September 10 2011 08:13AM
This is Garnet Bailey. Ace.
Garnet Bailey was born in Lloyminster, Saskatchewan on June 13, 1948. A gifted hockey player, he was playing major junior by age 16 and was good enough to be the 13th overall pick in the 1966 entry draft. All Bailey's teams ever did was win:
- 1966: Memorial Cup (Edmonton Oil Kings, CAHL)
- 1969: Calder Cup (Hershey Bears, AHL)
- 1972: Stanley Cup (Boston Bruins, NHL)
Bailey was just average in size but as tough as nails--perfectly suited to the Bruins and their rugged playing style. He played for the 69-70 Boston team but didn't get into the playoffs; Bailey dressed in 13 playoff games 1972 spring and helped Boston win a second Cup in three seasons. Bailey played for the Red Wings and Blues, and then he was dealt to the Capitals where he was their best forward for most of his time there.
Bailey finished his playing career with the WHA Oilers and then caught on as a coach in Edmonton's system (Wichita Wind, 80-81). Notables on that team were Charlie Huddy, Paul Messier and Walt Poddubny. He then went on to great success as a pro scout with the Oilers (1981 to 1994, a bunch of Stanley's) and Los Angeles (1994 until his passing).
Bailey's connections to the Oilers are endless. He played on a line with Wayne Gretzky on the Oilers during the 78-79 WHA season. He was a player-assistant coach in Houston the year before he coached in Wichita (both were in the CHL--same league as he broke in with for Oklahoma City as a rookie pro).
He remained employed in an extremely tough business for his entire adult life. I think that speaks to his abilities and to how much people thought of him. I can't find an unkind word on him, and I own about 1000 books and magazines that were published before 9/11. Far from changing the story after his death, 9/11's events robbed those who knew him of a genuinely good human being. He'll be missed for as long as those who knew him draw a breath, and that has nothing to do with his hockey resume and everything to do with Ace Bailey the man.
We remember Ace Bailey this weekend, and everyone who passed away on 9/11.
Nation Radio hits the air at noon today on Team 1260. Scheduled to appear:
Skip Krake, former NHL and WHA player will talk to us about Ace Bailey and his tragic loss a decade ago on 9/11.
Jason Gregor, who will give us the latest on the Oilers and offer some insight into some of the training camp battles.
Kent Simpson, Oil Kings color commentator will tell us the latest on Edmonton's junior team and we'll pay special attention to Oiler picks Martin Gernat and Kristians Pelss.
Jonathan Willis, who will talk Oilers and the Nations Fantasy Draft Primer.
Thomas Drance, who writes good things at Canucks Army every week. We'll talk about the Canucks summer and ask are they better than one year ago?
Emails with comments and questions are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.