Congratulations on Making the Stanley Cup Playoffs
April 12, 2017
Hon. Betty E. Unger: Honourable senators, on March 28 this year, at approximately 8:38 p.m. Rogers Place in Edmonton was rocked by a roar as the sold-out crowd of 18,347 wildly cheering Edmonton Oilers fans celebrated a long-awaited victory.
After 10 disappointing seasons, the Oilers had clinched a spot in the playoffs by defeating the LA Kings 2 to 1. Not since 2006 had Oiler fans been able to celebrate their team making the playoffs.
In 2006, there was no such thing as an iPhone, Twitter was only two months old, and the Oilers’ kid-captain was nine years old.
If 2006 seems like a long time ago, it’s because it was for many fans.
But Oiler fans are loyal. Over the last ten seasons, even in the midst of disappointing game-after-game results, the coliseum continued to be sold out. In fact, a larger arena was opened in September 2016 and has been completely sold out for every game.
We don’t know if winning the right to participate in the 2017 playoffs will lead the way to the Stanley Cup. But what we do know is that our team has come a long way.
This year was our first 100-point season since 1990. We finished the regular season this year with 103 points overall, and in the last 14 games the Oilers recorded 12 wins. Not bad for a young team that ended last year’s season in twenty-ninth place.
Last Sunday night, our Oilers played another great game. It was the final game of the season at Rogers Place in Edmonton, and the Oilers were playing the Vancouver Canucks.
Team captain, Connor McDavid, who has just recently turned 20, reached the 100-point mark and was later awarded the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s scoring champion.
Tonight the playoffs begin, with the Oilers taking home ice advantage against the San Jose Sharks. Having defeated the Sharks 4 to 2 less than a week ago and riding high on winning eight of their last nine games, the Oilers are confident but will take nothing for granted.
And yes, Alberta does have a second team; our rivals to the south have also made the playoffs.
To the Edmonton Oilers, to coach Todd McLellan and staff, I offer my sincere congratulations on your significant achievements.
Go Oilers go!