The Oilers are raising a banner in honour of one of their greats and, this time, it’s not a player. Glen Sather will be the newest name added to the rafters in Edmonton after a long career in the NHL as a player, a coach and general manager. His name belongs amongst the immortalized in Edmonton. After all, it will always be synonymous with the dynasty years of Oilers hockey. Here are five things to know about Sather.
1. PLAY ON PLAYER
Glen Sather’s NHL playing career spanned 658 regular season games for the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota North Stars. The left winger scored 80 goals and added 112 assists. Sather also racked up 724 penalty minutes. He also played in 72 playoff games in his career, scoring one goal and adding five assists and 86 penalty minutes. He also spent one season with the Edmonton Oilers in the WHA (1976-77), posting 53 points (19-34-53) and 77 penalty minutes. He had a goal and an assist in five playoff games that season.
Prior to joining the NHL, Sather spent several seasons in the CPHL. His last two were spent with the Oklahoma City Blazers from 1965-1967. Prior to joining the CPHL in 1964, Sather played junior hockey with the Edmonton Oil Kings. He helped the Oil Kings win the Memorial Cup in 1963.
2. AN OILERS LEGEND
The High River, AB native was the most successful hockey executive of the 80s with the Oilers. As Coach and General Manager of the Oilers, Sather helped the team win the Stanley Cup five times between 1984 and 1990.
After a season as a player with the Oilers, Sather took over as Head Coach during the 1976-77 season. In his second year, the Oilers went to the playoffs. Sather then helped the Oilers purchase the contract to 17-year-old Wayne Gretzky. The rest is history.
In his third season, the Oilers lost in the WHA Final. That following year was the Oilers first in the NHL. Sather and the club made the playoffs every year until the 1993-94 season. Including the WHA playoffs, the Oilers made the post-season 15 straight years. The Oilers won the Stanley Cup in 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1990 with Sather calling the shots as either coach or GM.
Sather helped the Oilers pick future superstars Paul Coffey, Andy Moog, Jari Kurri and Grant Fuhr. In 1986, Sather was awarded the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL’s Coach of they Year.
The Hall of Famer left the Oilers organization following the 1993-94 season. He moved on to re-join the Rangers, after having played four seasons there years before. On July 1, Sather retired as Rangers GM.
3. HALL OF FAMER
Sather has truly had a Hall of Fame career. In honour of his years in the sport, Sather was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997. While Sather was the lone “Builder” inducted that year, he joined Mario Lemieux and Bryan Trottier as the Class of ’97.
The year prior to that induction, Sather joined the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.
Sather was among the inaugural inductees to the WHA Hall of Fame in 2010 in the Legend category.
4. INTERNATIONAL GLORY
It wasn’t just here in North America where Sather shined behind the bench and with building of teams. Sather coached Team Canada to the 1984 Canada Cup Championship. He was the general manager for Canada in 1994 when they won the World Hockey Championships. That was Canada’s first World Championship since 1961.
5. IN HIS NAME
The Sports Medicine Clinic at the University of Alberta is named in Glen Sather’s honour. Sather championed preventative sports medicine and innovative connections with the U of A. Together, the Oilers, Sather and the Edmonton Eskimos created the Carnival of Champions to help raise money for the clinic. The Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic has professionals who specialize in assessment, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of orthopaedic and sports-related injuries.