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Oilers to retire Anderson's No. 9 Sunday

by John McGourty
What a year for Glenn Anderson!

Anderson was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Nov. 10 and will have his No. 9 retired Sunday by the Edmonton Oilers in Rexall Place, where he helped lead the Oilers to five Stanley Cups from 1984-90.

Anderson patrolled the right wing for the Edmonton Oilers for 11 seasons, 1980-91, then played with the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues before returning for 17 Oilers games in 1995-96. In 12 seasons with the Oilers, Anderson had 417 goals and 906 points in 845 games.

Anderson ranks high among all-time Oilers, third in games played and goals, and fourth in assists and with 240 multiple-point games.

Anderson's ability to play better in important games, particularly the Stanley Cup Playoffs, is what made him so great. He ranks first among Oilers with 73 game-winning goals and 126 power-play goals. Anderson's 93 postseason goals still ranks fifth in NHL history. He is seventh with 121 assists and fourth with 214 points.

Big-game player, that was Glenn Anderson. He retired second only to Rocket Richard with five Stanley Cup Playoff overtime goals. Richard had six.

"The bottom line is championships," Anderson said. "I think it exemplifies the fact that you're a true team player and you know what it takes to be part of a team. And I think you need to win championships."

For all his success, Anderson always felt like a support player in Edmonton.

"The players just kind of really revolved around (Wayne) Gretzky," he said. "When you are playing with the best player in the world, I mean, you start doing things you never even dreamed about doing."

Anderson's No. 9 will join the banners of previous honorees Gretzky, Mark Messier, Grant Fuhr, Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri and Al Hamilton.

"Putting Glenn's number up with the other honored players at Rexall Place is absolutely deserving and it's the right thing for our organization to do," Oilers President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe said. "Glenn could bring fans out of their seats with his unbelievable goals and they always seemed to be such timely goals, especially in the playoffs. Being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame is what should happen to a player of his stature and having No. 9 up with the others is also the perfect tribute to one of the greatest Oilers."

"Never in a million years would I have dreamed as a kid growing up that this could ever be possible," Anderson told "You could dream that you can travel the world and that you want to be a hockey player, but as far as having your number raised to the rafters or being inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame, that's almost beyond dreams."

Anderson always credited the Oilers' championships to a personal and team feeling that it hurt worse to lose than it felt good winning. They emerged as one of the NHL's top teams in 1983 but were swept by the New York Islanders, who won their fourth straight Stanley Cup.

In a rare rematch of Stanley Cup finalists, the Oilers eked out a 1-0 victory at the Nassau Coliseum in Game 1 and then were crushed, 6-1 there. The series moved to Edmonton, where the Oilers never trailed after Anderson's go-ahead goal in the Game 3, 7-2 victory. The Oilers won the next two games for the first of their five Stanley Cups.

"It was a lot of time and a lot of effort getting to that position," Anderson said. "And it was a learned condition. It was more like a relief, we finally did it. Then once you get there -- getting there is one thing and staying on top is another. But it was more of a relief and you're just so exhausted and so content you finally did it, that there is a great relief."

Anderson was part of a blockbuster 1991 trade with Grant Fuhr and Craig Berube to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Vincent Damphousse, Peter Ing, Scott Thornton and Luke Richardson. He played three seasons in Toronto before being traded to the New York Rangers, where he played only 12 games but helped them win the 1994 Stanley Cup. He finished his career by playing parts of two seasons with the Blues and Oilers.

"The players just kind of really revolved around (Wayne) Gretzky. When you are playing with the best player in the world, I mean, you start doing things you never even dreamed about doing." -- Glenn Anderson
Anderson retired after 16 NHL seasons with 498 goals and 1,099 points in 1,129 games. He was plus-201 for his career.

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