Messier, Anderson headline this year’s Ice Breaker game

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

A couple of giants of the Edmonton Oilers’ glory days will be suiting up for the Oilers’ alumni team for this year’s Ice Breaker hockey game in Slave Lake. Mark Messier and Glenn Anderson will be teaming up with a few other ex-teammates, plus local skaters to take on the Calgary Flames alumni team.

It might even get competitive.

“They’re (the Flames) trying to get some young guys,” says head organizer Shawn Gramlich. “They went up to the Northwest Territories and embarrassed themselves. They don’t want to do that again.”

That was another game for charity between ex-members of the two Alberta rivals. So whoever’s running the Flames’ alumni team this time around wants to make sure no embarrassment happens at the hands of Messier, Anderson et al. Gramlich figures Curtis Glencross, Mike Commodore, Joel Otto, Dana Murzyn and Owen Nolan will be wearing the Flames’ jerseys for the contest, which goes on Sept. 7. And for the Oilers? DeBrusk, McSorley (with two new hips), Chris Joseph, Fernando Pisani. Possibly others.

It’ll be McSorley’s umpteenth visit to Slave Lake. Nolan is back for probably the third time.

“He just loves to fish,” says Gramlich.

Asked what fans can expect out of Messier, who turned 57 in January, Gramlich says, “He’s in good shape. He runs marathons.”

As for Anderson, Gramlich says he didn’t call Anderson, Anderson called him!

“He got my number from Mark. It’ll be fun to have him here.”

What else?

“I’m working with the Hockey Hall of Fame. There’s a very good chance of getting the Stanley Cup.”

Besides the hockey game, the Ice Breaker event includes a banquet. It’s at the Legacy Centre this year, on Saturday, Sept. 8. Gramlich started selling tickets last week to both events. Seats at the game are $30 and at the banquet start at $200.

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