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Joey Moss (1963–) is the locker room attendant for the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League. Born with Down syndrome, Moss caught the eye of Oilers centre Wayne Gretzky in 1985, when Gretzky was dating Moss's sister, Vikki. 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. Now with a second job, a second team, more friends and even more work to do, Joey became more and more of an expert at what he did.

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 tournament through to the finish.) His main duties with the team include cleaning, handling towels and water, and running errands for 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.

Joey's dedication to the Edmonton Eskimos and the Oilers was recognized when a mural was unveiled on October 20, 2008 on 99th Street in Edmonton.

References

  • "Joey Moss Cup reflection of true Oiler spirit", Edmonton Journal, Sept. 10, 1999
  • "Gretzky changed his life; Hockey great helped handicapped man get job", Ottawa Citizen, Jan. 27, 1990
  • "Disability doesn't hold back Moss; Oilers locker-room attendant receives honour", Windsor Star, Jan. 29, 2003
  • "Sather took Gretzky's advice on Joey", Edmonton Journal, Feb. 1, 2003
  • "The Hockey Star Who Never Played", Reader's Digest, Feb. 2004
  • Oilers' attendant a celebrity, Canadian Press: January 28, 2003







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