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Hockey in Alberta and Oilers History

Wayne GretzkyToday, many young Albertans dream of one day playing in the National Hockey League (NHL) and gliding across the ice to the approving roars of thousands of fans. They dream of their Oilers’ idols and of the great players of the past; Gretzky, Kurri, Messier, Lowe, Anderson, Fuhr.

Although the Oilers play an important part in Alberta’s hockey history, they are simply a continuation of a great saga that began a decade before this land became a province. From the days of amateur exhibitions on Calgary’s frozen Bow River or Edmonton’s famous outdoor Thistle Rink to the many professional and amateur teams who enjoyed the province's winters, Alberta boasts a great hockey tradition.

Grant FuhrAlberta is a place to find great amateur and junior clubs. The province has always embraced the professional game, from the Western Canada Hockey League to the World Hockey Association to the National Hockey League. It is home to a series of Hockey Hall of Famers, from Neil Colville to Grant Fuhr. It is the place where Eddie Shore cultivated his famous reputation and where the Oilers have thrilled so many fans. It is home to one of the greatest rivalries in all of pro sport, a place that has hosted and won hockey’s Centennial and Memorial Cups and a place that has produced Olympic gold medallists and Allan Cup winners.

But, to Albertans, hockey is about so much more than just winning and losing; it is in our very lifeblood. And in this section of the website, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation welcomes you to explore the great game’s history in this province and find out how the legacy and history of the Edmonton Oilers is linked to those early shootouts at the outdoor rinks.

Team PhotoHere you can explore the Early Years of the game in Alberta, and trace the Formation of some of the great teams and legends that made Albertans cheer from the 1950s to the 1960s. You will also find information on the World Hockey Association Years as we look back at the renegade WHA, which introduced the Oilers to the world.

From there examine the impact of the Big League and how the Oilers’ were able to gain entry into the National Hockey League, and the challenges faced by a young and exciting club. Included in this section are player profiles of the "dream team" of the 1980s and the story behind the Oilers’ great five-Stanley Cup Dynasty and sudden Transformation of the 1990s. 

Welcome, and enjoy!

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