The truth is that Glenn Anderson was the most electrifying of the Boys on the Bus. Electrifying–hell, he was frightening! Flying down the wing with abandon, sticks, goalies, gloves and the net all at risk. Glenn Anderson had. no. fear.


Last Team: Denver (WCHA)                               
Birthplace: Vancouver, B.C. (Canada)
Hometown: Burnaby, British Columbia
Year Team League GP G A TP PIM
1977-78 Bellingham BCJHL 64 62 69 131 46
  New Westminster WCHL 1 0 1 1 2
1978-79 Seattle WHL 2 0 1 1 0
  Denver WCHA 40 26 29 55 58

Played one game for New Westminster (WCHL) team that went on to win Memorial Cup, but was not with team in postseason.

courtesy hockey draft central

  • Barry Fraser draft day scouting report: "He’s very quick, probably the second best player there other than (U of Alberta D) Randy Gregg." "There" was Olympic training camp in Calgary.
  • Anderson played 7 games for the Seattle Breakers (WHL) before joining the Canadian National Team for 79-80 under coach Marshall Johnston. Anderson had a strong season, including a feature role on the Olympic team, and considered returning to the Denver (NCAA) and coach Johnston for 80-81. Anderson didn’t sign and join the Oilers until very late–September 11, 1980. The contract was rumored to be for 3 years and $180,000, but Anderson quipped "economics doesn’t make every person happy."
  • Lorne Davis, Oilers chief western scout fall 1980: "He’s got the speed of Guy Lafleur. But the thing about Anderson is he’s powerful, too. Sometimes he’ll skate right over a guy. I’d say he was the best player on either the Canadian or US Olympic teams." That USA Team was loaded.


Very early in his NHL career, Glenn Anderson established himself as an exciting, rambunctious player. Because of his famous moves–driving to the net while increasing speed–he became a target and public enemy number one. His most famous altercations were with Billy Smith, who famously swung his stick and engaged in all kinds of antics–including a shameful display spring 1983–but Anderson kept on coming.

An enigmatic personality–I don’t know that he ever fit in with the carefree, "young kids having fun" image of the Boys on the Bus–Anderson was an extremely effective hockey player. When paired with Mark Messier, the duo emerged as an exciting combination and were extremely difficult to defend for opposition clubs. 

Anderson was a very consistent scorer. By season from the beginning of his career, he scored 30, 38, 48, 54, 42, 54, 35 and 38 goals. He was also consistent in the post-season, and holds several post-season records.


  • Member of Oilers "Boys On the Bus" team, a storied group that wreaked havoc on the NHL for a decade. He was a member of all 5 Stanley teams, and was also a member of the "Oilers East" edition that won in Manhattan 1994.
  • As a rookie, played on a line with Mark Messier and veteran Finn Matti Hagman.
  • Scored one of the team’s most famous goals–the 1987 G7 goal at 17:36 of third period in Game 7 vs. Philadelphia on May 31, 1987. The entire city of Edmonton had been holding their collective breath, and the release of that moment may well be the most memorable story in team history. Kurri had scored the Cup winner at 14:59 of the second to put Edmonton ahead 2-1, and Edmonton did an admirable checking job from then on. The Anderson goal ignited the celebration.
  • Suffered numerous injuries during his career, owing mostly to his rambunctious style and lack of fear. Knees, chest, nose–the grille took a beating.
  • Although not as filthy as Messier, Anderson had his own list of offenses. Stick swinging suspensions (Dave Silk), fines for fighting (a bizarre item involving Tomas Sandstrom’s cheekbone) and the Billy Smith saga are perhaps the most famous examples.
  • Beginning in 1994 with the lockout and through the remainder of his career, Anderson spent time playing in Europe. Finland, Germany, Italy and Switzerland were all stops for Anderson 1994-1997 (and he played some in the NHL during those years, too).
  • Anderson was an unusal personality. Hard to explain, but he ran counter in opinion and action compared to his more traditional teammates. Perhaps the most unusual fact about Anderson are his 498 career goals. He certainly would have had a chance to join a team and score 2 more, but he passed on the opportunity.
  • Glenn Anderson was among the most exciting performers to ever play the game. Anderson in full flight was a sight to see, unless you were the goalie at the other end.
  • Despite all the success, Anderson could be caught daydreaming and much of his career is sprinkled with commentary similar to that of Paul Coffey.
  • Glen Sather: "He was the kind of player who, the bigger the game, the better he performed."



Oilers dealt Anderson with Grant Fuhr and Craig Berube to Toronto for Vincent Damphousse, Scott Thornton, Peter Ing and Luke Richardson, September 19, 1991.


Anderson launched himself at the net on rushes, using his balance to stay upright even with defenders hanging from him. He was consistently near the top of the NHL in scoring and thrived in the playoffs, scoring overtime winners and game-clinching goals in each of the Oilers five marches to the Stanley Cup between 1984 and 1990. Anderson’s approach to the sport was ideologically different than that of many of his peers. More European in outlook, he never missed a chance to play in international competitions.

(courtesy HHOF)


"Number 9 is Glenn Anderson, still another vaunted rookie – perhaps too vaunted. At Lake Placid last year, Anderson was the most exciting player on the Canadian Olympic team, and when the Oilers signed him to a professional contract this summer, the scout who’d followed him made a flattering comparison between his speed and that of Guy Lafleur. Sather reacted vehemently, but the comparison had already been published. Still, if anyone can handle the pressure that kind of comparison entails, it is Anderson. He is fey. He comes either from Vancouver, as his birth records show, or from another planet; he seems incapable of giving a straight interview – he doesn’t take the process seriously enough. He told the Oilers publicity department that his childhood idol was Wayne Gretzky, who is younger than he is. He has told other reporters that he dropped out of boyhood hockey because his feet got cold."



  • Quicksilver ballet

    The master of the “accidental” high stick. nobody did it better. The helmetless Bobby Nystrom must still have nightmares about him to this day.

  • The Soup Fascist

    Now I can see why they say Taylor Hall reminds them a little of Anderson, same kind of north-south driving force. Also goalies were horrific back them.

  • The Soup Fascist

    My favourite Glen Anderson quote (might not be the exact words): To Glen Sather on why he was late for practice. “I was just cruising around my apartment and I fell asleep”.

    • Reg Dunlop

      Yikes. You had to go there.

      Videos of Anderson should be manditory viewing for all young forwards, in fact the oil should strap MPS in a chair a’la Clockwork Orange and force feed him high sticking 101 and graduate level cutting to the net.

      I remember thinking ‘Gretz and Anderson are so much better than old guys like Howe’. Now, young fans think Hall and Nuge are so much better than the old Oilers. I guess that being the best of their generation is the most anyone can hope for their favorite star. As for goaltending, no position has been as affected by equipment advances. Check out Terry Sawchuk, compare to Grant Fuhr and then to Garth Snow(equipmentus maximus).

      Finally,I have met Anderson a few times as he was a friend of my wife (25 years ago) and still calls her when he visits Edmonton. He is a genuinely nice guy.

  • The Soup Fascist

    My favorite play was Messier flying down the boards and around the net with a D man chasing him and a subtle drop pass to Anderson scooting in behind him into the bottom of the circle. Snapper short side. Andy must have gotten 10 goals that way.

  • atleastwehavethekhl

    To look back on the game and assume players in the past weren’t as good isn’t true.

    The league was smaller meaning players had to be even better to make the NHL.

    Goalies weren’t bad or worse or better, they were the best athletes available, just like now.

    Oiler fans not old enough to have seen what happened with the dynasty should know that NHL rule changes happened because of how absolutely dominant the Oilers became. They could score at will, if everyone was into it, and completely kicked butt 4 on 4.

    That team was completely off the charts, of course extremely lucky in the draft, but definitely one of the best (IMO the best) teams to ever grace NHL ice. It doesn’t hurt having the best player ever (because he could play long enough) leading the charge.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    The coolest thing about Anderson is his rookie entry in the Oilers media guide from 80/81. When asked who his hero was he put Gretzky. I always get chuckle.

  • atleastwehavethekhl

    A unique individual. Quicksilver is right. The slight stumble where he seemed to lose his balance and his stick accidentally flew back and clipped the unprotected skull of the opponent behind him. His signature cheap spot.

    And Soup as well. Andy and Mess patented that short side goal on the drop pass from the player as he begins to go behind the net. It took a LONG time before teams caught on to that one.

    I was sitting in the second level, a few rows back when Andy steamed across the blue line and powered that slapper past Hextall to clinch the Cup.

    The old Oil were the best pond hockey team ever. And when it was on the line and they used their speed to close down their opponents and block a shot or two they were unstoppable. I remember the night they skunked the Canucks 13-0. Hopefully DFS was old enough to watch!

    • Reg Dunlop

      The OKC team just scored a goal exactly like that two games ago,it was from the left side and started as a short give and go in the neutral zone,it worked great and they did score.That dish seems to still be on the menu–lets hope it stays there.As I remember correctly the Oilers were a team trusted by their coach to do cute between the legs back passes ,most coaches would have choked on their chicken watching those passes,but not Sather,he just kept grinning.

  • The Oilers Shot Clock

    I remember back in the late 80’s the old GasLand franchises were having Glenn Anderson tour each franchise and sign autographs. We waited in line for an hour when he made his appearance at ours in what was then Grande Center. They had free, help yourself glazed doughnuts. I ate like 20 of them, got my picture with Glenn and his autograph. Best day ever for a ten year old.

  • Reg Dunlop

    Glenn Anderson was the model of consistancy.He was also one of the few I have seen that carried that through the playoffs every year.Glenn was scoring goals in every situation because they were hard work guts and glory goals,he was not a floater he was a hard charger who never let up– a real racer ,the higher the tempo of the game the faster he went.I mostly remember him cutting into the net and forcing the d-man to dump him into the goalie,and he must have pile-drove the old style nets a hundred times over his career arse over tea-kettle.

    Anderson made the d-men pay every time one way or another,all those old Oilers had a junk-yard dog attitude–they actually wanted to physically beat the tar out of you they were true 5-man units all watching each others backs in a wolf-pack mentality–it was beautiful,not just run up the score–but rip you up.The Old Oilers knew teams were going to cheap shot them because of Wayne and Jarri and others so very skilled, so they decided by commitee to be pro-active and they became a Copper and Blue Stanley Cup Winning Wolf-pack.

    To this day I believe that Wolf-pack mentality was the key to the Dynasty and the Islanders reinforced that idea by drawing lots of blood and tissue from the kids,ha ha ha,it was like a Red Cross training seminar when the Isles and the Oil met at playoff time.And the key was jacking that mentality up as the year went on,not a full season of maniac play,it was a process that the refs accepted,not just pond hockey.As the games became more important the going got bloodier.Glen Anderson was a tough SOB.