It was 30 years ago today!

by Lowetide

I have it on DVD and will probably watch it today. 30 years ago the Edmonton Oilers won their 5th Stanley. It was a delightful experience, because (unlike the other 4) it didn’t feel inevitable.

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of The Athletic, check it out here.

The first Stanley was about a young team coming together and using their talent for the greater good. Less 99 driving opponents to madness (although that happened too), and more about positioning and finishing your checks. Call it lessons learned from the Miracle on Manchester.

The second Stanley was about destiny, with the Oilers losing Game 1 and then riding Gretzky, Coffey and Fuhr (stopped two penalty shots) to a 5 game victory. PS1 is here and PS2 is here.

The third one was about really worrying. The Oilers won the Stanley, but Ron Hextall damn near stole the thing and that’s the truth. It took all seven games, and the memory of the 1986 disappointment kept creeping back into my brain like a Poe story, but Glenn Anderson ripped a shot past Ron Hextall late in the third and a joyous summer was secured.

The fourth one was a sweep over Boston. In 5 games. You could look it up.

The fifth one is the one I cherish more than any save the first one. Why? You have to remember this was not the dynasty team. Here are the names on the Stanley from 1990:

Glenn Anderson, Jeff Beukeboom, Dave Brown, Kelly Buchberger, Grant Fuhr, Martin Gelinas, Adam Graves, Randy Gregg, Charlie Huddy, Petr Klima, Jari Kurri, Mark Lamb, Kevin Lowe, Craig MacTavish, Mark Messier CAPTAIN, Craig Muni, Joe Murphy, Bill Ranford, Eldon “Pokey” Reddick, Reijo Ruotsalainen, Craig Simpson, Geoff Smith, Steve Smith, Esa Tikkanen.
Peter Pocklington OWNER, Glen Sather PRESIDENT/GENERAL MANAGER, John Muckler COACH

Gretzky and Coffey aren’t on this team and there are many others who contributed to the dynasty that were long gone. It was an unusual run in that many of the impact players (Ranford, Simpson, in one game Klima) arrived after the first Stanley.

My most vivid memory of 1990 isn’t even part of the finals. It was Mark Messier’s performance in Chicago earlier in the playoffs (he was other worldly on this day, exactly as I’d read Rocket Richard was another glorious time in hockey history–wild eyed, the other side of crazy and possibly not thinking clearly) that sealed the season. From Legends of Hockey:

In the playoffs, with the Oilers down 2-1 in games to the Chicago Blackhawks in the semifinals, Messier took over in the fourth game, scoring two goals and collecting two assists in Edmonton’s 4-2 road win. His one-man display impressed everyone who watched, Chicago players, coaches and fans included, and his all-time performance spurred the Oilers. Edmonton swept the remaining games from Chicago and easily handled Bourque and the Bruins in the finals to give Messier his fifth Stanley Cup ring with Edmonton.

Mike Keenan (Chicago’s coach) said he knew the Blackhawks were up the creek when he saw Messier’s face in the pre-game skate. A lot happened between the 1988 victory and 1990:

August 9, 1988: After the Oilers traded Wayne Gretzky, John Muckler (who would win the 1990 Stanley as head coach) said “thank God I believe in life after death.”

The Oilers point totals dropped from 99 in 1987-88 to 84 in 1988-89. The Oilers entered the 89-90 season well outside the NHL’s elite teams.

Major playoff disappointments spring 1989 included Jimmy Carson, Esa Tikkanen, Craig Simpson and Glenn Anderson. Jimmy Carson requested a trade, or he would play out his option and sign as a free agent summer 1990. Esa Tikkanen and his agent (Rich Winter) were rumbling about heading out of town.

Grant Fuhr retired on June 8, saying he would sell cars in Wetaskiwin and citing Sather’s lack of respect for him as a leading cause for the retirement. (Don’t blame Fuhr, it was about salary and the Oilers were badly underpaying him).

Edmonton had a veteran group and they had a terrific goalie tandem (Fuhr and Ranford). Ranford would win the Smythe after starting the playoffs very badly.

And they won. The Boys On The Bus were still the heart of the team, but a major part of the 1990 story comes from names like Ranford, Simpson, Gelinas, Murphy, Reijo Ruotsalainen. Lordy Reijo Ruotsalainen. His playoff totals spring 1990? 22gp, 2-11-13 +13.

I’ll never forget spring 1990.

SCORING, 1990 FINALS

  1. Craig Simpson 5, 4-4-8
  2. Jari Kurri 5, 3-5-8
  3. Glenn Anderson 5, 3-4-7
  4. Esa Tikkann 5, 3-2-5
  5. Mark Messier 5, 0-5-5
  6. Joe Murphy 5, 2-2-4
  7. Steve Smith 5, 1-2-3
  8. Mark Lamb 5, 0-3-3
  9. Adam Graves 5, 2-0-2
  10. Craig MacTavish 5, 0-2-2
  11. Reijo Ruotsalainen 5, 0-2-2
  12. Petr Klima 5, 1-0-1
  13. Martin Gelinas 5, 0-1-1
  14. Randy Gregg 5, 0-1-1
  15. Kevin Lowe 5, 0-0-0
  16. Craig Muni 5, 0-0-0
  17. Kelly Buchberger 5, 0-0-0
  18. Charlie Huddy 5, 0-0-0
  19. Bill Ranford 5, 1.35 .949

OTTAWA’S PICKS

One of the teams Edmonton may want to do business with in attempts to gather draft picks is the Ottawa Senators. Now that we have confirmation that the league will use winning percentage for the standings, we can safely project the Senators draft picks. Before the lottery, they are: Nos. 2, 3, 21, 33, 48, 52, 55, 64, 74, 95, 151, 158, 184. If the Oilers are shopping Jesse Puljujarvi and Ottawa is interested, perhaps one of these picks will land in Edmonton before draft day.

By the way, Edmonton’s picks are Nos. 20, 82, 144, 175, 206. That pick at No. 82 is the Neal pick so there are no guarantees the NHL will make a decision favoring Edmonton. Assume the worst and you’ll never be disappointed. One player who doesn’t get mentioned much in regard to a Jesse Puljujarvi trade is Dominik Bokk. He has been playing in the SHL for the past two seasons, with NHLE’s of 23.9 and 18.5. Most interesting is his even strength scoring:

  • 2018-19: 47 games, 2-11-13 in 10:26 per game (1.59)
  • 2019-20: 45 games, 8-4-12 in 11:07 per game (1.44)

Bokk is a fast player and turned 20 in February. The time is right to bring him over. The problem for Ken Holland involves comparing Bokk’s production with that of Puljujarvi in the Liiga. This is even strength:

  • 2019-20: 56 games, 16-22-38 in 15:16 per game (2.67)

The SHL is a better league than the Liiga, but NHLE awards Puljujarvi 35.1 compared to Bokk’s much lower totals. Here are some other prospects and their even-strength totals:

  • Lias Andersson 2019-20 SHL: 15, 3-4-7 in 12:40 per game (2.21)
  • Casey Mittelstadt 2019-20 NHL: 31, 3-4-7 in 10:58 per game (1.23)

LOWETIDE FINAL LIST

On June 1 I’ll have the final 2020 list for you, it’s trending toward 125 in total. There is movement on the final list, very difficult to project European kids. I expect we’ll see some major draft steals in rounds two and three.

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OriginalPouzar

Kurt Leavins with a nugget of note in his 9 thoughts this morning that I hadn’t seen reported elsewhere – Rene Fasel extended to Sept 2021. It was thought that Nicholson would be replacing him this winter but I guess Bob will be sticking around…..

N64

Also in the morning tea leaves Lebrun says that 5 or 7 games for round one is still wide open and not confirmed by the first vote.

slopitch

Using JP to get out of the Neal contract isnt talked about enough imo. Really hard to say whats reasonable on that front. Otherwise, I think JP to ottawa or Montreal is the best. Dont like trading with Carolina or Rangers. Avoid trading with smart gm’s ?

N64

Lowetide: Seven games much better.

The 5 game preliminary round era was pwned by hot goalies. First games losses by home teams against hot goalers was often fatal

blainer

My take on the play in.

I think it could work out well. It will be a longer road to get to the cup but I like being up to speed rather than playing some meaningless games and then going into the the playoff’s.

I think we knock out the Hawks pretty quick. I like our chances much better now that we are healthy.

The emergence of Yammer has changed the Oilers. They now have the bonus of not having to play our two stars on the same line and makes us two lines deep. We are also a much faster team now. If we lose it will be the difference in goaltending.

Expect a few upsets. Arizona is a team that could surprise. Kuemper is well rested and fully healed. He could pull a Binnington type of run. Price is another one to watch.

If I was a betting man I would put my money on Colorado to win the cup though. That team is back to full health and very deep.

Figuring out the draft order though will be tricky if teams like Edmonton get knocked out. No way the Hawks stay in their current spot.

Woodguy v2.0

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JimmyV1965

Holy Hannah!!! The Senators have 10 picks in the top 100. That’s 10% of the picks. Eight of them in the top 64. Absolutely mind blowing. I wonder if that’s some kind of record. There might be a tad bit of pressure to get this draft right.

JimmyV1965

The nice thing about the proposed schedule is the Oilers should be set up well in the second round if they can somehow beat the Hawks. They should play the worst team coming out of the round robin of the four conference leaders. Hopefully one of them is out of sync and not playing well after the long layoff. Beating the Hawks will be a huge challenge though.

blainer

The one thing that I think is rarely mentioned was the crazy schedule we had to finish off the season . I think we caught a break in that regard.

The schedule was extremely difficult and certainly could have resulted in some injuries. I think this way we are fully rested and healthy and with lots of time to practice. That will be very important as there wasn’t going to be much practice before the season was interrupted.

There are some teams that will benefit more than others from Covid. Teams that were injured like Colorado and teams with brutal schedules like the Oilers.

Clarkenstein

“Grant Fuhr retired on June 8, saying he would sell cars in Wetaskiwin”
News to me!

alberta bound edmonton

What would it take to get Max Domi from Montreal. He loves the city but wants to play center and there is no room at the inn. There has been talk about trading him and I wonder if Holland would offer JP and Rafael Lavoie to the Habs for Domi. Lavoie is a Francophone and would be a hit in Montreal. Too much? Throw in Benning or Lagesson and get Montreal’s 39 or 40 pick. Domi is an RFA and is a .67 per game guy.

hunter1909

JimmyV1965:
Holy Hannah!!! The Senators have 10 picks in the top 100. That’s 10% of the picks. Eight of them in the top 64. Absolutely mind blowing. I wonder if that’s some kind of record. There might be a tad bit of pressure to get this draft right.

Yes but with a cheap owner the only thing they’re going to be ending up should they succeed is elsewhere.

hunter1909

alberta bound edmonton:
What would it take to get Max Domi from Montreal. He loves the city but wants to play center and there is no room at the inn. There has been talk about trading him and I wonder if Holland would offer JP and Rafael Lavoie to the Habs for Domi. Lavoie is a Francophone and would be a hit in Montreal. Too much? Throw in Benning or Lagesson and get Montreal’s 39 or 40 pick. Domi is an RFA and is a .67 per game guy.

Something abut cap issues means Domi isn’t coming to Edmonton. Oilers need young players like crazy, so Lavoie is technically worth more than Domi.

Also, Holland isn’t Chiarelli/Lowe. In other words he’s not getting suckered into giving JP away for peanuts or otherwise dubious returns.

Klima's_Bucket

Both Dave Poulin and Sutter were able to get quality shots off before they were awarded a penalty shot.

I thought that was the criteria for determining whether a penalty is a 2 minute infraction or a penalty shot.

innercitysmytty

I think N64 or someone else here mentioned this (apologies if I got this wrong), but there should be some benefit to the higher seeds for the play-in given they generally had a much better season, and better odds of making the traditional playoffs than the lower seeds. I get all the reasons for the expanded playoffs and the seeding approach overall and am fine with it, but don’t think Pitt and Mtl, etc should be starting from the same place. Have a 5 game series where the higher seed starts 1-0 to reward them for a better 69-74 games.

hunter1909

JimmyV1965:
The nice thing about the proposed schedule is the Oilers should be set up well in the second round if they can somehow beat the Hawks. They should play the worst team coming out of the round robin of the four conference leaders. Hopefully one of them is out of sync and not playing well after the long layoff. Beating the Hawks will be a huge challenge though.

The Hawks get to see if they can channel a 3X cup mini dynasty over 3-5 measly games, is what Oilers need to worry about.

hunter1909

innercitysmytty:
I think N64 or someone else here mentioned this (apologies if I got this wrong), but there should be some benefit to the higher seeds for the play-in given they generally had a much better season, and better odds of making the traditional playoffs than the lower seeds. I get all the reasons for the expanded playoffs and the seeding approach overall and am fine with it, but don’t think Pitt and Mtl, etc should be starting from the same place. Have a 5 game series where the higher seed starts 1-0 to reward them for a better 69-74 games.

I prefer the higher seed getting a 10 minute powerplay to end each game.

Or else a bunch of penalty shots lol

Harpers Hair

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godot10

alberta bound edmonton:
What would it take to get Max Domi from Montreal. He loves the city but wants to play center and there is no room at the inn. There has been talk about trading him and I wonder if Holland would offer JP and Rafael Lavoie to the Habs for Domi. Lavoie is a Francophone and would be a hit in Montreal. Too much? Throw in Benning or Lagesson and get Montreal’s 39 or 40 pick. Domi is an RFA and is a .67 per game guy.

Domi wants to be paid around $7 million per year.

The Oilers need good cheap players, not expensive mediocre ones.

innercitysmytty

hunter1909: I prefer the higher seed getting a 10 minute powerplay to end each game.

Or else a bunch of penalty shots lol

Yeah that would certainly be more entertaining!

JimmyV1965

alberta bound edmonton:
What would it take to get Max Domi from Montreal. He loves the city but wants to play center and there is no room at the inn. There has been talk about trading him and I wonder if Holland would offer JP and Rafael Lavoie to the Habs for Domi. Lavoie is a Francophone and would be a hit in Montreal. Too much? Throw in Benning or Lagesson and get Montreal’s 39 or 40 pick. Domi is an RFA and is a .67 per game guy.

I think he has a better chance playing centre with the Habs than the Oil.

JimmyV1965

hunter1909: The Hawks get to see if they can channel a 3X cup mini dynasty over 3-5 measly games, is what Oilers need to worry about.

I think we have the better team and Chicago’s defence is an absolute mess, but they’re rested and they know what it takes to win. This is far from a gimme. The Hawks will be very, very tough to beat. Looking forward to seeing Drai in the playoffs again though. He was so good last time and now he’s three years older.

jjmclean

I like Ottawa as a trade partner. What does JP and Russell get back from them? Two seconds?
You would think Ottawa could use Russell as shelter and to get to the floor cheaply. Russell would have to waive though. Thoughts?

jtblack

“My most vivid memory of 1990 isn’t even part of the finals. It was Mark Messier’s performance in Chicago earlier in the playoffs (he was other worldly on this day, exactly as I’d read Rocket Richard was another glorious time in hockey history–wild eyed, the other side of crazy and possibly not thinking clearly) that sealed the season.”

DOMINANT GAME. Remember watching that series & game. Messier had many Great games over his career, but that game and his 1994 gurantee were 2 of the Greatest, most clutch performances of all time.

geowal

I remember the 90 cup run best for the simple reason I was too young for the 88 cup (only very vague memory of Gretzky as an Oiler ?). I remember Messier, Klima, and Ranford the best, and Jeff Beukeboom, who it turns out I’m a distant (3rd removed?) cousin of. Never met him, but my Dad remembers the Beukeboom’s coming over on Sundays in Holland before Jeff’s Dad emigrated to Ontario.

Harpers Hair

jjmclean:
I like Ottawa as a trade partner. What does JP and Russell get back from them? Two seconds?
You would think Ottawa could use Russell as shelter and to get to the floor cheaply. Russell would have to waive though. Thoughts?

Don’t think Ottawa will be eager to trade draft picks for D.

There are tons of free agents about to hit the market at a time when FA signings will be constrained.

Here’s a look.

https://www.capfriendly.com/browse/free-agents/2021/caphit/all/defense

Hitman77

JimmyV1965:
Holy Hannah!!! The Senators have 10 picks in the top 100. That’s 10% of the picks. Eight of them in the top 64. Absolutely mind blowing. I wonder if that’s some kind of record. There might be a tad bit of pressure to get this draft right.

Melynk is notoriously cheap. I wonder if he’d look at a possible trade of second round picks for JP and Kris Russell. Russell will have a $4M cap hit but is only taking home an actual salary of $1.5M next season. Might have to throw in a prospect from Edmonton’s side or take back a bad contract to make it work.

Curious to see the 15 teams on Russell’s NMC/NTC.

flyfish1168

godot10: Domi wants to be paid around $7 million per year.

The Oilers need good cheap players, not expensive mediocre ones.

i would take Nuge any day over Domi. Signing anyone else at that price may spill the end of Nuge in Edmonton. For this to happen the bar has to be set much higher than Domi

geowal

Hitman77,

You’d have to think Ottawa is underlined and bolded.

Hitman77

geowal:
Hitman77,

You’d have to think Ottawa is underlined and bolded.

Lol. Yes.

maudite

Yrah,it’s nuts. If I was them I’d honestly not trade any of them unless packaging to move up or down in draft. 3 years time start having a clear idea with literally a core all growing in same time.
JimmyV1965,

maudite

8 picks top 64. Develop them with no panic on timelines. Crazy odds you are setting yourself up right to get out of ditch. With right longterm vision in mind

Victoria Oil

I would guess that there are 29 other teams besides the Oilers looking for a trade with Ottawa in order to get a pick or to dump salary.

maudite

2 C’s
4 D
1 goalie
1 winger (if no C’s in range)

Later picks however they fall

Next two years likely still near bottom in lottery. Start looking how you might start turning 22-23 season with deep prospect pool.

Fill roster with UFA late summer on crazy good deals to 1 yr cheap. Swap them at deadline as well next year.

Stack the pool hard.

Harpers Hair

maudite:
2 C’s
4 D
1 goalie
1 winger (if no C’s in range)

Later picks however they fall

Next two years likely still near bottom in lottery.Start looking how you might start turning 22-23 season with deep prospect pool.

Fill roster with UFA late summer on crazy good deals to 1 yr cheap.Swap them at deadline as well next year.

Stack the pool hard.

Odds are in their favour to win the lottery.

Starting the draft with LaFreniere wold be a pretty good start.

maudite

For sure.

4 1st
7 2and round

Next two drafts…that is crazy.

Exactly why year 3 of this draft class seems good target to start planning on turning north.

Harpers Hair,

maudite

2 high talent c’s and long track of D in pipeline.

Light on wingers as they have shortest curves

maudite

I know laf is winger but that’s why I put 1 winger in rough plan. At high end it likely not really an option who they should choose. Just from there what would they be glad they had coming along that could play on same ice.

Harpers Hair

maudite:
For sure.

4 1st
7 2and round

Next two drafts…that is crazy.

Exactly why year 3 of this draft class seems good target to start planning on turning north.

Harpers Hair,

Pretty good chance they could use that #33 pick and another second rounder to get another first round pick if there’s a player they really like.

Harpers Hair

maudite:
2 high talent c’s and long track of D in pipeline.

Light on wingers as they have shortest curves

Two high end wingers…Formenton and Batherson already in the system and NHL ready.

Centers Josh Norris and Logan Brown also look very promising.

Thy could become a powerhouse very quickly if they sort out the D

unca miltie

Lowetide: You’d think he could have caught on with Fuhr Ford!

Funny but a few of us car guys in Wetaskiwin were just talking about Grant’s foray in the car business in Wetaskiwin on Friday. I see him from time to time in Palm Springs, he is involved with the desert dunes golf course. Well designed course but in a terrible location. Can be very windy.
FYI, his family sold Fuhr Ford in 1984.

maudite

<stthat what I'd be pumped for this round if I was them

Perfectly setup rank all players trade up or down based on BPA and position.

maudite

Reverse of oilers plan. Every year always baffled at half ass committed on way or other.

Every deadline theyd oddly keep a UFA or two.

I may have it wrong but pretty sure year they traded smitty they kept sykora. Always seemed like they never were thinking out with any range.

ArmchairGM

alberta bound edmonton:
What would it take to get Max Domi from Montreal. He loves the city but wants to play center and there is no room at the inn. There has been talk about trading him and I wonder if Holland would offer JP and Rafael Lavoie to the Habs for Domi. Lavoie is a Francophone and would be a hit in Montreal. Too much? Throw in Benning or Lagesson and get Montreal’s 39 or 40 pick. Domi is an RFA and is a .67 per game guy.

Montreal would be asking for Nurse. And if Domi is stuck on playing center I don’t see a fit… I’d love to see him on a line with McDavid however, and would consider exploring a trade if he would sign long-term for about what Nurse is making on his next deal.

ArmchairGM

jjmclean:
I like Ottawa as a trade partner. What does JP and Russell get back from them? Two seconds?
You would think Ottawa could use Russell as shelter and to get to the floor cheaply. Russell would have to waive though. Thoughts?

I’ll drive Russell to the airport. I’d have to fly to AB first, but I think getting two 2nd for those guys would make it all worthwhile.

hunter1909

Nurse is finally set to break out and if he does he might be a monster player yet several Lowetide posters are falling over themselves to trade him for magic beans and other players lol

ArmchairGM

Victoria Oil:
I would guess that there are 29 other teams besides the Oilers looking for a trade with Ottawa in order to get a pick or to dump salary.

The only time Albertan’s are happy sending money to Ottawa!

ArmchairGM

hunter1909:
Nurse is finally set to break out and if he does he might be a monster player yet several Lowetide posters are falling over themselves to trade him for magic beans and other players lol

I’ve read every comment on this thread and nobody is “falling over themselves to trade (Nurse)”, not for magic beans or anything else.