- Edmonton Oil Kings
Edmonton Oil Kings City Edmonton, Alberta League Western Hockey League Conference Eastern Division Central Founded March 16, 2006 Home arena Rexall Place Colours Blue, red, gold, white
Owner(s) Rexall Sports
(Daryl Katz, Chairman)
General manager Bob Green Head coach Derek Laxdal
The Edmonton Oil Kings are a major junior ice hockey team based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They play in the Western Hockey League, and as of July 2008, are owned by Daryl Katz's Rexall Sports, who also own the Edmonton Oilers. The 2007–08 season was the newest incarnation of the Oil Kings' inaugural season in the Western Hockey League. To date their only NHL alumnus is Tomas Vincour who debuted for the Dallas Stars on February 9, 2011.
The newest incarnation of the Oil Kings are the fourth WHL team to play in Edmonton, preceded by the first Edmonton Oil Kings (1950–76), the second Oil Kings (1978–79) and the Edmonton Ice (1996–98). The original Oil Kings franchise predated the WHL, winning two Memorial Cups prior to jumping to the new Western Canada Junior Hockey League in 1966. The Oil Kings were also initially successful in the WCHL, capturing two President's Cup titles. However, with the arrival of the World Hockey Association and the Oilers in 1972, the junior club's attendance began to plummet. Approximately 150,000 fans went to Oil Kings games in 1971–72. That number dropped to 90,000 the next year, and 68,000 the following year. The original Oil Kings moved to Portland, Oregon in 1976, becoming the Portland Winter Hawks.
An attempt at reviving the Oil Kings in 1978 lasted only one season, as the juniors were once again unable to compete with the pros. Bill Hunter purchased the Flin Flon Bombers and brought them to Alberta's capital. However, the team only averaged about 500 fans per game, and rumours that the team would again relocate began to swirl before the first season was even complete. The second Oil Kings relocated again to become the Great Falls Americans, where the team would only last 28 more games before folding.
Despite the long held belief that major-junior hockey could not survive against the pros, the WHL returned to Calgary in 1995, and Edmonton in 1996. At the time, the Oilers were struggling on the ice, as well as attendance. The Oilers refused to work with the Edmonton Ice, blocking them from playing in Northlands Coliseum, thus relegating them to the substandard Northlands Agricom. The Ice relocated to Cranbrook, British Columbia, becoming the Kootenay Ice, after two underwhelming seasons.
Return of the Kings
With the Flames owned Hitmen leading the WHL in attendance the past four seasons, and the Vancouver Giants also proving to be a major success at the gate, the Oilers ownership group had spent the last three years attempting to purchase a WHL team, even going so far as to put out an open offer of $5 million - well over market value - for any WHL franchise in 2004. With no takers, and with the 2004–05 NHL lockout looming, the Oilers chose to relocate their AHL team to Rexall Place as the Edmonton Roadrunners. Despite finishing third in the AHL in attendance, the Oilers suspended the Roadrunners after only one season rather than have their minor league team competing against themselves. The Oilers then resumed their quest for a WHL team.
When the sale of the Tri-City Americans to Chilliwack, British Columbia failed, the WHL placed an expansion team in Chilliwack, and the door for Edmonton was finally reopened. While the league had previously refused to consider further expansion, believing 20 teams was enough, the addition of the Chilliwack Bruins left the league with an odd number of franchises. Preferring an even number of teams, the league announced its return to Edmonton on March 16, 2006 with the granting of a conditional expansion franchise, named the Edmonton Oil Kings in homage to the former franchise.
The team began play in the 2007–08 WHL season and finished with a record of 22–39–11, good for 55 points, but not enough to make the playoffs. They have recently enjoyed more success, reaching the WHL playoffs twice in the last three seasons.
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, OTL = Overtime losses, SOL = Shootout losses Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
Season GP W L OTL SOL GF GA Points Finish Playoffs 2007–08 72 22 39 4 7 162 241 55 5th Central Out of playoffs 2008–09 72 29 34 4 5 191 252 67 5th Central Lost Eastern Conference quarter-final 2009–10 72 16 43 4 9 169 285 45 6th Central Out of playoffs 2010–11 72 31 34 2 5 249 252 69 4th Central Lost Eastern Conference quarter-final
Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace 12 Cole Benson C L 16 2010 Edmonton, Alberta 31 Laurent Brossoit G L 18 2009 Surrey, British Columbia 2 Cody Corbett D L 17 2011 Lakeland, Minnesota 22 Ryan Dech D R 18 2009 Winnipeg, Manitoba 21 Travis Ewanyk C L 18 2009 St. Albert, Alberta 16 T.J. Foster RW L 19 2008 Slave Lake, Alberta 24 Mason Geertsen D L 16 2011 Rocky Rapids, Alberta 28 Martin Gernat D L 18 2011 Kosice, Slovakia 30 Tristan Jarry G L 16 2011 Delta, British Columbia 27 Curtis Lazar C R 16 2010 Vernon, British Columbia 10 Josh Lazowski (A) RW R 20 2010 Leduc, Alberta 7 Stephane Legault LW L 18 2009 Edmonton, Alberta 4 Keegan Lowe (A) D L 18 2009 Greenwich, Connecticut 29 Mitchell Moroz LW L 17 2009 Calgary, Alberta 17 Jordan Peddle C L 20 2011 Elbow, Saskatchewan 26 Kristians Pelss LW L 19 2010 Preili, Latvia 3 Mark Pysyk (C) D R 19 2007 Sherwood Park, Alberta 20 Rhett Rachinski LW L 20 2007 Edmonton, Alberta 8 Griffin Reinhart D L 17 2009 West Vancouver, British Columbia 18 Michael St. Croix C R 18 2009 Winnipeg, Manitoba 5 Ashton Sautner D L 17 2011 Wolseley, Saskatchewan 25 Tristan Sieben LW L 17 2011 Edmonton, Alberta 15 David Stephens C L 18 2010 Whitehorse, Yukon 9 Klarc Wilson RW R 18 2009 Edmonton, Alberta 11 Dylan Wruck (A) LW L 20 2009 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
- Tomas Vincour
NHL 1st round draft picks
- ^ "Oil Kings Welcome New Owner". Official website of the Edmonton Oil Kings. 2008-07-02. http://www.oilkings.ca/hm/inside.php?id=280. Retrieved 2008-08-30. [dead link]
- ^ Official WHL Website ::[dead link]
- ^ Official WHL Website ::[dead link]
- ^ Brownlee, Robin (2005-04-16). "What the WHL?". Canoe Inc.. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Columnists/Brownlee/2005/04/16/1000098-sun.html. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
- ^ WHL Network, Western Hockey Leauge, http://www.whl.ca/roster/list/team/32/season/238, retrieved 2011-08-19
- Official website of the Edmonton Oil Kings
- Official website of the Western Hockey League
- Official website of the Canadian Hockey League
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