Will the Real Greg Adams Please Stand Up?
| When Brian Burke selected Swedish twins, Daniel and Henrik Sedin second and third overall in the 1999 Entry draft, coaching staff from the 27 other clubs breathed a sigh of relief. The embarrassment of not being able to tell one’s own players apart fell on the shoulders of Marc Crawford and his Vancouver Canucks coaching staff.
Up close, the Sedin twins are identical. Statistically, Danny shoots a bit more and Hank is the playmaker. But physically, the differences are few and far between.
Thankfully for fans, the Sedins wear different numbers and have their first initials on their jerseys. Though this situation is unique, it’s not the first time Canucks have faced it.
Pat Quinn’s 1988-89 trade at the deadline was by no means of blockbuster proportions. He brought in a gritty winger from the Edmonton Oilers. The newest Canuck joined the roster with nine points in 48 games played that season. His 82 penalty minutes may have warranted more attention, but it was his name that raised eyebrows.
That trade-deadline acquisition was none other than BC native, Greg Adams. What made that trade unique was that the Canucks already had a Greg Adams on the squad. Before the start of the 1987-88 season, Quinn had exchanged Patrick Sundstrom for a minor league goaltender, Kirk McLean, and a skilled forward, Greg Adams.
Former Canucks coach, Bob McCammon must have had a good laugh when he inserted the new Greg Adams into the lineup on the same line as Greg “Gus” Adams.
Greg “Gus” Adams had grabbed Canucks fans’ attention in his very first game as a Canuck. In the 1987 home-opener he potted four goals against the St. Louis Blues to lead the Canucks to an 8-2 win. He finished that season with 76 points in 80 games, and a following of Canucks faithful.
BIRTH OF A NICKNAME
Those faithful fans faced a test with the introduction of the other Adams. Local broadcasters also had a difficult time distinguishing between the two Adams’ until Jim Robson offered a solution and a new nickname.
“Jim Robson started referring to me as Gus on the radio,” Greg ‘Gus’ Adams said. “Really, because of him, to this day people call me Gus.”
And to ensure even more clarity for fans, the other Greg Adams had the initial ‘C’ inserted on his jersey.
“It was kinda tough for us. We’re both men who’ve lived our whole lives as the same guy and all of a sudden we have a nickname,” Greg C. Adams said.
The nicknames worked on the ice and around the locker-room, but the mail room was a different story.
“We had the little things, you know, where my hockey skates were sent to (Gus),” Greg C. said.
And sometimes the big things got mistakenly sent to the wrong Adams.
“I got his tax return once, because his agent sent me some tax stuff,” Greg C. said.
Greg “Gus” Adams recalled the same mailbag mishaps.
“We were exchanging mail constantly,” Gus said. “They would just put it in our mailboxes. Even to this day we still get mixed up.”
Nowadays the mail mix-ups are usually more business-related. Both Adams’ jumped into the construction business on Vancouver Island.
“It’s funny how wherever I was going people were confusing me for him. They hear the name and associate with hockey and make their own conclusions out of it I guess,” Gus said.
Though they’ve both shared almost identical experiences, they insist they couldn’t be more different.
“[Gus] is a mellower guy. I’m hyper and he’s mellow, that’s for sure. On the ice, you know what, I wish I had his skills. He’s just a wonderful skater and a great talent. I was much more of a mucker and had to drag it out,” Greg C. said.
They might be different, but they share the same opinion.
“Greg [C.] is more of an outgoing guy, an entrepreneur who’s a pretty big business man now and I’m more of a quiet guy,”
Despite the personality differences and completely different physical appearances, people continually mistake one for the other. The two found humor in the mix-ups early on.
“We did a big after-the-game interview and there were a couple hundred people. And they were asking if we were brothers. And I just said, ‘Wouldn’t that mean we have about the stupidest parents in Canada?’” Greg C. said.
Their parents had to have done something right. Both sets of parents raised successful NHL hockey players and business men. If anything, their only fault was not spending enough time browsing the baby name books.
Greg "Gus" Adams Bio
Greg C. Adams Bio
561 - Total number of games played as a Canuck by both players (Gus - 542; Greg C. - 19)
2 - Greg Adams to play in the NHL
10 - NHL teams between the two players (Gus - 5 (New Jersey, Vancouver, Dallas, Phoenix, Florida); Greg C. - 6 (Philadelphia, Washington, Edmonton, Vancouver, Quebec, Detroit))