EDMONTON -- Four miles northeast of the glistening state-of-the-art arena known as Rogers Place, weeds now dominate the decaying building that housed the Edmonton Oilers dynasties of decades past.

From 1974 to 2016, Rexall Place was the hub of hockey in this puck-mad city, serving as the home for the Oilers Stanley Cup teams of 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1990. Once the stage where Hall of Famers like Wayne Gretzky, Paul Coffey, Mark Messier and Grant Fuhr showcased their elite skills on a nightly basis, it is now occupied by pigeons and bats and various other critters as it awaits demolition as early as next year.

It is here that a young Edmonton native named Stuart Skinner first forged a love for the Oilers, sitting up in the cheap seats as one of the 16,839 in attendance. His hero: Dwayne Roloson, known in these parts as “Rollie the Goalie,” the man who led the Oilers on their last run to the Final before being injured in Game 1, that happening in 2006.

Now, 18 years and a new arena later, it is Skinner who has taken over the role that his idol Roloson once played as the Oilers goalie who is attempting to lead Edmonton to a Stanley Cup. And to do it in his hometown, no less, is simply the coup de grace of his journey, at least thus far.

“It’s a lot of fun,” the 25-year-old summed up Thursday, breaking into his trademark mustachioed grin.

You would think Skinner would have butterflies churning in his gut right now. The Oilers, once down 3-0 to the Florida Panthers in the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Final, have won the past two games and can even the series with a victory in Game 6 at raucous Rogers Place on Friday (8 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, SN, TVAS, CBC).

Through it all, the anticipation of the city he grew up in is at a fever pitch. Now it is he that the fans are resting their hopes on, much like he did as a kid when it came to then-Oilers like Roloson, Ryan Smyth and Shawn Horcoff.

Add it all up, and that’s got to be the recipe for a lot of pressure, right?

Not for Skinner. Anything but. The youngest of nine siblings, all of whom have first names starting with the letter “S,” he’s about as Edmontonian as you’ll find, from his deep family roots here to his appreciation of the joy he and his teammates have brought to the Alberta capital -- and the chance to bring more.

“Being in a position like this, I think it’s just amazing for the city,” he said. “I think a lot of people are having a lot of fun, just enjoying themselves. I’m letting my wife (Chloe) do the shopping right now, and she’s been wonderful. I appreciate that.”

Just like the city is in its support for the Oilers.

“Every time you drive around, all you see are Edmonton flags,” he said. “Especially when it comes around game time, you hear honks, you hear people getting loud and screaming ‘Go Oilers.’ It’s just a lot of fun. It’s very enjoyable in the city.

“For me, it’s just about enjoying it. It’s really hard to get into a situation like this, and being able to embrace this moment that you’ve worked so hard is really all you can do.”

The fact that he seems mentally unflappable on this biggest of stages only adds to the lore he is authoring.

Case in point: In Game 5 at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida, on Tuesday, with the Oilers season on the line, Skinner could be seen jiving to a song blaring over the arena sound system during a break in play. The Oilers ended up winning the game 5-3.

To repeat: Pressure? What pressure?

“(There was) no song in my head,” he laughed. “I used to do that when I was a lot younger. It’s kind of funny, I’d sing a song while I was playing.

“No, when I hear a tune that’s easy to go along with, sometimes you’ll see me bopping my head. Again, it’s just enjoying where you are in the moment. Having some fun with it keeps it a little bit loose for myself. Everyone’s different.”

So, for that matter, are his numbers in the latter part of series during these Stanley Cup Playoffs. Consider this: in Games 5-7 through three rounds and counting, he’s 6-0.

What’s been the recipe for his improvement as each matchup progresses?

“It’s kind of hard to point out one thing,” he said. “I’d love to give you an answer where it works very simple and the key to success, but it’s a byproduct of the experiences that I go through and what I do with them. It’s also a byproduct of how my team plays in front of me. The guys have been nothing but supportive and playing good at both ends of the ice.

“To be honest, it’s what you do when things kind of come your way, and whether it’s good or whether it’s bad, it’s all about how you respond. I think for myself it’s just trying to give this team a chance to win every night.”

He’s certainly done that. And if he can help the Oilers to victories in the next two games, he’ll fulfill his hometown lifetime Stanley Cup dream he first forged as a boy in the upper reaches of Rexall Place all those years ago.

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