Joey Moss in 2008
September 25, 1963 |
|Occupation||Locker room attendant for the Edmonton Oilers and the Edmonton Eskimos|
Joseph Neil "Joey" Moss (born September 25, 1963) is the locker room attendant for the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League and the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. Born with Down syndrome, Moss caught the eye of Oilers centre Wayne Gretzky in 1985, when Gretzky was dating Moss' 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.
Moss' career with the Oilers long outlasted 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 playoffs through to the finish.) His main duties with the team include cleaning, handling towels and water, and running errands for former 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.
Moss' dedication to the Edmonton Eskimos and the Oilers was recognized when a mural was unveiled on October 20, 2008 on 99th Street in Edmonton. He was recognized again on November 14, 2012 with the Diamond Jubilee Medal  (Video of the Ceremony) On May 29, 2015, Moss was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.
Moss was born to Lloyd Orvel Moss and Sophie Frances Moss (née Murias). He has an older sister named Victoria Maureen Moss who dated Wayne Gretzky, which eventually led to Moss getting a job with both the Edmonton Oilers and the Edmonton Eskimos.
- "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
- Kindness Project: Wayne Gretzky and Joey Moss forever changed Oilers, The Toronto Star: November 2013