January 27, 2015

Glen Sather: Laying Down The Law

From Al Strachan's Wayne Gretzky biography 99: Gretzky - His Game, His Story:

"Coach Glen Sather did an excellent job of keeping the young players more or less in line. He developed a close association with the Edmonton police department so that misdemeanours that might embarrass the team could be cleared up and hidden from the media. He also developed a tame media corps so that if a reporter did stumble upon a story, he could probably be convinced to keep it to himself."

Different times and different media attention back then but nonetheless very interesting stuff. I assume such relationships are common place, to varying degrees, in the world of professional and even collegiate sports.

It should be noted that Gretzky himself was never in any sort of trouble. Strachan adds:

"It must be made clear that in this area, Gretzky, who was always meticulous about maintaining an immaculate reputation, gave Sather no trouble. There were no hidden stories involving Gretzky's misbehaviour because there was no Gretzky misbehaviour."

"Most of the time he at dinner at home - often with Mark Messier who, for four years, lived in the same apartment building. When Gretzky went out for dinner and had a drink, he never drove. Whenever he was out in public, he always made sure there was someone around who could corroborate his side of the story, should there be an accusation that he had done something wrong. From the beginning he has been acutely aware that he is always in the public eye and therefore in the media spotlight."

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