Straight From the Heart
No matter where he played or who he played with, Anderson always made it fun.
Glenn Anderson didn't get the date wrong. He didn't mistakenly think his banner-raising was this Sunday, not next.
But he showed up here yesterday. For the event.
Right off, you get the idea that his Edmonton Oilers Hall of Fame banner -raising, like Anderson himself, is going to be a little bit, well, odd ... unusual ... out there ...
Anderson got off the plane and proceeded directly to sign and be photographed for collector authenticity with 300 unique concept hockey jerseys that will be on sale at a kiosk at Rexall Place tonight for the San Jose Sharks game.
"I received approval from the league last night in New York at the Rangers game. Also, I have a collector's hockey stick.
"The hockey sweater is an artist design picturing my life from the first backyard rink to the Stanley Cups.
"Instead of being on canvas and framed, it's all on a hockey sweater. It's really cool. Nobody has done it before. It's different."
Kind of like the person.
After years of fighting his space cadet, skate-to-the-beat-of-a-different-drum image, you may have noticed, watching the telecast of the Hockey Hall of Fame inductions that Anderson has come to embrace it.
The latest of the glory gang to be honoured arrived 10 days early because it’s not just the Glenn Anderson banner-raising, but Glenn’s Global Games Raising The Rafters Weekend.
"I'm a little bit behind the eight ball with some stuff," he said of organizing his own personal hockey fantasy camp, modelled after the highly successful Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier camps - "except more fun."
It's an extension of a project Anderson and Igor Larianov worked on during the Hall of Fame weekend in Toronto.
"It's a fantasy camp featuring three-on-three hockey. It's first-class all the way.
"The players will be outfitted head-to-toe. Each team will have uniforms from a team I played for in my career, home or away - an NHL team, a Canada Cup or All-Star team. They'll have sweat suits and team jackets. We've rented a restaurant for an evening. They'll be part of the Oilers function with the Don Metz videos and everything.
"We'll start the tournament at the rink at the River Cree Resort & Casino on Friday and then move to Rexall on Saturday and Sunday."
The price tag is $20,000 per four-man team or $6,000 per player to be placed on a team.
There's still room for another team or two, and another player or two.
"Each team will get a girl," he said.
Anderson laughed, explaining that he's arranged with Hayley Wickenheiser to provide a female member of Canada's national women's hockey team for each team.
And each team will get an Oiler great.
"Jarri Kurri, Dave Semenko, Dave Hunter, Ken Linseman, Craig Simpson, Kevin Lowe, Paul Coffey, Bill Ranford and, hopefully Mark Messier," he said.
On Thursday, Anderson will present a cheque for $10,000 to the Cross Cancer Institute, which made him an honorary chairman during his Oilers career.
And what else?
That's at next Sunday's game, with Wayne Gretzky's Phoenix Coyotes in town as they were in 2007 when Mark Messier's No. 11 went up.
The Oilers have led the league with their banner-raisings for Gretzky, Messier, Kurri, Coffey and Grant Fuhr.
And this one, says Anderson "will be different."
It took a long time for No. 9 to go up there, but Anderson said it isn't going to take a long time for him to sit down.
"I've been to a lot of banner-raisings and the best ones are the ones that don't go on and on."
He's seen Mark Messier bawl and doesn't think he'll do that.
But will he shed a tear?
"I hope I do," he said. "If I don't have the tears, I want to show people how much I cared about the city."
And a message?
"I plan on telling the players on both teams how we bled the Oiler colours here and came to play for the crest on the uniform. And that it's one thing to say it and another thing to do it."
I don't know about Gretzky's guys, but that's a message that Kevin Lowe's modern-day Oilers need to hear.
Terry Jones appears courtesy of the Edmonton Sun
Featured on Gretzky.com