Pride night, armed forces and Indigenous celebration among Edmonton Oilers 2023-24 themed games
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing1 month ago
The Edmonton Oilers have unveiled their theme game schedule for the 2023-24 season featuring a number of familiar nights, and a number of new ones.
Over the course of the season, the Oilers will be having 17 notable home games throughout the year with the clubs’ first celebration taking place on October 26th. That night will see the Oilers host the New York Rangers and raise more names to their still-fresh Ring of Honour.
Last year, the Oilers’ inaugural class saw Lee Fogolin and Ryan Smyth named to the ring, alongside players whose numbers the team has retired: Al Hamilton, Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Grant Fuhr, Paul Coffey, Mark Messier, Glenn Anderson, Kevin Lowe, Glen Sather, and Rod Phillips).
Other events that fans have seen in the past will return, too. Indigenous Celebration night will occur on Nov. 13, while Hockey Fights Cancer night occurs 15 days later on Nov. 28. The Oilers will host Pride Night on Jan. 18 , 2024, with the Seattle Kraken in town and will honour the Canadian Armed Forces on Feb. 26. The annual St. Patrick’s Day Game will play on March 16th.
The Oilers are hosting a number of new nights this year, too. On Jan. 6 it will be the clubs’ Ukranian Heritage Game, while on Feb. 13 they’ll celebrate the Lunar New Year. On Feb. 21, they’ll recognize Black History and on March 21, they’ll celebrate the South Asian community.
In previous years the league allowed clubs to wear specialty jerseys on different celebration nights throughout the year, but that program has been eliminated for this season. The move was made by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who called the jerseys “distracting.”
In years past, the Oilers would wear such jerseys on Hockey Fights Cancer nights, military appreciation nights, St. Patrick’s Day, and most recently, Indigenous Celebration nights. Other teams would wear specialty jerseys on Pride Nights, as well.
Edmonton Oilers captain Connor said the league going away from the specialty jerseys was disappointing.
“I certainly can’t speak for every organization, [but] I know in Edmonton, we were one of the first teams to use the Pride Tape,” McDavid told ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski. “I know in Edmonton, in our dressing room, we strongly feel hockey is for everybody and that includes the Pride nights and stuff like that.
“So of course it’s disappointing to see. With that being said, that’s certainly way above my decision. It’s not my call, but it’s disappointing to see.
“Everyone has their beliefs. I can’t speak on those. All I can speak for is myself and us in Edmonton, and I know we strongly support those types of nights.”
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at email@example.com.
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