Four former Oilers captains gathered at Rexall Place on Wednesday to share their thoughts on Glen Sather and his banner-raising ceremony, which will take place on Friday night when the Oilers host the New York Rangers.
Al Hamilton, Craig MacTavish, Kelly Buchberger and Kevin Lowe spoke with the media and answered questions about Sather and what made the former coach and manager a valuable piece to the franchise’s success.
“One of the true strengths of Glen was his ability to let people do their job,” said MacTavish. “I think that’s maybe one of his most defining qualities. Glen also cared very deeply about the players. We always knew that he cared about us. Glen had a little bit of a rule that we all tried to abide by in that if you ever got into any situation at all, any questionable situation, make sure he was the first guy you called. And if you did that, you had an ally and if you didn’t do that and he found out about something, then you had a real enemy. He was very loyal to the players.”
Sather showed his caring of the players by holding them accountable and insisting that if they ever needed anything to come to him first.
“With Glen, he always wanted to make our team a family. You’re always accountable for yourself. Like Mac said before, if you got in trouble, you’d have to contact him first. But unfortunately sometimes, I didn’t contact him and I’d get scolded. Maybe that’s why he left me unprotected in the ’99 expansion draft and never told me,” Buchberger laughed.
On Friday night, Oil Country celebrates one of their legends. Sather will join Hamilton, Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Grant Fuhr, Paul Coffey, Mark Messier, Glenn Anderson and Rod Phillips in the Rexall Place rafters.
“If you ask any or all of the banner guys, they’ll conclude or agree that Glen is an equal part to the success of the team, regardless of the lofty status of the banner guys and what they were able to achieve on the ice. I’m not sure any of this happens without Glen,” said Lowe.