One year ago today, Edmonton Oilers fans meet Ben Stelter
By Woz8 months ago
One year ago today, a little boy by the name of Ben Stelter skated out to centre ice with Connor McDavid. It was a night that sparked an incredible wave of support for Ben from not just Oilers fans but the hockey world collectively.
It’s bittersweet looking back at Ben’s introduction last year. Every time he would appear on the jumbotron the Rogers Place crowd would always give him a big cheer. Ben also became somewhat of a good luck charm as every home game he’d attend during the regular season would result in a win for the Edmonton Oilers.
The post-game press conference with Zach Hyman was also a huge highlight from that night. Hyman brought Stelter to the Hall of Fame room where media scrums were conducted. Tony Brar turned Ben into the star of that presser by asking fun, easy questions.
“No offence taken,” Hyman said after Ben mentioned McDavid and Draisaitl were his favourite Oilers while sitting next to him.
As the media asked their questions, a “Ben! Ben! Ben!” chant broke outside the media room. At the time, fans were able to watch the press conference live by the Wayne Gretzky statue. It was heartwarming to watch Ben react to all the love he was receiving from Oilers fans.
That night Ben Stelter became a legend. His bright smile and adorable aura gained support from all over. He even had a show of support from rival players. Former Calgary Flames forward Matt Tkachuk posted a video saying “I’m sure you’re not the biggest fan of me, I could tell by the video of you shooting a nerf gun at me but everyone here in Calgary is cheering you on”
At the time when you thought of the Edmonton Oilers, you thought of Ben Stelter. Everyone supported his battle with cancer. His courage, fight and resilience was motivating to anyone who came across him.
On August 10th, 2022, the world received the devastating news that Ben had passed away. Tributes poured all over for the Stelter family. The funeral was held on August 19th with a beautiful procession that went through Rogers Place. His legacy has lived on with the Ben Stelter Fund to support families who are going through similar struggles as the Stelter’s did.
Ben created a bond not only with the team but with the City of Edmonton. It’s been beautiful to watch his impact live on and remembered. Originally “La Bamba” was intended for Joey Moss but now when it’s played after an Oilers win, we think of Ben Stelter.
Play La Bamba baby.
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