MEMORIAL CUP SUNDAY!

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The Edmonton Oil Kings have been a part of our community for a long, long time. This year’s team won their second WHL championship in three seasons, and, today, have a chance to shake hands with history, just like the Oil Kings of 1963.

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When most of the men who played on the 1963 Oil Kings were growing up, it was a very different city than the one we live in today. “Your friendly city” included a rabid hockey crowd, fans who were able to enjoy outstanding talent (Norm Ullman and Johnny Bucyk among them) before they moved on to NHL stardom in the original six. The Edmonton Oil Kings of 1963 were a talented, battle hardened group (the Oil Kings played in a “senior league” despite their young age) who won it all for the city of Edmonton in May of ’63.

Many of those young men went on to pro hockey—the NHL, the WHA, the AHL and some of the craziest leagues in creation, Slap Shot come to life. The story of those Oil Kings teams could fill several books, if you ever get a chance to talk to Gregg Pilling, or Pat Quinn, or Bert Marshall, Glen Sather or Bob Falkenberg, make sure you do. It was a different, wonderful time.

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This is the bunch I remember well, the Phil Russell, Don Kozak, Darcy Rota, Tom Bladon bunch. Holy hell that was a tough league back then, that’s my one memory that sustains. Today’s WHL is tough too, don’t get me wrong, but those years were a little angrier than the league is today. I miss those players—Rota was terrific, and man we could use Phil Russell—but have fallen head over heels for this bunch and today they can win it all. 

CHAMPIONS!

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They won it all, the WHL championship, against an insane Portland Winter Hawks team earlier in the month. It seems like yesterday, and yet these young men have worked so hard this week to get into the national championship game.

THE MEMORIAL CUP ROSTER

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Godspeed, men. This is for all-time, for history, for your history. We’re with you all the way.

GO OIL KINGS!!!!

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      There is no god nor fairy-tale heaven. Please be considerate of others who don’t share you beliefs, especially Pelss’ family. The majority in his country don’t believe in that delusion.

      • 2004Z06

        Whether you agree or disagree with Eulers beliefs is irrelevant. In this country we have something called freedom of religion and freedom of speech. He has just as much right to express his opinion/belief as you do.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      no he isn’t. I know it’s a bigger step to the pros, and Moroz is now heading to the AHL, but people need to stop whining about the Moroz pick already!!

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    So proud of this team. What a story they’ve carved out and to see that banner hanging in Rexall next season will always put a smile on my face!

    Can’t wait for the boys to bring the cup home to the City of Champions!

    Btw how fitting is it that Mitch Moroz scored the GWG?? Pelss is looking down on this team and is very much apart of this championship team.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Another team with an Oilers connection playing today as well. Bakersfield Condors are playing game 5 in the ECHL Western Conference Finals against Alaska. Game is just starting and can be watched online at goATD.net (http://88.80.11.29/). Would be nice to see them pull it out as well.

  • dougtheslug

    Is it raining on the left coast tonight? Well cheer up because a team from the west has made us all proud!

    And again I see the scuff’s can’t congratulate the Oil Kings without taking a jab at the Oilers.

  • dougtheslug

    Incredibly enjoyable and satisfying to watch this team playing their hearts out and winning against the odds.

    Moroz scoring the winner and pointing to the skies, Pelss’ countryman Kulda the surprise winner of the Memorial Cup MVP -it seemed like Hollywood scriptwriters were writing this stuff.

    Magnificent achievement boys. Well done!

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Interesting kid that Kulda.

    Is he up for grabs next month? Where does he rank?

    Like to know more about that kid. Could he be on the board when the Oilers make their midish rounds selections?

          • HardBoiledOil 1.0

            different situation. Chase didn’t win the Memorial Cup nor the tourney’s MVP. this will likely help him rise in the draft. i still get baffled as to why Chase kept falling, especially when the Oilers had chances to take him earlier but felt Evan Campbell ! was a better choice.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Thanks Zarny.

        I’d have no problem with the Oilers using a 3rd or a 4th rounder on him. The goal of the draft is to select elite potential whenever possible. The kid has had an interesting last 14 months for sure.

        Could he be the next Nyquist? You know how I like shinny new things. 1 more year in junior and one in the A.

        • Zarny

          I certainly would not use a 3rd or 4th round pick on Kulda. He’s trending up but he does not have elite potential.

          They only draft 210 players; being the 145th ranked NA skater means he may not get drafted at all. The NA skater ranked 145th last year didn’t get selected. The NA skater ranked 130th last year didn’t go until the 7th round. The 5-6th round would be high for Kulda if he jumps up based on a good playoffs.

          As for Nyquist, he was drafted back in 2008 with Stamkos and Eberle while being 5-9 months older than both. As a 23 y/o he managed only 6 pt in 22 games. He didn’t have a break out season until he hit his prime at 24. I’m sure he’ll be a very good player for the next 5-6 years but he’s not elite.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Gotta love these guys. I followed them through the playoffs, started going to the games in the Medicine Hat series and didn’t miss any after that, at Rexall or on TV. Great VFM at Rexall and they turned into a team of destiny. Every time we thought they were done they found a way to keep going and in the final two periods today they took all of Guelph’s space away, hemmed them in, frustrated them and put on a hockey clinic. Jarry got hot when we needed him to, and Samuelson, Kulda and Moroz were totally dominant today, as Reinhart was through the entire post season. If there’s a parade I’m going, rain or shine. These guys have earned our love.
    And more, much more than this, they did it their way.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Gotta love these guys. I followed them through the playoffs, started going to the games in the Medicine Hat series and didn’t miss any after that, at Rexall or on TV. Great VFM at Rexall and they turned into a team of destiny. Every time we thought they were done they found a way to keep going and in the final two periods today they took all of Guelph’s space away, hemmed them in, frustrated them and put on a hockey clinic. Jarry got hot when we needed him to, and Samuelson, Kulda and Moroz were totally dominant today, as Reinhart was through the entire post season. If there’s a parade I’m going, rain or shine. These guys have earned our love.
    And more, much more than this, they did it their way.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Have to admit it doesn’t get much sweeter than this. Felt like Guelph could take it but these players obviously have the ability to rise to the level of their competition, and a coach who deserves a shot at a higher level.

    From Moroz to Lazar to Samuelsson and more, we definitely saw some future NHLers put on a show tonight. Can’t say enough about em

    As for Kulda I would certainly take a flyer on him in the later rounds if he’s still there. Hard working player with pretty good skill who just might surprise with age.

    And hey whats with the Oiler fans in Vegas? You all there for the punk rock bowling? Lucky ducks

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Here is an excerpt from an article describing games five and six the last time the Oil Kings won the Memorial Cup:

    Included on the Edmonton roster were Pat Quinn and Glen Sather.

    The Niagra Falls Flyers were led by Bill Goldsworthy, Ron Schock, Gary Dornhoefer, Don Awrey, Terry Crisp.

    The Flyers stayed alive on May 9 with a 5-2 victory in front of 6,746 fans.
    According to The Canadian Press: “Flyers, showing much more drive than they have in any other game this series, took a physical beating from the hard-hitting and sometimes brutal Oil Kings.”

    More from CP: “The game almost turned into a donnybrook with less than two minutes to go. Greg Pilling of Oil Kings and defenceman Rich Morin of Flyers crashed against the boards and Morin, on the outside, bounced to the ice. As the play moved up to centre and with the referee watching the puck, Pilling brought his stick down across Morin’s head. Morin was taken from the ice on a stretcher and it took five minutes to get play under way again.”

    Earlier in the game, Barber had flattened Harmer at centre ice. Harmer was taken to hospital with what was believed to be a fractured right leg.
    Gardner was excellent again, this time stopping 23 saves. Kirk blocked 19.

    Emms, who came west with 19 players (17 skaters and two goaltenders), said before Game 6 that he had 10 players injured in the first five games, including Harmer and Dornhoefer, both of whom had broken legs.

    The known injured: Rich Morin, 10-stitch cut to the head; Goldsworthy, torn stomach muscles; Crisp, charleyhorse; Glashan, 12-stitch cut to the chin; Hergott, 10-stitch facial cut; Awrey, concussion, forehead contusions, two black eyes; Gardner, mild concussion; and, Maxner, stretched muscles near the rib cage.

    The Oil Kings wrapped it up on May 11, posting a thrilling 4-3 sixth-game victory before more than 6,700 fans.

    The crowd swarmed on to the ice at the final siren and lifted Kirk, Quinn and Bourbonnais on to its collective shoulders.