Who Is The Edmonton Oilers Ultimate Cult Hero?

A cult hero - Photo by Jarvin Jarle Vines via Wikimedia Commons

What obscure, ignored player means the most to Edmonton fans?

Wikipedia defines cult movies in a massively broad sense:

Cult films are known for their dedicated fanbase, an elaborate subculture that engage in repeated viewings, quoting dialogue, and audience participation. Inclusive definitions allow for major Hollywood productions, especially box office bombs, while exclusive definitions focus more on obscure, transgressive films, shunned by the mainstream. The difficulty in defining the term and subjectivity of what qualifies as a cult film mirror classificatory disputes about art. Overbroad usage has resulted in controversy, as purists state it has become a meaningless term.

I prefer the latter definition - obscure, trangressive films, rather players, when we talk about cult heroes. If we use that definition and combine that with unsung players who make a difference for their teams, or at least their fans, we arrive at the fringe players that certain groups of us love to root for. A couple of years ago, the crew here did a series of articles on our favorite post-dynasty Oilers. We highlighted some all time greats, and called on some underrated heroes.

But of that group, only Mike Grier might qualify as a cult hero. For the purposes of advancing the discussion, let's agree that goons do not qualify as cult heroes, no matter matter how much CBC argues that Shawn Thornton won the cup on his own, or Sportsnet argues that Mike Brown means something to the Oilers.

An example of a cult hero, even if the cult consists of only Jonathan Willis and I, is Patrick Thoresen. He was once an even player and was completely ignored for being that player, on one of the worst teams in the league (obviously the Oilers), and he sacrificed a testicle to block a shot for the Flyers. He's a player deserving of an NHL job, yet remains in the KHL. If that's not a player deserving our adulation, I don't know who is.

With that background in mind, who are your nominations for the Edmonton Oilers' cult hero?

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