This Oilers fan vows to get his back tattoo if the team wins a championship - Edmonton | Globalnews.ca

Kevin Genest says Edmonton Oilers He has always been there for him, so it is only fair that he entrusts the team to him.

The 43-year-old coach said that after a tough upbringing, he developed a strong bond with his parents by watching and cheering on his hometown Oilers.

As an adult, he took up the challenge and returned the love with ink.

During an interview, the mechanic and father of two turned around and pulled up his shirt to reveal a slightly faded tattoo of the Stanley Cup, which runs from the tip of his spine to his waist, with the team's name emblazoned on the trophy.

“One thing that brings the family together is we all watch hockey games,” Genest said.

“As soon as I was able to sit up straight, my dad always put me in front of the TV and took me to my first game when I was seven.”

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Edmonton Oilers super fan Kevin Genest vows to get his 2006 Stanley Cup tattoo fixed if the Edmonton Oilers beat the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Edmonton.

Jason Franzen/The Canadian Press

He said the work needed touch-ups, but he promised no more needle piercings until after the Oilers beat the Florida Panthers in the NHL's Stanley Cup final, which begins Saturday in Sunrise, Florida.

“And when they do (win), it’s going to be pretty extensive repairs,” he said, standing outside his home in the city’s north end.

“The whole back line will probably be covered by then, paying tribute to the veterans on the bus, like Wayne Gretzky, and then the new guy (Connor McDavid).”

Led by superstars like Gretzky, the Oilers won four Stanley Cups during their glory days in the 1980s and their fifth and final Stanley Cup without Gretzky in 1990 — all before Genest was 10 years old.

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In 2006, they returned to the finals to face the Carolina Hurricanes.

Edmontonians were excited and ready to party, and Genest, 25, “wanted to do something crazy.”

A local radio station encouraged fans to do something outrageous to show their support.

His task was to have the trophy tattooed on his back in less than 10 hours, while 18 other people were given other odd tasks.

“One guy actually had the words 'Go Oil' branded on his buttocks,” he said.


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Edmonton Oilers fans display their art


Another crowd has to fill the 18,000-plus seats at Rexall Place, formerly known as Northlands Coliseum, a sports arena in the city’s north end that was once the Oilers’ old home.

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The other two had to roll in corn syrup, get tarred and feathered, and run from the arena to a bar on the city's south side.

Genest said he successfully completed the tattoo in 10 hours with the help of his family, who let him eat while lying on his stomach to keep his blood sugar levels normal and distract him from the pain of the tattoo needle.

He said former Oilers player Alais Hemsky called him the “craziest person” he had ever met.

Participants were eligible for a $35,000 prize. Although Geneste didn't win the prize, he said: “I won the best summer ever.”

“I have a tattoo on my back that will never go away, it will always remind me of the '06 Stanley Cup run.”

Genest continues to receive attention for his tattoos.

People often stop him to pose with his back to the camera while he's shirtless on the beach. Children ask their parents to take pictures with his Tesla, which is painted in Oilers orange and blue and has the words “Play 'La Bamba'” emblazoned on it.

“La Bamba,” a Mexican folk song first sung by Ritchie Valens in 1958 and revived by the band Los Lobos in 1987, is played after every Oilers victory at their home stadium in Rogers Place downtown.

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“Sing 'La Bamba,' baby!” became a mantra for the late Ben Stelter, a six-year-old Oilers superfan whose passion and support inspired star players like McDavid. Stelter died in 2022 after a battle with cancer.

The Oilers and their fans have been through some tough times since 2006, including missing the playoffs for 10 consecutive seasons.

Genest said he couldn’t believe the Oilers were able to get back to the finals.

“This is our year. The kids know that.”

© 2024 The Canadian Press



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