oil kings win

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.


oil kings mem 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.

sharapova gif


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!

  • Leef O'Golin

    So often, as fans of the Oilers and the NHL, we become blase over achievements by other teams in other leagues. Suffice it to say, the Oil Kings journey is no less strenuous nor any less significant than a Stanley Cup run. They are playing the best against the best and that in itself is noteworthy.

    Best of luck in the quest for the Memorial Cup.

  • Leef O'Golin

    Both your list and your article completely misses Edgars Kulda. He was so good in game 6. He was draft eligible last year but I can’t see anywhere he got drafted.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    ^because Kulda wasn’t taken! but he will be in the upcoming draft. congrats to the Oil Kings for giving us long suffering pro sports team sufferers some relief and giving us something to cheer about….finally!!

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Yep Kulda looked good in Game 6. Might be a bit undersized but he plays on edge and is a right place at the right time (excellent positioning) player.

    Also, and I know I’m biased, but Riley Keiser was a great addition to the team this year, had excellent stats, took the tough face offs, played in the last minute of most games, and was a beast of a back checker.

    Count me as a Laxdal fan too.

    • ubermiguel

      I just learned that the Portland Winterhawks used to be the Edmonton Oil Kings! It’s like the Cleveland Browns meeting the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl 3 years in a row…if the Browns didn’t suck of course.

  • ubermiguel

    With the core of top players returning they have a very good chance at winning this Memorial Cup.

    Pelss will be returning in spirit. It’s amazing to see Moroz’s heartfelt connection to his departed friend. I hope we all have a friend that would work so hard to carry on our memory.

  • ubermiguel

    I was impressed with Kulda throughout the playoffs. Mads played with great intensity. I think Mayo was the most consistent defense man throughout the playoffs. Wouldn’t mind the Sr. Oilers picking up one of the aforementioned three.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Ha! The scruffs can’t even congratulate the Oil Kings without putting in a dig about the Oilers.

    I’m liking Mads Eller more and more. Good size too.

  • Hemmercules

    Even if we are a Oiler town first and a hockey town second, the big club can learn a lot about winning from the Oil Kings. Congrats to the entire Oil King organization, you folks are top shelf and deserve all the praise that comes with being champs! You all did yourselves proud and you have helped a city so desperate for a winning team.

    I feel pretty darn good wearing the Oil King hat and jersey. Take note Oilers…….

  • Anton CP

    Nice to have a winner to cheer for in this town again. Hope that Oil Kings can do what they have failed 2 seasons ago, winning the Memorial Cup!

    We want cup! We want cup! We want cup!

    On the side note, wonder how Nucks feel when they watch Vigneault takes Rangers to come back from 1-3 and upset Pens.

  • Hemmercules

    As an Oiler season ticket holder I can’t make it too many Oil King games, as I don’t want to spend every night at Rexall. I do make it to a few regular season and playoff OK games, including all ten against Portland the last three years, and they have provided the best value for money in sports I have experienced since the Oilers’ miracle 2006 playoff run. Great coaching, unbelievable intensity. Gotta love these kids.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    ^@Anton….the Canucks are imploding….first, they trade the wrong goalie, then they finally trade the right one, and now they have no goaltending….then they let Alain go and hire Torts….a complete GONG show, and it doesn’t bother me a bit.

  • CaliforniaOil

    Artus Kulda, Edgars brother,is one of the best Latvian defenders since ozilinsh, these Kulda boys are good and the Oil would be smart to pick the young one up before he jets back to Riga. Maybe we can pitch a good enough deal to artus to come play for us if we draft Edgars… Pipe dreams but hey thats all we got.

    • Mike Krushelnyski

      If he went undrafted last year, I can’t imagine he’s high on a lot of lists for this year. This kid would be a good late round pick who could turn into a player if he got some weight.

  • CaliforniaOil

    Oiler fan in Calgary… I watched the last few games to catch a bit of Moroz, and I’m so disappointed I didn’t start watching the WHL playoffs earlier!

    Truly exciting hockey and what a team. I’m finding myself looking forward to Oil Kings games more than the NHL playoffs.

    Boo ya memorial cup!

  • Mjolnir

    Keegan has duel citizenship. Tried out for team Canada and didn’t make it. Tried out for team USA and made. Now he is American as far as hockey is concerned. Same as oleksiak, just reversed.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Oiler humiliation to follow.

    Doesn’t seem to be much to watch for prospects up for grabs in June in this Memorial Cup tournament.

    That Weber for Malkin makes a lot of sense for both teams, if they’re both looking to shake things up some. Wonder if James Neal is allergic to Edmonton with the Pens needing perhaps to shed a contract.

  • A-Mc

    How epic would it be to have an attendance swap between the Oilkings and The Oilers?

    The Oilkings selling out rexall while the Oilers barely able to fill the lower bowl. I think that would send a pretty clear message!

    Good Job Boys!

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      that’s too funny, but scary at the same time in that it would serve the Oilers right, but the last thing Oiler fans need right now is instability as far as the franchise goes. we went through that in the 90’s with low attendance, questionable ownership, always a threat present to move the team elsewhere and visits from Houston’s own Les Alexander to see about moving the team there….totally the last thing anyone needs right now.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    I watched a few games in the series and I was rather unimpressed with both Reinheart and Samulsson. As for Moroz, it’s nice to see him getting a push to the top line, but he lost that spot in game six after a few shifts of just chasing the puck around in his own zone. He needs to work on a few things, and it seemed like when he touched the puck he’d forget about his skating. I think if he can simplify his game under Nelson, and just be that guy that goes to the net, he could make it to the NHL and be a useful player.

    The second goal he assisted on in game six was a thing of beauty though. he muscled a guy off the puck made a play to skate back the other way and dished a perfect feed to Samulson for the goal.

    I know he’s a winger and I’m not trying to say he needs to be defensively responsible or anything, but he does need to learn what to do and where to go without the puck, and how to play a little better in his own end to be more effective and breaking up plays.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    I remember watching the world juniors and Ray Ferraro said he liked the hockey because they made at least one mistake per shift, but they are very entertaining. He then said that the will go onto the NHL where coaches will coach the creativity out of them. The las few years has been great watching an entertaining and winning product. I wish NHL coaches were more open to creativity.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    As an Oilers,Broncos(Denver), and Oil Kings fan I was dissapointed and embarrased soo many times this year. It feels so good to feel like a winner. Congratz boys(men the way they are playing)!!