Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday!
Donning a young kid named Wayne Gretzky, the Edmonton Oilers made their preseason debut yesterday in 1979 in Brandon, Manitoba.
The Oilers squared up against the Winnipeg Jets, who just came into the league alongside the Oilers in the WHA merger. The Oilers, however, fell to the Jets 4-2.
As written by the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson, “on paper, Glen Sather’s Oilers should have waltzed against the Jets, who fielded a lineup with household names like Larry Hopkins, Tim Dunlop, Benoit Gosselin and Pierre Hamel. To make matters worse, Jets had played Saturday in Colorado Springs against Rockies and had flown all night to get home to Winnipeg before busing in at 5 p.m.
“They got good goaltending from starter Eddie Mio, and an intense 60 minutes from the line of Stan Weir, Doug Patey and Dave Hunter, but on the whole were about as crisp as a loaf of bread that had been out in a rainstorm.”
That year the Oilers struggled to a 28-39-13 record and lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in the preliminary round of the playoffs.
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