In an inspiring, emotional, and historic pre-game ceremony, the Oilers honoured six-time Stanley Cup champion and franchise hero Glenn Anderson by retiring his #9. In November 2008, Anderson joined an elite group of Oilers in the Hockey Hall of Fame, and Sunday evening he was reunited with those players on the ice of Rexall Place to watch his number rise to the rafters.
After players from the Oilers and Coyotes filed into their benches to watch a moving video tribute and VIP introductions, Anderson surprised the crowd by hopping off the Oilers bench in full gear and completing a triumphant lap around the ice. "It's great to be back in this uniform again," he said at the podium. "Putting this jersey on is like coming home and getting into your comfy clothes."
"As a team we accomplished so much in this building. We have unforgettable moments together. And to be here on this ice with this group of people here in front of the Edmonton hockey fans makes me want to say what a remarkable journey and you guys are the greatest hockey fans in the world."
"We had the times of our lives here and I want to thank you for this great honour," Anderson said to the standing crowd. "Part of me will always remain an Edmontonian and an even bigger part of me will always be an Oiler. Once an Oiler, always an Oiler."
Anderson concluded the ceremony by receiving a pass from the well-dressed Messier, streaking up the right side, and snapping the puck into the net to trigger a final blast of the Rexall Place goal horn and wrap his illustrious Oilers career.