Glenn Anderson—The Loose Cannon
When it comes to scoring clutch
goals, there was no Oiler greater than Glenn Anderson.
Not even Jari
Kurri, Wayne Gretzky and
Messier could match Anderson’s flair for the
dramatic. His five career playoff overtime
goals is second only to Maurice Richard’s six OT
game-winners in National
Hockey League (NHL) history. His 17 playoff game-winning
goals places him fifth on the NHL’s all-time list.
Anderson, born in Vancouver on
2, 1960, first showed his skills in the 1980 Lake Placid
Olympics. Anderson was one of the most impressive
forwards in Team Canada’s lineup. Playing at
the University of Denver, Anderson attracted the attention of the Oilers’ scouts the year before
and drafted him
with the team’s fourth pick in the 1979 draft.
He debuted with the Oilers in 1980-81
and impressed by scoring 30 goals in
just 58 games with the club. Anderson was famous
for his straight-line skating speed and his
uncanny ability to stop and turn on a dime.
Confident of his abilities, Anderson would often skate full-bore
towards the net, and intimidate the opposing goaltender
in the process.
Anderson was so confident he could cut away from the net
at the last possible second, he played his own personal games of "chicken"
with opposing net minders.
Anderson would remain with the Oilers
until 1990-91, with a brief curtain call before his
retirement in 1996. Much of his Oilers career was
successful: he won five Cups with the Oilers, reached
the 50-goal plateau twice (he scored 54 times in both 1983-84 and
1985-86) and registered an impressive 906
career points with the Oilers in 845 career games with the
Although a good player on the ice, Anderson was always a loose
cannon off it, as he would regularly infuriate coach and general
manager Glen Sather
with his antics in practice. He would also
famously use a take-life-as-it-comes attitude with reporters
who covered the team. But when it came to game time, his
intensity was never questioned.
"There are a few moments that stand
out," recalled Anderson. “I think I had my best moments
in our playoff series against Chicago," a 1985 playoff
series that saw the Oilers score a whopping 44 goals in
six games. "I scored a lot of goals in those."
"But I really think the entire 11
years I spent in Edmonton make up a pretty good memory
for me. Those were my best years in hockey."
After leaving the Oilers, Anderson
spent parts of three seasons with the Toronto Maple
Leafs, before moving on to New York. Anderson won a
sixth Stanley Cup with the New York Rangers in 1994, and
also spent time with the St. Louis Blues. He
finished his career earning 1,099
Traveling with other teams in the
NHL, Anderson knows that his fondest memories were in
Edmonton. "The bond between the guys was very
special," said Anderson. "There was a closeness between
us, the likes I have not seen on any other team I’ve
played for. I can’t say enough about the closeness
between the guys. There wasn’t anything we wouldn’t have
done for each other."