May 13 2014 03:15PM
The Edmonton Oil Kings won the WHL championship last night, and today is a time to bask in the glow of victory for the team, their managers and the fans. Oh sure, you'll hear "they have to win the Memorial Cup" and "they should have won it in G6" but that misses the point: there's a champion in our midst, and they are worthy of celebration!
The Oil Kings-Winterhawks games from this era should be placed in a vault and sent to the Hall of Fame. Crazy talent married to plot turns that would be discarded as farce under normal circumstances, the town team rode a giant on defense (Griffin Reinhart), a monster on offense (Curtis Lazar) and quality support up and down the order to the championship.
One of the questions we can ask ourselves today is: How many of these kids have a legit chance at NHL employment in the years ahead? I'll list Reinhart, Lazar, Henrik Samuelsson, Mitch Moroz, Cody Corbett and Tristan Jarry as locks or likely. A secondary 'trending' list might include Brett Pollock, Dysin Mayo, Aaron Irving and Mads Eller.
That's a helluva list for one junior hockey team. The Edmonton Oil Kings are loaded this spring, and won it all because of it.
THE MEMORIAL CUP 2012!
It's funny, so many names remain, but there are a flood of memories that return when looking down the 2012 Memorial Cup roster. Returnees are Tristian Jarry, Cody Corbett, Ashton Sautner, Griffin Reinhart, Henrik Samuelsson, Curtis Lazar, Mitchell Moroz.
Those men will be important to the younger group, the experience of 2012's Memorial Cup loss could serve as inspiration for this year's team.
BLESS YOU BOYS, DO IT AGAIN!
There is really no time to waste, the Oil Kings play in London Saturday afternoon. However, for the fans like you and me, this is a time to celebrate a WHL championship and to enjoy a brilliant season by this brilliant team.
Godspeed, Oil Kings!