3 Days Until The Season Begins

Cam Lewis
7 months ago
Throughout the summer and into the fall, we’ll be counting down the days until the Edmonton Oilers begin their 2023-24 season with a daily trip down memory lane. Today at No. 3 we have Al Hamilton, the first Oiler to have his number retired by the team.
Born in Flin Flon, Manitoba, Hamilton spent his junior career playing in Edmonton with the Oil Kings. The team played in the Memorial Cup in each of Hamilton’s three seasons with the club. They lost to the Toronto Marlboros in 1964 and the Niagara Falls Flyers in 1965 before beating Bobby Orr and the Oshawa Generals in 1966.

Edmonton Journal Newspaper Clipping From May 16, 1966.

Hamilton signed with the New York Rangers but only played 81 games with the team over the course of four seasons between 1965-66 and 1969-70. The Rangers left Hamilton unprotected in the 1970 expansion draft and he was selected by the Buffalo Sabres. He played two seasons with Buffalo and scored 64 points over 145 games.
When the World Hockey Association started up in 1972, Hamilton made the jump to the new league and signed with the Alberta Oilers. He was named the team’s first-ever captain and finished second on team scoring in their inaugural season in 1972-73 with 61 points across 78 games.
Hamilton played for the Oilers during all seven of their seasons in the WHA and he was among the players that the team protected when they were absorbed into the NHL in 1979. He scored 19 points over 31 games for the Oilers in 1979-80 but was forced to retire because of an eye injury.
The Oilers retired Hamilton’s No. 3 during the 1980-81 season after his playing career came to an end. He holds the WHA Oilers records for most games played at 455 and most points scored at 311.


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