Flash forward to the game...it was AMAZING! They won me back in a big way and I'm feeling just a little excited for next season, and a little sentimental about leaving behind the old barn. Hopefully the new arena will bring us some better luck and a few (a lot) more wins next year. Everything was kicked off with a pretty intense production of O Canada through a video of Paul Laurier during the 2006 playoff run. Goosebumps people, major goosebumps.
The actual game was a good one and after a pretty sluggish first period the flood gates opened and we ended up winning 6-2. Seems like we always play Vancouver for the last home game of the year and they get to deal with our big celebrations (Ryan Smyth's retirement two years ago and now Farewell Rexall). Sorry...not sorry! Thank God the Oil pulled out a win though, it really set things up for the rest of the night.
Let's just say it was a good thing the game was bumped up until 5pm. I know there were some angry people but I appreciated it, I had to work the next morning and still wasn't home until after 11pm. It would have been 1am if the game went at 8pm as originally scheduled. After the game ended there was a 30 minute break before the 90ish minute celebration began
The Edmonton Symphony was even in the house and set-up on the ice and played for ALL the introductions...and there were A LOT of introductions, over 150 old and current players, trainers and coaches. There were a lot of people I didn't really know (I was born in 1986 so wasn't exactly in the loop during the dynasty era) but also some notable absences. I was hoping to see Andy Moog, Jason Arnott, Doug Weight and Todd Marchant but those guys weren't there...apparently lots of guys still work in the NHL. Anyways, the big superstars were all there (Gretzy, Messier, Fuhr, etc) and of course Ryan Smyth who actually got the biggest ovation of the night...gotta love him! Side note here, Wednesday night was great but Ryan Smyth's last game was actually better; at least in my opinion. The current players were also brought out, so that was good. After all the intro's John Shannon and Gene Principe did a bunch of interviews, some videos were shown and then the whole thing wrapped up with a stick salute at center ice.
All in all in was such a good night and I'm really happy we ended up going. I've been to a lot of hockey games, concerts and other events at Rexall and have a lot of memories. It is a little weird though, I kept thinking of it as my last time at Rexall but I'm actually back there in two weeks for Rihanna...what the what!
What did you guys think of the festivities?