SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers reunite at Lakeshore

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:05 AM ET

It was a flashback to the Edmonton Oilers dynasty of the mid-1980s.

With a few receding hairlines, of course.

Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky and goaltending coach Grant Fuhr were joined by fellow Hall of Famer Paul Coffey yesterday as Phoenix practised at Lakeshore Lions Arena.

The Coyotes had some other special visitors to their workout in the form of a handful of small kids who were grinning from ear to ear as they played give and go with the Great One.

"Too bad they're too young to remember any of us," Gretzky said.

Coffey did not agree with No. 99's assessment.

"They all know Wayne, believe me," Coffey said.

Coffey's son Blake, 7, was one of the children who participated. He was joined by a handful of Gretzky's nephews and a nephew of assistant coach Rick Tocchet, a native of Scarborough.

"It's been hockey week at (Blake's) school and he's been bringing home all kinds of books, books on Bobby Orr, Rocket Richard, the Oilers," Coffey said. "It helps the kids learn about the history of the game and the players who paved the way for us to have the privilege of lacing them up in the NHL."

THE DEAL WITH O'NEILL

Nursing a heavy heart and an ailing shoulder and neck, Jeff O'Neill vowed yesterday to do his best to turn his game around.

"It's been a pain in the butt," he said. "There is no doubt it has been a struggle, but I'm looking to turn things around in the second half."

Coach Pat Quinn has not given up on O'Neill, who continues to struggle with the death of his brother in a single-vehicle accident last summer.

"He's been trying to work through a lot of things, including one injury that people don't know about," Quinn said. "There is no doubt he's had a tough year."

Meanwhile Quinn praised the recent play of winger Chad Kilger.

"I think ever since we've had Chad Kilger he's played well for us," Quinn said. "It's just that suddenly, lately, he's shooting the puck."


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