SUN Hockey Pool

Old boys on the bus

Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:45 AM ET

It was another opportunity for a Boys on the Bus reunion.

Fourteen of Mark Messier's former Edmonton Oilers teammates were in attendance for his banner-raising night.

Among them were Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Grant Fuhr and Paul Coffey - those whose banners were already up in the rafters. The coach - Glen Sather - was also in the house.

"There are a lot of good memories here," said Kurri, who made the journey from Finland. "It's really emotional. We had a lot of good times together."

Many of the players who made the trip to Edmonton were around for all five Stanley Cups won by the Oilers during Messier's tenure.

Last night they got to relive some of those moments in a video tribute.

"It was spectacular," said Glenn Anderson. "It was just awesome. You can't ask for anything better.

"A lot of people can learn a lot from him," Anderson said. "We compared him to a sponge. You turn the faucet on he soaked up all the knowledge that he can possibly have. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, North America, and the world would be a lot better with more Mark Messiers around."

Messier, the only player in the history of the franchise to wear No. 11, played 12 seasons with the Oilers before heading to the New York Rangers.

Craig MacTavish - a teammate both in Edmonton and New York - described him as the greatest leader in the history of sports.

"You talk about his leadership, but he was a guy that really cared about the other players, too," Kurri said. "He's one of those leaders that when he would talk, he would always hit the right spot.

"There are a lot of leaders that when the coach walks in the dressing room, they stop talking. But he wouldn't be like that. He was a player that always enjoyed playing. He always brought his A Game. He always wanted to be the best. You don't find too many of those players."

"The ambience is always there," Anderson said. "You walk the walk of life together and you never forget those times. That's what life's all about is learning from there experiences and dealing with them."


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