Kevin Lowe was playing for the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL when he first met Glen Sather. Little did he know that the two would be seeing a lot more of each other over the coming years.
“For me personally, it was the year before I was drafted by the Oilers,” said Lowe. “I was being recruited by some of the WHA teams and I had a chance to meet with him in Quebec City on the bench during a practice. He had read in the paper I was thinking of signing with the Birmingham Bulls or the Quebec Nordiques and he said, ‘why would you want to sign with those teams, why wouldn’t you want to come out to Edmonton?’ And that was the first time I spoke with him.”
Lowe was taken 21st overall in 1979, joining the Oilers that rookie season. In the following years, Sather made an impact on the young defenceman that has stuck with him until today.
“Everything, for me personally,” Lowe said of what Sather meant to his career. “The support he gave me as a player and the encouragement he gave me in my later stages as a player to keep my eye on the long-term objectives, in terms of coaching and managing. When he brought me back from the Rangers, he brought me back with a contract that allowed me to play for another year and then to get into coaching afterwards. I don’t know if anybody else has ever signed a contract like that. Then when the EIG took over, Glen went to New York and they asked me to be manager. I asked his advice and he said, ‘there are three jobs in hockey. There’s playing, there’s coaching and there’s managing. Playing is the best and coaching is the second best and managing is the third best.’”
Sather will see his name raised into the rafters on December 11, as the Oilers honour the long-time player, coach and general manager. Sather becomes the ninth Oiler to have a banner raised by the team, joining Gretzky, Messier, Coffey, Anderson, Kurri, Hamilton, Fuhr and longtime radio broadcaster Rod Phillips.