After the Edmonton Oilers won their fourth Stanley Cup in five years in 1988, the team shocked the sports world by trading Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings in a five-player deal, ending one of the greatest runs in NHL history.
Two years later, the Oilers lifted the Cup for the fifth time by defeating the Boston Bruins in five games. Mark Messier led the team that season with 129 points in 79 games. Jari Kurri, meanwhile, notched 93 in 78.
In goal, Edmonton was led by Conn Smythe Trophy winner Bill Ranford who played in 22 of 23 playoff games posting a goals-against-average of 2.53. Backup goalie Grant Fuhr, who was the starting goaltender when the Oilers won their first four Stanley Cups, battled shoulder injuries that season and played in just 21 games.
It’s been 30 years since the Oilers last raised the Cup. Here are three facts from Edmonton’s last championship team:
The first game of the Stanley Cup Final against the Bruins was one of the greatest games in NHL history. The Oilers took a 2-0 lead into the third period behind goals from forwards Adam Graves and Glenn Anderson.
Bruins Hall of Famer Ray Bourque answered with two goals in the third period, including the game-tying goal with 1:29 remaining in regulation. Before his game-tying goal, the game was delayed for 26 minutes for a power outage delay.
The game went all the way to triple overtime before Oilers winger Petr Klima scored the game-winning goal.
The game took five hours and 32 minutes to complete and to this day, it remains the longest game in Stanley Cup Final history.
Messier and Craig Simpson led the team with 31 points during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Simpson tallied 16 goals and 15 assists while Messier lit the lamp nine times with a team-high 22 assists.
During the 1990 playoffs, the team had 10 players tally double-digit points with Kurri (25), Esa Tikkanen (24) and Anderson (22) rounding out the five highest-scoring Oilers. The team scored 93 goals during the playoffs.
The 1989-90 Oilers team featured four Hockey Hall of Famers: Messier, Kurri, Fuhr and Anderson.
Messier won the fifth Cup of his career in 1990 before winning his final as a member of the New York Rangers in 1994. In his legendary career that spanned 25 NHL seasons, he posted 1,887 points in 1,756 games and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.
Kurri, a 2001 Hall of Fame inductee, played 17 NHL seasons including 10 in Edmonton. He tallied 1,398 points in 1,251 games and was the highest-scoring European player in NHL history when he retired.
Fuhr is one of the greatest postseason performers in NHL history posting a combined 56-14 record in the years Edmonton won their first four Stanley Cups. The 1988 Vezina Trophy winner was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003.
Lastly, Anderson spent 12 of his 16 NHL in Edmonton where 906 points in 845 games as a member of Oilers. The six-time Stanley Cup champion was inducted into the Hall in 2008.
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