‘Home of 5 Cups and 0 rats’: Explore Edmonton buys billboard ad in Florida

Photo credit:Explore Edmonton (Twitter)
Mike Gould
25 days ago
The City of Edmonton’s tourism board has taken an interesting approach to marketing its city to those who live near the home of the Florida Panthers, the current arch-rivals of the Edmonton Oilers.
Explore Edmonton, which bills itself as “Edmonton’s destination management and marketing organization,” recently bought clever advertisements on billboards located around Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida, where the Panthers play their home games.
The billboard ads show a panoramic view of Edmonton’s downtown skyline with two taglines: “Edmonton: Home of 5 Cups and 0 rats” and “Explore Edmonton: Canada’s hockey city.”
Explore Edmonton first shared images of the billboards to its official X (formerly Twitter) account on June 12. NHL.com writer Dan Rosen posted to social media on Sunday night that he passed by one of the billboard ads during his commute to Amerant Bank Arena.
The first tagline is a clever nod to the Panthers’ long-standing tradition of throwing plastic rats on the ice after big wins, which began in 1996 after then-captain Scott Mellanby reportedly killed a rat with his hockey stick in the team’s dressing room. The Panthers ended up making it to the Stanley Cup Final that year and were showered by plastic rats on the ice — the “rat trick,” it was called — after each goal they scored.
The tagline also references Alberta’s long-standing ban on rats, which dates all the way back to 1950. The province established the Alberta Rat Control, which functions to prevent rats from crossing Alberta’s eastern border with Saskatchewan and part of its southern border with Montana. Alberta is regarded as one of Earth’s last “rat-free” zones and maintains a hotline for people to call if they spot or capture any of the rodents.
It remains to be seen whether the rat-free or rat-mad will prevail in this year’s Stanley Cup Final, which is currently tied at three games apiece heading into Monday night’s pivotal Game 7 in Sunrise. One thing is for certain: If the Panthers do win, some plastic rats will probably find their way onto Edmonton’s bench.
Game 7 is scheduled to take place at 6:00 p.m. MT and will be nationally televised on CBC and Sportsnet in Canada and on ABC and ESPN+ in the United States.

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