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Photo Credit: Tom Kostiuk

Monday Mailbag – Favourite memory of Joey Moss

Welcome, friends, to another edition of the Monday Mailbag where we answer all of your Oilers related questions and give you a few minutes of time killing distraction from whatever you have going on today. This week, we’re remembering Joey Moss, looking at what the Oilers might do to honour him, Adam Larsson’s back issues, and a whole lot more. As always, I need your questions to make this work. If you’ve got one, email it to me at [email protected] or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk and I’ll get to you as soon as we can.

Edmonton Oilers locker room attendant Joey Moss and legendary player Wayne Gretzky pictured together during the 2000 season. (Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

1) Tanya asks – Obviously, our city suffered a tragic loss with the passing of Joey Moss last week and I’d like to know everyone’s favourite moment or memory about him?

Jason Gregor:

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Joey was such a great guy. I don’t have one favourite, as there are many, but the one that always makes me smile was just him chirping at players or media in the dressing room. Chirping at players to pick up their gear, or to media to hurry up and finish their work.

I have an article coming out later today where many of his friends and co-workers shared stories of Joey. They made me laugh, smile and shed a tear. They capture all sides of who he was. Those stories might be my new favourite moment of Joey, because you could tell how much of a difference he made in many lives.

Robin Brownlee:

Too many memories about Joey being in and around the rink for so many years to single out one, but there is a scene that has always stuck with me because it shows the regard players had for him. We were in Tampa Bay in March of 2001 and the Oilers traded Dan Lacouture to Pittsburgh. Being traded like that on the morning of a game sucks because the player traded has little or no time to say goodbye. When the obligatory interviews were done down in the hallway by the dressing room, Dan approached me off to the side with tears in his eyes and his voice breaking and said, “Say goodbye to Mosser for me.” I’ll never forget it.

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Tyler Yaremchuk:

As someone who never personally met Joey, I don’t necessarily have a favourite memory but it has been great to see fans, former players, staff members, and others from around the sports world share their memories of Joey. It’s a sad loss for the city, but it was heartwarming to see how many lives he had a positive impact on.

Nation Dan:

I was never able to meet Joey myself. I heard some amazing stories over the past few days, and my favourite was the little peek into the kind of guy Joey was at his 50th birthday celebrations. The wrestling matches were epic that night. It’s a shame it sometimes takes a loss to know how much you really appreciated someone, but Joey was loved and will be missed by those who knew him and those (like me) who thought the world of him.

Baggedmilk:

I was never able to meet Joey but my favourite memory of him will always be the passion he brought to every moment. Whether he was belting out the anthem or enjoying the pre-game fireworks, Joey seemed to enjoy every single second of his work and that’s something that I will certainly take forward with me.

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2) Brett asks – A lot of great ideas have been circling social media over the past few days about what the Oilers might do to honour Joey Moss. What are your thoughts on what the organization could do to pay tribute to a man that meant so much to so many people?

Jason Gregor:

I sense it will be something unique and different because there is no one else in the organization like him. Joey was much more than a member of the Oilers. He worked almost as long with the Esks, and he did a lot for charity. I don’t think a banner really captures who he was or what he represented. It will be something more connected to the community I believe.

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Robin Brownlee:

There’s been lots of reasonable ideas — naming the community rink after him, leaving his seat behind the bench empty, erecting a statue etc. What I’d like to see is a living legacy here in Edmonton, and in every NHL city for that matter. As a start, I’d like to see a commitment by organizations to be inclusive of people with disabilities when it comes to hiring and providing support for those with special needs. Joey and the Oilers showed how well it can work here. I’d also like to see initiatives like that across the board in all career paths, where possible.

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Tyler Yaremchuk:

I personally like the idea of leaving his seat open for a year and then after that, donating it to a person with a disability so that they can sit in Joey’s seat for a game and get to fist bump the players and even get a tour of the locker room.

Nation Dan:

I think the big thing I take away from all of the suggestions that are pouring in is that nothing is too much for this guy. I only wish we could have had him around to see this upswell of pride in remembering him. The one thing I would love to see them do is to create a position for people with disabilities to be able to do work in and around the team. To show others that this “moment” created by giving a young man with a challenge in life, a chance to shine, wasn’t a moment and instead was the start of something special.

Baggedmilk:

Firstly, I think the Oilers are going to do a great job in paying tribute to him and I’m very much looking forward to what they come up with. As for my ideas, I think it would be great if they renamed the dressing room after him or came up with a fund in Joey’s name that would be used to give others with disabilities the opportunity to get started on their dreams.

Sep 28, 2019; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson (6) against the Calgary Flames during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

3) Taylor asks – With Adam Larsson suffering from some back issues over the past couple of seasons, what do you expect from him during the 2021 season?

Jason Gregor:

If he is healthy he should be solid defensively at 5×5 and help on the PK. I could see him paired with Jones or Broberg and be the defensive conscience of the pairing.

Robin Brownlee:

When he’s healthy Larsson has shown he can be a solid second-pairing guy. The question now with Klefbom out, Barrie in and youngsters like Caleb Jones in the mix is where he fits and how much ice time he gets. That’ll depend on his health and how Dave Tippett puts the pairings together. Good teams need players like Larsson in the line-up.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I’m really hoping he’s 100% healthy and can give the Oilers a full season of quality hockey. He’ still under 30 so I don’t think it’s unrealistic to expect him to recover and have a healthy 2020/21 campaign. If he’s at his best, he’s a good top-four defenseman and considering the fact they already lost Oscar Klefbom, it would be devastating if Larson was also taken out of the lineup.

Nation Dan:

I think it’s safe to say we can expect a lesser player in one of two ways. He will likely play fewer games than we would hope or a less physical style game and with that a change for the worse. I think the need for some depth D men is going to be paramount as we get closer to the season beginning and I worry that we won’t have the cap space to do it.

Baggedmilk:

With Oscar Klefbom already out for the longterm, the Oilers are going to need Adam Larsson to be at his best, which makes the issues with his back even more concerning. I hope that this extended break in 2020 has helped him out in that regard because we’re sure going to need him.

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4) Lawrence – Northlands Coliseum is likely to be demolished over the next little while and I’d like to know what is everyone’s first thought or memory when it comes to the old barn?

Jason Gregor:

I loved that rink. You were closer to the action. I know the last few years there wasn’t much success on the ice, but that rink was home to the greatest offensive team in NHL history, and arguably the greatest team ever. There will never be another rink that had so many records set or broken in it. Also, I saw some awesome concerts there as well, WHL titles, Briers and more. I feel much more connected to it than I do the new arena.

Robin Brownlee:

I always think of Gretzky’s last game there in 1999 when we knew he was going to retire and the absolute mob scene there was downstairs with people wanting to say goodbye. I’ve never seen anything like it. The NY Rangers’ bus sat at the bottom of the ramp with everybody else on it for at least an hour while Gretzky made his way through the crowd.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I shared some thoughts on this week’s episode of Oilersnation Radio, but that’s really the spot where I fell in love with hockey. I have so many memories of going to games there with my dad when I was growing up. The final game at Rexall was an amazing night as well, that one stands out.

Nation Dan:

I wasn’t able to visit the coliseum very often in my life but I do cherish the smells and feels of that arena. Being around Oilers fans, sitting in the seats where you were basically climbing the back of your seat in front of you, and for me, Drillers and Rush games as well.

Baggedmilk:

I was lucky enough to go to a handful of games during the 2006 playoffs and electricity in the building was something that I’ll remember most. The crowd was so loud you could barely hear any of the rink announcements, whistles on the ice, or anything really at all apart from your own thoughts. That atmosphere was magic, and I’ll never forget it.

July 28, 2020; Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA; A general view of game action during the second period of the exhibition game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on July 28, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta. Mandatory Credit: Dave Sandford/NHLI via USA TODAY Sports

5) Kevin in Prince George asks – Based on what we know so far, what is your best guess about what the 2021 season to look like in terms of its length? Are we talking about a 60 game season? 50?

Jason Gregor:

I’d guess 48 games and it starts late January or early February.

Robin Brownlee:

I expect 48-60 games. Can’t see it being more than that if the NHL plans on getting back to something resembling a normal timeline for playoffs, the draft and the start of the following season.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I think 60 is a safe bet. If they want to be done by the time the Olympics start, then I can’t see a scenario where they start the season in January and get a full 82 game schedule in.

Nation Dan:

I think 60 is a safe bet. I don’t imagine we will be starting hockey until February and I think it will take years for us to get back to a normal 82 games season.

Baggedmilk:

I’m guessing that we’re going to get a 48-game season like we had in 2012-13 during the lockout-shortened year.

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