Edmonton - March 8, 2012
The Habs-Oilers game may be the marquee sporting event taking place in Edmonton on Thursday night, but it’s not the only game in town featuring a Montreal-based hockey team. A few blocks from Rexall Place at the Clare Drake Arena, the McGill Martlets and Université de Montréal women’s hockey teams will be competing for the Canadian title in the CIS hockey championships. U de M kicks off the tournament against Wilfrid Laurier before McGill takes on Calgary at 7:00 p.m. MST. Here’s hoping for three big wins for Montreal hockey on Thursday night!
It’s hard to think of Edmonton without automatically picturing Wayne Gretzky set up in his office behind the net at the then-Northlands Coliseum, feathering passes to Jari Kurri. But with eight players on the Habs roster born after the monumental trade that sent the Great One to Los Angeles in 1988, we realized that when a lot of our players were watching Gretzky growing up, their image of him is in a black and silver Kings jersey. Thanks to this larger-than-life bronze statue of No.99 in his original NHL uniform outside Rexall Place, guys like P.K. Subban, Max Pacioretty and Lars Eller will finally be able to catch a glimpse of Gretzky hoisting the Cup as an Oiler.
While a lot of the streets in downtown Edmonton are just basic numbers (100th Ave, 101st Ave, etc), things get a little more colorful on the drive to the Oilers’ home rink. Even without seeing the arena, we knew we were close when we turned onto Wayne Gretzky Drive. Why not name more city streets after Edmonton’s living legends? At least directions would be a lot more fun, no? “Looking for Wayne Gretzky Drive? Just take a left on Mark Messier Way and drive three blocks past Grant Fuhr Blvd to Jari Kurri Cres. You can’t miss it.”
Are you finding winter as long as we are (yes, this is going to be a recurring theme on the blog until the spring thaw…)? If so, might we recommend heading south to soak up some rays on a pristine beach? If that’s not in the cards but you happen to be in the GEA (Greater Edmonton Area), escaping winter by heading to the West Edmonton Mall may be your next best option. The largest shopping mall in North America and fifth biggest in the world doesn’t just feature 850 stores; it also boasts an indoor water park – complete with a sandless beach to help visitors beat the cold on a budget.