Those Lousy Edmonton Seats

I remember it clearly. I walked in to a Calgary Ticketmaster and asked about available tickets for the Habs in Edmonton. The lady looked at her book and said yes indeed, she had four, right behind the Edmonton bench. I don’t need to tell you that this was pretty well the best thing anyone has ever said to me. “Four seats right behind the bench.”

How could everyone have missed this? Poor suckers. Poor unfortunate and unknowing suckers who must sit higher up.

So my wife and I and the kids hopped into our minivan and drove up to Edmonton to see the boys play the Oilers, and we were going to be so close I could probably talk about the weather to Russ Courtnall or Ryan Walter as they skated nearby, and almost hear Patrick Roy chatting with his goalposts. It was going to be a terrific evening, a splendid evening, maybe the best evening of all the evenings ever spent.

We arrived at Northlands Coliseum during the warm up, and our seats were spectacular. Players were skating around and getting loose just a few feet away. I felt sorry for those other fans higher up. They weren’t privileged like us, because we had the best seats in the house. Everyone was probably wishing they had seats like us.

How could I be so lucky? I patted myself on the back.

Close to game time, Oilers’ backup goalie Bill Ranford took his seat right beside my son, and I think my son looked at me like I was greater than Superman and Hulk Hogan. I’m sure I was. What other dad would find seats like this?

I immediately patted myself on the back again.

Then it happened. It all came crashing down. It still hurts when I talk about this, and when I think about it, it could have been different. Edmonton coach John Muckler, assistant coach Ron Low, and then a trainer all walked to the bench and took their places. Right in front of us. They even stood shoulder to shoulder so there wasn’t even a gap to look through. We had a great view of the stitching on their jackets. It was at that moment I think my kids stopped thinking I was Superman, and my wife started making divorce plans.

We didn’t see a thing except when play was far down at each end. I just think the coaches didn’t have to be so close to each other. A little space between them and we could’ve seen a few things in the middle of the ice.

Tickets were $35.74 each, along with restaurants and hotel. And I’m blaming the coaches. I figure Muckler owes me about $500.

Here's the sad evidence. I never noticed the part at the bottom that says "obstructed view" until about a month ago. Don't you think the coaches could have spread out a little?

Here’s the sad evidence. I never noticed the part at the bottom that says “obstructed view” until years later. Don’t you think the coaches could have spread out a little?

6 thoughts on “Those Lousy Edmonton Seats”

  1. The first time I took the wife to Les Good Guy was in Atlanta. We sat right behind the Canadiens bench! Great seats to see the players up close, dreadful seats to watch a game. Now, we look for a bit higher up when visit St. Louis, Nashville, Dalas, or Tampa. Or… if it was like the first 18 minutes last night, until I turn it off. Right now, I’m ready banish ALL of them!

    Great story, bring us two points Saturday!

  2. Mike, when you sat behind the bench, were the coaches in front of you? I’d be curious to go to games in the deep south. I think it would be very interesting and a little bit different. Yes, it would be great if they beat Vancouver on Saturday. Tough task.

  3. From the game staff was in the line of sight, from Rynbend to Julien. Hockey in Atlanta featured inflated attendance, in-game rules explanations, and a very pro-Montreal crowd. It was different back then… it was like the team cared

  4. Dennis, this is hilarious. It sounds like something that would happen to me. I can feel your crushing disappointment through the years at that one. Seats so great yet so awful at the same time. Ouch.

    I know that if I ever get lucky and get tickets down low I have go for the opposite ends (behind the goalie) or just a little bit higher than the glass. It’s too easy to get screwed. I’m lucky though, I’m tall so I can stand up and see everything but woe to the people behind me. Least those guys have some glass to protect them. I’d probably get shoved out the way.

    Least the beer and girls brought some entertainment to your son (for last night’s game…unless you meant at this game… 😉 ).

  5. Dennis, I was wrong. Gomez WILL be back. So you now have your chance to beat him up on National Television. If you do, you should have “” stitched on the back of your jacket. Just think of all the free publicity you’ll get for your site!

    Toss in a big cross-check on Kaberle and it’ll be like a two for one.

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