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. Joey comes from an amazing family of 13 children. He is number 12. Joey was born on September 25, 1963 and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. Joey’s older siblings were part of a musical band called the “Alaska Highway Birthquakes” which traveled to small venues in Yellowknife and Whitehorse of Canada’s North. Joey was always included with a small part of the show and always received the biggest applause. He held a ukulele on stage when he was only five years old. Click here to see the vintage family band brochure. 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 wanted to keep Joey active so he called up the equipment manager of the Edmonton Eskimos, Dwayne Mandrusiak, and asked him if Joey could work with them during training camp.
Joey always had a ‘fun and warm’ personality growing up. He loved to play sports and loved to dance to music. Some of Joey’s old favorite classic sitcoms were Happy Days, Three’s Company and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. After Wayne Gretzky got Joey a job in the Oilers locker room as a Dressing Room Attendant, Joey had a passion to record NHL stats while watching NHL games. As well, Joey was known for his true passion which is to sing the Canadian and American National Anthems at the Oilers home games. In 2015, the Edmonton Eskimos gave Joey the opportunity to promote Down Syndrome awareness by having Joey sing the Canadian Anthem infront of 40,000 plus fans at the Edmonton Commonwealth Stadium.
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. On May 29, 2015, Moss was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.