Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Home ice||Rexall Place|
|Colours||Blue, copper, silver on 3rd jersey|
|League||National Hockey League|
|Head coach||Craig MacTavish|
|General manager||Kevin Lowe|
|Owners|| Edmonton Investors Group Limited Partnership |
(38 local owners)
- Founded: 1972, a member of the World Hockey Association. Joined the NHL in 1979.
- Formerly known as: Alberta Oilers (1972-1973)
- Arena: Rexall Place
- Uniform colours: Copper and midnight blue
- Logo design: A circle surrounding the word "OILERS", a copper-coloured drop of oil at the top
- Third Jersey: A navy blue, white and silver jersey with a metallic gear logo with a navy blue oil drop centred on the gear and three blades coming out the back
- Stanley Cups won: 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990
- Affiliated Teams:
In 1972 the Alberta Oilers joined the World Hockey Association as a founding member. The team was originally owned by Bill Hunter. Hunter had previously owned the Edmonton Oil Kings and founded what would become the Western Hockey League, but his efforts to bring professional hockey to Edmonton had been rebuffed by the NHL. Originally, the team was named the Alberta Oilers as it was planned to split their home games between Edmonton and Calgary after the Calgary Broncos folded. For various reasons, possibly financial reasons or the possibility of allowing easier expansion of either the NHL or WHA to Calgary, the team played all of its games in Edmonton, and changed their name to reflect this the following year.
In 1978 new owner Peter Pocklington scored one of the greatest trades in hockey history, acquiring already-aspiring superstar Wayne Gretzky from the Indianapolis Racers for a token sum. Gretzky played only a few games in the WHA before the league folded, Edmonton joining the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets, Hartford Whalers, and Quebec Nordiques. Of these four teams, only Edmonton has avoided relocation and renaming.
With an incredible core of young players, including Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Kevin Lowe, the Oilers made a name for themselves very early, making the Stanley Cup playoffs in only their first season. Although they were swept in three games by the Philadelphia Flyers and their second regular season gave them mediocre results in the standings, the Oilers scored a stunning upset in the first round of the 1981 playoffs, defeating the strongly-favoured Montreal Canadiens three games to none, the Oilers making a case that they needed swift respect. In the 1981-1982 season, the Oilers became the league's strongest team in the regular season, but youthful lapses of discipline led to their losing the first playoff round. In 1983 they made it to their first-ever Stanley Cup finals, but were swept in four games by the three-time defending champions, the New York Islanders. A year later, however, Edmonton defeated the Islanders in five games (four to one) to claim their first Stanley Cup.
This started the Alberta Dynasty of the 1980s, with Edmonton and the Calgary Flames fighting for the top of the league for the next five years. Edmonton repeated Cup success in 1985, but were knocked out of the playoffs by an errant own goal in the seventh game of the Campbell Conference finals in 1986 against the rival Flames, who would go on to the finals (Montreal winning the Cup that year). In 1987 Edmonton returned to the finals to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers in a tense seven-game series. In 1988 the Oilers made their strongest-ever run to the Cup, losing only 2 games of 18, sweeping the Boston Bruins in the final to claim their fourth trophy in five years.
That summer however was extremely bittersweet for the Edmonton fans, as Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings for $15 million and two players. The 1989 season was a troubled one because of this trade, and for the first time since 1982, the Oilers were out of the playoffs in the first round, losing a seven-game series to those same Kings.
1990 seemed set to continue the troubles for the Oilers, especially when All-Star and future Hall of Fame goalie Grant Fuhr was charged with possession and use of cocaine. But the team rallied behind new goalie Bill Ranford , and despite finishing third in their division, behind Calgary and Los Angeles, the Oilers made it all the way for the fifth and (to date) final time, once again defeating the Boston Bruins, this time in five games. Ranford won the playoff MVP that year for his brilliant playoff play.
The writing was on the wall however. The Gretzky trade had opened up a new reality of rapidly climbing salaries in the NHL, and small-market teams like Edmonton simply couldn't compete with salaries offered in large U.S. cities. Messier, Jari Kurri, Fuhr, Ranford, and Glenn Anderson all left the team in rapid succession, leaving behind an underdeveloped base of young players. Despite appearances in the Conference Finals in 1991 and 1992, the Oilers were nowhere near the powerhouse that had dominated the previous half-decade. In 1993 the Oilers missed the playoffs for the first time since their inaugural season. They would not return for four years.
Trouble followed the team off the ice as well, as the Gainers meat-packing industry owned by Pocklington failed amidst charges of scandal and corruption. For most of the 1990s the Oilers were desperately trying to stay alive. In 1999 a consortium of 37 owners finally purchased the team, vowing to keep the team in Edmonton. The Oilers have received support in this endeavour from the NHL, which was deeply troubled by the loss of two Canadian teams in short order.
In 1997 the Oilers returned to the Stanley Cup playoffs and emerged victorious again, defeating the Dallas Stars in a seven-game series considered to be one of the most exciting of all time, the final goal coming on a breakaway in overtime. Though Edmonton would lose to Colorado in the next round, fans were ecstatic about the Oilers' return to the playoffs. In 1998 Dallas and Edmonton met again, this time in the second round of the playoffs, with Dallas emerging the victor. This has led to one of the most unusual rivalries of all time in hockey: between 1997 and 2003 have played each other in the playoffs six times, five of them first-round matchups. The only year in which they did not meet was 2001, when neither team made the playoffs. In 2004 the streak came to an official end, when Edmonton failed to qualify for the playoff round, while Dallas went on to play the Colorado Avalanche.
On November 22, 2003, the Oilers hosted the Heritage Classic, the first outdoor hockey game in the NHL's history. The Edmonton Oilers were defeated by the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in front of more than fifty-five thousand fans, an NHL attendance record, at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.
On July 23, 2004, the team announced that its minor league affiliate, the Toronto Roadrunners would play the 2004-05 AHL season at the Oilers' home arena, now known as Rexall Place. The decision, an unusual one for a North American professional sports organization, was likely influenced by the expectation that the 2004 NHL lockout will wipe out the 2004-05 NHL season.
Alberta/Edmonton Oilers (WHA 1972-79)
|1972-73||78||37||35||6||259||250||80||4th West||Out of Playoffs|
|1973-74||78||44||32||2||332||275||90||3rd West||Lost Preliminary (MIN)|
|1974-75||78||36||38||4||279||279||76||5th Central||Out of Playoffs|
|1975-76||81||27||49||5||335||398||53||4th Central||Lost Quarterfinals (WPG)|
|1976-77||81||34||43||4||243||304||72||4th West||Lost Quarterfinals (HOU)|
|1977-78||80||38||39||3||309||307||79||5th||Lost Preliminary (NE)|
|1978-79||80||48||30||2||340||266||98||1st||Lost Final (WPG)|
Edmonton Oilers (NHL 1979-present)
|1979-80||80||28||39||13||-||301||322||69||4th Smythe||Lost Preliminary (PHI)|
|1980-81||80||29||25||16||-||328||327||74||4th Smythe||Lost Quarterfinal (NYI)|
|1981-82||80||48||17||15||-||417||295||111||1st Smythe||Lost Division Semifinal (LA)|
|1982-83||80||47||21||12||-||424||315||106||1st Smythe||Lost Stanley Cup Final (NYI)|
|1983-84||80||57||18||5||-||446||314||119||1st Smythe||Won Stanley Cup|
|1984-85||80||49||20||11||-||401||298||109||1st Smythe||Won Stanley Cup|
|1985-86||80||56||17||7||-||426||310||119||1st Smythe||Lost Division Final (CGY)|
|1986-87||80||50||24||6||-||372||284||106||1st Smythe||Won Stanley Cup|
|1987-88||80||44||25||11||-||363||288||99||2nd Smythe||Won Stanley Cup|
|1988-89||80||38||34||8||-||325||306||84||3rd Smythe||Lost Division Semifinal (LA)|
|1989-90||80||38||28||14||-||315||283||90||2nd Smythe||Won Stanley Cup|
|1990-91||80||37||37||6||-||272||272||80||3rd Smythe||Lost Conference Finals (MIN)|
|1991-92||80||36||34||10||-||295||297||82||3rd Smythe||Lost Conference Finals (CHI)|
|1992-93||84||26||50||8||-||242||337||60||5th Smythe||Out of Playoffs|
|1993-94||84||25||45||14||-||261||305||64||6th Pacific||Out of Playoffs|
|1994-95||48||17||27||4||-||136||183||38||5th Pacific||Out of Playoffs|
|1995-96||82||30||44||8||-||240||304||68||5th Pacific||Out of Playoffs|
|1996-97||82||36||37||9||-||252||247||81||3rd Pacific||Lost Conference Semifinal (COL)|
|1997-98||82||35||37||10||-||215||224||80||3rd Pacific||Lost Conference Semifinal (DAL)|
|1998-99||82||33||37||12||-||230||226||78||2nd Northwest||Lost Conference Quarterfinal (DAL)|
|1999-2000||82||32||26||16||8||226||212||88||2nd Northwest||Lost Conference Quarterfinal (DAL)|
|2000-01||82||39||28||12||3||243||222||93||2nd Northwest||Lost Conference Quarterfinal (DAL)|
|2001-02||82||38||28||12||4||205||182||92||3rd Northwest||Out of Playoffs|
|2002-03||82||36||26||11||9||231||230||92||4th Northwest||Lost Conference Quarterfinal (DAL)|
|2003-04||82||36||29||12||5||221||208||89||4th Northwest||Out of Playoffs|
Players of Note
- Wayne Gretzky (1978-1988), inducted 1999.
- Jari Kurri (1980-1990), inducted 2001.
- Grant Fuhr (1981-1991), inducted 2003.
- Paul Coffey (1980-1987), inducted 2004.
- Al Hamilton - 1972-1976
- Glen Sather - 1976-1977
- Paul Shmyr - 1977-1979
- Ron Chipperfield - 1979-80
- Blair McDonald - 1980-81
- Leo Fogolin - 1981-83
- Wayne Gretzky - 1983-88
- Mark Messier - 1988-91
- Kevin Lowe - 1991-92
- Craig MacTavish - 1992-94
- Shayne Corson - 1994-95
- Kelly Buchberger - 1995-99
- Doug Weight - 1999-2001
- Jason Smith - 2001-present
Not to be forgotten:
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