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Edmonton Oilers make playoffs for 1st time since 2006: What’s changed in the last 11 years?

WATCH ABOVE: Playoff fever has hit Edmonton after the Oilers clinched a spot in the post-season for the first time since 2006.

It’s the news Edmonton Oilers fans have waited 11 (long) years to hear. The team has clinched a spot in the NHL playoffs.

It’s the first time the Oilers will see post-season action since 2006, when the team went all the way to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals only to lose 3-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes.

A lot has changed since then. And we mean a lot. For starters, no one had an iPhone back then. The original version of the Apple smartphone was not released until June 29, 2007.

READ MORE: iPhone at 10: What Apple’s flagship device needs to stay competitive

The population of the City of Champions has jumped by more than 200,000 people from 730,372 in 2006 to 932,546 in 2016.

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And Oilers star centre Connor McDavid was just nine years old.

Here are a few other things that have changed since 2006.

Social media

Edmonton hockey fans love taking to Twitter during Oilers games, but not a single person has tweeted during an Oilers playoff game. That’s because Twitter didn’t launch until July 2006, after the team’s ’06 Cup run was over.

READ MORE: 10 years of Twitter: Moments that made history

The Oilers signed up for Twitter in July 2008 and sent their first tweet on March 7, 2009.

Since then, the team has gained more than 660,000 followers and was the third-most-mentioned Canadian team on Twitter this hockey season.

Here’s a look at a few of the Oilers players’ first tweets:

And while Facebook was available to Harvard students in 2004, it wasn’t until September 2006 that the social network was extended beyond educational institutions to anyone with a registered email address.

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Oilers team

By the time the Oilers start the post-season, they will have played 868 regular-season games between playoff appearances. To put that in perspective, former Oilers goaltender Grant Fuhr played 867 career regular-season games. And in the first 868 regular-season games in Oilers history, the team won four Stanley Cups and were en route to winning their fifth.

IN PHOTOS: Edmonton Oilers 1984 Stanley Cup reunion

None of the players from the 2005/06 Oilers roster are still with the team. In fact, Ales Hemsky and Matt Greene are the only two players from that team still playing in the NHL today.

“Me and Greener (Matt Greene) always talk about it too,” Former Oiler Jarett Stoll, who played on the team at the time, said while in Edmonton Tuesday.

“We look back and we are like, ‘if we just would have won that one game.’ We still think about that loss.”

Carolina Hurricanes Ray Whitney, left, hugs Edmonton Oilers Ryan Smyth after game seven of the NHL Stanley Cup finals in Raleigh, N.C., Monday June 19, 2006. Carolina won the game 3-1 to win the series. CP PHOTO/Paul Chiasson
Edmonton Oilers fan Crystal Chris Budnick watches from Edmonton's Rexall Place as his team loses 3-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh during game 7 of the Stanley Cup, on Monday, June 19, 2006. CP PHOTO/John Ulan
Edmonton Oilers fans Crystal Mount and Chris Budnick, right, watch from Edmonton's Rexall Place as their team loses 3-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes during game 7 of the Stanley Cup, on Monday, June 19, 2006. CP PHOTO/John Ulan
Edmonton Oilers fans Deanna McCullough,ctr, and Shelly Sych, right, watch from Edmonton's Rexall Place as their team loses 3-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh during game 7 of the Stanley Cup, on Monday, June 19, 2006. CP PHOTO/John Ulan
Edmonton Oilers' fans watches from Edmonton's Rexall Place as there team looses game 7 of the Stanley Cup, on Monday, June 19, 2006 to the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh. CP PHOTO/John Ulan
Edmonton Oilers Raffi Torres greets fans at Edmonton International Airport on Tuesday June 20, 2006, after the Oilers lost game 7 of the Stanley Cup final in Raleigh to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night. CP PHOTO/John Ulan
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Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jussi Markkanen arrives in Edmonton on Tuesday June 20, 2006, after the Oilers lost game 7 of the Stanley Cup final in Raleigh to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night. CP PHOTO/John Ulan
Edmonton Oilers (left to right) Raffi Torres, Fernando Pisani and Michael Peca arrive in Edmonton on Tuesday June 20, 2006, after the Oilers lost game 7 of the Stanley Cup final in Raleigh to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night. CP PHOTO/John Ulan
Edmonton Oilers defenceman Chris Pronger arrives in Edmonton on Tuesday June 20, 2006, after the Oilers lost game 7 of the Stanley Cup final in Raleigh to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night. CP PHOTO/John Ulan
Edmonton Oilers coach Craig MacTavish arrives in Edmonton on Tuesday June 20, 2006, after the Oilers lost game 7 of the Stanley Cup final in Raleigh to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night. CP PHOTO/John Ulan
Carolina Hurricanes Aaron Ward hoists the Stanley Cup after defeating the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 in game seven of the NHL Stanley Cup hockey finals in Raleigh, N.C., Monday June 19, 2006. CP PHOTO/Paul Chiasson
Carolina Hurricanes Rod Brind'Amour, left, shakes hands with Edmonton Oilers Jarret Stoll after game seven of the NHL Stanley Cup finals in Raleigh, N.C., Monday June 19, 2006. Carolina won the game 3-1 to win the series. CP PHOTO/Paul Chiasson

WATCH: Jarret Stoll says he still thinks about 2006 Game 7 loss to Hurricanes 

When it comes to the current team, it’s evenly split between players who have played in an NHL post-season game and players who haven’t. Oilers veteran Jordan Eberle, who played his 500th NHL game on Saturday, has never seen the playoffs. Until now.

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The head coach at the time, Craig MacTavish, was canned by the team in 2009 after missing the playoffs for the third straight year. But he wasn’t gone long, as he was hired back by the Oilers in 2012 and is currently the Oilers vice president of Hockey Operations.

After MacTavish was fired as head coach, the team went through five head coaches before landing on current head coach Todd McLellan.

The ownership of the team has also changed hands since 2006. Daryl Katz bought the team from the Edmonton Investors Group in 2008.

Red light cameras

If you sped through a red light in 2006 you likely didn’t get a ticket unless you were caught by a police officer. That’s because Edmonton police didn’t start using red light cameras at Edmonton intersections until November 2009.

Rocket visits Pluto

In the time between Oilers’ playoff visits, a rocket made its way 7.5 billion kilometres from Earth to Pluto.

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Jan. 19, 2006. The spacecraft flew by the dwarf planet in the summer of 2015.

READ MORE: In Photos: Images of Pluto reveal complex world

YouTube

YouTube was in its infancy the last time the Oilers made the post-season. Founded in February 2005, YouTube was bought by Google in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion.

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Now, YouTube has launched local versions in more than 88 countries and has over one billion users – almost one-third of all the people on the Internet.

Technology

How many times have you heard or said the words, “there’s an app for that?” Probably a lot, but definitely not in 2006 because apps didn’t start appearing until 2008.

You also didn’t watch a Global News broadcast in HD in 2006. Global News didn’t go HD until 2010, the first Edmonton news station to make the move.

Hollywood

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were one of the hottest couples of the time and on Nov. 18, 2006 tied the knot at Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy. The couple’s marriage didn’t last as long as the Oilers’ playoff drought, though, as Holmes filed for divorce in 2012.

Crash won the Oscar for best picture in 2006, beating out Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Good Night and Good Luck and Munich.

Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest was the highest-grossing film of the year.

Daniel Powter’s Bad Day was the top song of 2006, according to Billboard.

Hannah Montana, starring a then 13-year-old Miley Cyrus, also premiered in March 2006.

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Politics

Alberta has gone through six premiers since the last time the Oilers were in the playoffs. During the ’06 Cup run, the late Ralph Klein was premier. Since then, the province’s top spot has been held by Ed Stelmach, Alison Redford, Dave Hancock, Jim Prentice and now Rachel Notley.

Things have been a bit more stable locally and nationally. Stephen Mandel was mayor in 2006 and Stephen Harper was Prime Minister, taking over from Paul Martin.

Rogers Place

Then there is, of course, the Oilers new home: Rogers Place.

The idea of a new barn for the Oilers was first brought to light in early 2008, when a report was released suggesting downtown would be a good location for a new arena.

Several years of contentious debate and negotiations followed until the final plan was approved in May 2013. Construction began in March 2014 and the new facility opened its doors in September 2016.

READ MORE: A look back at the debate over Rogers Place

Oilers Octane

In the last 11 years, the Oilers Octane – the first cheerleading team for a Canadian NHL team – have come and gone.

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The team debuted in December 2010, but their efforts were short-lived, lasting just six seasons.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers cut Octane cheer team

What hasn’t changed?

While it was a frustrating decade at time for fans through the rebuild, perhaps the only thing that hasn’t changed over the past 11 years is the passion Oilers fans have for their team.

That, and gas prices. While it’s fluctuated over the years, the price of a litre of gas in 2006 was about 94 cents, similar to the current gas price in Edmonton.

What did we miss? Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments section below.