Oilers Cup ring auctioned for US$72,000

THE CANADIAN PRESS

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers may not have won a Stanley Cup in almost 20 years, but on the auction block, the love lives on.

An Alberta fan pledged more than US$300,000 for the five Stanley Cup rings owned by former Oilers owner Peter Pocklington up for auction on www.classicauctions.net, company president Marc Juteau confirmed Wednesday in a phone interview from Montreal.

"One guy bought all five of them. He was ready to go all the way on all five of them — that’s what he wanted to do from Day 1," said Juteau.

"It’s real good news — they’re going back to Oil Country."

Juteau declined to name the buyer for privacy reasons.

Billionaire Daryl Katz, the new Oilers owner and self-professed rabid fan from the team’s glory days, could not be reached for comment to determine if he was the purchaser.

The buyer spent $272,829 for the rings, but Juteau said once the fee for the auction site is factored in, the price is over $300,000.

Bidding closed late Tuesday.

The ring commemorating the Oilers final Stanley Cup win in 1990 captured the highest payout — $72,151 from among 30 bids.

The second-highest was $61,174 from the team’s second championship in 1985.

All bids were in U.S. funds.

There were an average of 25 bids each for the rings, part of a collection that Pocklington, who now lives in Palm Springs, Calif., has said he was selling to raise funds for his grandchildren’s education.

Pocklington put 29 items up for sale through the website. A winning bid of $7,786 took home the replica miniature Stanley Cup given to Pocklington after the first win and a Wayne Gretzky CCM prototype jersey went for $880.

Juteau said Oilers memorabilia is by far the most popular seller.

"The Oilers of the ’80s really, really developed some kind of bond with the people of Western Canada.

"And it’s almost 20 years ago now, so a lot of people who were in their 20s and really lived it are now in their 40s and making a lot of money and looking for memorabilia."

The love for the Oilers dynasty far exceeded the interest in the New York Islanders’ four-year reign that came before it.

The 1980 Stanley Cup ring belonging to Clark Gillies — the bruising left winger from the team’s dynasty years — attracted 15 bidders and a winning bid of just under $19,000 on the site. A second ring from the 1982 Islanders championship fetched $17,270.

Gillies’ four replica mini Stanley Cup trophies went for an average of $5,360 while a Gillies 1980 Stanley Cup championship game-worn jersey, with a Lake Placid Olympic patch, brought 24 bidders and a payout of $13,155.

The 54-year-old winger, who was born in Moose Jaw, Sask., and inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002, starred for years with Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier on the Islanders’ famed "Trio Grande" line.

Juteau said the Gillies sale exceeded expectations probably because of its rarity.

"Islanders stuff from the Stanley Cup era, especially from a Hall of Famer, is hardly ever seen."

Among the other bids:

— A Dave (Sweeney) Schriner 1940 Toronto Maple Leafs game-worn jersey attracted 10 bids and a $20,897 winner;

— Brad Parks’ game-worn 1978 Boston Bruins jersey went for just under $3,000;

— A faded, white chair from the old Montreal Forum signed by Habs greats Maurice (Rocket) Richard, Guy Lafleur and Jean Beliveau sold for $2,469.

— The game-worn goalpads of Philadelphia Flyers goalie Pelle Lindbergh went for $2,310; in 1985 the Swedish-born goalie, driving over the legal alcohol limit, slammed his Porsche into the concrete steps of a school and died soon after.

The auction site, in business for more than a decade, sells hockey memorabilia tied to some of the game’s biggest names.

Among its record sales are $135,000 for a 1973 game-worn Bobby Orr jersey, $85,000 for Bobby Hull’s 1961 Stanley Cup ring, and $17,500 for a game-used Beliveau hockey stick.

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