Edmonton contractor Sean Turpin has added some Oilers hall-of-famers to his roster of heavy-duty machinery.
He has personalized five of his excavators with the numbers of Wayne Gretzky, Grant Fuhr, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri and Paul Coffey.
“We do a lot of work on the city streets and I thought people would appreciate seeing it,” Turpin said.
“People driving by could see and say, ‘I think that was Gretzky.'”
Turpin is the president of Rysen Bobcat Services. He has been an Oilers season ticket holder since the team’s Stanley Cup run in 2006 and grew up watching Gretzky and his hall-of-fame linemates.
“We had a dynasty here in the 1980s. It is pretty much unmatched in sporting history. I want to represent that and for people to remember, we do have an awesome hockey team.”
The Hitachi machines were already the perfect shade of orange. Turpin just had to order and install decals with the retired numbers. Now, instead of calling the excavators by unit numbers, they are referred to by name.
“Gretz and Fuhrsy, that’s what we do. That’s how we identify them.”
Turpin says his crew is enjoying the new numbers and so are the other construction crews they are working with.
“They don’t quite get it at first. They see the one and then they see another one, and they start to realize those are all retired Edmonton Oilers, pretty damn cool.”
Turpin’s goal is to have a piece of machinery for every retired Oiler whose number hangs in the rafters at Rogers Place.