Ryan Smith and Lee Vogolin have been inducted into the Edmonton Oilers Hall of Fame

Earlier this summer, Edmonton Oilers announced that it would create the Edmonton Oilers Hall of Fame. It will include the people, not just the players, who have played a huge role in the history of the Edmonton Oilers. Prior to this announcement, the only people honored by the organization were those who had retired their jerseys, and the organization has a policy that only players inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame can retire their jerseys. By creating the Oilers Hall of Fame, it allows the organization to honor those who have played a major role in the history and fabric of the organization and Edmonton.

The inaugural 2022 chapter of the Oilers Hall of Fame will feature those with a banner hanging at Rogers Place: Hamilton, Wayne Gretzky, Gary Corey, Grant Four, Paul Coffey, Mark Messier, Glenn Anderson, Kevin Lowe, Glenn Suther and Rod Phillips. They are automatically inducted by virtue of their Oilers honor, but they won’t have a party to celebrate their induction into the Oilers Hall of Fame, because they already had it when their shirt was retired. Some of them will come on November 3 to watch and support Lee Fogolin and Ryan Smyth’s induction.

Fogolin was acquired by the Oilers of the Buffalo Sabers in the 1979 NHL expansion draft. He played 586 regular season games with Edmonton scoring 36 goals and 124 assists along with an impressive +153. He was the Captain of the Oilers for a few seasons and won the Stanley Cup in 1984 and 1985. He was also the face of Mr. Plywood’s ads for several seasons. He was a real witty in real life, so the spots made sense. The promotions worked, and eventually Dave Semenko on some spots and even Randy Gregg joined him.

Announcement – Continue reading below

Fogolin was well respected by young stars on Oilers. He was like an older brother/father to them.

It was the foundation for all of us,” Kevin Lowe said in a text. “He was a driven, blue-collar, hardworking leader on the ice, and off the ice he was respectful, honest and a wonderful family man we can all look forward to,” Lowe added.

The Oilers Hall of Fame isn’t just for players who put in points. They want it to be for people who have made an impact in different ways, and Vogolin did. Players and individuals in the organization in the 1980s believed that his behavior and leadership were vital for them to achieve success.

Ryan Smith was the heartthrob of the Edmonton Oilers for 14 seasons. Edmonton selected him sixth overall in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft and played 48 games for the Oilers in 1995/96 after a short nine-game stint in the AHL. In 1997, he achieved 39 goals and became a fan favorite with most Oilers fans due to his tireless work ethic and tireless effort. He played 971 games for the Oilers, second only to Lowe. He is fifth all-time in the number of goals with a score of 296, and sixth in points with a score of 631.

Announcement – Continue reading below

He also achieved great success representing Canada in various tournaments. He won gold at the 2002 Winter Olympics (2002), the 2004 World Cup, the 2003 and 2004 World Championships, the 2012 Spengler Cup and 1995 World Juniors. He captained Canada on six occasions at the IIHF World Championships and was named captain of Canada.

Smith did not only shine for the two merits he experienced in society. He and his wife, Stacey, worked with several charities in Edmonton and gave a lot of time and money to various causes.

Fogolin and Smyth will be entered on Thursday, November 3 when the Oilers host the New Jersey Devils.

Hall of Fame decisions…

I reached out to a few people and ask how recruiters are selected.

There is a committee of 11 members who vote. The former Oilers selection panel includes Wayne Gretzky, Ron Law, Louis Debrosk, Chris Joseph, former player and CEO Bruce McGregor, members of the media Jim Matheson, Terry Jones, Bob Stover and myself as well as community members President Wilton Littlechild (international president and former U-team head of the Golden Bear) and winner of the Two-time Olympic gold medalist for Team Canada Shannon Zappados.

How does the process work directly? The committee will meet in August and each member will present someone they deem worthy of induction to the Oilers Hall of Fame. You provide the reasons why they deserve this honor. Once all eleven people have submitted, a ballot is sent. In order to enter, a person must get nine votes.

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Only two members were allowed entry this year, but in future years a maximum of three members can be entered.

This year a total of seven names were introduced. Some members nominated the same person. The committee does not speak to each other before the meeting, so if two of us attend the same person, that person is guaranteed two votes.

Ballots are confidential and are not discussed among members, so I only know who I will vote for, and cannot discuss my ballot. I can say that I nominated Smith.

I am honored to be on the committee, and I really enjoyed the process. The presentations are great, and they really make you think of someone you might not have thought of. I think the Oilers Hall of Fame is long overdue and there are many people like Smyth and Fogolin who have done great things for the organization and deserve to be honored. It will be interesting to see who will vote in the future.

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