Over the weekend 90 minor hockey players from the region attended the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Clinic sponsored by Cenovus Energy.
The clinic kicked off with a barbecue, courtesy of B & R Eckels. Bob Tomm and Rene Van Brabant served up burgers and hot dogs to a steady line of hockey fans while many youths played a game of street hockey or guitar hero.
Dave Lumley shared skills for young players at the hockey clinic. Lumley played with the Oilers between 1980-1986 and helped the team win two Stanley Cups.
He said he'd like to see young players playing the game for fun because sometimes parents and coaches can take the game too seriously.
“I thought if I could come here and show the kids and the parents, let's just have some fun. It's called a game for a reason.”
He said even though there are many great players in the game, only a few make it to the NHL.
“My experience is the more fun you have when you're playing, the longer you're going to play.”
He noted one reason he values community involvement is because he received a visit in the hospital from the-then captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Davey Keon, after surviving a car crash when he was eight.
“We recognize that northern Alberta country as we call it is an important part of where we are,” said VP of Oilers Brand Pat McLaughlin. “We wouldn't be anything without the fans of oil country.”
He said the organizers' goal with the hockey school was to encourage young players to have fun while improving their skills.
Trevor Murphy, manager of fan and community development, headed the organizing of the hockey clinic.
“There's so many fans around northern Alberta that we want to come back and show our thank you and show our support for these communities. It's a great weekend, a celebration of the game,” Murphy said.