SUN Hockey Pool

Legacy links generations

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:37 AM ET

It's not exactly "Glenn who?"

All of the Edmonton Oilers know of Anderson's legendary feats here.

It's just that a lot of them were watching cartoons and learning the alphabet when No. 9 turned kamikaze hockey into an art form.

Kyle Brodziak grew up in Edmonton, but was just six years old when the Oilers won the last of their five Stanley Cups.

Andrew Cogliano wasn't even born when Anderson scored his first playoff game winner.

"Pretty vague,"Brodziak said of earliest Anderson recollections. "I was still pretty young. I know the history, for sure, but I don't remember a lot of what style player he was. I recall he scored a few big goals, didn't he?"

A few. Like 93 in the playoffs. Like 17 playoff game-winners.

"I know a little bit about him," said Cogliano. "I've seen some of the big goals he scored."

It tells you how young the Oilers are that 10 players on the roster weren't born yet when Edmonton won its first title.

But for a few of the Alberta-born veterans, Anderson -- like Messier, Gretzky, Kurri, Coffey and Fuhr -- is living, breathing hockey royalty.

"When you think back to the Oilers in the '80s, you think of maybe five guys and he was one of those guys," said defenceman Sheldon Souray, a big Oilers fan back in his Elk Point days.

"To see a guy like Glenn Anderson, who I grew up watching my whole young life, is pretty special.

"People in Edmonton who saw him on a regular basis know what a great player he was."

APPRECIATES

Jason Strudwick is old enough to appreciate what he was watching as he grew up playing hockey in Edmonton, and lucky enough to have met most of those dynasty players later in life.

"I grew up watching Glenn ... that whole team," said Strudwick, 33.

"He just had a reckless style that complemented Gretzky and Messier and Kurri. He was kind of unique. It's unique even now that a player is that careless and reckless with his body.

"I was lucky enough to get to know him in New York. You'd see him after games and at the practice rink.

"He's as advertised, that's for sure. He's a fun guy to be around, always telling stories, always laughing."

Whether they saw him play live or only on YouTube, whether they grew up in Edmonton or Ontario or the Czech Republic, they all understand what it means when another Oilers great returns home to have his sweater lifted to the rafters with the Stanley Cup banners he helped bring here.

'PRETTY COOL'

"It'll be pretty cool," said Cogliano. "I've never been involved in one of those here."

"I was here for Paul Coffey's night and it's a pretty cool experience to be part of it," said Brodziak, who was on call from the minors at the time.

"He'll come into the room and you get a chance to say hi to him, then seeing the banner get raised. It'll be a cool experience to be part of that."

Strudwick's been to a handful of ceremonies and says it never gets old.

"There was someone in Montreal, I don't remember who, they've had so many there. Messier. Leetch last year. Linden. And now this one.

"It's neat to see a guy honoured that you grew up watching, especially when you can relate to the guy, watching them play."

Souray played in Montreal, so you don't have to tell him anything about reverence.

"Growing up, I wasn't a Canadiens fan. Quite the opposite, I was a Canadiens-hater.

"But to see Jean Beliveau, to see Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt, the Pocket Rocket, to see those guys around ... the list was never-ending.

"I got traded there the year (Rocket) Richard passed away. When they had his funeral. they just shut down downtown.

"The lineup to the church, the streets were lined ... it was like something for the pope.

"To see it first hand, to see some of the retirements of the great players they honoured.

"It was pretty amazing."


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