Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Brace yourselves for a jam-packed weekend of activities involving former members of the Edmonton Oilers, coming our way May 27 and 28.

It’s the Ice Breaker event, a couple of months earlier than it usually happens in Slave Lake.

“ATCO is bringing the hockey clinic to town,” says Ice Breaker organizer Shawn Gramlich. “So it coincides with that.”

The centrepiece, as usual, is a hockey game involving members of the Oilers’ Alumni association. But unlike the normal scenario, spots on the teams are not up for bid. All positions not filled by ex-Oilers will be manned by people designated by the LSL Firefighters Society, for which it is a fundraiser.
The big game goes at 5:30 p.m. at the MRC in Slave Lake.

As for the clinic, Oilers alumni will be on the ice giving pointers to up to 100 kids. It’s all free, courtesy of ATCO, says Shawn Hynes with ATCO Electric, who also happens to be the president of the Firefighters Society.

But there’s more! Those same ex-Oilers – or at least some of them – will be in town on the Friday, taking part in something called Firefighter Olympics. It takes place at the fire hall, and pits firefighters and former hockey players in a series of athletic and technical challenges devised by the firefighters.

Attendance is free, but donations to the firefighters’ society will be welcome. It starts at 3:30 p.m.

That same evening is a big barbecue, presided over by the Oilers’ alumni crew. The plan is to have enough grub for 1,000 people!

A ‘hot stove’ event follows at the SL Inn & Conference centre, again involving former Edmonton Oiler players. That will be good entertainment value for the money, but there’s still more! A ‘dueling pianos’ event rounds out the evening’s itinerary.

Gramlich says having another full-blown Ice Breaker event at the traditional last weekend in August time would be perhaps too much, too soon.

“There will be something,” he says, to coincide with the other All-In Slave Lake activities planned for the Aug. 27 weekend. Stay tuned.