here are to take in as much as I can, learn as much as I can during this process and turn heads while I'm here."

Video: CAMP RAW | Evan Bouchard 09.06.18

"You earn what you get and this league is trending younger and younger and if a young player is ready to play there will be room for him," said Scott Howson, Vice-President of Player Development.

Oilers defenceman Andrej Sekera is out indefinitely due to a torn Achilles tendon. The vacancy left by his injury could give an opportunity for rookie defencemen like Ethan Bear or Bouchard to log some time with the NHL squad.

"I look at it as if you're ready or not, size wise, speed wise… for me I've been training to make that jump all summer," said Bouchard, who was selected 10th overall at the 2018 NHL Draft.

Video: CAMP RAW | Scott Howson 09.06.18

"He's a late birthday so he's had the extra year of junior, so he's only got one year of junior left if he doesn't make this team," Howson explained. "Defence is a hard position to play, we've seen lots of young defencemen come up and struggle, but he's going to get his feet wet at Rookie Camp and get his feet wet during the exhibition season I presume. If he shows well at Rookie Camp then the decision will be made."

Bouchard said he will continue to work on his speed and both the offensive and defensive sides of his game this week, adding he looks forward to learning from camp veterans, like Bear and Kailer Yamamoto.

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FEATURE: Glenn Anderson returns to his charity event as Honourary Chair

After starting the charity event 30 years ago, the Oilers Hall of Famer never knew how much it would impact his life

by Jessica Kent /

EDMONTON, AB - The year was 1989 and, like his teammates, a 28-year-old Glenn Anderson went on to start a charity.

"Thirty years later who knew this wo­uld exist," Anderson exclaimed, talking about the Cross Cancer Institute Golf Classic. "The whole team had at least one charity and we supported each and every one. Our team and our dynasty were part of the community - we were part of Edmonton and Edmonton was part of the Oilers."

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FEATURE: "Homecoming" still doesn't feel real for Brodziak

Oilers forward Kyle Brodziak excited for return to Oilers after nine seasons away from home

by Jessica Kent /

EDMONTON, AB -- Sitting on the balcony of his Sherwood Park home sipping coffee from a mug reading "Canada" with red maple leaves stippling the sides, Kyle Brodziak looks onto a view that isn't new to he and his family.

"We've come back every summer since we left Edmonton," Brodziak said. "It's still the middle of summer and hockey's not really on your mind yet, so it doesn't feel quite real that I'm an Oiler yet."

The Brodziak clan is here to stay after the centre returned to the Oilers on July 1. For the first time in nine years they won't have to pack their bags or say their goodbyes to friends and family come the end of summer.

Video: 1-on-1 | Kyle Brodziak

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Oilers swap out hockey sticks for golf clubs for charity

Oilers, alumni and celebrities participate in 2nd annual Syncrude Oil Country Championship presented by AECON

by Jessica Kent /

Current Oilers players, alumni and other celebrities will lace up their golf shoes for the second annual Syncrude Oil Country Championship presented by AECON. The championship will kick off the Edmonton leg of the Mackenzie Tour PGA TOUR Canada.

Video: COMMUNITY | Oil Country Championship

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Six Inner City High grads achieve "the impossible"

Six graduates are moving on to post-secondary education, a milestone they never thought they would achieve.

by Jessica Kent /

Video: COMMUNITY | Inner City High Grad

Graduation: It's a day most students experience, but for a group of graduates from Inner City High School, it's a day that means so much more.

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Oilers Fundraiser Helps Feed Families

Shirts Off Our Backs presented by Rogers will help feed 1,200 families this holiday season.

by Jessica Kent /

 Video: COMMUNITY | Shirts off our Backs

Dozens of lucky Oilers fans went home smiling Saturday night, not just because the Oilers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in a shootout, but because they won an autographed jersey while helping feed families in need this holiday season.

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