It is called Rexall Place these days, but to me it will be thought of the Northlands Coliseum.
In an era of seeming standardization and uniformity in buildings and presentation of product, the closing of the Northlands Coliseum reminds us of the game from another place and time.
The building came to be in 1974 and the Oilers’ best years were in the 980’s – already the game had profoundly changed from the “Golden Era” I recall. But a residue persisted and that flavour is what I retain from the old place.
Of course, there was Gretzky, Messier, Kurri, Lowe, Coffey, Fuhr, Randford et. al. But there was also Sather and, of course, the fans.
The Oilers were a dynasty of the 1980’s. But a big part of them was the relationship between the players, the team and the building.
We look forward to the new place, but (as was the case with the Forum, the Gardens, the Olympia, the Spectrum and the Stadium) the Northlands will be missed here.