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Ales Hemsky and Raffi Torres interview at the Boundary Battle of Alberta

This past weekend at the Boundary Battle of Alberta. I had the opportunity to chat with two former Oilers — Ales Hemsky and Raffi Torres — and my questions varied from life in Edmonton to memories of the 2006 Stanley Cup run.

For me, this was my first chance to interview any former NHL players and I was admittedly nervous. I know my interview skills are not the best so please bare with me, but I still think our chats went well regardless. All I know is that it was a pleasure to chat with them as both Hemsky and Torres were incredibly kind and humble. While they may not view themselves as Oilers legends, for my generation (Millennials, Gen Zs) they absolutely were, and at least in my eyes, anyone on that 2006 team is considered a legend so maybe they just have to deal with it.

As mentioned in my recap article from the weekend, Hemsky told us before the interview this was his first time back in Alberta since he got traded from Edmonton. Hopefully this is a sign that we’ll see more of Ales around town as he is good friends with former Oiler, Ladislav Smid, who also took part in the Boundary Battle of Alberta.

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As for my other interview, Raffi Torres was super chill. He opened up about how he didn’t necessarily feel welcomed with the New York Islanders, the team that drafted him. When traded to Edmonton in 2003, he said players in Edmonton went out of their way to say hello and make sure he felt a part of the team, which made the transition significantly easier. Good to Torres in great shape as well, I swear his arms are the size of my head. Having him reminisce on the 2006 playoffs was great, comparing the atmosphere from Rexall Place to this past year’s playoff run as he was in attendance for one of the games in 2022.

You can check out both interviews and more on the Nation Network YouTube page.