Old Hockey Barns Fading Fast
Another old-time hockey barn was retired last night. Pretty soon, two more will be gone.
It was the final ever NHL game scheduled to be played at Rexall Place, with the Edmonton Oilers moving into a new downtown arena in the fall. The Oilers have played in the building since 1974 when they were in the World Hockey Association. More than 150 Oilers alumni were on hand for the farewell game and lengthy post-game ceremony, including the likes of Hall-of-Famers Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey, Glenn Anderson and Grant Fuhr. The 82 year old Bob Cole, who has been calling hockey games in Canada since 1967, was on hand to call the last game, won by Edmonton, 6-2 over Vancouver. Oilers play-by-play man Kevin Quinn moved aside to make room for Cole. Quinn thought Cole should be the guy to call the club's final game at Rexall Place
The oldest arena in the NHL is technically Madison Square Garden, built in 196. But it underwent a $1 billion renovation 3-4 years ago, so it doesn't really count.
The next oldest arena, built in 1972, is the Nassau Coliseum (Islanders). That barn will be retired after the Islanders are done this season, but they did make the playoffs.
Joe Louis Arena (1979) will soon be retired and will be the oldest. The Red Wings plan to play the 2017 season in the new stadium, being build in Detroit.
After that it’s the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, built in 1983.