The Edmonton Oilers Play "La Bamba" After Victories for a Very Special Reason

The oilers play the song as a tribute to Joey Moss, who started as a locker room attendant with the team in the 1980s. Here's why.

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Jun. 3 2024, Published 10:23 a.m. ET

Joey Moss at an NHL Classic event waving to the crowd.
Source: Getty Images

After defeating the Dallas Stars in six games, the Edmonton Oilers are headed to the NHL Finals where they'll take on the Florida Panthers. Following their most recent victory, many were wondering why the Oilers play "La Bamba" every time they win a game.

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The tradition has become so well-known across the league that following the Oilers' victory, social media was bombarded by people simply writing "Play 'La Bamba.'" NHL fans and sports fans in general want to know more about the tradition. Here's what we know about why the song means so much to the team.

The Edmonton Oilers celebrate their NHL Finals berth.
Source: Getty Images
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Why do the Edmonton Oilers play "La Bamba"?

You might not necessarily associate a team from Canada with a song like "La Bamba," but the team came by their win song in a super sweet way. They play the song as a tribute to Joey Moss, who started as a locker room attendant with the team in the 1980s, and was one of the team's biggest supporters. Joey had Down's Syndrome, and he died in 2020. "La Bamba" was his favorite song, and the team still plays it in his memory.

"He was the biggest hockey fan. He knew everything. He knew all the stats. He used to do homework (where) he had these little chiclet boards and (would) write down all the stats," Adam Walker told CTV News Edmonton.

Walker added that Joey loved to dance to "La Bamba," and that the community has named the square where they gather to watch games Moss Square.

"It's really amazing," he said. "It's amazing how much the city of Edmonton has gotten behind Joey and the Oilers right now."

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Candace Smallwoods said that Joey was an emblem for the city and the differently abled community.

"He really is someone who brings attention to how much people with disabilities have to give to our communities, to our local businesses, and how much of an impact they can actually make if we give them the chance," she said.

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A Dallas DJ recently apologized over using the song.

While every hockey team has a win song of one kind or another, Edmonton's win song obviously has more significance to the team than most. Jonathon "Shippy" Shipman, a DJ from Dallas, learned that the hard way after he played the song following a Dallas Stars win during the Western Conference Finals. Jonathan often plays Dallas's win song followed by the win song from the opposing team as a joke.

Jonathan didn't know that the song had a special meaning for Edmonton, and issued an apology after playing the song. No major harm was done, and now even more people know about Joey and how much he means to the city of Edmonton.

Now, the Oilers are headed to the NHL Finals, and while Joey is no longer around to root for them, his legacy is very much still a part of how this team thinks of itself. Edmonton fans are hoping that "La Bamba" will get played one last time at the end of this year's finals.

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