Though Milwaukee doesn’t have an NHL team of its own, we still love our ice hockey around these parts. However, beyond the region’s collective passion for our hometown Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL, the populace is split when its comes to its hockey allegiances. Some make exceptions from cross-state fandom and pull for the Blackhawks or Wild. Others cheer on the Nashville Predators, the parent club of the Admirals. At one Bay View bar, a small-but-passionate faction of hockey fans are all in on the Edmonton Oilers.

On Saturday, June 8, Puddler’s Hall (2461 S. St. Clair St., 414-747-9005) will celebrate the Alberta-based team’s first Stanley Cup Finals appearance since the 2005-06 season with food, drink specials, and camaraderie centered around the Canadian hockey franchise. So why does a historic Milwaukee corner tavern have such an affinity for an oft-overlooked NHL team that plays its home games roughly 1,600 miles away? Good question!

“Puddler’s began morphing into a hockey bar when Gedal [Lustig] originally came on as a bartender, or maybe even earlier as a customer,” Foltz says. “While I myself loved playing hockey on frozen ponds growing up, Gedal has had a lifelong passion for the sport and the Oilers. He convinced me to invest in the annual fees associated with NHL Center Ice, as well as sponsoring the Beer League team.”

Though fans of all teams are welcome to watch their preferred franchise at the bar, Edmonton fans have found an unexpected home at Puddler’s Hall in recent years.

“We’ve slowly been growing our hockey clientele, which represents fans of many of the teams in the NHL,” Foltz says. “While we’re a fitting place for any hockey fan, we do have a good contingent of local fans that root for the Oilers.”

Whether you’re a lifelong Oilers supporter or a bandwagon fan cheering on a team trying to be the first Canadian Stanley Cup winner since 1993, Puddler’s is the place to be during the Finals. For Game 1 this Saturday night, the bar will be offering its “Packers Style” buffet of grilled foods, as well as a $3 special on all its Canadian beers. The beer special will run the entirety of the series. The Stanley Cup Finals will also be playing on multiple TVs at the bar.

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.