Teppo, Teemu to suit up for alums
Babych, Ellett, Lukowich will also play Oct. 22
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 05/08/2016 (2308 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Alumni were a major focus Friday when the Winnipeg Jets continued their recent move towards embracing the city’s pro-hockey past.
On the occasion of revealing their jerseys for the 2016 Heritage Classic against the Edmonton Oilers at Investors Group Field Oct. 23, the Jets also rolled out their list of participants who will face the Oilers alumni Oct. 22.
Former Jets captain Dale Hawerchuk has been the point man on selecting the roster and unveiled a list Friday that includes Teemu Selanne, Teppo Numminen, Dave Ellett and Dave Babych.
He also said there will be another addition or two to the playing roster, including a goalie, but the Jets’ alumni roster will almost surely be minus a few good players and stars of yesteryear due to their current NHL commitments. Those include Randy Carlyle, Scott Arniel, Phil Housley and Eddie Olczyk.
“You see all the Hall-of-Famers they (the Oilers) have but I know our guys will look forward to it,” Hawerchuk said.
Hawerchuk said the roster was done mostly by committee and placed weight especially on games played, but also on “stats and cachet with fans and the city.”
“The guys understand there’s a bit of a pecking order and it’s probably what made our team so great back then, that we had real people that understood what it was all about,” Hawerchuk said. “We did it by committee, too, and it’s been fun talking to people you haven’t talked to in years.”
And he intimated while a rivalry will always be prominent with the Oilers, alumni players keep things in perspective.
“(Ice time) could be determined the day before in practice,” Hawerchuk laughed. “The guys are smart now. They want to get up and be able to go to work the next day. Guys monitor themselves. I don’t think anybody will be extending long shifts.”
Oilers vice-chairman Kevin Lowe, who was in Winnipeg to unveil the alumni lineup, paid tribute to Edmonton’s rivals in the years gone by.
“The older you get, the more you appreciate things,” Lowe said. “Even around Dale, in our day, we used to hate one another. I mean, opposing players, you’d never even talk to them in the off-season. The game’s changed a bit.
“I’ve said this before, but people don’t realize how close the Jets were. It’s bittersweet, I’m sure for the fans and history but I played those series and one goal here or there, especially in 1990, and it changes history. They were tough series and they had great teams.
“There’s a long history of the two teams playing one another and they are similar cities in a lot of ways. The game (in October) Sunday with the real players is pretty special but I know the fans will be treated to a great day on the Saturday.”
Hawerchuk nodded when told of Lowe’s comments about yesteryear and today.
“Back in our day, you didn’t dare talk to somebody on the other team,” Hawerchuk said. “If you have to walk by them in the arena, you’d just go, ‘Hey,’ and just walk by. (No way) you’re going to sit there and chit-chat.
“Now, the best players always seem to get together at a young age and seem to know each other. As they get to the pros… there’s a relationship there. In my day, we didn’t have too much of that.”
Hawerchuk was asked if he ever envisioned a day when he and Lowe would be good friends and colleagues in the game.
“No, especially if you know John Ferguson was our general manager,” he said. “He played for keeps and he GM’d for keeps. I remember one time, I think it was Marc Crawford I played junior with in Cornwall and he was skating with Vancouver in the morning skate and I came out to say hi and Fergie kind of gave me the look and the growl and said, ‘I can arrange for you to play on a line with him.’
“It’s changed, for sure.”