Former Oilers attend Fogolin memorial
Former Edmonton Oiler greats Wayne Gretzky, Paul Coffey and Grant Fuhr were among about 1,000 mourners who attended a memorial service for 17-year-old Michael Fogolin on Tuesday.
Fogolin, a defenceman for the Prince George Cougars of the WHL, is the son of former Oilers captain Lee Fogolin. The youngster died in bed last week at his Edmonton home.
- WHL defenceman dies in sleep
The cause of Fogolin's death was not immediately determined, but early reports suggested he may have had a heart condition. Autopsy results aren't expected for two to four months.
Current Oilers coach Craig MacTavish and general manager Kevin Lowe, also former Edmonton teammates of Fogolin, were at the service.
Members of the Cougars delivered a tribute during the funeral mass, which the family requested be closed to reporters. Former teammates from the Warriors, Fogolin's minor hockey team in Edmonton, wore black armbands marked with his No. 7.
"To see Mike's teammates and to see Lee's old teammates here in such a show of support, I think it shows what kind of family it was and what kind of person Mike was, and I think we're all very, very proud to be here," said Cougars owner Rick Brodsky.
Also in attendance was Alberta Lieutenant Governor Lois Hole and Fogolin's Cougars teammates. The memorial service took place at Edmonton's Joseph's Basilica, the same church where Gretzky married actress Janet Jones in 1988.
Lee Fogolin preceded Wayne Gretzky as captain of the Edmonton Oilers (1981-83), winning Stanley Cups in 1984-85.
"He had a heart of gold and he worked really hard," Cougars general manager Dallas Thompson said after Fogolin passed away. "It's shocking.
"It's tough on everybody right now. His teammates are not taking this well at all."
Cougars player Brett Dickie said the whole team was in shock over the loss and devastated to see his bright future cut short. Many were moved to tears by Fogolin's parents as they delivered their own tribute to their son.
"Like they said in the eulogy, Mike always had a smile on and he knew how to brighten the day every day," said Dickie. "That's one thing I remember and when they said it, it kind of hit me pretty hard, and I think it hit everyone pretty hard."
with files from CP Online