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'My wife started to laugh': Oilers fan becomes poster-boy for friendly prank

Mark Slater (left) and Helmut Reinhardt (right) pose in front of sign making fun of Slater's allegiance to the Oilers in Kingsville, Ont. on May 29, 2024. Mark Slater (left) and Helmut Reinhardt (right) pose in front of sign making fun of Slater's allegiance to the Oilers in Kingsville, Ont. on May 29, 2024.
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"Please pray for my neighbour Mark. He's an Oilers fan."

A rivalry between neighbours sparked in Kingsville, Ont., this week after a sign was raised across the street from an Oilers fan's house, poking fun at his allegiance to the team.

It all started when Helmut Reinhardt, a die-hard New York Rangers fan, raised a flag in support of his hockey team. It didn't take long for his friend and lifelong Oilers fan, Mark Slater, to give him a hard time about the flag before posting an Oilers flag of his own.

After witnessing Slater's flag, Reinhardt built the sign with the punch-line, placing it right in view of Slater's front lawn.

CTV News Edmonton spoke to the pair via Zoom to get to the bottom of this light-hearted feud amongst friends.

"We were working in the backyard and (my wife) started to laugh so hard," Slater said. "She said, 'You have to come and see what Helmut did.' I put on my glasses on and tried to see the sign and then I realized what was going on."

"Of course he had it all on video," Slater added.

Reinhardt said the idea just popped into his head one day and he decided to recruit a friend to erect the sign.

"My good buddy, Dave Creed, I called him up and said, 'I need a sign made pronto,' and he was able to get it done," Reinhardt explained. "I actually held off getting it made for a while because I was hoping that both of our teams were going to get out of the second round."

"I didn't want to be a jerk and put it up if Edmonton got beat out in seven games – I made sure we were both in the free and clear, and then I put it up when we're both starting the conference finals," joked Reinhardt.

When asked about any plans for retaliation, Slater laughed and said "there is a plan," which he's keeping close to his chest.

"We all said if we both get through, there's only going to be one man standing and there's only one guy that's got a flagpole. So I'll let you take it from there," Slater teased.

If the Oilers and the Rangers were to make it through to the Stanley Cup Finals, Reinhardt joked they "wouldn't be friends anymore."

The Edmonton Oilers face the Stars in Dallas on May 31 at 6:30 p.m. for Game 5.

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