This is Doug Favell. 30 years ago his career was just ending. He’d come up in a system that boasted two HOFers (Bernie Parent, Gerry Cheevers) and good goalies like Eddie Johnston. Favell was drafted by the Flyers (along with Parent) and although he had a journeyman career he was rarely out of NHL work 1967-79.
This uniform is awful. It might be the worst in the NHL’s post-1967 history if not for the New York Islanders, Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks.
Tonight, the Edmonton Oilers begin their 30th season in the National Hockey League. Long forgotten is the fact that they were not a quality organization for most of their WHA time and that pure, dumb luck had much to do with their headstart on the other new teams in 1979-80.
My fondest memories of the Edmonton Oilers are the first Stanley win, the 1990 win and the run in 2006. You might wonder why the other Stanley’s don’t rank as “favorites” but it was a blur after the first one, the last one was post-Gretzky and like manna from heaven, and that 2006 team was a beauty and I cannot express how much fun it was to follow them everyday. If anyone ever questioned the power of a sports franchise over a town, they did not walk the streets of Edmonton spring 2006. It was magic.
This edition of the Edmonton Oilers has racing shoes and lovely stripes down the uniform, but alas they have feet of clay. They will not win the Stanley Cup, they will endure disappointment and despite my feeling they’ll make the playoffs there are too many holes to dream of a run ala 2006.
Which is exactly how I felt fall 2005.