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Which Edmonton Oiler made you fall in love with the team?

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Photo credit:Edmonton Oilers
Woz
By Woz
10 months ago
The other day on Oilersnation Socials I asked the question “Who’s the first Edmonton Oiler you fell in love with” Because growing up or whenever you got into hockey, there’s that one player that stood out to someone, that one player who made you enjoy the game a little bit more. Let’s get into what you had to say.

Dwayne Roloson

When it comes to goalies of the 2000s, Roloson always comes to mind even if he spent three years with the Edmonton Oilers. Atc_k97 on Instagram: “Dwayne Roloson with the gold cage on his mask”
Other than his performance in the 2006 playoffs, Roloson was always fun to root for. From his fantastic goalie masks to chanting his name. I remember in elementary school we started chanting “Roli the Goalie” during recess and for kids who decided to become a hockey goalie during that era, Roloson was an idol. Current Oilers goalie, Stuart Skinner has mentioned on several occasions that Roli was one of the players he looked up to when first playing hockey.

Ryan Smyth

Another legend from the late 90s and early 2000s was Ryan Smyth.
Not only did he bleed copper and blue and left it all out of the ice for the Oilers, but his flow was also undeniably beautiful.
As UK3 Saiyan mentions, he was fortunate enough to have one interaction with Smyth that left him with a memory that’s lasted a lifetime. One encounter with Smytty shows who he was as a person off the ice and how he treated fans.
Robert on Facebook “Smytty, was there for his last game and even I shed a tear. A manly tear of course lol” – I as well attended Ryan Smyth’s final game and I can promise there wasn’t a dry eye in the building by the end of the night. It was the perfect farewell other than a Stanley Cup for a beloved man for all Oilers fans.
Another comment on Facebook from Christopher: “Ryan Smyth, I wasn’t an Oilers fan until I met him. I was a Leafs fan and changed my mind after my interaction with him, he signed a picture that I still have and he took a picture with me and my bros. I’ll never forget it” – When a player makes you an Oilers fan, you know that’s a good sign.
Reis_fugslang on Instagram “Smyth, retire the number, I know he wasn’t a Gretzky, but no one will wear out of respect for him and who he was anyways. If Brown has a statue in LA, Smyth should be retired at least” – I 100% agree here. I understand they have the Ring of Honour for players who were fan favourites but didn’t win a Stanley Cup or weren’t in the Hall of Fame however Smyth should be an exception.
Miikka Kiprusoff is having his number retired in Calgary, didn’t win a Cup, and hasn’t been inducted into the Hall of Fame so why not Ryan Smyth? Guess some franchises have different standards. But I can’t deny it, Kipper was one of the best goalies of his era so it does make more sense for his number to go up into the rafters.

Bill Ranford

Sean on Facebook “Definitely Bill Ranford!! I modelled my play as a young tendy after him, puck flip to cheater and all!” –  Bill’s name has been mentioned a few times in the comments section. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s if you’re a goalie and you tend the net well in Edmonton, fans will love you. Sounds crazy right?
Kristopher Palmer on Instagram “Paul Coffey and Bill Ranford” – As someone who didn’t experience Ranford in his playing days, I imagine it was easy to love him as he’s played the most games as a goalie in an Oilers uniform.
Oilers fans were lucky with goalies in the 80s. Fuhr, Moog, and Ranford. Bill would backstop the Oilers for six more seasons after helping the organization to a 5th Stanley Cup in 1990, where he won Conn Smythe as well.

Taylor Hall

Being the first-ever No. 1 pick by the Oilers will make you a fan favourite instantly.
AstroWRLDHUT on Twitter had a unique interaction with Hallsy. Freshly 18 and getting to know one of the faces of the franchise at the time. I think for a lot of young fans at the time, Hall was easy to cheer for. He was an exciting, young winger and was the marquee player on the Oilers. Personally, he was my second favourite Oiler growing up, next to Sam Gagner and I know many kids growing up in the early 2010s loved Taylor Hall.
Layne Hunter on Facebook “Hall cause he signed my copy of NHL on a midnight release” – I was so jealous of anyone who was able to attend those midnight releases for NHL games, especially when the Oilers would sign autographs.

Mark Messier

The Moose, as they called him, is one of Edmonton’s finest leaders and second all-time in points for the organization.
Dan on Facebook “Mark Messier, a perfect blend of talent and toughness, and also had a chance to meet him a handful of times, one of the nicest guys ever.” – If there’s one thing I heard about Messier it was his toughness. That he wouldn’t go down without a fight.
Mark Messier, the name just rolls off the tongue so smoothly. When you think of leadership, Messier exemplified it. Led by example and that’s what you want in a captain.

Ales Hemsky

I lost count of how many times I saw Hemsky’s name on this post.
Ben Salsbury on Facebook “I was the biggest Ales Hemsky fan!” It’s so nice to hear all the positive comments about Ales. Prior to Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, he was the only player on the Oilers at the time that had skill and was flashy.
Hemsky had a lot of critics during his time, and lots of negative attention because of his play away from the puck or his physical play. Hemmer turned out to be a light in the darkness in those years.
Godofgrind on Twitter “From his generation, it was Hemmer for me too”

Wayne Gretzky

We can’t forget about Wayne Gretzky. The Great One himself.
ginny_jenny on Twitter “well, this b***h is old so…clearly, it’s Wayne Gretzky” – Age is but a number and I’m slightly envious you got to experience Wayne Gretzky hockey.
Stephan Mallet on Facebook “Gretzky! I was 6 years old when we first won the cup. I’ve been a die-hard fan all my life” – Oilers, Gretzky and Stanley Cups. After this article, I shall head to eBay to find myself a time machine.
Shannon on Facebook “Gretzky… before I was a fan and knew anything about hockey..now my tickets are already booked to take my grandson to an Oilers game this year” – Wayne Gretzky made an entire generation not just fall in love with him and the Oilers but the game of hockey. Sometimes I wonder if we truly realize how lucky we were to have Wayne and now Connor McDavid.

Doug Weight

Hunjy on Twitter “Doug Weight with the crazy handles” – Doug Weight was the champion the Oilers needed in the 90s by the sounds of it. Next to Ryan Smyth of course.
Crazy to think Doug Weight was also the last over to score over 100 points until Connor McDavid arrived. Something telling me that we don’t talk about how good Weight was in that era.

Wrap Up:

To wrap things up, there are so many beloved Oilers. Players that we fall in love with. Honourable mentions go out to Jordan Eberle, Dave Semenko, Sam Gagner, Cam Talbot, Georges Laraque, and Bill Flett
And if you’re wondering about McDavid and Draisaitl, well fans did mention them however I believe many enjoyed reminiscing on former players rather than current ones. We all know how strong the love for those two is here in Edmonton and around Oilersnation. Oh, and we can’t forget about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
For me, I’ll always have that memory of meeting and getting an autograph from Gagner at a Best Buy location in 2008. Sam instantly became my favourite after that and the main reason I will always have time for him on the Edmonton Oilers.

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