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The All-Time 7: Edmonton Oilers All-Time Team

3 58 1
01.05.2020

Sr. Managing Editor of Hockey

Archive

TSN Hockey presents the All-Time 7 Project. We are naming all-time teams – 21 players, a head coach and GM - for each of the seven Canadian NHL clubs. Today, we continue with the Edmonton Oilers.

Of all TSN’s All-Time Teams none features a concentration of players from a period so brief as the Edmonton Oilers.

Sixteen of the 21 players played all or part of the Oilers’ five Stanley Cup years spread over seven seasons.

The entire last line of defence – goalies Grant Fuhr and Bill Ranford plus six defencemen – is from the Golden Era: 1983 through 1990.

Eight of the 12 forwards – including headliners Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and fellow Hall of Famers Jari Kurri and Glenn Anderson – collectively shredded the franchise and NHL record books during that period.

It is no surprise then that those Oilers would dominate a franchise all-time team.

And it is appropriate that the greatest Oiler of them all – the greatest NHLer of them all – would have his roots in the roots of the team – the World Hockey Association.

Edmonton was a charter member of the WHA, playing all seven seasons; Gretzky was famously traded to the Oilers in the renegade league’s final season (1978-79). When the NHL added four WHA teams the following season, Edmonton was permitted to protect four players and Gretzky was foremost among them.

The eight-time Hart Trophy winner’s singular statistical dominance has been expressed in many ways, but the very best may be this: he would have won three scoring titles and tied for a fourth on the basis of assists alone.

Not to put too fine a point – pun intended – on it, but Gretzky could have failed to score a single goal in 1982-83, 1985-86 and 1986-87 and still won the Art Ross Trophy.

It would be 30 years........

© TSN


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