The Edmonton Oilers had their final game at Rexall Place, formerly known as Northlands Coliseum, tonight. I was fortunate enough to watch it. It was a great game, the Oilers defeating the Vancouver Canucks 6-2. Top players scored goals in a high scoring game in front of the very talented alumni of the past forty-two years.
My personal memories of the arena are varied and span nearly twenty years. Other than watching the games on TV, I have attended several games, including one season around 1990 when we had a package of around fifteen games or so. Our seats were up pretty high, and there was a woman sitting next to us who was incredibly loud and foul-mouthed. We had the misfortune of sitting next to her at an Edmonton Trappers baseball game once, too. What luck. But it was great to watch the Oilers several times in person that season. Another year, I went with my dad and grandfather, and our seats were right behind the Oilers’ bench. Our view of the game wasn’t very good. All I could see was Glen Sather’s back. And then the last game I saw was at the end of the Edmonton Roadrunners’ 2004-05 season, just before I went to Japan. The NHL was on strike then, so we had to watch an AHL game.
I have also been to the Coliseum to see some other events, such as a circus, Klondike Days, and even a Billy Joel concert. However, my biggest highlight was actually playing a game in the Coliseum. To see the stands from the ice surface was amazing. There were very few people in the stands (family members of players), but the place just seemed massive. As a kid of around ten or eleven years old, it made me really want to play there as a pro. That obviously didn’t happen. But still, I played on the ice that the Edmonton Oilers played on. Amazing!
Do you have any memories like this? Let me know in the comments below.