50 years ago, the Edmonton Oil Kings (62-63) climbed the mountain and won the day. The 1963 Memorial Cup remains one of the most famous championships in city history.
When most of the men who played on the 1963 Oil Kings were growing up, it was a very different city than the one we live in today. “Your friendly city” included a rabid hockey crowd, fans who were able to enjoy outstanding talent (Norm Ullman and Johnny Bucyk among them) before they moved on to NHL stardom in the original six. The Edmonton Oil Kings of 1963 were a talented, battle hardened group (the Oil Kings played in a “senior league” despite their young age) who won it all for the city of Edmonton in May of ’63.
Click on the article to get full size and read about the first Memorial Cup championship for Edmonton in 1963. The Oil Kings from 50 years ago are appearing this weekend (along with Paul Henderson and others) at the Summit IV memorabilia and collectibles show at Millennium Place in Sherwood Park today (1:30 to 2:30 p.m.) and tomorrow (11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m).
We’ll be broadcasting the show live today noon to 2pm, and interviewing many of the Oil Kings players at the event. The day is “fluid”, but scheduled to appear:
- Members of the 1963 Oil Kings: Gregg Pilling, Bert Marshall, Bob Falkenberg, Dave Rochefort, Tom Bend, Russ Kirk, Vince Downey, Harold Fleming and Jim Brown.
- Scott Francis Winder will preview the FC’s home game this week
- Evan Daum will discuss the FC’s season, the Oil Kings and more.
- Kent Simpson (Oil Kings color commentator) gives us an update on what is turning into a very good series.
- Dennis King, to talk Oilers, Craig MacTavish, Kevin Lowe and more.
Martin Gernat had two goals and three assists for the Oil Kings last night, helping the town team even their WHL playoff series with the Calgary Hitmen. It was a much closer game before Calgary lost their (insert word here) and drowned in a sea of dumb penalties. Gernat is 11, 4-8-12 and ranks 2nd in WHL playoff scoring among defensemen. His 3 PP goals rank him in a tie for 3rd in that category among all WHL players.
Gernat isn’t going to bring all of that offense with him to the NHL (should he make it) but he certainly does have a “quality” about him offensively. His size/speed combination make him an attractive defender even though (like Martin Marincin) the Oilers will need to be patient and watch him develop in the minors.
The question becomes: how many defensemen can you sign and develop at one time? The following prospecrts are under contract and likely to play in the NHL/AHL next season:
- Ladislav Smid
- Jeff Petry
- Justin Schultz
- Nick Schultz
- Corey Potter
- Theo Peckham (rfa)
- Oscar Klefbom
- Martin Marincin
- Taylor Fedun (rfa)
- Colten Teubert (rfa)
- Brandon Davidson
- Alex Plante (rfa)
- David Musil
Plus they have Gernat and Kyle Bigos to sign and one imagines they’ll be adding a big name for the NHL team and one or two AHL veterans for OKC (one of which will probably be on the 50 man list). Who is in danger? I’d suggest Peckham, Teubert and Plante (all rfa) are in danger and they might risk waivers on Potter if required to improve the NHL depth chart.
The blue depth chart is crowded, but not that crowded with prospects as good as Martin Gernat’s potential.
This was one of the top hits of 1963.