It was a very emotional afternoon for Glenn Anderson's father Magnus at City Hall yesterday.
Magnus, an obviously humble man, was teary-eyed as he said he felt "embarrassed'' at all the attention.
An Oilers insider relayed the story of how Magnus had wanted to pay his own airfare and sit in the stands at tomorrow night's banner-raising ceremony.
When asked why he was hesitant about being part of the on-ice ceremony, he replied: "I might start crying."
The reply was simple: "That would be the idea."
Magnus recalled Anderson's youth and how hockey sometimes interfered with a different kind of work ethic he was trying to instil into his young boy.
"It goes back to when he was a paper boy and he was earning 75 cents an hour as a nine-year-old close to the golf course," said Magnus. "He was learning to shoot the golf ball. He'd developed that, ever since he was five years old, on how to shoot the puck, so I daresay he had a very good beginning at that."
At some point, Anderson's passion for the game became more important than his paper route.
"I got tired of having to deliver the paper for him," said Magnus. "I had three boys and it was his turn to do the papers and I said, 'No you'd better spend more time doing the hockey thing than to deliver papers.' "
That decision proved to be the right one.
"For him to lead to this, I never thought about the National Hockey League or anything until Slats (Glen Sather) phoned me up and asked 'Tell me about your son because I have every intention to draft him.' I said 'Well, go ahead and draft him. You don't need my advice on what kind of hockey player he is. He's already proven himself to be a hockey player. He has a gift for it."
Magnus fought back the tears as he talked about his son's accomplishments.
"He was well-liked," said Magnus. "They did the right thing when they drafted him."