With the new NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement recently ratified teams could finally get to down to the business of playing hockey; for the Edmonton Oilers, business started with a bit of community outreach, which was just as much a public relations move as it was a team building exercise.
Minus 13? Whatever.
Hundreds came out to see Captains Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall lead their teams in a game that featured prominent Oiler prospects Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz, grizzled vets Ryan Smyth, Ales Hemsky, and Sam Gagner (yup, you heard it right, grizzled) and a host of others like RNH, Magnus Paajarvi, Jeff Petry and Ryan Whitney.
Hall and Eberle face off
While there weren’t any highlight reel goals or awe-inspiring moves, seeing Devan Dubnyk score a goal and celebrate by running his hand along the ice before raising it into the air, and Darcy Hordichuk rubbing Laddy Smid out along the hay bale boards were pretty good.
Hordichuk following through on his check
Overall minus 13 isn’t too cold, but when you’re standing around for an hour in the snow it certainly starts to feel a little crisp. Thankfully the Edmonton Oilers put on a good show and entertained everyone who took the time to come out and see them play.
While the lockout certainly did a lot to frustrate fans, it would seem the Edmonton Oilers have come a long way to being forgiven in the city they represent.
Corey Potter feeding the fans
Sam Gagner: a grizzled vet
The newest Oiler weapon: Nail Yakupov
Good job, Oilers!