Putting Together An All Time Former Oilers Team
As I was laying down mentally preparing for tomorrow’s hangover while still fighting off today’s, I began to think about an all time Oilers team. Mostly because I’m inevitably going to drop hundreds of dollars to be in attendance for the final game at the Jungle, just to see who they bring out. I’m hoping to God some of the best one-hit wonders in franchise history show up because the invite’s for everybody. I’m talking Todd Harvey, Brad Isbister, Pistol Petr Nedved and Sykora, Jussi Markkanen, Igor Ulanov, and so on. The game is irrelevant, but having Igor Ulanov show up would be worth the price of admission. There isn’t even a definite number yet on how many of the former legends/grinders that’ll be in attendance April 6th but I have a feeling it’s going to be huge. Führer may not know how to put together a hockey team but I’ll give the guy credit, he can put together one helluva party. And this will be one we tell our kids about.
For the super team of former juggernauts, the rules are simple.
There are no rules. No salary cap. No restrictions. Nothing. Just picking a whole bunch of the greatest/your favourite former Oilers of all time and building a hockey team.
Honourable Mentions: Kelly Buchberger, Craig MacTavish, Boris Mironov, Sean Brown, Curtis Joseph, Dwayne Roloson, Eric Brewer, Shawn Horcoff, Mike York, Ethan Moreau, Linus Omark, Bob Schrmep, Matt Greene, Mike Comrie, Jason Strudwick and Joaquin Gage.
First Line: Jari Kurri – Wayne Gretzky – Ryan Smyth
No description or explanation required. Three of the most popular Oilers of all time actually form the perfect line. Jari Kurri’s finesse and finish on the right side, Smytty’s grit and love for the Oilers on the left, and the greatest hockey player of all time down the middle. Just, perfect.
Second Line: Ales Hemsky – Mark Messier – Glenn Anderson
Two more hall of famers and the only guy on this team that’s still actually playing in the Chel. Ales Hemsky is my second favourite Oiler of all time. He was brilliant in his prime, absolute art to watch on the ice. Guy had no help whatsoever during his career in Edmonton, but refused to leave even when everybody else was. Just straight up loved to be in Edmonton.
On the other wing, we have the genius hall of famer who retired at 498 career goals. And the best power forward ever and good kid from the greatest city in the world down the middle. I want to own a bar one day called “The Moose” and just have a ton of Messier shit in there. Preferably right beside the Blind Pig.
Third Line: Mike Grier – Doug Weight – Bill Guerin
If that line doesn’t bring a tear to your eyes I don’t know what will. Doug Weight is the greatest Oiler not to have his number retired, other than maybe Kevin Lowe. If Führer owned the team back in the day he probably would have finished his career in Edmonton. But instead we were broker than Bernie Kosar and had to deal all our stars for nothing when their contracts were up. Teaming up with Dougie are two other former all timers, Mike Grier – who was legendary – and Hank’s boy Billy Guerin. ONE MORE TIME BILLY!
He needs to be there for the finale.
Fourth Line: Georges Laraque – Todd Marchant – Rem Murray
Greatest fighter in team history teams up once again with Todd ‘the actual God’ Marchant. I used to get so jacked when big Georges would score. He would barrel through the glass. His hatty against LA was as epic as it was unimaginable. Couldn’t knock him off the puck along the boards if you tried. I remember seeing guys literally hanging off of him but he’d still cycle it all by himself. And Todd Marchant…
‘Nuff said. I could watch that clip for eternity and never get bored. Our generation has had very little to cheer about in Oil Country, but that was one of them. Right up there with the Pisani goal against Carolina and Petr Klima’s triple overtime banger in the 1990 Finals as the greatest goals in team history.
Rem Murray is actually my favourite Oiler of all time. I have no justifiable answer why. I just loved how he played. He was never great. He did absolutely no memorable thing at all, except switch his number from 17 to 16 when Jari’s got retired. His career high in points was 39. He looked like Gabe from The Office. He was just, whatever. But I loved him. And I loved how he came back from out of nowhere to join us on our ’06 run.
Extras: Marty Reasoner, Anson Carter, Esa Tikkanen
Craig MacTavish once compared Marty Reasoner to Joe Sakic. I can see why. Both wore #19.
First Pair: Paul Coffey – Janne Niinimaa
Janne Niinimaa is one of two Oilers ever to cry after being traded. Guy can play for my city anyday. We’ll just pair him up with the best defenseman in franchise history.
Second Pair: Steve Staios – Jason Smith
The heart and souls of the blue line for a decade. These guys, man. I miss these guys.
Third Pair: Kevin Lowe – Al Hamilton
One of these guys has their number retired, was the first captain in franchise history, and his entire extended family loves ENS. No hesitation, the guy belongs on my all time team. The other guy won five Stanley Cups, has the played the most games played in franchise history, scored the first goal in franchise history and was the team’s first ever draft pick. Say what you want about him as a GM, but Kevin Lowe the player was pivitol.
Extra: Scott Ferguson
#32 in our programs, somewhere around there in our hearts. Good kid from Camrose, Alberta. Check out the salad on Scotty Ferg from back in the day:
WOAH BABY!!! Is that John Travolta? Na, just the former Oilers 7/8 from back in the early 2000s.
Starter: Grant Fuhr
Easy pick. The greatest goalie in franchise history, holder of almost ever tender record we have, first ballot hall of famer, and has an arena named after him in Spruce Compton.
Back Up: Tommy Salo
One of those masks you’ll remember forever. Tommy was incredible until Belarus scored on him from Venus in ’02. Then his career got a little messy, but still played his ass off for the Oilers. He never had that great of a team in front of him, but still managed to rack up 30+ wins a season. He might have been the last goalie in NHL history to not have any idea how to do a proper butterfly. Respect.
Third String: Bill Ranford
Sorry CuJo, but Billy Ranford was too good to leave off. His resume speaks for itself. Obviously I’m too young to have watched him play, but William Ranford choking up and having nothing left to say after winning us our fifth Cup is enough for him to make my team. That’s what being an Oiler is all about. Putting your blood, sweat and tears into a season for the boys.
Still might be the greatest commercial ever to hit TV.