On Sunday January 19th the Edmonton Oilers will be retiring Glenn Anderson’s number 9. It’s been a exciting last few months for Anderson with not only his jersey being retired but also being part of the Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2008 along with Igor Larianov, Ray Scapinello and Ed Chynowth. Quite frankly it was a joke that the Hall took so long to admit Anderson through it’s doors. 498 goals, 1,099 points and 6 Stanley Cups(5 with Edmonton and 1 with The Rangers) and it took him nearly a decade of eligebility to finally get in due to his contraversial manner with the media. The rumors that abounded in Edmonton after his friend drowned in his pool and a child support issue that was solved in 2003 with an ex-girlfriend also contributed to the delay. With all the marginal players the Hall has inducted before him they should be ashamed, but then again, the Edmonton Oilers shouldn’t exactly feel that great about taking this long to retire his jersey either. I believe that he should have had his jersey retired before those of Paul Coffey and Grant Fuhr. Anderson was in Edmonton for all five Stanley Cups while Coffey was traded away because of money issues after the 1987 season so he was in Edmonton for only 3 of the cups. When it comes to Fuhr I’m of the opinion that the only reason he had his jersey retired and ended up in the HHOF was that he was the goalie on the great Oilers teams. His career stats definitely aren’t up there with the greats. Some might argue that Andy Moog(1980-87) was a better goalie.
Now that number 9 will go up to the rafters I hope that the Oilers don’t start retiring jersey’s of players who were simply good but not great now that all the great dynasty players have been taken care of. Players like Kevin Lowe, Esa Tikkanen, Craig Simpson; some people have thrown out Ryan Smyth, Doug Weight, Craig MacTavish, even Kelly Buchberger. NO! Jersey retirements should be saved for great players, not just good players that fans have a soft spot in their hearts for like they do in Toronto(Wendel Clark? Please.). So Oilers organization, wait for the next great player to lead you to a cup then when he retires lift his jersey to the rafters.
Also before I sign off I would like to inform my readers that this is not exclusively an Oilers blog. I am aware that most of you are Oil fans and therefore around 50% of my articles will be about the Oilers. However the other 50% will be the biggest story in the NHL at the time. My personal alliegance to The Montreal Canadiens is well documented and some readers have jumped to the conclusion that I will become to Habs central because of my Lecavalier feature. The only reason I did that feature was because it was the biggest story in the league at the time, not cause it involved the Habs. Hopefully this will put all fears of this developing into a Habs blog to rest.