Oilers start 2021 season with tributes to Joey Moss and John Muckler

EDMONTON —
Before the puck was dropped on a new season of Edmonton Oilers hockey – the team and the city paused to honour both a local icon and a pillar of the team’s dynasty years.

Joey Moss captured hearts as the longtime locker room attendant and occasional anthem singer for the Edmonton Oilers and the Edmonton Football Team.

Moss died Oct. 26 at the age of 57.

“He taught many how to love, laugh and always enjoy life. Joey was beloved by generations of Oilers players, staff and fans,” public address announcer Al Stafford read on the national broadcast.

Every Oilers player wore Moss’ name on the backs of their jerseys in warmup.

Moss was a member of the Oilers locker room staff from 1985-2020. He was born with Down syndrome, and his hard work and friendly personality quickly made him a leader for people with disabilities.

“He will be greatly missed, but his immense legacy will carry on with the team, community and nation. He has blazed a trail for so many to follow and is an inspiration for all Canadians,” Stafford announced.

Video of Moss singing the national anthem, one of his favourite things to do, was played during O Canada.

MUCKLER A ‘KEY ARCHITECT’ OF DYNASTY

John Muckler helped assemble the Oilers dynasty of the 1980s, joining Edmonton in ’82 as an assistant coach. He went on to lift the Stanley Cup five times with the organization between ’84 and ’90 – the last one as head coach.

Muckler died Jan. 4 at the age of 86.

“His positive impression on the team and tactical approach to breaking down team defences was a tipping point for the Oilers in their success. More than that, John was a mentor and guiding force in the lives of so many players and colleagues,” Stafford said before a moment of silence.

The Oilers start the 2021 season with a doubleheader against the Vancouver Canucks.

With files from the Canadian Press.