Edmonton Oilers

A Free Tour of Rexall Place

For those who have never been to Rexall Place, I am happy to offer you this free, once-in-a lifetime tour of one of Edmonton’s greatest legacies.  “Welcome to Rexall Place, everyone.  My name is Salim Valji and for the next hour I will be showing you everything there is about the home of the Edmonton Oilers.  Please don’t touch anything, as items here are VERY fragile, especially the players.  Therefore, if you break anything, we will escort you out of the premises and sentence you to a lifetime of watching Oilers players recover from their injuries.  Thank you.”

“Our first stop is the arena itself.  Currently, the Edmonton Oilers have won 5 Stanley Cups, with 4 in the 1980’s and the last one coming in 1990.  The 1980’s were known as the Glory Days of the Edmonton Oilers, where they won 4 Stanley Cups in the decade. Players during the Glory Days included Kevin Lowe, Charlie Huddy, Wayne Gretzky, Craig MacTavish and Mark Messier, among others.  We Oilers fans are VERY grateful that most members of that team are still alive and kicking.  What we thank god even more for is that those very players are still playing on the team.”  

“If you look around you’ll see a white banner commemorating 100 consecutive sellouts for the team.  An entire half-hour ceremony was devoted to raising this banner.  As if we Oiler fans don’t have enough to be proud of; what with that 3-game winning streak we had a couple of months ago and that winning season we had way back in 2006.  Heck with a winning season, 100 consecutive sellouts is something you can REALLY brag about as a sports team.”  

“Next we come to the Management office.  This is the powerhouse of the entire organization where all the destruction takes place.  Here, offer sheets are given out on a whim, first round picks are given away and good young players are traded for more useful items such as hockey sticks, pucks and facemasks.  It is in this office where the hopes and dreams of thousands of fans are shattered every year.  You’ll notice two men in the office practicing their golf swings.  They’re Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish, two of the most powerful men in the organization just preparing for an early summer vacation.”

“Our final destination is the locker room, where 5 replica Stanley Cups greet you as soon as you walk in.  They serve as a huge motivation tool for the players. `We’ve already got 5, why go through the trouble of getting another one?’  This part of the arena is the sight of bear hugs, tears and plenty of Kleenex boxes, and is where the players go to unwind after moseying through an entire 60-minute hockey game.  Activities such as movie-watching, bingo-playing and craft-making are the main focus of both the players and the coaches.  But, then again, the first goal is having fun, right?”

“That concludes a tour of Edmonton’s greatest gift to the world, Rexall Place and I hope you enjoyed this unique experience.  It has been a pleasure being your tour guide for today.  Please make your exit to the right and try to avoid all the golf bags.  Someone forgot to tell the players that the season isn’t over just yet.”

By Salim Valji

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