‘Welcome home Slats’: Edmonton honours Oilers great Glen Sather
EDMONTON — He coached the Edmonton Oilers to four Stanley Cup championships and by the end of this week he will join the ranks of nine other Oilers greats by having a banner raised in his honour at Rexall Place.
The recognition will be given to Glen Sather before Friday night’s Oilers game against the New York Rangers but there is much fanfare leading up to the main event.
The celebration got underway Wednesday, when four former Oilers captains who played during the Sather era shared their memories of ‘Slats,’ as he’s known. Craig MacTavish, Kevin Lowe, Al Hamilton and Kelly Buchberger spoke to the media while in Edmonton for the events later this week. The common theme was how much Sather cared about his players.
“I remember vividly when Don Cherry made disparaging remarks about Randy Gregg and Randy’s ability, and Glen forced or made Don Cherry come and apologize to the team in front of everybody at a team lunch,” Lowe said.
“With Glen, he always wanted to make our team a family and you’re always accountable for yourself… and if you got in trouble you’d have to contact him first but unfortunately sometimes I didn’t contact him and I would get scolded and maybe that’s why he left me unprotected in the ’99 expansion draft and never told me,” Buchberger added with a laugh.
On Thursday, a public ceremony was held at the Winspear Centre to honour Sather. Mayor Don Iveson proclaimed Dec. 10 Glen Sather Day in the City of Edmonton.
Watch below: Edmonton honours former Oilers GM Glen Sather
The main event happens Friday night at Rexall Place when Sather will join Al Hamilton, Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Grant Fuhr, Paul Coffey, Mark Messier, Glenn Anderson and long-time radio broadcaster Rod Phillips who already have banners hanging from the rafters. The ceremony starts at 6:20 p.m., before the puck drops.
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Sather was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997. He won four Stanley Cups as the Oilers head coach (1984-88) and a fifth in 1990 as the team’s president and general manager.
Sather played 10 NHL seasons with the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota North Stars, accumulating 192 points (80 goals, 112 assists). He also appeared in 72 playoff games.
Sather played one season with the Oilers in 1976-77 when the team was part of the World Hockey Association.
With files from The Canadian Press.
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