Watch above: There will be no shortage of festivities this week for the Edmonton Oilers 1984 Stanley Cup reunion. All of the greats will be here, but one of the city’s most controversial figures will also be in attendance. Eric Szeto has more on Peter Pocklington’s return to Edmonton.
EDMONTON — The man who was behind the trade of arguably the greatest hockey player to hit the ice will be returning to the City of Champions this week for the Edmonton Oilers 1984 Stanley Cup reunion.
Tim Shipton, vice president of communications with the Oilers, tells Global News Peter Pocklington will be in attendance Friday as the entire 1984 championship team and staff reunite after 30 years.
The reunion is bound to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for hockey fans, but the news of Pocklington’s return to Edmonton isn’t being met with much excitement by Edmontonians.
“It seems like maybe not the greatest idea,” said one Oilers’ fan Global News spoke with Sunday. “It seems kinda, maybe almost ballsy on his part because I don’t think he’s a very well-liked figure here, that’s for sure.”
“I think it’s an insult,” added another hockey fan. “I’d actually go with don’t let him in the city.”
For Edmontonians, the former Oilers owner is a polarizing figure. Pocklington brought a Stanley Cup to the city and donated millions to charities, but he’s also the man who traded Wayne Gretzky to the L.A. Kings back in 1988, and the man who tried to sell and move the team.
READ MORE: The Gretzky Trade: 25 years later
Pocklington left Edmonton for California more than a decade ago, leaving behind a trail of debt and angry creditors from Alberta and across North America.
Late last year, Pocklington avoided jail time in the U.S. after filing an appeal to a six month sentence for a probation violation.