Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Joey Moss Cup

Joseph "Joey" Moss (born September 25, 1963) is the locker room attendant for the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League and the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. Born with Down syndrome, Moss caught the eye of Oilers centre Wayne Gretzky in 1985, when Gretzky was dating Moss's sister, Vicki. Impressed with the dedication Moss brought to a job at an Edmonton bottle depot, Gretzky suggested to team general manager Glen Sather that the young man be given a tryout.

As the summer of 1986 came around, Gretzky was worried that Joey would lose everything he had learned with the Oilers, so Gretzky called up the equipment manager of the Edmonton Eskimos, Dwayne Mandrusiak, and asked him if Joey could work with them during training camp. Gretzky even offered to pay Joey's wages for the team.

Moss's career with the Oilers was destined to long outlast Gretzky's, and his determination and passion for hockey have made him a nationwide celebrity and a major symbol of continuity within the franchise. (In 2006, during a surprising Oiler playoff run, he delayed elective surgery for a hernia in order to see the Stanley Cup playoffs through to the finish.) His main duties with the team include cleaning, handling towels and water, and running errands for former equipment manager Lyle "Sparky" Kulchisky.

In 2003, Moss received the NHL Alumni Association's "Seventh Man Award" in recognition of outstanding behind-the-scenes service to the league. The Joey Moss Cup, a trophy contended for by Oilers players in an annual split-squad game near the end of training camp, is named after him.

Shawn Horcoff had a goal and an assist while Taylor Hall and Curtis Foster each had a goal for team Blue as they shutout Team white to win the Joey Moss cup 3-0 (yesterday).

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