This home white dureen gamer by Maska was worn by Al Hamilton during the 1976-77 WHA season. Hamilton began his career in 1965 with the New York Rangers, where he spent 4 seasons before moving onto the expansion Buffalo Sabres in 1970. After 2 seasons in Buffalo, Al joined the WHA and became an original member of the Edmonton/Alberta Oilers. He played in all 7 WHA seasons for Edmonton and then took the journey with the club to the NHL during the 1979-80 expansion, where he played one final season before hanging up the skates. Hamilton’s on ice skills earned him appearances in 4 WHA All Star games, the 1974 Summit Series against the Soviet Union as well as 1st and 2nd Team WHA All Star selections. Hamilton immediately took on a leadership role with the young franchise, serving as their first Team Captain from 1972-73 thru 1975-76. In what would prove to be a historic move, the 1976-77 season saw Hamilton hand the role of team Captain over to a future Oilers icon, Glen Sather. The rest as they say is history, as Sather became a player coach that year and remained in the role of coach or GM for the next 23 seasons.
Proudly sewn to the left breast of this gamer is the alternate Captain’s “A”, Al’s first “A” after handing the Captaincy to Glen Sather. In fact the faint outline of a “C” remains barely noticeable. The game wear on this heavyweight dureen is solid consisting of stick and slash marks, board burns, un-repaired holes, inner pilling and several team-sewn repairs. The original nameplate is certainly a treat for collectors in the know. This tremendous offering was worn by the franchise’s first superstar, whose player number 3 was the first ever retired by the team, shortly after his retirement in the spring of 1980. Yet another great piece of Oilers team history!