The Edmonton Oilers are at the top of the sports food chain in Edmonton. That is not a good or a bad thing, it’s just a spade being called a spade. The shadow cast by the Oilers over all the other sports franchises even covers one of their own. The Edmonton Oil Kings are owned by the Oilers. The Western Hockey League (WHL) team quietly co-exists with the National Hockey League (NHL) in Rogers Place.
With 8 games remaining in the season, the Oil Kings sit atop the Central Division in the Eastern Conference. The WHL employs the same playoff bracket system the NHL does so if the playoffs started today the Oil Kings would face the Calgary Hitmen in the first round. This article though is not about stats and figures, it’s about shining a light on a franchise that deserves more shine.
The Oil Kings have smartly positioned themselves as a Club going after families and groups. When Rogers Place opened up they did not shy away from telling Edmonton sports fans that they were the much less expensive way to check out the new arena. As someone who attends a couple games per season, they always have schools and minor hockey teams involved in the opening ceremonies.
The above graphic is from their “Hockey Hooky” course outline. Their “Hockey Hooky” game is scheduled for Tuesday, February 25th at 11AM. It is an event where schools across Edmonton, and likely Northern Alberta, come to a Matinee game to watch hockey and learn. A program so successful, the Sherwood Park Crusaders of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) have also implemented the program the past couple seasons. The community involvement does not stop at just one game for the Oil Kings.
The above video was taken from their annual “Teddy Bear Toss” game. The team has kept track of the bears donated throughout the years, click here to see the impressive stats. This past season was also the first “WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry” event. The Oil King season includes themes nights such as “Superhero Night”, “Wizards and Witches Night” and “Stars Wars Night”.
Here is the link to the Oil Kings tickets page. If one person reads this and buys a ticket to one of the games, a strange feeling of accomplishment will wash over me.
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- NHL Saturday Slate: News and Predictions for February 23rd’s NHL Action
- The Calgary Flames Before the NHL Trade Deadline
- Condors Flying High | AHL