An Evening With the Edmonton Oilers
By: Cpl Justin D’Angelo
15 January 2010
Thursday, January 7th was a bitter cold night even to the most weathered Edmontonian. This night though, the cold just didn’t seem to matter.
Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the Edmonton Oilers, 12 Strathconas including 6 from C Sqn had the rare opportunity to live “Opera Rich” for a night. We were taking in the sights from up in suite #1, the personal suite of well known Edmontonian Mr. Cal Nichols. Hosting us was Tim Shipton the President of Alberta Enterprise Group and James Cumming, or Jim as we quickly came to know him. Jim was a kind, older gentleman who worked in the sky box and had more stories to tell than there were hours in the night to listen.
Standing tall waiting for the puck to drop it was hard not to get swept away in all the history on the walls of “our” box. Team pictures dating back from the late great 80’s to the new age Oilers we watch and enjoy in today’s era. Among them now proudly hanging was our team picture. This was picture of C Squadron in Afghanistan, tanks in the background, Oilers flag flapping in the fore ground with the CLS proudly wearing a signed Oilers Jersey. The picture was presented to the Tim Shipton early in the evening by Maj Cochrane and WO Hopkin as a small token of our appreciation for the incredible evening.
About 14 minutes into the first frame Tpr Burke got his chance to shine. On short notice he was informed he would be interviewed and aired on the Jumbotron for all to see. The “man with the microphone” gathered us on the patio style seating arrangement before starting the interview. He opened up by welcoming back C Squadron from our recent deployment to the desert. In a completely uplifting and heart warming moment the crowd let rip the loudest cheer and applause of the night. We enjoyed chicken wings (Tpr Lanthier’s personal favourite) along with bottomless hot dogs and bevies that kept smiles on all of our faces all night.
Our heart felt thanks go out to Mr Nichols for his incredible generosity, and Tim and Jim for the great conversation throughout the evening. From start to finish it was the perfect experience…until 0800 PT on Friday morning.