40 years of memories: Edmonton Oilers production guru Don Metz leaving the club
'It was quite an adrenalin rush, working in the NHL and doing what I was doing'
After 40 years of recording important moments of Edmonton Oilers history, broadcast veteran Don Metz is leaving the club.
Metz, who started covering the Oilers in the 1970s as a CBC cameraman, is leaving his position as vice-president and director of broadcast for the Oilers Entertainment Group, to start a new career in the medical cannabis business.
"It was quite an adrenalin rush, working in the NHL and doing what I was doing," Metz said in an interview on CBC Edmonton's Radio Active on Thursday.
In his four decade association with the Oilers, Metz worked in a variety of areas including in-game production, outdoor game production, and producing the TV feed from Wayne Gretzky's 1988 wedding to Hollywood actress Janet Jones.
"I had been shooting in '78 and on that night of November 2nd that's when Eddie Mio and Peter Driscoll and Gretz landed at the Municipal Airport," Metz recalled. "I remember saying to myself looking at this skinny little 17-year-old kid with long hair and acne … this is what all the fuss is about?"
Metz said the best sport event he ever covered was the night in 1981 when Gretzky scored five goals against the Philadelphia Flyers to tally 50 goals in 39 games.
"I had filmed him on a rotary dial phone talking to his dad in Brantford saying that he feels good tonight, is going to pop a couple," Metz recalled. "Well the rest is history."
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Metz recalled shooting the Oilers' 1984 Stanley Cup win:
"We hit the streets to film all this stuff and it was as you know, bedlam," said Metz. "The fire department was hosing down people and it was like the entire city was on Jasper Avenue and it went til 3:00 in the morning. There was no experience like this before."
Metz, who is a cancer survivor, said he's ready for a new challenge but will always look fondly on his days with the Oilers.
"I'm having the time of my life in my new career," he said. "Somewhat bittersweet, leaving a 40-year career."
With files from Rod Kurtz