From North Battleford to Hudson Bay, Edmonton Oilers fever spreads across Saskatchewan

Longtime Edmonton Oilers fan Matthew Proctor and other residents of Saskatoon's Sherbrooke Community Centre plan to watch Monday's big game on the home's big screen TV. Beer, pizza and other treats will be served in a 'sports bar' atmosphere, staff say. (Travis Reddaway/CBC - image credit)
Longtime Edmonton Oilers fan Matthew Proctor and other residents of Saskatoon's Sherbrooke Community Centre plan to watch Monday's big game on the home's big screen TV. Beer, pizza and other treats will be served in a 'sports bar' atmosphere, staff say. (Travis Reddaway/CBC - image credit)

From sports bars to personal care homes, Oilers fever has spread across the border to Saskatchewan.

During this historic run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, residents of Hudson Bay, Sask., have been watching closely. Oilers assistant coach Glen Gulutzan is from Hudson Bay.

Mayor Betty Lou Palko says everyone has been greeting each other in town by saying "Go Oilers! Go Gully!"

"The whole town's excited about tonight and the comeback. Glen and I texted every once in awhile during this thing and he said, 'We're coming for it!' So that's great to hear," Palko said.

Oilers assistant coach Glen Gulutzan (left) is from Hudson Bay. Mayor Betty Lou Palko says the entire community will be watching Game 7, and have been greeting each other in town by saying "Go Oilers! Go Gully!"
Oilers assistant coach Glen Gulutzan (left) is from Hudson Bay. Mayor Betty Lou Palko says the entire community will be watching Game 7, and have been greeting each other in town by saying "Go Oilers! Go Gully!"

Oilers assistant coach Glen Gulutzan, left, is from Hudson Bay. Mayor Betty Lou Palko says the entire community will be watching Game 7, and have been greeting each other in town by saying 'Go Oilers! Go Gully!' (Supplied by Betty Lou Palko)

Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch is also from Saskatchewan. He's from the village of Imperial, about halfway between Saskatoon and Regina.

Knoblauch, Gulutzan and the other coaches are trying to help the Oilers become the first team in 80 years to win the Stanley Cup after losing the first three games of the finals. A win would also bring the cup home to Canada for the first time since 1993.

Sports bars across the province have been enjoying a boost in sales during the Oilers run to the finals. That includes Hailey's Restaurant and Lounge in North Battleford.

Owner Hailey Bui says the phones are ringing steadily as fans reserve their favourite tables.

"Tonight we expect that it's going to be just like all of our other games that we show, except probably 10 times louder and 10 times prouder," Bui said.

Sports bars across the province have been enjoying a boost in sales during the Oilers run to the finals. In North Battleford, Hailey's Restaurant and Lounge owner Hailey Bui says the phones are ringing steadily as fans reserve their favourite tables.
Sports bars across the province have been enjoying a boost in sales during the Oilers run to the finals. In North Battleford, Hailey's Restaurant and Lounge owner Hailey Bui says the phones are ringing steadily as fans reserve their favourite tables.

Sports bars across the province have been enjoying a boost in sales during the Oilers run to the finals. In North Battleford, Hailey's Restaurant and Lounge owner Hailey Bui says the phones are ringing steadily as fans reserve their favourite tables. (Supplied by Hailey Bui)

At the Sherbrooke Community Centre in Saskatoon, Oilers fan Matthew Proctor says he's "excited and nervous."

"I really want this win. I'd love to see the cup come back to Canada," Proctor said.

Some of Proctor's relatives are visiting from British Columbia. They'll join other Sherbrooke residents to watch the game on a big screen TV in the dining room.

Recreation co-ordinator Carrie Hart says  they'll decorate and arrange everything to resemble a sports bar.

"They can enjoy a beer and some pizza snacks and we'll set it all up," she said, adding the staff will provide a free "Uber" to wheel residents back to their rooms when it's done.

Connor McDavid fan Mason Green was at Sherbrooke helping his mother at work Monday. It's his eleventh birthday.

"It's going to be extra special to watch," he said. "It's going to be so fun."