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BLOG: Gretzky shares memories of Hawerchuk

Oilers legend squared off against Jets Hall of Famer throughout career while also teaming up on iconic 1987 Canada Cup squad

by Staff / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - Two of the greatest hockey players ever shared memories from their glory days one last time on Monday, one day before one of them passed away after a courageous battle with cancer.

Oilers legend Wayne Gretzky told NHL.com's Tim Campbell that he talked on the phone with Dale Hawerchuk mere hours before the fellow Hockey Hall of Famer succumbed to his fight with stomach cancer at the age of 57.

Gretzky and Hawerchuk entered the NHL just two seasons apart and played countless games against one another in the 1980s with Wayne's Oilers and Dale's Winnipeg Jets both members of the old Smythe Division.

The bulk of their last conversation on Monday wasn't about their longtime rivalry, though, but rather the time they joined forces to capture the 1987 Canada Cup with Hawerchuk winning the faceoff to start the play that saw Gretzky set up Mario Lemieux for the tournament-clinching goal against the Soviets.

"I had a really nice conversation with Dale yesterday and his son, Eric, and we were talking about the Canada Cup," Gretzky said on Tuesday. "And I was telling his son that he should be really proud of his dad, and obviously he was, that if you watched highlights, and because of the pandemic we've gotten to see some of the games from 1987 that we haven't seen for a long time. But if you looked at it and followed it closely, which I did, Dale played pretty much everywhere but left defence with Paul Coffey, left wing, right wing, everywhere."

Hawerchuk won the 1982 Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie, and was inducted into the Hockey HOF in 2001 after a career that saw him score 1,409 points (518 goals, 891 assists) in 1,188 games for the Jets, Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues and Philadelphia Flyers.

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RELEASE: Oilers Alumni announce Al Hamilton Scholarship recipients

Mackenzie Buchanan and Eyad Mostafa will each receive $2,000 per school year to a maximum of $8,000 over four years

by Press Release / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - The Edmonton Oilers Alumni are excited to announce the 2020 recipients of the Al Hamilton Scholarship: Mackenzie Buchanan of Edmonton, AB and Eyad Mostafa of Vegreville, AB.

Established in 2001, the Al Hamilton Scholarship is awarded annually to students from Northern Alberta who excel in academics, athletics and community service. Recipients receive $2,000 per school year to a maximum of $8,000 over four years.

Al Hamilton, the first captain in Oilers history, wore the 'C' for four seasons in the World Hockey Association (WHA) and excelled as a defenceman and leader. As an integral and founding member of the Oilers Alumni Association, Hamilton has consistently given back to the city that cheered him on through his playing career. It is these core values that the scholarship was founded on. When Hamilton's #3 Oilers jersey was retired, his fellow Oilers Alumni created the scholarship in his name and it has since helped many deserving students further their education.

"Year after year, we are overwhelmed with the impressive pool of candidates who apply for the scholarship," Hamilton said. "These students are intelligent, athletic and dedicated to enhancing their community and this year's recipients are wonderful examples of that. On behalf of our Edmonton Oiler Alumni, it is an honour to select Mackenzie Buchanan and Eyad Mostafa as the recipients of the 2020 Al Hamilton Scholarship."

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BLOG: Lowe, Holland comment on HHOF inductions

Class of 2020 members discuss their illustrious careers and the people that allowed them to succeed

by Ryan Frankson / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - One day after getting the fabled call to the Hall, Kevin Lowe and Ken Holland each participated in video conferences with local media on Thursday.

The current Oilers executives were named to the Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2020 on Wednesday, Lowe as a player for his career that saw him capture six Stanley Cup titles and Holland as a builder for his managerial success with the Detroit Red Wings that included four championships.

Video: Lowe on HHOF induction

Lowe, the all-time franchise leader in regular season (1,037) and playoff (214) games played, discussed growing up in Quebec, the often underrated defensive efforts of the Oilers dynasty teams, his experiences on the international stage, and his transition into coaching and management following his playing career.

Video: Holland on HHOF induction

Holland, whose Red Wings won more regular season and playoff games than any other team during his 22-year tenure as GM, spoke mostly about the people who most impacted his career and said he's been overwhelmed by the number of friends, family, colleagues and players who have reached out to him via text messages and phone calls since yesterday's HHOF announcement.

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BLOG: Lowe, Holland headed to Hockey Hall of Fame

Oilers legend and six-time Stanley Cup champion to be inducted as player, current GM and President of Hockey Ops to be honoured as builder

by Ryan Frankson / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - Oilers legend Kevin Lowe as well as current GM and President of Hockey Operations Ken Holland got the call to the Hall on Wednesday as they were selected for the Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2020.

"On behalf of the Edmonton Oilers, I want to congratulate Kevin Lowe and Ken Holland for their induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame," said Bob Nicholson, Chairman of the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club.

"We are very proud that both Kevin and Ken are part of the Oilers family. Kevin has been an integral part of this organization and community since his arrival in 1979. His impact on our hockey team and our city, both on and off the ice, has been extraordinary. We are also very fortunate to have Ken leading our hockey operations, bringing a wealth of experience and great success to the role. Both are extremely worthy of today's induction."

Video: HHOF 2020 | Kevin Lowe

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BLOG: Huddy looks back at '87 Cup Final

Winnipeg Jets Assistant Coach and former Oilers defenceman Charlie Huddy rekindled memories from the 1987 Stanley Cup Final between the Oilers and Flyers

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - Hailed as one of the most exciting National Hockey League Cup Finals of all time, Charlie Huddy still has memories of the seven-game marathon between the Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers in 1987.

"Every time we got into the Stanley Cup Finals, they all had a different feeling. That one had a different feeling," Huddy, now an Assistant Coach with the Winnipeg Jets, told EdmontonOilers.com. 

"We beat them in '85 so there was a little bit of a comeback from them. I think everybody in the room was excited about that series and for another chance to win a Stanley Cup."

The Boys on the Bus were gearing for their third Stanley Cup victory as well as some redemption after suffering a crippling playoff defeat to the Calgary Flames a season prior. But, as the '80s Oilers came to find out, this one would not be earned easily.

The series, which is being aired in its entirety on Sportsnet from April 21 to May 9, was a roller-coaster, even though the Oilers boasted Hall of Fame firepower in the form of Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey, Glenn Anderson and Grant Fuhr, while Philadelphia countered with heavyweights Mark Howe, Dave Poulin and Ron Hextall in net.

"We realized the team that we had and we were used to winning a lot because of the players we had on our team and the chemistry we had," Huddy recalled. 

"Losing in '86 and not being able to get to the Stanley Cup Finals was disappointing for everybody in the room. Then to be able to get back in '87 and get back at it was pretty exciting. The guys in the room were ready to go. We had a challenge in front of us and wanted to win another one."

The Oilers took Games 1 and 2 at home and by Game 4, returned to Alberta's capital with a 3-1 series stranglehold. 

But the bubbly couldn't be poured just yet as the circuit was anything but over.

Video: 87 STANLEY CUP | Huddy

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ALUMNI: Joseph honoured with Ace Bailey Award of Courage

Oilers Alumni member Chris Joseph received the Ace Bailey Award for Courage on Monday for his dedication to road safety advocacy

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - Chris Joseph was honoured and thankful but admitted there were mixed emotions.

On one hand, he was being recognized for his dedication to improving the safety of Canadian highways after the tragic accident that saw the loss of 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos Hockey Club, including his son Jaxon.

Joseph was the recipient of the Ace Bailey Award of Courage at the 2019 NHL Alumni Awards Gala in Toronto on Monday, a distinction presented to "a recipient who has shown exceptional courage and exemplary determination in life." 

The Oilers Alumni member, his wife and many other parents affected by the tragedy have taken a concerted effort to ensure Alberta and Saskatchewan truck drivers have the best training possible when entering the field.

But on the other, Joseph would trade everything in the world to reverse it all.

"When I first heard I was winning the award, I kind of had some mixed feelings. We're very honoured but we would trade it in in a heartbeat for a little quick trip back in time to change everything," Joseph said.

"But some of my peers, they felt some of the work we had done has been worthy of some attention and they decided to honour me. I think in doing so they honoured not just me but my wife and all the other Humboldt Broncos families for some of the work we have done to try to make the roads safer. I would accept that on all our behalves but we're all pretty honoured that they recognized us."

Joseph feels obligated to be an advocate of road safety and detailed how he and his group have attempted to do so.

"Ultimately, we're trying to make the roads as safe as we can," he said. "We want young drivers, many of them immigrants, to be able to come to Canada and be trained properly. We want them to have a national standard across the board."

While Joseph was the one receiving the award, he was quick to point to the Humboldt Broncos families - which have become a team of their own after the devastating event - that have helped raise awareness of the issue.

"We have 29 families that all love and support each other in different ways," Joseph said. "We all feel that this cause is something the world needs, Canada needs and so we are sticking together."

Together, the families have created numerous scholarships and legacies in honour of the Broncos members that were lost and have supported one another wholeheartedly in their pursuit for greater road safety.

"We're a real team," Joseph said. 

"We lean on each other when we have hard days. We celebrate with each other when we have good days. But for the most part, it's been a lot of talk about making sure the trucking industry is done right, the training is done right. We want to make sure we hold the government accountable to some of their promises. There's no end in sight for us."

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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 / EdmontonOilers.com

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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ALUMNI: Lowe's Hall of Fame induction a product of timing and connections

Developing connections over a 35-year career and being in the right place at the right time helped elevate the former Oilers athletic trainer to hockey's highest honour

by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - Longtime Oilers Athletic Trainer Ken Lowe had a knack for being in the right place at the right time over 35 years in the profession.

During Canada's quest for gold at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, he was presented the opportunity to play a small but significant role from the treatment room.

Two back-to-back games against Germany and the Czech Republic would decide Canada's fate in the group after an opening loss to Sweden. A serviceable, then 36-year-old Mario Lemieux was critical to determining that outcome.

Fixing an ice pack for Lemieux and his lingering hip issues that stemmed from arthroscopic surgery just over three months earlier, The Magnificent One posed the question to Lowe of playing back-to-back games for the first time in an extended period.

"What do you think?" Lemieux asked.

It would be a defining moment for Canada, and one of the biggest thrills of Lowe's career as a trainer.

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RELEASE: 2019 Al Hamilton Scholarship Award now accepting applications

Applications accepted until May 31, 2019

by Press Release / EdmontonOilers.com

(Edmonton, AB) - The Edmonton Oilers Alumni group is now accepting applications for the Al Hamilton Scholarship Award, a prestigious scholarship that is awarded annually to students from Northern Alberta who excel in academics, athletics and community service. This year, there are two scholarships available for two deserving students. The value of each scholarship is $2,000 per school year to a maximum of four (4) years, equating to $8,000. Applications for this award will be accepted until May 31, 2019. High school students and prospective university or college students in Northern Alberta are eligible to apply.

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RELEASE: Ken Lowe announced as 2019 inductee

The Professional Hockey Athletic Trainer's Society announced that Ken Lowe, former Oilers Athletic Trainer, will be honoured as the 2019 Hall of Fame inductee at the annual conference in June.

by Press Release / EdmontonOilers.com

(Edmonton, AB) - The Professional Hockey Athletic Trainer's Society (PHATS) and the Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers (SPHEM) announced this week that Ken Lowe, former Edmonton Oilers Athletic Trainer, will be honoured as the 2019 Hall of Fame inductee at the PHATS/SPHEM annual conference in June. Ken will be honoured by his peers for his contribution and service to the profession at the Hall of Fame dinner and included on the PHATS/SPHEM Wall of Honour in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

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