The Edmonton Oilers, originally one of the founding franchises of the World Hockey Association, joined the National Hockey League in 1979. They quickly became one of the best teams in the league, winning five Stanley Cup Championships in 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1990. Wayne Gretzky, considered by many to be the greatest hockey player ever, played with the Edmonton Oilers from 1979 to 1988. The Edmonton Oilers fell in the Stanley Cup Finals playing the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games in the Stanley Cup Final in 2006. Despite losing, they were the first eighth-seeded team to make it that far, and nearly came back to win from deficits of 2–0 and 3–1 in the series. Rogers Place has been the home of the Edmonton Oilers since 2016.
Edmonton's involvement in hockey is not limited to the Edmonton Oilers. Several big-time NHL names come from Edmonton and the surrounding area, such as Mike Comrie, Jarome Iginla, Ray Whitney and Fernando Pisani. Edmonton was granted a WHL expansion team, the Edmonton Oil Kings, which began playing in the 2007–2008 season.
The Canadian city of Calgary, Alberta, is home to a relatively deep-seated tradition of winter sports. Much of this stems from its location, with proximity to the Alberta Rocky Mountains and Banff National Park. After hosting the 1988 Winter Olympics, the city has also had winter sports and training facilities. Beyond winter sports, Calgary has a number of professional and amateur sports teams and is a major world pro rodeo centre.
Calgary is also the home of the Hart wrestling family and the Hart House which previously housed "The Dungeon", a famous pro wrestling training camp founded by Stu Hart, the family patriarch, where he trained many wrestlers including all of his sons, most notably Bret and Owen Hart.
Calgary is next to some of the most visited natural scenery in the world. Banff National Park is about 125 km northwest of Calgary on the Trans-Canada Highway. 30 km west of the city is the town of Bragg Creek. Another 45 km west of Bragg Creek is the Kananaskis Improvement District featuring hiking, horseback riding and mountain-biking trails, camping sites, rock and ice climbing, and cross country skiing. A Provincial shooting range for firearms is located on the highway to Kananaskis.
Many Calgarians and millions of tourists enjoy activities such as biking, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, mountainboarding, camping, and fishing in these parks every year. The town of Banff hosts nearly five million visitors annually.
Calgary boasts a variety of sport leagues in the summer and winter seasons. Australian Football, Soccer, Field Hockey, Basketball, Netball, Lacrosse, Cricket, Futsal, and Volleyball are all available in various locations throughout Calgary