The Edmonton Oilers lost a large portion of their history Friday as head medical trainer Ken Lowe, head equipment manager Barrie Stafford and equipment manager Lyle “Sparky” Kulchisky are all leaving their respective posts.
The trio were the oldest-serving members of the Oilers training staff. Kulchisky dates back to the club’s WHL days having spent 34 years with the team.
An Edmonton native, he started his career as a dressing room attendant with the Oilers in the World Hockey Association before joining the original Edmonton Oil Kings in 1978.
Kulchisky then re-joined the Oilers when they moved to the NHL in 1979.
Stafford, was with the team for 29 seasons, all but one as the head equipment manager. The native of Banff, joined the club in 1982 and is the owner of five Stanley Cup rings. He’s also served as equipment manager for Team Canada on seven occasions, including three Canada Cups, the 1994 World Championships and the 2002 Olympics.
A former University of Alberta Golden Bear, Stafford won three national championships and a World University student games gold medal as a player.
Lowe, older brother to Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe, had been with the organization for the past 21 years. He joined the club in time for their 1990 Stanley Cup championship.
He has also Canada’s athletic therapist at the 2002 and 2006 Olympics, the 1996 and 2004 World Cup of Hockey and the 1994 World Hockey Championships.
Prior to joining the Oilers, Lowe was an athletic therapist with the Edmonton Eskimos, wining a pair of Grey Cups with the football club. Lowe also worked with the Montreal Alouettes from 1975-1978.