The Edmonton Oil Kings can add another checkmark to their season. This year's teddy bear toss was on a Friday night in the blistering cold in Edmonton, -30 C or -22 F and that's before the wind chill, but the hockey faithful braved the weather and bundled up to support the home team and raise some money and donations for the 630 Santa's Anonymous charity. When the final count came in, 10,128 teddy bears of various shapes and sizes were thrown to the ice. According to the Oil Kings, this was the first time in Oil Kings' history that the team collected more bears than there were fans in the stands. To add to those totals, during the jersey auctions and raffles held at the game, $19, 675 were raised for children in need throughout the city.
This was not the start they had hoped for, but it is what the Edmonton Oil Kings got. Instead of picking up right where they had finished last season, the team has suffered through its share of ups and downs. Now however, the team may be turning things around.
You already knew that Edmonton loves their Oilers, and this week offers nothing but more evidence to support the assessment. This week, all of the Oilers’ prospects have travelled from their home bases to work with the Oilers training and development staff and to see where they stack up against the other prospects. Most days of the development camp are mundane drills, nothing even slightly exciting. And yet the fans pour into Millenium Place in Sherwood Park, at least 500 I would say if I had to wager a guess. Some fans just pop in for a half hour or so, often just to see Yakupov, while others stay for the nearly 3 hours of drills hoping to catch a glimpse of greatness.
Of course they are just artist renderings, but the new images of the downtown arena show a building that will be very different from anything the Edmonton downtown currently has. The arena features lots of windows, and open spaces and several access points with potentially less traffic disruptions than Rexall Place currently offers.
The key points of the design are still the iconic oil drop shape, the raised walkway crossing 104th avenue and an integregation with current and future businesses.
The first concept images of the new downtown Edmonton arena have been released this week, and they look good. Structurally there doesn’t appear to be much difference between these images and the ones released last year, except for the fact that these images do not resemble a bike seat so much as a scotch tape dispenser or even a mullet. That’s right, I bring you the Smytty Dome.
Making the jump from Bantam to Junior hockey is never easy and becomes especially more difficult when it means leaving your home, your friends and your family to live with billets and play in a new town or city. For some like Calgary Hitmen rookie centreman Greg Chase selected in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2010 Bantam Draft, the move was a fairly easy adjustment just moving three hours down the highway from Edmonton to Calgary. Well, easy for the most part.
The winter in Alberta has been unseasonably mild and even warm, just like much of Canada. It has been written that outdoor rinks are being threatened by climate change , and so rinks such as the one build and maintained by the Steele family of the city of Leduc (just south of Edmonton). The rink may be small, it it rivals Rexall Place. Ryan Dittrick of EdmontonOilers.com had a look at the Steele’s rink this week, and now you can too.
At one time or another, every one of us has thought that we would like to give back and do something good for others. It’s easy to think about doing something good, or even give money to someone’s efforts, but it is quite another to spend your time, energy, talents and emotions without expecting anything in return.
Philanthropist and optometrist Dr. Brent Saik is no stranger to the game of hockey. In fact, it is this do-gooder who is behind the World’s Longest Hockey Game at Saiker’s Acres just east of Edmonton near Sherwood Park, Alberta. This 10 day long marathon game takes place outside in the blistering Alberta February cold. You want to sign up to play right now don’t you? Dr. Saik has organized and run this event not once, but now four record breaking times. The most recent game was held February 2011 and has raised more than the $1,000,000 goal. According to the website, the event has unofficially raised $1,124,475.03 for revolutionary cancer fighting tools in Edmonton. What kind of score would a game like that end with? How about 2067 to 2005.
About Oil Patch
Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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