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

  • knee deep in it

    lucky me, I get to fly to the George Bush airport the day after Sept 11. Funny how the thought of another terrorist attack is so stupid but just won’t go away.

  • One of the saddest parts of this story is that the families of Ace and everyone who was lost on that horrific day still have no answers, no truth, no accounting for the events that took place.

    My heart goes out to all those families who must feel like they’re stuck in a sort of limbo, an informational vacuum whenever their hearts confront them with questions of why.

    You would think that we as a society would feel we owe these victims and their families the respect of a decent explanation, of truthful answers.

    But apparently not.

    My heart goes out to all who have suffered from the events of that fateful day.

    • paul wodehouse

      What are you getting at, Spoiler? Are you saying the terrorists didn’t kill Ace Bailey and what, nearly 3000 others that day?

      Favor, please….if you’re implying a US government conspiracy on 9/11, or a “Big Oil” conspiracy…..the CIA, whatever….please do us all a favor and frigging STOW IT. If that’s the game you’re playing, cut it out…..don’t be a moron.

      Lest we forget the victims and the heroes of that day.

        • paul wodehouse

          Nope, I think you’d better fab up a new foil hat there, mister. The current one is defective.

          Go find a kook forum and make a post there…..or start a kook blog of sorts, you seem passionate about it. That crap doesn’t belong here.

          • paul wodehouse

            Wow, really? Won’t even look at it eh?

            At least I am able to look at the world objectively. I feel sorry for you.

            The subject of 9/11 is in front of us here. If no one questions the motives or methods of our “leaders”, then we have become nothing more than a dictatorship., supporting a murderous regime.

            How many innocent Afghani and Iraqi lives have been needlessly lost because no one was there to question? How many families have been ripped apart due to the invasion and occupation of a country that the American people allowed?

            How many families are grieving due to soldiers that have died (don’t forget the beginning of the wars and all of the “friendly fire” casualties) in the shameless and unnecessary wars that followed?

            Please. I beg you. Wake up and don’t trust what is force-fed to you while sitting in front of your TV.

            10 years ago today was a tragedy, and so may lives could have been spared since, if only people such as yourself would allow themselves to look at the world objectively.

            Incidents like the one I tried to point out above prove that we can’t believe everything blindly.

            September 11 2001 was not only the death of 3000 innocent people, police, and firefighters, but also the death of critical thinking.

  • Little Buttcheeks

    I still remember 9/11 like it was yesterday. I know it sure made me view the world in a different light and I have a greater appreciation for life because of it.

  • OutDoorRink

    “One of the saddest parts of this story is that the families of Ace and everyone who was lost on that horrific day still have no answers, no truth, no accounting for the events that took place.”

    Huh? I know what happened. Terrorists, planes, buildings. Are you confused? We let our guard down and we paid for it.

    • Wax Man Riley

      I know this isn’t the forum for it, so this will be my only comment.

      We didn’t let anything down. It was never up in the first place, and even worse was very much ignored and pushed aside.

      There is much more to it than your synopsis. Ask some questions and don’t believe everything that Rupert Murdoch’s empire feeds you.

      My heart goes out to Ace, his family, all the families of the victims from that day, and all of the innocent people that have payed with their lives since that day and because of it.

      A tragedy for every nation, not just USA

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      edited to keep this bad boy on topic and not to take away from the memory of any that lost their lives or are still dealing with the after effects.

      nothing can change the fact that people died, but google is your friend grasshopper.

  • D

    Gretzky in his book had great stories about Ace. The one with Bailey telling Gretz to sign Bob Smith on his 20 year personal services contract comes to mind. A good man lost way too soon.

  • paul wodehouse

    …each time i see that plane dive into that building i see my friend die…Ace Bailey was a fine man and lived life to the fullest …anyone who met him never forgot what a great hockey mind he had and he shared it with anyone who wanted to listen…time spent around him was always an adventure…i was blessed to have known him and i honor his memory with all of you here…Thankyou for this Lowtide

  • paul wodehouse

    Gee, I just turned on the tv, coffee in hand, reading of the names at towers site was under way, and they were at the Bs, first name I heard was Garnet Bailey, kid you not, too wierd.