Edmonton Oilers

Over the years, the Edmonton Oilers have provided us with tremendous on and off ice entertainment. Although there are dark skies on the NHL horizon, the relationship between the Oilers and Oilers Nation shines on.

I had some fun at Klondike Days in the 70s and 80s, saw the Beach Boys and Chicago (don’t remember the year for either concert). I’ve seen some wonderful football, the Eskimos have been excellent entertainment for most of my life. The really good rock bands always seem to come here, even in the beginning.

My favorite shows? Hmmm. Elvis Costello don’t remember the year, Genesis was amazing the time I saw them and even though they were exactly 100 years old, the Rolling Stones rocked Commonwealth the night I was there in a big way. Only band on the planet that can boast Keith Richards throwaway line “here’s one” and then back it up with the alltime “Happy.” Man, that was a night to remember.


When it comes down to putting a footprint on a community, the Edmonton Oilers are kings. In my day job, driving around talking to people in the city, the subject has gone from “where will they play the Russian?” to “how long will we have to wait?” with very little time for anger, rage or threat.


Oilers Nation will stand vigil until the heroes return. Whatever the issues keeping Edmonton and their Oilers apart, the fanbase will return stronger than ever. Hockey is part of the fabric, like beer, Jill Hennessy, blue jeans and donair.

Hurry Sundown, come on winter.

  • Rob...

    I wonder if Paulina has seen that picture? Hard for dear old dad to scold her for some of her clothed pics given how far he went. Maybe she could use it for inspiration.

  • Reg Dunlop

    Best concert: Papa John Creach opening for Carlos Santana at the Kinsman fieldhouse circa about 1972.

    I hope Wayne applied the suds himself although I bet Anderson offered to help out.

    Messier with the stubby beer… it was likely the only stubby thing going on with Mark (at least thats what Madonna said).

  • Reg Dunlop

    Since hockey seems a long way away: My favorite sporting moment other than the Stanley cups was when Graham Smith cleaned up at the pool during 1978 Commonwealth games.

  • paul wodehouse

    …So when I went to the Oilers Nation site and it opened this a.m. my jawed dropped to the floor…the “suds” picture …damn!!!! where did that come from…and then I thought, that image has been published on the front page of the Edmonton Sun a year or more after I shot it…no worries

    …the back story is far too long to tell here so i can only say that Gretz let me, no, told me to take the picture but never wanted it published til he ‘was gone’…even when I asked if i could offer it to Life Magazine he told me “not til I’m gone”…then when I went to L.A. that first year after he was sold to cover the Oilers – Kings playoff series and I asked him again he said ” Wodey, when I said when I’m gone I meant when I’m dead “… Oh I said and I knew he would trust me not to publish it anywhere…

    and then all hell broke loose…

    • paul wodehouse

      …no LT it’s all good that way…

      that’s where the back story comes in and that whole thing about “all hell breaking loose” rears it’s ugly head … i never did sell it publish it show it or did anything with it…that was the deal i always had with Gretz and he trusted me …BUT I got a call from Mike Barnett one morning …he said hi Paul remember that relationship you had with Wayne? It’s all over now … why is this picture of Gretz covered in soap suds being sold on the internet? Your old boss at the Sun seems to think it’s you and he’s telling people you’ve gone “rogue” and you`re now selling the picture…Paul WTF is going on !!! (that expression hadn’t been put in the form of an acronym way back then but you get what he said …

      “GULP” I said quietly…it’s not me selling it that’s for sure Mike …I left the Sun AND that negative at the Sun over a year ago I have no idea how it got out there for sale …Barnett says,`well we`re gonna find out so y`better get some answers soon…and call your old boss … long story as short as i can make here …my brief conversation with the powers at the Sun got me off the hook because they found the negative in the files and by all accounts couldn`t say it was me who purloined it and sold it …I know who engineered it all but what`s the point in ratting them out over 20 years after the fact …fact is Barnett being the astute business man he was said OK …to stop the sale of this picture we want you (TheSun) to publish this picture on your front page so everyone gets to see it and it won`t be the `collectors item` it`s become on the internet… in the end Gretz was good with it

  • If this is true and this photo was acessed from the Suns business resource database by an employee and it was taken beyond Sun property either as a film,photo ,or data packet,it was possibly a crime.Profitting takes it to another level.

    It might be wise to make a hypothetical statement here online as to the who and how and when surrounding this act,a “hypothetical”statement is not going to make you liable for anything.If you want to use names then simply post rhymes so people
    are forced to extrapolate the proper words.

    It isnt enough to provide peripheral data and not get to the point,and as it seems you have no verifiable proof and you arent claiming to have such proof,then I consider the first statements you made here to be “hypothetical”in nature,and I am interested in any further hypothosis you may be willing to share.

    It is easy to put things into cyber-space,but it is equally as easy to trace the path of that data,easier than most people might imagine.

    And in all fairness anyone who is so inclined may post their reply or defense in cyber-space at any time on equal footing.

    On a more pragmatic note,those snapshots were very nostalgic,and I must say I had a good chuckle,those were wild days,I met Mess the day he took his first porsche for its maiden voyage out of Edmonton,and was lucky enough to have spent many weekends at Wizard Lake at cabin parties with many of the then-young Oilers–in all these years I have never heard a squeak,what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,or whatever,but not a squeak of all the antics we created—this shows the lack of class it takes to publish a photo which is a memory for specific people not the world ,and on the upside nothing holds the headlines for very long in cyberspace,nothing,so there is some balance within cyberspace for all of us.

    I might suggest takeing down the pictures until Wayne specificlly says its ok,purely a respect issue.I mean I dont even feel right about it after this post.

    I respectfully request from the OP that unless Wayne has oked this photo we temporarily kibosh it,awaiting further approval.

  • The worst that would be happen would be a “Cease and desist” request to the site. Since the pic is already in general circulation via the dub-dub-dub that’s highly unlikely to occur.

    Like PG said above, it was published on the front page of the Sun and Gretz was good with it. Case closed.

  • As soon as I opened the page & saw the picture, little bells started dinging. I was aware of the picture and the backstory as told to me about 20 years ago by the photographer when I was the art director at a now defunct western magazine.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Interesting stuff Paul, thanks for sharing the story behind the image.

    ….any other cool stories?

    Peter Millers expression in the background is pricelss, that is something you don’t see every day, even in the Oiler dressing room back then.

  • paul wodehouse

    for David S.

    please bud …not a legend …I was just blessed to be in the right place at right time starting in 1976 when I first met Gretz here in Ontario when he was a really pimply faced Soo Greyhound on his junior farewell tour before turning pro…the rest as they say is history but that link you posted with Bruce McNall & Gretz at the L.A. presser was a great evening as well …interesting story for Q … I happened to be in the mens’ room at one point that early evening and in walks Bruce McNall and …well… we urinated together…and it happened again a year or so later when he was in Edmonton for the playoffs and damned if he walked in to another mens’ room I was in and we both had a laugh as we performed our natural bodily functions again (and no he didn’t say we gotten stop meeting like this) …another photographer buddy of mine walked in, happened to have a camera after we did our bidness, so I asked him if we could have a picture he said K & we grouped and grinned for a nice picture as a momento…all great fun

  • Lowetide

    I pulled the photo, if there’s any chance of offending the great one I don’t want to be a part of it. šŸ™‚

    AMAZING thread btw. Amazing

    My source for the photo is an amazing tumblr sight called maybe edmonton.