According to Jim Matheson, yet again there won’t be Edmonton Oilers Rookie Team vs University of Alberta Golden Bears game. Apparently, Daryl Katz and the U of A have a “business issue” getting in the way of the annual fall rookie game.
Oiler rookies aren't playing Golden Bears once again in Sept because owner Daryl Katz has business issue with U of Alberta. His team's loss, Bears too for their program. No Oiler rookies vs NAIT/Grant Mac kids this year after 9-1 rout last fall.
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) August 14, 2019
There hasn’t been an Oilers vs Golden Bears game since 2017, presumably because of this beef between Katz and the U of A. For the past two years, the Oilers rookies have played against a NAIT/Grant MacEwan All-Star squad. The first year, the Oilers earned a gritty 2-0 win. Last year, though, the Oilers absolutely pounded the Ook-Griffins 9-1.
Last year’s drumming likely resulted in everybody involved reconsidering the matchup between the Oilers rookies and the All-Stars from NAIT and Grant Mac. While both programs are very strong in the ACAC, NAIT and Grant Mac simply don’t have the level of talent the Golden Bears do, as the U of A’s entire roster is comprised of graduated CHL talent.
The death of the Oilers vs Golden Bears classic is a damn shame. I went to the game in all of my years at the U of A and the atmosphere was fantastic. Clare Drake Arena is a great place to watch hockey and the game was worthwhile for both parties involved.
Hopefully, Katz and the U of A work out whatever issue they have so this thing can get started up again eventually.