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There won’t be an Oilers Rookies vs Golden Bears game again this year

According to Jim Matheson, yet again there won’t be Edmonton Oilers Rookie Team vs University of Alberta Golden Bears game. Apparently, Daryl Katz and the U of A have a “business issue” getting in the way of the annual fall rookie game.

There hasn’t been an Oilers vs Golden Bears game since 2017, presumably because of this beef between Katz and the U of A. For the past two years, the Oilers rookies have played against a NAIT/Grant MacEwan All-Star squad. The first year, the Oilers earned a gritty 2-0 win. Last year, though, the Oilers absolutely pounded the Ook-Griffins 9-1.

Last year’s drumming likely resulted in everybody involved reconsidering the matchup between the Oilers rookies and the All-Stars from NAIT and Grant Mac. While both programs are very strong in the ACAC, NAIT and Grant Mac simply don’t have the level of talent the Golden Bears do, as the U of A’s entire roster is comprised of graduated CHL talent.

The death of the Oilers vs Golden Bears classic is a damn shame. I went to the game in all of my years at the U of A and the atmosphere was fantastic. Clare Drake Arena is a great place to watch hockey and the game was worthwhile for both parties involved.

Hopefully, Katz and the U of A work out whatever issue they have so this thing can get started up again eventually.



  • Nugforpremier

    U of A had completed all the preseason fitness testing at training camp and provided sport science support since the team joined the NHL until this year. Budget cuts!

  • Elgin R.

    Katz obtained both his Arts and Law degrees from the U of A. Nice way to treat your alma mater. The school that provided you the foundation to allow you to become the millionaire you are! Katz you should pay whatever it takes to make the game happen.

    • Towers-of-dub

      I’m also sure he could have gone to any school of his choosing, but chose the U of A, paid his tuition, put in the work and ultimately graduated. I’d be surprise if he owed the school anything, but yes, continuing this game would be a worthwhile gesture from one of the schools most successful graduates.

  • Elgin R.

    Katz obtained both his Arts and Law degrees from the U of A. Nice way to treat your alma mater! He should pay whatever it costs to allow this game to happen.

    • BINGO. Unfulfilled commitments from him, he missed doing a few additions to Rogers that he promised as well. He did not promise it when he bought the team, he promised it after weak kneed Councillors forked over the taxpayers cash. He fled town as soon as the funding was approved. Grade A D Bag.

  • KootenayDan

    Hmm seems like not too many folks are defending Daryl Katz but from where I sit I see a gentleman who has done a lot of charitable contributions for the Edmonton community and has brought an incredible vision to Edmonton with the Ice district. I have not been to Edmonton in many years but look forward to our next visit because of the new arena. Maybe bagofpucks the well known troll over at FN can tell us what contributions he has made to warrant slamming Katz.

  • corky

    This is only a story in August. The sun will come up tomorrow. Lets focus on Connor coming back to town fully healthy and the hopefully the new direction the Oil are taking this season.

  • VvV

    If not for Katz the Oilers would of actually moved, or been in an even worse position as far as the state if the team, the would barely be able to afford to get to the cap floor if it hadn’t been for him

  • FutureGM

    why so many trashes for calling out greasy dimebag Daryl?! lol funny in a sad, you goofs are the reason he can charge 20$/beer, threaten to move the Oilers kind of way
    The man does some admirable things, but is a grade A POS when it comes to being a businessman, one of the reasons why he is so successful in that realm. Doesn’t mean we need to fear calling out his BS tactics. And cancelling this game is definitely one of them

  • Pouzar99

    So true Matty. I loved those games, which were very competitive. Watching the Bears play during the Drake era was always a treat. Too bad we don’t know the details of Katz’s decision to cancel the games with the Bears.’

  • Pouzar99

    The Katz issue is complicated. Yes, he has spent up to the cap every year, unlike that clown Melnyk in Ottawa, which is a blessing, and yes there were no other buyers in sight. While I believe he should have paid more for the building there is no denying the positive impact the Ice District has had on our downtown. The problem with Katz is his obsession with the great Oiler teams of his youth, bringing in the old stars and paying them plenty to do mostly nothing. He has kept on too many of them well past their best before date, like Wayne Gretzky, Coffey, Lowe and McTavish. There are also persistent rumours that he has interefered in some team decisions, like chosing Yak over Murray. I sympathize with his health issues and hope he lets Holland, Tippett and Keith Gretzky do their jobs. Let’s face it, it is unclear that anyone else in Edmonton had the dough and the inclination to step up to the plate and buy the team.