Rock’em Sock’em style: Edmonton Oil Kings sport Don Cherry-inspired jerseys for good cause

Saturday’s WHL Battle of Alberta between the Edmonton Oil Kings and the Calgary Hitmen will feature the Oil Kings wearing jerseys that look like they’re straight out of Don Cherry’s wardrobe.  

The Cherry-inspired uniforms, which will benefit the Kidney Foundation of Canada, were unveiled Monday afternoon at the Edmonton Garrison. Members of the military were invited to the unveiling, partly due to Cherry’s’ avid support the military and partly due to the Oil Kings support of the Edmonton Garrison. 

“I think Don Cherry would be proud, is that a good way to describe them?” said Lt.-Col. Jordan Schaub. “I like the fact that it’s like a suit jacket as a jersey. I can’t say that I’ve seen that often, so I think it’s fairly unique in that regard.”

‘I think it’s great’

There’s no doubt the jerseys are eye-catching, with a flowery, colourful design much like the suits Grapes has been wearing for decades on Hockey Night in Canada.

Oil Kings reveal Don Cherry-inspired jerseys in support of kidney donation. 0:40
This isn’t the first time the Oil Kings have donned special jerseys. The team made waces with the “hairy”jerseys the team wore for their annual Teddy Bear Toss in December. The Cherry jerseys aren’t quite as fuzzy, but they’ll certainly attract tons of attention once they hit the ice at Rogers Place on Saturday afternoon.

The Cherry-inspired jerseys are also a hit with the Oil Kings players. 

“I think it’s a great cause and a lot of money gets raised every year for the Kidney Foundation, it’s pretty special,” said third-year defenceman Will Warm, who’ll be donning the jerseys for a second straight year. “I think they’re pretty awesome, they’re pretty unique it’s definitely something Don Cherry would wear.”

‘Outlandish suits’

“You see him on Hockey Night in Canada and he’s always wearing the outlandish suits,” said Flavia Robles, executive drector of the Kidney Foundation of Canada, Northern Alberta branch. “He has been able to push organ donation into the homes and the families and friends of those hockey fans.

“This is an actual jersey that has been inspired by Don himself, I think it stands out, it’s loud it’s in your face which is exactly what we want to be able to use to put organ donation in the conversations of those at home.”

And it seems to be working — last year’s WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry game helped raise more than $265,000 in Western Canada and also raised awareness for organ donation.

This Saturday’s WHL game will be part one of a special double-bill Battle of Alberta, which is happening for the first time. The Oil Kings and Hitmen drop the puck at 1:30 PM, followed by the pros, as the Oilers host the Flames for part two later on that night at 8:00 p.m.





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