Former Edmonton Oilers who played with the team in 1984-85 are in town this week to celebrate being named the greatest National Hockey League team of all time.
On Wednesday, Glenn Anderson, Grant Fuhr, Pat Hughes, Mike Krushenlnyski and Kevin Lowe joined the Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) to celebrate the honour. In June, hockey fans voted the 1984-85 Oilers team as the greatest NHL team of all time.
“Even if we were down three or four goals, I could always remember that team coming into the dressing saying, ‘Okay, we’ve got this one. Someone’s going to pick up two, somebody else is going to get one,’” Anderson remembered.
“Even though there were some remarkable goals, it was always about the team.”
“It was such a good group to play behind,” Fuhr said of his former teammates. “You knew you could make three or four mistakes every night and get away with it.”
LISTEN: Members of the Edmonton Oilers 1984-85 team speak at a news conference
To celebrate the honour, the OEG announced that Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and other 1984-85 teammates will host an “intimate and interactive evening of storytelling and unique multi-media vignettes” that will take fans through the journey that lead the team to its legendary status.
“It is an amazing honour to be voted greatest team by NHL fans, something we don’t take lightly, respecting the great history of the game and legendary teams who made their mark on the league,” Wayne Gretzky, Oilers Entertainment Group Partner and Captain of the 1984-85 Oilers, said in a release.
“Over the years, hockey fans say ‘who’s the greatest dynasty? The Canadiens of the 70s? The Islanders of the 80s? The Bruins in the early 70s? The Oilers of the 80s?’ No one ever asked who was the greatest team,” Lowe said.
“You could debate who the greatest dynasty was, but to actually be able to say we’re the greatest team of all time is…you can’t match that.”
LISTEN: Glenn Anderson chats with Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now
Tickets for the Feb. 11, 2018 event are going to be available for purchase through a ticket priority draw at the team’s website. The draw is open now and the deadline to enter is Nov. 15.
There is no cost to sign up for the opportunity to purchase tickets. Seating will be reserved and will start at $85 per seat. Proceeds will benefit the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation to establish a legacy endowment of Dave Semenko, a fan favourite and member of the 84-85 team who passed away earlier this year after a brief battle with cancer.
“We’ll be telling Dave stories for the rest of our lives,” Anderson said on Wednesday. “Probably some of the best stories we ever did come across were about Dave Semenko. Doing something for his foundation and for him, it’ll just go down in our memories forever.”
“We are excited to share this with our fans and get the team together, which is all the more fitting to do in Dave’s memory,” Gretzky said.
The OEG promised more details will be released closer to the event date.
More than 3.6 million votes for the greatest team were cast over a six-week period at the start of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs, as part of the NHL’s centennial celebration. The 96 cup winning teams went head-to-head for fan votes. The Oilers had four teams in the top 10: the 1983-84 Oilers, the 1987-88 Oilers and the 1986-87 Oilers joined the winning 1984-85 team.
“The Oilers had four teams in the top 10, that’s saying a lot, and that’s not coming from your peers or anything that’s coming from the outside fan base, that’s an honour in itself,” Anderson said. “There were so many other great teams and great moments going back from the beginning of time in the NHL 100 years ago.”
The 1984-85 Oilers defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup final to win their second straight championship. Led by Wayne Gretzky, the team’s roster was stacked with Hall of Famers including Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey and Fuhr.
Watch below: Global News coverage of the 1984 Stanley Cup reunion in Edmonton
With files from the Canadian Press