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 50 seasons of Oilers hockey [message #824021]
Mon, 29 May 2023 11:06 Go to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 563
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

No Cups

A post by post summary of all 50 seasons played by the Edmonton Oilers

[Updated on: Thu, 17 August 2023 15:49]


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 Re: 50 seasons of Oilers hockey [message #824022 is a reply to message #824021 ]
Mon, 29 May 2023 11:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
smyth260  is currently offline smyth260
Messages: 989
Registered: November 2007

No Cups

Looking forward to this benv. If the Oilers ever hire a historian, you got my vote.


Clean house or bust

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 Re: 50 seasons of Oilers hockey [message #824023 is a reply to message #824021 ]
Mon, 29 May 2023 11:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Skookum Jim  is currently offline Skookum Jim
Messages: 4124
Registered: March 2006
Location: Burnaby, BC

4 Cups

Awesome project Benv.. looking forward to it! 👍🏻


McDAVID! Oh YEAH Baby!!
Tic-Tac-Tao!
Keep on Rockin' in the Free World
P. Chiarelli math.. T. Hall = A. Larsson, Yak= bag o'pucks (OK he got one right...) K. Russell = $4.1 M+NMC, G. Reinhart= M. Barzal + A. Beauvillier, J. Eberle = R. Spooner,

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 Season 1, 1972-73: The Alberta Oilers [message #824026 is a reply to message #824021 ]
Mon, 29 May 2023 13:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 563
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

No Cups

https://www.classicauctions.net/ItemImages/000129/129332d_med.jpeg

Coach: Ray Kinasewich (20-23-2) and Bill Hunter (18-14-1)						
	GM: Bill Hunter					
						
	Regular Season Record: 38W-37L-3T (.506)--79 points					
269GF 256GA      Finish: 4th Western Conference (7th overall)						
						
				Regular Season		
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Harrison, Jim	F	66	39	47	86
2	Hamilton, Al	D	78	11	50	61
3	Perkins, Ross	F	71	21	37	58
4	Patenaude, Rusty	F	78	29	27	56
5	Walters, Ron	F	78	28	26	54
6	Wall, Bob	D	78	16	29	45
7	Fonteyne, Val	F	77	7	32	39
8	Joyal, Eddie	F	71	22	16	38
9	Hicke, Bill	F	73	14	24	38
10	Carlin, Brian	F	65	12	22	34
11	Barrie, Doug	D	54	9	22	31
12	Anderson, Ron	F	73	14	15	29
13	Baird, Ken	D	75	14	15	29
14	Falkenberg, Bob	D	77	6	23	29
15	Carlyle, Steve	D	67	7	10	17
16	Kassian, Dennis	F	50	6	7	13
17	McAneeley, Bob	F	51	5	7	12
18	Blanchette, Bernie	F	23	5	4	9
19	Cote, Roger	D	60	3	5	8
20	Fisher, John	F	40	0	5	5
21	Benzelock, Jim	F	26	1	1	2
22	Harker, Derek	D	1	0	0	0
						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L-T
1	Norris, Jack	64	3705	3.06	0.903	28-29-3
2	Brown, Ken	20	1034	3.65	0.883	10-8-0



			Playoffs			
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Baird, Ken	D	1	1	0	1
2	Wall, Bob	D	1	0	1	1
3	Walters, Ron	F	1	1	0	1
4	Harrison, Jim	F	1	0	1	1
5	Kassian, Dennis	F	1	0	1	1
6	Patenaude, Rusty	F	1	0	1	1
7	Barrie, Doug	D	1	0	0	0
8	Carlyle, Steve	D	1	0	0	0
9	Cote, Roger	D	1	0	0	0
10	Falkenberg, Bob	D	1	0	0	0
11	Hamilton, Al	D	1	0	0	0
12	Anderson, Ron	F	1	0	0	0
13	Carlin, Brian	F	1	0	0	0
14	Fonteyne, Val	F	1	0	0	0
15	Hicke, Bill	F	1	0	0	0
16	Joyal, Eddie	F	1	0	0	0
17	Perkins, Ross	F	1	0	0	0
						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L
1	Norris, Jack	1	59	4.07	0.833	0-1




Transactions

Feb. 12, 1972
• General WHA player draft. Oilers selected Ron Anderson (Buffalo), Garnet Bailey (Boston, Detroit, St. Louis, Washington—didn’t join Oilers until 1978), Ken Baird (California), Doug Barrie (Los Angeles), Jim Benzelock (Minnesota), Brian Carlin (Los Angeles), Roger Cote, Bob Falkenberg (Detroit), John Fisher, Val Fonteyne (Pittsburgh), Al Hamilton (Buffalo), Ed Joyal (Philadelphia), Kerry Ketter (Atlanta—didn’t join Oilers until 1975), Barry Long (Los Angeles—didn’t join Oilers until 1974), Len Lunde (Vancouver—didn’t join Oilers until 1973), Bob McAneeley, Rusty Patenaude (Pittsburgh), Ross Perkins, Glen Sather (NY Rangers, St. Louis, Montreal, Minnesota—didn’t join Oilers until 1976), Norm Ullman (Toronto—didn’t join Oilers until 1975), Bob Wall (Detroit), and Ron Walters . Teams listed are NHL teams that owned the player’s rights from the time of the draft to their joining the Oilers.

May 1972 (exact date unknown)
• Cash traded to Cleveland for Jim Harrison.
• Cash traded to Dayton for Dennis Kassian.

June 1972 (exact date unknown)
• Cash traded to Cleveland for Jack Norris.

July 1972 (exact date unknown)
• Cash traded to Cleveland for Steve Carlyle.
• Cash traded to Cleveland for Ken Brown.

September 1972 (exact date unknown)
• Signed Derek Harker (St. Louis (NHL)) as free agent.
• Signed Bill Hicke (Pittsburgh (NHL)) as free agent.

November 1, 1972
• Derek Harker traded to Philadelphia for cash.

Dec. 27, 1972
• Jim Benzelock traded to Chicago for Bernie Blanchette.


Summary

So let’s get things started with the first ever Oiler season which took place in 1972-73 in the newly formed WHA. North American hockey was exploding at this time; just five years earlier in 1967 the NHL was still a six-team league (back when the Leafs were still capable of winning cups), and by 1972 they were at sixteen (eighteen by 1974). It was amazing that it was now that it was decided a rival league was in order, but that’s exactly what happened, with the WHA playing its first season with 12 teams, meaning there were a whopping 28 major professional teams in North America at a time when basically every player was Canadian (just a handful of Americans and basically no Europeans). The Oilers would play in the Western Division with the Chicago Cougars, Houston Aeros, Los Angeles Sharks, Minnesota Fighting Saints, and Winnipeg Jets. The Eastern Division was the Cleveland Crusaders, New England Whalers, New York Raiders, Ottawa Nationals, Philadelphia Blazers, and Quebec Nordiques.

For the only time in history the Oilers were not dubbed as “Edmonton” but “Alberta”. This was due to an initial plan to play games in both Calgary and Edmonton. This was soon abandoned however, and the team would play the entire first season out of Edmonton.

“Wild” Bill Hunter, a Saskatchewan entrepreneur who had been involved with the WHL Oil Kings in the 60s was the architect of the Oilers, acting as both team and owner and general manager. For his first coach he hired Ray Kinasewich, one of his coaches from the Oil Kings. Hunter would fire Kinaswich 45 games into the season (after a 20-23-2 record) and go behind the bench himself to finish the season.

As for the team it was mostly secondary NHL and minor league players, both old and young. While the WHA was able to coax over a few NHL superstars like Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe, and Frank Mahovlich, none of them came to the Oilers. The Oilers' roster was made up of guys they drafted in the general WHA player draft that they could convince to come over (a good percentage of them were Alberta born guys), plus a handful of guys they bought from the Crusaders. They had a good workhorse goalie in Jack Norris (Norris would play 64 of the Oilers’ 78 games), a lunchpail defense lead by Al Hamilton and Bob Wall, and a serviceable group of forwards, the most notable being Jim Harrison. Harrison would lead the team in scoring by a good margin and had the highlight of the season with a 10 point game (3 goals and 7 assists) in January versus New York. Other forwards of note included Rusty Patenaude (the second longest serving WHA Oiler after Hamilton) Eddie Joyal (the Kings’ leading scorer for a couple of years), and an aging Val Fonteyne the cleanest player in NHL history (take a look at his PIM totals on IHDB). The Oilers had the honour of playing in the first ever WHA game against Ottawa. Ron Anderson scored the first ever goal in both the Oilers and WHA history in the Oilers’ 7-4 win.

They finished the season a game above .500 at 38-37-3; while this would have been 3rd in the Eastern division it was only good enough to tie for fourth in the West with Minnesota for the last playoff spot. The tie was broken by a neutral site one game play-in, which the Oilers lost 4-2, eliminating them from the playoffs.

So that’s the Alberta Oilers and season 1 of our favourite franchise’s existence. I still find it amazing that Harrison’s 10 point game isn’t better known, but I can see pundits of the time who scoffed at the new league as way below the NHL saying something like “Yeah, big deal—a guy in my rec league got 10 points in a game too.”

What would be in store for season 2?

[Updated on: Mon, 29 May 2023 13:22]


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 Re: Season 1, 1972-73: The Alberta Oilers [message #824027 is a reply to message #824026 ]
Mon, 29 May 2023 13:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
Messages: 6986
Registered: August 2005
Location: Edmonton, AB

6 Cups

This is great. Thanks for this.

Can I make a little suggestion? It may make sense to do different threads for either each season. Just thinking that later there could be lots of conversation about individual years and that it might be easier to keep that straight if it's not muddied with convos about other years or eras - at least, for those of us who don't use that damned nested view.



"Thinking that a bad team's best players are the reason the team is bad is the "Tambellini re-signing Lennart Petrell" of sports opinions." @Woodguy55
#FireLowe #FireBobbyNicks #FireKenHolland #FireKeithGretzky

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 Re: Season 1, 1972-73: The Alberta Oilers [message #824067 is a reply to message #824027 ]
Wed, 31 May 2023 14:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 563
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

No Cups

Adam wrote on Mon, 29 May 2023 13:28

This is great. Thanks for this.

Can I make a little suggestion? It may make sense to do different threads for either each season. Just thinking that later there could be lots of conversation about individual years and that it might be easier to keep that straight if it's not muddied with convos about other years or eras - at least, for those of us who don't use that damned nested view.


I think I'll stick to one thread for now--I kind of like the idea of having the complete history all documented in one long thread.

I may take up your suggestion later, if there are a lot of comments (which I assume will pick up once we get to the seasons that people actually remember well).



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 Re: Season 1, 1972-73: The Alberta Oilers [message #824028 is a reply to message #824026 ]
Mon, 29 May 2023 13:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CrusaderPi  is currently offline CrusaderPi
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Location: AB Highway 100

6 Cups

I had NO idea the Oilers lost a play in game against the Fighting Saints in 1973 until this exact second. Good job benv, 1 for 1.


Please do not feed the bears. Feeding the bears creates a dependent population unable to survive on their own. Bears.

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 Re: Season 1, 1972-73: The Alberta Oilers [message #824041 is a reply to message #824026 ]
Tue, 30 May 2023 12:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
oilfan94  is currently offline oilfan94
Messages: 357
Registered: June 2006
Location: USA

No Cups

Kind of cool that the Oilers scored both the first and last goal in the WHA's exitance, and then eventually became the last surviving link to the WHA by not moving to another city, and by keeping the same logo design from the beginning.


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 Season 2, 1973-74; Second verse, same as the first [message #824069 is a reply to message #824021 ]
Wed, 31 May 2023 15:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 563
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

No Cups

https://www.sportspaper.info/wha/seasons/1973-74/images/wha-playoff-program_edmonton-oilers_1973-74.jpg



	Coach: Brian Shaw					
	GM: Bill Hunter					
						
	Regular Season Record: 38W-37L-3T (.506)--79 points					
	268GF 269GA      Finish: 3rd West Division (8th overall)					
						
				Regular Season		
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Climie, Ron	F	76	38	36	74
2	Harrison, Jim	F	47	24	45	69
3	Hamilton, Al	D	78	14	45	59
4	Perkins, Ross	F	78	16	40	56
5	Lunde, Len	F	72	26	22	48
6	MacDonald, Blair	F	78	21	24	45
7	Patenaude, Rusty	F	71	20	23	43
8	Gilmore, Tom	F	57	19	23	42
9	McKenzie, Brian	F	78	18	20	38
10	Wall, Bob	D	74	6	31	37
11	Baird, Ken	D	68	17	19	36
12	Barrie, Doug	D	69	4	27	31
13	McAneeley, Bob	F	52	12	11	23
14	Fonteyne, Val	F	72	9	13	22
15	Joyal, Eddie	F	45	8	10	18
16	Falkenberg, Bob	D	78	3	14	17
17	Carlyle, Steve	D	50	2	13	15
18	Anderson, Ron	F	19	5	2	7
19	McCrimmon, Jim	D	75	2	3	5
20	Sheehan, Bobby	F	10	1	3	4
21	Fitchner, Bob	F	31	1	2	3
22	Cote, Roger	D	59	0	3	3
23	Schraefel, Jim	F	34	1	1	2
24	Carlin, Brian	F	5	1	0	1
25	Cunningham, Gary	D	2	0	0	0
26	Colborne, Howie	F	2	0	0	0
27	Zuk, Wayne	F	2	0	0	0
						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L-T
1	Norris, Jack	53	2954	3.21	0.898	23-24-1
2	Worthy, Chris	29	1453	3.80	0.894	11-12-1
3	Wilkie, Ian	5	256	2.11	0.930	3-1-1
4	Doyle, Gary	1	60	4.00	0.895	1-0-0



			Playoffs			
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	MacDonald, Blair	F	5	4	2	6
2	Gilmore, Tom	F	5	1	4	5
3	Perkins, Ross	F	5	1	3	4
4	Sheehan, Bobby	F	5	1	3	4
5	Schraefel, Jim	F	5	0	3	3
6	Hamilton, Al	D	4	1	1	2
7	Patenaude, Rusty	F	4	0	2	2
8	Baird, Ken	D	5	1	1	2
9	Falkenberg, Bob	D	5	0	2	2
10	Wall, Bob	D	5	0	2	2
11	Joyal, Eddie	F	5	2	0	2
12	Barrie, Doug	D	4	1	0	1
13	McAneeley, Bob	F	4	1	0	1
14	Carlyle, Steve	D	5	0	1	1
15	Fonteyne, Val	F	5	1	0	1
16	Lunde, Len	F	5	0	1	1
17	McKenzie, Brian	F	5	0	1	1
18	Anderson, Ron	F	1	0	0	0
19	Cote, Roger	D	2	0	0	0
20	Climie, Ron	F	5	0	0	0
 						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L
1	Worthy, Chris	3	146	3.29		1-1
2	Norris, Jack	3	111	4.86		0-2
3	Wilkie, Ian	1	51	5.85		0-1

Playoff result: Eliminated in West Division Semi-Final
Round 1: vs Minnesota, lost 1 game to 4; 14GF 22GA




Transactions

June 1973 (exact date unknown)
• Darryl Sittler* traded to Toronto for Ron Climie and two draft picks.
• WHA amateur draft—Oilers selected John Rogers (6), Jim McCrimmon (20), Blair MacDonald (30), and Bill Laing (39).
• WHA professional draft—Oilers selected Bruce MacGregor (NY Rangers—didn’t join Oilers until 1974), Brian McKenzie (Pittsburgh), Jacques Plante (Boston—didn’t join Oilers until 1974), Chris Worthy (California), and Wayne Zuk. Teams listed are NHL teams that owned the player’s rights from the time of the draft to their joining the Oilers.

July 1973 (exact date unkown)
• Signed Howie Colborne as free agent.
• Signed Gary Cunningham as free agent.
• Signed Jim Schreafel as free agent.

August 1973 (exact date unkown)
• Signed Bob Fitchner (Pittsburgh (NHL)) as free agent

September 1973 (exact date unkown)
• Signed Gary Doyle as free agent.

October 1973 (exact date unkown)
• Ron Walters traded to Los Angeles for Tom Gilmore.

March 1974 (exact date unkown)
• Future considerations (Bob Falkenberg, May 1974) traded to New Jersey for Bobby Sheehan.
• Wayne Zuk traded to Los Angeles for Ian Wilkie.



For the Oilers’ second year the “Alberta” moniker would be dropped and the team would now forever more be known as the “Edmonton” Oilers. A second nearly permanent feature would be the installation of Rod Phillips as the new radio play-by-play voice of the Oilers—a job he would do for a mere 38 years before retiring in 2011. In case your curious Bryan Hall the ageless Eskimos radio announcer and pitchman was the voice for the 72-73 season.

Besides the Oilers rebranding, there were other changes to the WHA in general (as there would be every year of its existence). The Philadelphia Blazers moved to Vancouver (retaining the nickname), The New York Raiders moved to New Jersey and were renamed the New York Golden Blades and then later in the season the New Jersey Knights. Finally the Ottawa Nationals moved to Toronto and became the Toronto Toros. The new league alignment was Edmonton, Houston, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Vancouver, and Winnipeg in the West Division and Chicago, Cleveland, New England, New Jersey, Quebec, and Toronto in the East.

For a new head coach, Bill Hunter chose Brian Shaw, a long-time junior coach with a fiery reputation (we won’t get into it here, but some icky stuff about Shaw would surface after his death in the 90s—look it up if you’re curious). He would actually last the full season, despite not really doing any better in terms of wins than his predecessor.

The team was not too different from the first year. Jack Norris was back as the starting goalie and the defense was still anchored by Al Hamilton, Bob Wall, Ken Baird, and Doug Barrie—Hamilton would become the Oilers’ first all-star being named to the second team on defense. At forward, Jim Harrison was back, but he missed a good chunk of the season with an injury, playing only 47 games (still was second in team scoring). Ross Perkins and Rusty Patenaude also returned, and the team acquired Len Lunde stealing him from the NHL’s Canucks. The team was also infused with a jolt of younger forwards including Ron Climie (who lead the team with 74 points) Blair MacDonald, and Tom Gilmore. They still obviously lacked the superstar power that some of the other teams had (notably Bobby Hull in Winnipeg and Gordie Howe in Houston).

They finished with an identical record to that of the first season (38-37-3); this time however it was good enough for third place in the West and a date with Minnesota in the first round—a chance for the Oilers to get redemption for the Fighting Saints beating them in the play-in game the previous year. Unfortunately the Oilers would bow out meekly in five games, being outscored 22-14 and would have to wait longer to get their first taste of playoff success.





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 Re: Season 2, 1973-74; Second verse, same as the first [message #824071 is a reply to message #824069 ]
Wed, 31 May 2023 22:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
stemhovlichski  is currently offline stemhovlichski
Messages: 346
Registered: March 2006
Location: NSR

No Cups

benv wrote on Wed, 31 May 2023 15:08




Transactions

June 1973 (exact date unknown)
• Darryl Sittler* traded to Toronto for Ron Climie and two draft picks.






Climie was: "Traded with 1973 WHA third-round pick (Lanny McDonald) by Toronto to Alberta/Edmonton in exchange for the WHA rights to Darryl Sittler on May 18, 1973."

Sittler to Toronto (WHA) for MacDonald and Climie. The thought of Lanny as an Oiler is wow.

Great thread, benv!!!



Restored: "We're sucking hind banana here." - Pat Quinn, Jan 18, 2010

"...the Oilers have been rebuilding for so long that it’s hard not to be cynical." - NBC's Ryan Dadoun Jan 2, 2015

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 Season 3, 1974-75: Jacques Plante was an Oiler?! [message #824092 is a reply to message #824021 ]
Sat, 03 June 2023 01:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 563
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

No Cups

https://th.bing.com/th/id/R.743985b02e322e8c5300612174f7aea1?rik=W87DOC8lP%2b5k%2bg&riu=http%3a%2f%2fhomeoftheoilers.orgfree.com%2fimages%2f74-75teampic.jpg&ehk=0qD0I%2fDwfFBng7bwTxGV%2fiuMGpt48Mj5PRAHBjq9IDE%3d&risl=&pid=ImgRaw&r=0

	Coach: Brian Shaw (30-26-3) and Bill Hunter (6-12-1)						
	GM: Bill Hunter						
							
	Regular Season Record: 36W-38L-4T (.487)--76 points						
279GF 279GA      Finish: 5th Canadian Division (10th overall)--out of playoffs							
							
				Regular Season			
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points	
1	Rogers, Mike	F	78	35	48	83	
2	Long, Barry	D	78	20	40	60	
3	Baird, Ken	D	77	30	28	58	
4	Sheehan, Bobby	F	77	19	39	58	
5	MacGregor, Bruce	F	72	24	28	52	
6	Joyal, Eddie	F	78	22	25	47	
7	MacDonald, Blair	F	72	22	24	46	
8	Barrie, Doug	D	78	12	33	45	
9	Climie, Ron	F	49	15	27	42	
10	Patenaude, Rusty	F	56	20	16	36	
11	Gilmore, Tom	F	74	12	19	31	
12	Sheehy, Tim	F	29	8	20	28	
13	McKay, Ray	D	69	8	20	28	
14	Carlyle, Steve	D	73	2	25	27	
15	Perkins, Ross	F	76	7	16	23	
16	Kennett, Murray	D	50	4	14	18	
17	Buchanan, Ron	F	22	6	9	15	
18	Hamilton, Al	D	25	1	13	14	
19	Morris, Bill	F	36	4	8	12	
20	McCrimmon, Jim	D	34	1	5	6	
21	Laing, Bill	F	42	2	4	6	
22	Kerslake, Doug	F	10	4	0	4	
23	Herriman, Don	F	33	1	2	3	
							
				Goalies			
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L-T	
1	Worthy, Chris	29	1660	3.58	0.893	11-13-3	
2	Plante, Jacques	31	1592	3.32	0.890	15-14-1	
3	Brown, Ken	32	1466	3.48	0.898	11-11-0	


Transactions

May 1974 (exact date unknown)
• Bob Falkenberg traded to San Diego to complete trade of March, 1974.

May 30, 1974
• Bernie Blanchette claimed by Phoenix in expansion draft.
• Roger Cote claimed by Indianapolis in expansion draft.
• Bob Fitchner claimed by Indianapolis in expansion draft.
• Brian McKenzie claimed by Indianapolis in expansion draft.

June 1, 1974
• WHA amateur draft—Oilers selected Mike Rogers (48) and Dave Langevin (96).

June 1974 (exact date unknown)
• Future considerations traded to Cleveland for Ray McKay.
• Jack Norris traded to Phoenix for future considerations.

July 1974 (exact date unknown)
• Bob McAneeley signed as free agent by California (NHL).

August 1974 (exact date unknown)
• Bob Wall traded to San Diego for Don Herriman.

October 1974 (exact date unknown)
• Signed Bill Morris as free agent.

October 26, 1974
• Jim Harrison traded to Cleveland for Ron Buchanan.

December 1974 (exact date unknown)
• Jim McCrimmon traded to St. Louis (NHL) for cash.

January 23, 1975
• Ron Buchanan traded to Indianapolis for Murray Kennett and future considerations.

February 15, 1975
• Ron Climie traded to New England for Tim Sheehy.

February 22, 1975
• Signed Doug Kerslake (Chicago (NHL)) as free agent.



The third WHA season saw some more team movement as well as an expansion. The league welcomed two new teams in the Indianapolis Racers and the Phoennix Roadrunners. Two other teams changed locations with the Los Angeles Sharks first moving to Detroit and becoming the Michigan Stags and then half way in the year moving again to Baltimore to become the Baltimore Blades. Finally, the New Jersey Knights went across the country and became the San Diego Mariners. With fourteen teams, the league realigned into three divisions, with the Oilers being in the new Canadian division with Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Quebec.


Off the ice, Brian Shaw was back as head coach but would be relieved of duties late in the season, despite being 4 games above 0.500. Bill Hunter would step behind the bench for the remainder of the season, and was not able to make things better as the team crapped the bed down the stretch (more on that later).

On the ice, there were some big changes to the team. Gone were starting goalie Jack Norris, top scorers Jim Harrison and Len Lunde. Top 4 d-man Bob Wall was also gone while Al Hamilton would miss most of the season with injury (played only 25 games).

So what did the team look like? Well the biggest news came in goal, where the Oilers recruited none other than the legendary Jacques Plante (who had spent the previous season coaching in Quebec) to come out of retirement and be their goalie. While the move undoubtedly helped ticket sales, it’s hard to say how much it helped on the ice as Plante at the age of 45 was a good dozen years past his prime. To complicate matters further, Plante refused to travel with the team, planting (no pun intended) himself in Edmonton and playing only home games. This meant the Oilers needed to carry 3 goalies and Plante would be augmented by the two backups from the previous two seasons (Ken Brown and Chris Worthy). The three goalies all played a similar amount of time with similar (mediocre) numbers.

The defence would be greatly augmented by Barry Long, who defected over to the WHA after three strong seasons with the LA Kings. He had a phenomenal year with the Oilers getting 60 points from the back-end, being named to the second all-star team and stabilizing the defence who as I mentioned earlier were missing their captain for most of the year with the injury to Hamilton. Returnees Ken Baird, Doug Barrie, and Steve Carlyle as well as newcomers Ray McKay and Murray Kennett rounded out the d-core.

With the loss of Jim Harrison (traded to Cleveland for Ron Buchanan—who himself would be dealt for the previously mentioned Kennett later in the season) the offense was lead by their 4th round pick in the 1974 draft: 20 year old Calgary native Mike Rogers. Rogers exploded on the scene in his pro debut leading the team with 83 points (25 more than any other forward on the team). Other incoming forwards included veterans Bobby Sheehan, Bruce MacGreogor, as well as their first pick from the previous draft, Blair MacDonald, a future captain of the team. Returnees Ross Perkins and Rusty Patenaude were also contributors.

So how’d they do? Well not so good. As mentioned the team got worse after replacing the coach, and the end of season swoon lead to a sub 0.500 record of 36-38-4, tied for last place and out of the playoffs in the very competitive Canadian division. This would be the only season in the WHA where the Oilers would miss the playoffs.

But things would still get worse in the coming year…

[Updated on: Sat, 03 June 2023 02:01]


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 Season 4, 1975-76: NORM!!! [message #824097 is a reply to message #824021 ]
Sun, 04 June 2023 18:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 563
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

No Cups

https://th.bing.com/th/id/OIP.ofqV6qySjoLLMX3--CVnIQHaEj?pid=ImgDet&rs=1

	Coach: Clare Drake (18-28-2) and Bill Hunter (9-21-3)					
	GM: Bill Hunter					
						
	Regular Season Record: 27W-49L-5T (.373)--59 points					
268GF 345GA      Finish: 4th Canadian Division (11th overall)						
						
				Regular Season		
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Ullman, Norm	F	77	31	56	87
2	Patenaude, Rusty	F	77	42	30	72
3	Sheehy, Tim	F	81	34	31	65
4	Long, Barry	D	78	10	32	42
5	Baird, Ken	D	48	13	24	37
6	Hamilton, Al	D	54	2	32	34
7	Russell, Bob	F	58	13	18	31
8	McAneeley, Bob	F	71	12	16	28
9	Rogers, Mike	F	44	12	15	27
10	Morris, Rick	F	33	11	15	26
11	Barrie, Doug	D	79	4	21	25
12	MacGregor, Bruce	F	63	13	10	23
13	Spring, Dan	F	75	12	11	23
14	Carleton, Wayne	F	26	5	16	21
15	Laing, Bill	F	54	8	12	20
16	Morris, Peter	F	75	7	13	20
17	McAneeley, Ted	D	79	2	17	19
18	Rogers, John	F	44	9	8	17
19	Krake, Skip	F	41	8	8	16
20	MacDonald, Blair	F	29	7	5	12
21	Carlyle, Steve	D	28	0	11	11
22	Ketter, Kerry	D	48	1	9	10
23	Joyal, Eddie	F	45	5	4	9
24	Kennett, Murray	D	28	3	4	7
25	Hurley, Paul	D	26	1	4	5
26	Evo, Bill	F	8	0	4	4
27	Muloin, Wayne	D	10	1	1	2
28	Carlson, Jack	F	10	1	1	2
29	Kerslake, Doug	F	13	1	1	2
						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L-T
1	Dryden, Dave	62	3567	3.95	0.878	22-34-5
2	Worthy, Chris	24	1256	4.68	0.862	5-14-0
3	Turnbull, Frank	3	106	5.09	0.862	0-1-0


			Playoffs			
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Patenaude, Rusty	F	4	1	4	5
2	Baird, Ken	D	4	3	1	4
3	Sheehy, Tim	F	4	2	2	4
4	Ullman, Norm	F	4	1	3	4
5	Spring, Dan	F	2	1	1	2
6	Carleton, Wayne	F	4	1	1	2
7	McAneeley, Bob	F	3	1	0	1
8	Morris, Peter	F	3	0	1	1
9	Barrie, Doug	D	4	0	1	1
10	Hamilton, Al	D	4	0	1	1
11	Russell, Bob	F	4	1	0	1
12	Laing, Bill	F	4	0	1	1
13	MacGregor, Bruce	F	4	0	1	1
14	Morris, Rick	F	4	0	1	1
15	Muloin, Wayne	D	1	0	0	0
16	Hurley, Paul	D	4	0	0	0
17	Long, Barry	D	4	0	0	0
18	McAneeley, Ted	D	4	0	0	0
19	Carlson, Jack	F	4	0	0	0
						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L
1	Dryden, Dave	3	180	5.00		0-3
2	Worthy,Chris	1	60	7.00		0-1

Playoff result: Eliminated in Canadian Division Semi-Finals
Round 1: vs Winnipeg, lost 0 games to 4; 11GF 22GA



Transactions

May 1975 (exact date unknown)
• Signed Pete Laframboise (formerly with Los Angeles) as free agent.

June 1975 (exact date unknown)
• Signed Bob McAneeley (California (NHL)) as free agent.
• Future Considerations traded to Houston for Ted McAneeley.
• WHA amateur draft—Oilers selected Peter Morris (21) and Bob Russell (117).

June 19, 1975
• WHA Dispersal draft—Oilers selected Ab DeMarco (Chicago), Dave Dryden (Chicago), and Bill Evo (Baltimore).

August 1975 (exact date unknown)
• Ray McKay traded to Cleveland for Skip Krake.
• Signed Frank Turnbull as free agent.

September 1975 (exact date unknown)
• Bobby Sheehan signed as free agent by Chicago (NHL).
• Signed Dan Spring (formerly with Winnipeg) as free agent.

December 8, 1975
• Blair MacDonald traded to Indianapolis for future considerations.

January 4, 1976
• Bill Evo and future considerations traded to Cleveland for Wayne Muloin.

January 19, 1976
• Mike Rogers and future considerations traded to New England for Wayne Carleton.

January 22, 1976
• Signed Rick Morris (formerly with Ottawa) as free agent.

February 2, 1976
• Steve Carlyle and Kerry Ketter traded to New England for Paul Hurley and Clarke Jantze*.

March 10, 1976
• Signed Jack Carlson (formerly with Minnesota) as free agent.


The WHA musical chairs continue in the league’s fourth season with two teams folding, two expansion teams joining one team moving to start the season, another moving mid-season, and two teams folding mid-season. Firstly, the league added two more expansion teams in the Cincinnati Stingers and the Denver Spurs. Then, before the start of the season, two existing franchises folded in the Baltimore Blades and Chicago Cougars. The Vancouver Blazers moved to Calgary, becoming the Cowboys and giving the Oilers a provincial rival. Midway through the season the new Denver franchise relocated to Ottawa (changing the name to the Civics) and then would fold shortly thereafter having only played 41 games total. Then, after 59 games one of the original teams, the Minnesota Fighting Saints also folded despite having a winning record at the time (the team was apparently hemorrhaging money). So the league was down to 12 teams by the end of the season and had to adjust on the fly with teams moving and folding mid-season. The Oilers once again played in the Canadian division with Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Quebec and (very briefly) Ottawa.

So how about the Oilers themselves? They once again needed a new coach, and this time rather than looking to his old Oil Kings days, Hunter looked to the University of Alberta and plucked Clare Drake who had been coaching the Golden Bears since the late 50s. Drake only lasted 48 games as Oilers’ coach going 18-28-2 before Hunter fired him and for the third time in four years finished the season himself (where he went a worse 9-21-3). Drake would return to the U of A and coach another 15 years there.

As for the team, they needed a new starting goalie. Jacques Plante had actually signed a two-year contract and did show up for training camp with the intention of honouring the second year, but he decided to retire (again) before the season started when his youngest son died. Fortunately the Oilers had acquired veteran netminder Dave Dryden from the folding Chicago Cougars in the dispersal draft and he would be the main man (backed up by Chris Worthy) for the season.

The large part of their defence remained intact from the previous season. Their all-stars from the previous two seasons, Hamilton and Long were both back but had mediocre years compared to those (Hamilton missed 26 games with injury). Baird and Barrie also returned and the remainder of the defence was a rag-tag group, the most notable being Ted McAneeley who had come over from the NHL’s Golden Seals.

A big add at forward was legendary veteran and Edmonton native Norm Ullman. Ullman had spent the past 20 years in the NHL with the Red Wings and Maple Leafs being a top scorer throughout his career. He was almost 40 when he joined the team, but he still had lots of game, as he would lead the team in scoring with 87 points. Elsewhere, original Oiler Rusty Patenaude was back for his fourth year with the team and it would be best as he was second with 72 points, while Tim Sheehy (acquired late in the previous season for previous scoring leader Ron Climie) was third with 65. There would be a big drop from there as no other forward got more than 31 points. Two of their young guns from the previous year, Mike Rogers and Blair MacDonald, were traded away mid-season, and some other forwards that were added included rookie Bob Russell, Bob McAneeley (Ted’s twin brother), and Rick Morris,

The Oilers’ had by far their worst season going a brutal 27-49-5—yet somehow they still managed to make the playoffs, finishing fourth in the weak Canadian division (Toronto was even worse). They played a first round match-up against the division and league leading Winnipeg Jets who swept them in the four game series (the Jets would go on to win the Avco Cup) for another disappointing end to their season.

Four years in and still yet to win a playoff series (at this point they were 1-9 in playoff games). Hopefully things would start to look up.

[Updated on: Mon, 05 June 2023 03:00]


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 Re: Season 4, 1975-76: NORM!!! [message #824099 is a reply to message #824097 ]
Mon, 05 June 2023 12:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
Messages: 6986
Registered: August 2005
Location: Edmonton, AB

6 Cups

Can you imagine a sports league having teams go bust mid-season? That would be incredibly disruptive. I don't even know what happens to the players from teams like that. Is there a mid-season waiver frenzy? Everyone's a free agent?

Just bizarre to even think about.



"Thinking that a bad team's best players are the reason the team is bad is the "Tambellini re-signing Lennart Petrell" of sports opinions." @Woodguy55
#FireLowe #FireBobbyNicks #FireKenHolland #FireKeithGretzky

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 Re: Season 4, 1975-76: NORM!!! [message #824106 is a reply to message #824099 ]
Mon, 05 June 2023 14:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CrusaderPi  is currently offline CrusaderPi
Messages: 7726
Registered: December 2003
Location: AB Highway 100

6 Cups

Adam wrote on Mon, 05 June 2023 12:08

Can you imagine a sports league having teams go bust mid-season? That would be incredibly disruptive. I don't even know what happens to the players from teams like that. Is there a mid-season waiver frenzy? Everyone's a free agent?

Just bizarre to even think about.

Southern Professional Hockey League had a team fold mid-season this year. It's actually a pretty interesting story. It kind of makes me sad that the NHL ended up beating the WHA just because the NHL story is pretty boring. So much color and flavor in the 7 years of the WHA.

I could see major sports having liquid capital problems soonish. The situation with sports, TV, and capital isn't nearly as stable as it has been for the last ~35 years.



Please do not feed the bears. Feeding the bears creates a dependent population unable to survive on their own. Bears.

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 Re: Season 4, 1975-76: NORM!!! [message #824108 is a reply to message #824099 ]
Mon, 05 June 2023 15:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teammate Avry  is currently offline Teammate Avry
Messages: 17
Registered: November 2008
Location: Edmonton/Toronto/Las Vega...

No Cups

Adam wrote on Mon, 05 June 2023 12:08

Can you imagine a sports league having teams go bust mid-season? That would be incredibly disruptive. I don't even know what happens to the players from teams like that. Is there a mid-season waiver frenzy? Everyone's a free agent?

Just bizarre to even think about.


Highly unlikely we'll ever have another team fold midseason in the Big Four or Big Six? when the WHA and ABA were around but depending on the league either A) everyone becomes a UFA or B) A Dispersal draft occurs ASAP.

[Updated on: Mon, 05 June 2023 15:06]


A guy who if you turned into a gumbo is a wild mix of sports podcaster/TV reporter and sports writer.

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 Re: Season 4, 1975-76: NORM!!! [message #824109 is a reply to message #824108 ]
Mon, 05 June 2023 15:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CrusaderPi  is currently offline CrusaderPi
Messages: 7726
Registered: December 2003
Location: AB Highway 100

6 Cups

Teammate Avry wrote on Mon, 05 June 2023 15:04

Adam wrote on Mon, 05 June 2023 12:08

Can you imagine a sports league having teams go bust mid-season? That would be incredibly disruptive. I don't even know what happens to the players from teams like that. Is there a mid-season waiver frenzy? Everyone's a free agent?

Just bizarre to even think about.


Highly unlikely we'll ever have another team fold midseason in the Big Four or Big Six? when the WHA and ABA were around but depending on the league either A) everyone becomes a UFA or B) A Dispersal draft occurs ASAP.


At the risk of briefly derailing one of benv's threads, I really disagree with this. Sports is a massive bubble right now that requires a huge amount of capital and rolling credit. IF you were to borrow a few hundred million dollars to buy an expansion team in Seattle when the prime rate is 2.5%, it's not hard to find that capital and make interest payments. At 6.7% (going up again soon) suddenly life becomes a lot more difficult. I'm not saying it'll happen right away, but the NHL only has so many bullets it can fire before they run out of people will to part with dollars, even temporarily, to run hockey teams. To quote a Disney movie from the 80s, "forever is a long time".



Please do not feed the bears. Feeding the bears creates a dependent population unable to survive on their own. Bears.

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 Re: Season 4, 1975-76: NORM!!! [message #824125 is a reply to message #824109 ]
Tue, 06 June 2023 11:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teammate Avry  is currently offline Teammate Avry
Messages: 17
Registered: November 2008
Location: Edmonton/Toronto/Las Vega...

No Cups

CrusaderPi wrote on Mon, 05 June 2023 15:14

Teammate Avry wrote on Mon, 05 June 2023 15:04

Adam wrote on Mon, 05 June 2023 12:08

Can you imagine a sports league having teams go bust mid-season? That would be incredibly disruptive. I don't even know what happens to the players from teams like that. Is there a mid-season waiver frenzy? Everyone's a free agent?

Just bizarre to even think about.


Highly unlikely we'll ever have another team fold midseason in the Big Four or Big Six? when the WHA and ABA were around but depending on the league either A) everyone becomes a UFA or B) A Dispersal draft occurs ASAP.


At the risk of briefly derailing one of benv's threads, I really disagree with this. Sports is a massive bubble right now that requires a huge amount of capital and rolling credit. IF you were to borrow a few hundred million dollars to buy an expansion team in Seattle when the prime rate is 2.5%, it's not hard to find that capital and make interest payments. At 6.7% (going up again soon) suddenly life becomes a lot more difficult. I'm not saying it'll happen right away, but the NHL only has so many bullets it can fire before they run out of people will to part with dollars, even temporarily, to run hockey teams. To quote a Disney movie from the 80s, "forever is a long time".


Oh I don't think it's impossible to see it happen again, hence the highly unlikely. I just think the leagues will do everything they can to avoid a team shuttering in the middle of a season because of the chaos that it will cause with players, finances, etc. the NHL would be more at risk for this than say a team in the NFL or the NBA.



A guy who if you turned into a gumbo is a wild mix of sports podcaster/TV reporter and sports writer.

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 Re: Season 4, 1975-76: NORM!!! [message #824134 is a reply to message #824125 ]
Tue, 06 June 2023 13:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CrusaderPi  is currently offline CrusaderPi
Messages: 7726
Registered: December 2003
Location: AB Highway 100

6 Cups

Teammate Avry wrote on Tue, 06 June 2023 11:00

CrusaderPi wrote on Mon, 05 June 2023 15:14

Teammate Avry wrote on Mon, 05 June 2023 15:04

Adam wrote on Mon, 05 June 2023 12:08

Can you imagine a sports league having teams go bust mid-season? That would be incredibly disruptive. I don't even know what happens to the players from teams like that. Is there a mid-season waiver frenzy? Everyone's a free agent?

Just bizarre to even think about.


Highly unlikely we'll ever have another team fold midseason in the Big Four or Big Six? when the WHA and ABA were around but depending on the league either A) everyone becomes a UFA or B) A Dispersal draft occurs ASAP.


At the risk of briefly derailing one of benv's threads, I really disagree with this. Sports is a massive bubble right now that requires a huge amount of capital and rolling credit. IF you were to borrow a few hundred million dollars to buy an expansion team in Seattle when the prime rate is 2.5%, it's not hard to find that capital and make interest payments. At 6.7% (going up again soon) suddenly life becomes a lot more difficult. I'm not saying it'll happen right away, but the NHL only has so many bullets it can fire before they run out of people will to part with dollars, even temporarily, to run hockey teams. To quote a Disney movie from the 80s, "forever is a long time".


Oh I don't think it's impossible to see it happen again, hence the highly unlikely. I just think the leagues will do everything they can to avoid a team shuttering in the middle of a season because of the chaos that it will cause with players, finances, etc. the NHL would be more at risk for this than say a team in the NFL or the NBA.


I disagree with it being highly unlikely. You can put me in the probably going to happen probably a lot sooner than anyone can imagine category. Bubbles burst. The bigger and more complicated a system the more things that need to go right for it to continue. Just one example is ESPN paying nearly 2 billion dollars / year for NFL games while their parent company is hemorrhaging money. That money, which may or may not exist, has already been spent or allocated by the NFL. Every financial input into sports is under threat right now and they don't have the flexibility to quickly shed cost.

Bubbles burst and we just keep on pumping it up. We have to ask where the money is going to be coming from.



Please do not feed the bears. Feeding the bears creates a dependent population unable to survive on their own. Bears.

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 Re: Season 4, 1975-76: NORM!!! [message #824116 is a reply to message #824108 ]
Mon, 05 June 2023 22:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Leia  is currently offline Leia
Messages: 378
Registered: May 2003
Location: England

No Cups

Teammate Avry wrote on Mon, 05 June 2023 15:04

Adam wrote on Mon, 05 June 2023 12:08

Can you imagine a sports league having teams go bust mid-season? That would be incredibly disruptive. I don't even know what happens to the players from teams like that. Is there a mid-season waiver frenzy? Everyone's a free agent?

Just bizarre to even think about.


Highly unlikely we'll ever have another team fold midseason in the Big Four or Big Six? when the WHA and ABA were around but depending on the league either A) everyone becomes a UFA or B) A Dispersal draft occurs ASAP.



Rugby Union which is possibly the UK's 3rd or 4th biggest outdoor sport, lost 2 of it's top flight clubs in 2022 in the first few weeks of season, which meant all the results could be expunged. It was a wake up call in many respects as whilst smaller clubs had had problems during and after covid, I don't think fans expected those in the top tier to be in so much trouble that they would fold.

The players were allowed to sign for other clubs, with quite a few ending up overseas in France. This meant that some of the rules over eligibility for playing for the national team had to be ignored and still is for another year (England and Wales won't select players playing in leagues overseas).



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to the place where I belong
to Alberta, to see the Oilers
take me home, country road

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 Season 5, 1976-77; welcome Slats and Peter Puck [message #824151 is a reply to message #824021 ]
Tue, 06 June 2023 22:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 563
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

No Cups

https://th.bing.com/th/id/R.18e08d5de9f0cbf27dad2b147835a621?rik=cDnkhenN7h6dZg&riu=http%3a%2f%2fi.imgbox.com%2fKJD6L5kl.jpg&ehk=LStRkoevUzemoyue%2fcoPRy%2facTj%2bmo7HOEVS%2bEzKEkQ%3d&risl=&pid=ImgRaw&r=0


	Coach: Bep Guidolin (25-36-2) and Glen Sather (9-7-2)					
	GM: Bep Guidolin					
						
	Regular Season Record: 34W-43L-4T (.450)--72 points					
243GF 304GA      Finish: 4th West Division (8th overall)						
						
				Regular Season		
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Flett, Bill	F	48	34	20	54
2	Campbell, Bryan	F	66	12	42	54
3	Sather, Glen	F	81	19	34	53
4	Hamilton, Al	D	81	8	37	45
5	Ullman, Norm	F	67	16	27	43
6	Patenaude, Rusty	F	73	25	16	41
7	Kirk, Gavin	F	52	8	28	36
8	Morris, Rick	F	79	18	17	35
9	Connelly, Wayne	F	38	13	15	28
10	Wilkins, Barry	D	51	4	24	28
11	Barrie, Doug	D	70	8	19	27
12	Callighen, Brett	F	29	9	16	25
13	Sheehy, Tim	F	28	15	8	23
14	Langevin, Dave	D	77	7	16	23
15	Boddy, Gregg	D	46	1	17	18
16	Rota, Randy	F	40	9	6	15
17	Williams, Warren	F	29	3	10	13
18	Russell, Bob	F	57	7	6	13
19	Beaton, Frank	F	68	4	9	13
20	St. Sauveur, Claude	F	15	5	7	12
21	Peacosh, Gene	F	11	5	4	9
22	Nevin, Bob	F	13	3	2	5
23	Simpson, Tom	F	15	3	2	5
24	Laframboise, Pete	F	17	0	5	5
25	Merrell, Barry	F	10	1	3	4
26	Patrick, Glenn	D	23	0	4	4
27	Busniuk, Ron	F	29	2	2	4
28	Baird, Ken	D	2	1	2	3
29	Hornung, Larry	D	21	2	1	3
30	Scharf, Ted	F	5	0	2	2
31	Butters, Bill	D	7	0	2	2
32	Antonovich, Mike	F	7	1	1	2
33	Patterson, Dennis	D	23	0	2	2
34	Long, Barry	D	2	0	1	1
35	Arndt, Danny	F	1	0	0	0
36	Fortunato, Joe	F	1	0	0	0
37	Stewart, Paul	F	2	0	0	0
38	Prentice, Bill	D	3	0	0	0
39	Morris, Peter	F	3	0	0	0
						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L-T
1	Broderick, Ken	40	2301	3.49	0.878	18-18-1
2	Dryden, Dave	24	1416	3.26	0.889	10-13-1
3	Levasseur, Louis	21	1213	4.35	0.866	6-12-3


			Playoffs			
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Callighen, Brett	F	5	4	1	5
2	Rota, Randy	F	5	3	2	5
3	Hamilton, Al	D	5	0	4	4
4	Campbell, Bryan	F	5	3	1	4
5	Boddy, Gregg	D	4	1	2	3
6	Langevin, Dave	D	5	2	1	3
7	Ullman, Norm	F	5	0	3	3
8	Sather, Glen	F	5	1	1	2
9	Beaton, Frank	F	5	0	2	2
10	Busniuk, Ron	F	5	0	2	2
11	Flett, Bill	F	5	0	2	2
12	Wilkins, Barry	D	4	0	1	1
13	Kirk, Gavin	F	5	1	0	1
14	St. Sauveur, Claude	F	5	1	0	1
15	Connelly, Wayne	F	5	0	1	1
16	Morris, Rick	F	5	0	1	1
17	Russell, Bob	F	1	0	0	0
18	Patenaude, Rusty	F	2	0	0	0
19	Barrie, Doug	D	4	0	0	0
						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L
1	Broderick, Ken	3	179	3.35		1-2
2	Levasseur, Louis	2	133	4.50		0-2

Playoff result: Eliminated in Western Division Semi-Final
Round 1: vs Houston, lost 1 game to 4; 16GF 20GA



Transactions

June 1976 (exact date unknown)
• Claimed Larry Hornung from Winnipeg in intra-league draft.
• Jack Carlson claimed by Minnesota in intra-league draft.
• Future considerations traded to Houston for Barry Wilkins.

August 1976 (exact date unknown)
• Signed Joe Fortunato as free agent.
• Signed Barry Merrell as free agent.
• Future considerations traded to San Diego for Gene Peacosh.
• Signed Bill Prentice (formerly with Quebec) as free agent.

September 1976 (exact date unknown)
• Paul Hurley signed as free agent by Calgary.
• Signed Warren Williams (California (NHL)) as free agent.

September 28, 1976
• Signed Ken Broderick (Boston (NHL)) as free agent.

October 1976 (exact date unknown)
• Cash traded to Cincinnati for Frank Beaton.
• Barry Long traded to Winnipeg for future considerations.
• Signed Dennis Patterson (Kansas City (NHL)) as free agent.
• Signed Paul Stewart as free agent.

October 25, 1976
• Signed Bob Nevin (Los Angeles (NHL)) as free agent.

November 1, 1976
• Ken Baird signed as free agent by Calgary.

November 1976 (exact date unknown)
• Gene Peacosh traded to Indianapolis for Bryan Campbell.
• Cash traded to Colorado (NHL) for Randy Rota.

November 26, 1976
• Larry Hornung traded to San Diego for Greg Boddy.

December 1, 1976
• Cash traded to Atlanta (NHL) for Bill Flett.

December 1976 (exact date unknown)
• Tim Sheehy traded to Birmingham for Gavin Kirk and Tom Simpson.
• Signed Ted Scharf (formerly with Indianapolis) as free agent.

January 1977 (exact date unknown)
• Cash traded to Minnesota for Mike Antonovich, Bill Butters, Jack Carlson*, Steve Carlson*, Dave Keon*, Louis Levasseur, and John McKenzie*.
• Wayne Carleton signed as free agent by Birmingham.
• Cash traded to Calgary for Wayne Connelly and Claude St. Sauveur.

January 19, 1977
• Jack Carlson*, Steve Carlson*, Dave Dryden, Dave Keon*, and John McKenzie* traded to New England for Danny Arndt, future considerations (Dave Debol*), and cash.

February 5, 1977
• Mike Antonovich and Bill Butters traded to New England for Ron Busniuk and Brett Callighen.

February 10, 1977
• Signed Glenn Patrick (Cleveland (NHL)) as free agent.


A little more stability for the WHA going into its fifth year—just two franchise relocations to start the year. The Toronto Toros left that dead end market and moved to the hockey hotbed of Birmingham, Alabama, becoming the Birmingham Bulls (clever—they got to keep the alliteration as well as the team logo). Meanwhile, the arrival of the NHL’s Barons to Cleveland marked the end for the Crusaders, and they relocated to Minneapolis and a second incarnation of the Fighting Saints was born. The franchise would last just a half year as it folded mid-season—this marked the last WHA franchise to share a city with an NHL franchise. The old East/West format was brought back and the Oilers would play in the Western Division with Calgary, Houston, Phoenix, San Diego, and Winnipeg. The East division was Birmingham, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, New England, Quebec, and Minnesota (until they folded).

Ok, so what about the Oilers. Well there were some big changes in all levels of management. First off Bill Hunter was out—he sold the team to Nelson Skalbania and Peter Pocklington, and by the end of the year Pocklington bought out Skalbania and would be the sole owner of the Oilers (which of course would last about 20 years). The team would look to one man to be the new GM and head coach—Bep Guidolin who had previous experience coaching in the NHL with Boston and Kansas City.

A new goalie, Ken Broderick came over from the NHL’s Bruins and would play half the games. Last year’s starter, Dave Dryden only played 24 games before being traded to the Whalers, while a third goalie, Louis Levasseur, played the remainder. None of them really shone.

On defence, the Oilers lost a couple of their main men from the previous season: Long was traded to the Jets very early in the year, while Baird was signed by Calgary. Hamilton stuck around and bounced back from a couple of off years, staying healthy and leading from the back-end. He would be supplemeted by a returning Doug Barrie, as well as a couple of newcomers: Barry Wilkins (acquired from Houston) and Dave Langevin (a 1974 draft pick who chose the Oilers over the NHL’s Islanders).

At forward Ullman was back for a 2nd season, but his point totals were way down from 75-76 (the guy was 41—we can give him a break). Ditto for Rusty Patenaude. The top three scorers on the team were actually all newcomers. Bill Flett, a former NHL all-star who had won a cup with the Flyers in 1974; he didn’t join the team until December but still shared in the scoring lead. He shared it (54 points each) with Bryan Campbell, acquired from Indianapolis in a trade-–another veteran of both the NHL and WHA. Finally with 53 points a veteran ten-year NHL depth forward named Glen Sather came back to Alberta and showed great leadership along with his touch of offense. Guidolin was so impressed with Sather, he fired himself as coach with 18 games left and had Sather do double duty as player coach for the remainder of the season and playoffs—something that was pretty rare even for that time. Also take note of a young forward the Oilers acquired late in the season from the Whalers named Brett Callighen. He only played 29 games with the team but racked up 25 points and would lead the team in the playoffs, getting 5 points in the 5 games.

The Oilers improved slightly from their terrible 75-76 season going 34-43-4. This was good enough for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West and a first round match-up with the top seeded Houston Aeros. While they kept the games close, the Oilers were over-matched as they lost the series in 5 games and would remain winless in playoff series for their existence

I’ll close this post with a couple of thoughts. I should have mentioned in a previous post, that the Oilers began playing in a new building starting in 74-75. They had played their first two seasons in the Edmonton Gardens which held about 5200 people. Starting in 74-75 they moved to the brand new Northlands Coliseum (capacity 17,100) which would be their home (with a few name changes) for over 40 years.

Finally I’m going to note the strange fact that in 1976 the two Alberta WHA teams were the Oilers and Cowboys, while the two Texas NFL teams were also the Oilers and Cowboys. Obviously oil and cowboys were quite engrained in both Alberta and Texas culture.





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 Re: Season 5, 1976-77; welcome Slats and Peter Puck [message #824166 is a reply to message #824151 ]
Wed, 07 June 2023 09:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
oilfan94  is currently offline oilfan94
Messages: 357
Registered: June 2006
Location: USA

No Cups

benv wrote on Wed, 07 June 2023 00:33

https://th.bing.com/th/id/R.18e08d5de9f0cbf27dad2b147835a621?rik=cDnkhenN7h6dZg&riu=http%3a%2f%2fi.imgbox.com%2fKJD6L5kl.jpg&ehk=LStRkoevUzemoyue%2fcoPRy%2facTj%2bmo7HOEVS%2bEzKEkQ%3d&risl=&pid=ImgRaw&r=0




It's kind of funny that no one thought to grab him a new pair of socks for his hockey card pic.



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 Re: Season 5, 1976-77; welcome Slats and Peter Puck [message #824170 is a reply to message #824151 ]
Wed, 07 June 2023 09:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
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6 Cups

A few questions:

- are the asterisks to signify that it's just player rights and the player is still likely in the NHL or elsewhere?
- anyone know how the WHA Intra-League Draft worked?

Also a story on Al Hamilton. I met him at a dinner a few years ago. Fascinating guy and lots of great stories (including some about playing against Gordie Howe), but I guess his last couple seasons in Edmonton were somewhat challenged because at some point he took a puck off the eye. His retina was detached and his eyesight was significantly impaired. He kept playing though and his stats in the first NHL season are actually pretty decent for a half-blind older player.



"Thinking that a bad team's best players are the reason the team is bad is the "Tambellini re-signing Lennart Petrell" of sports opinions." @Woodguy55
#FireLowe #FireBobbyNicks #FireKenHolland #FireKeithGretzky

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 Re: Season 5, 1976-77; welcome Slats and Peter Puck [message #824211 is a reply to message #824170 ]
Thu, 08 June 2023 17:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
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No Cups

Adam wrote on Wed, 07 June 2023 09:53

A few questions:

- are the asterisks to signify that it's just player rights and the player is still likely in the NHL or elsewhere?
- anyone know how the WHA Intra-League Draft worked?

Also a story on Al Hamilton. I met him at a dinner a few years ago. Fascinating guy and lots of great stories (including some about playing against Gordie Howe), but I guess his last couple seasons in Edmonton were somewhat challenged because at some point he took a puck off the eye. His retina was detached and his eyesight was significantly impaired. He kept playing though and his stats in the first NHL season are actually pretty decent for a half-blind older player.


Asterisks indicate a player that never actually played for the Oilers.

I've been keeping track of Oiler transactions since I was a kid in the mid-80s and have kept up. The transactions I'm listing are just cut and paste from the full document I've kept up to date for 30-some odd years. Here's the complete explanation (which is also in the document--yes I'm a complete Oiler nerd):

This report documents every WHA and NHL trade, draft, free agent signing, or waiver draft acquisition made by the Edmonton Oilers involving at least one player that had or would play for the team (or would later be traded for a player who would play for the team). Also documented are free agent signings and waiver draft acquisitions of other teams on players of whose last WHA or NHL team was the Oilers. Transactions or signings the Oilers may have made involving solely draft picks and/or players that never played with the team are not listed (unless at least one player received would be traded to obtain someone who would play for the Oilers). Only draft picks that would play for the Oilers (or would be traded for players that would play for the Oilers) are listed.

Any player with a star (*) after their name indicate that they were at one time Oiler property but never played (or have yet to play) a regular season or playoff game with the Oilers. They are only listed because the transaction involved or lead to other players that did play for the Oilers.

Players that were selected by other teams using draft picks traded to them by the Oilers are not starred, since they were never technically Oiler property. All these players can be assumed to have never played with the Oilers (although some were acquired later in unrelated transactions).

For the time the Oilers were in the WHA (1972-1973 to 1978-1979) teams mentioned are WHA teams unless noted as NHL teams. Only NHL teams are listed for the period the Oilers are in the NHL. For the transition from WHA to NHL, all players are accounted for; i.e. whether or not they stayed with the Oilers or went to another NHL team.



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 Re: Season 5, 1976-77; welcome Slats and Peter Puck [message #824221 is a reply to message #824151 ]
Fri, 09 June 2023 23:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
stemhovlichski  is currently offline stemhovlichski
Messages: 346
Registered: March 2006
Location: NSR

No Cups


• Cash traded to Minnesota for ... Jack Carlson*, Steve Carlson*


The Hanson Brothers could have been on the Oilers.

That would have been legend.




Restored: "We're sucking hind banana here." - Pat Quinn, Jan 18, 2010

"...the Oilers have been rebuilding for so long that it’s hard not to be cynical." - NBC's Ryan Dadoun Jan 2, 2015

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 Re: Season 5, 1976-77; welcome Slats and Peter Puck [message #824222 is a reply to message #824221 ]
Sat, 10 June 2023 15:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
Messages: 6986
Registered: August 2005
Location: Edmonton, AB

6 Cups

stemhovlichski wrote on Fri, 09 June 2023 23:48


• Cash traded to Minnesota for ... Jack Carlson*, Steve Carlson*


The Hanson Brothers could have been on the Oilers.

That would have been legend.




I believe one did…



"Thinking that a bad team's best players are the reason the team is bad is the "Tambellini re-signing Lennart Petrell" of sports opinions." @Woodguy55
#FireLowe #FireBobbyNicks #FireKenHolland #FireKeithGretzky

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 Season 6: 1977-78; Steady improvement [message #824214 is a reply to message #824021 ]
Thu, 08 June 2023 22:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 563
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

No Cups

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/1yEAAOSwlN1jUDXi/s-l1600.jpg

	Coach: Glen Sather					
	GM: Brian Conacher					
						
	Regular Season Record: 38W-39L-3T (.494)--79 points					
	309GF 307GA      Finish: 5th overall					
						
				Regular Season		
	Player	]Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Chipperfield, Ron	F	80	33	52	85
2	Flett, Bill	F	74	41	28	69
3	MacDonald, Blair	F	80	34	34	68
4	Zuke, Mike	F	71	23	34	57
5	Hamilton, Al	D	59	11	43	54
6	Callighen, Brett	F	80	20	30	50
7	Shmyr, Paul	D	80	9	40	49
8	Micheletti, Joe	D	56	14	34	48
9	Ferguson, Norm	F	71	26	21	47
10	Widing, Juha	F	71	18	24	42
11	Guite, Pierre	F	60	12	21	33
12	Rota, Randy	F	53	8	22	30
13	Langevin, Dave	D	62	6	22	28
14	Campbell, Bryan	F	53	7	13	20
15	Busniuk, Ron	F	59	2	18	20
16	Jarry, Pierre	F	18	4	10	14
17	DeMarco, Ab	D	47	6	8	14
18	MacGregor, Gary	F	37	11	2	13
19	Semenko, Dave	F	65	6	6	12
20	Sobchuk, Dennis	F	13	6	3	9
21	Baird, Ken	D	6	2	4	6
22	Miller, Warren	F	18	2	4	6
23	McKay, Ray	D	14	1	4	5
24	Deadmarsh, Butch	F	20	1	3	4
25	Sandbeck, Cal	D	11	1	2	3
26	Holland, Jerry	F	22	2	1	3
27	Morris, Rick	F	5	1	1	2
28	Topolnisky, Craig	D	10	0	2	2
29	Troy, Jim	D	47	2	0	2
30	Lloyd, Owen	D	3	0	1	1
31	Pinder, Gerry	F	5	0	1	1
32	Primeau, Kevin	F	7	0	1	1
33	Inkpen, Dave	D	19	0	1	1
34	Hall, Del	F	1	0	0	0
35	McMullin, Dale	F	1	0	0	0
36	Cross, Jim	D	2	0	0	0
37	Falkenberg, Bob	D	2	0	0	0
38	Ahrens, Chris	D	4	0	0	0
						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L-T
1	Dryden, Dave	48	2578	3.49	0.879	21-23-2
2	McLeod, Don	33	1723	3.55	0.864	15-10-1
3	Broderick, Ken	9	497	5.07	0.796	2-5-0
4	Turnbull, Frank	1	60	6.00	0.750	0-1-0


			Playoffs			
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Zuke, Mike	F	5	2	3	5
2	Shmyr, Paul	D	5	1	3	4
3	Langevin, Dave	D	5	0	2	2
4	Micheletti, Joe	D	5	0	2	2
5	Chipperfield, Ron	F	5	1	1	2
6	Guite, Pierre	F	5	1	1	2
7	MacDonald, Blair	F	5	1	1	2
8	Rota, Randy	F	5	1	1	2
9	Callighen, Brett	F	5	0	2	2
10	McKay, Ray	D	4	0	1	1
11	Jarry, Pierre	F	5	1	0	1
12	Sobchuk, Dennis	F	5	1	0	1
13	Widing, Juha	F	5	0	1	1
14	DeMarco, Ab	D	1	0	0	0
15	Troy, Jim	D	2	0	0	0
16	Primeau, Kevin	F	2	0	0	0
17	Sandbeck, Cal	D	5	0	0	0
18	Busniuk, Ron	F	5	0	0	0
19	Ferguson, Norm	F	5	0	0	0
20	Semenko, Dave	F	5	0	0	0
						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L
1	McLeod, Don	4	207	4.64		1-3
2	Dryden, Dave	2	91	3.96		0-1

Playoff result: Eliminated in preliminary round
Round 1: vs New England, lost 1 game to 4; 9GF 23GA


Transactions

May 1977 (exact date unknown)
• Signed Norm Ferguson (formerly with San Diego) as free agent.

May 31, 1977
• Signed Ken Baird (formerly with Calgary) as free agent.
• Signed Ron Chipperfield (formerly with Calgary) as free agent.
• Signed Butch Deadmarsh (formerly with Calgary) as free agent.
• Signed Warren Miller (formerly with Calgary) as free agent.

June 1, 1977
• Brett Callighen traded to New England for future considerations.

June 1977 (exact date unknown)
• WHA amateur draft—Oilers selected Owen Lloyd (84).
• Signed Gerry Pinder (formerly with San Diego) as free agent.
• Signed Cal Sandbeck (Cleveland (NHL)) as free agent.

August 1, 1977
• Signed Paul Shmyr (formerly with San Diego) as free agent.

August 1977 (exact date unknown)
• Signed Jim Cross as free agent.
• Signed Dale McMullen (Atlanta (NHL)) as free agent.
• Bill Prentice signed as free agent by Indianapolis.

September 1977 (exact date unknown)
• Signed Craig Topolinsky as free agent.

September 5, 1977
• Future considerations traded to Winnipeg for Joe Micheletti.

September 9, 1977
• Kevin Devine*, Rusty Patenaude, Claude St. Saveur, and Barry Wilkins traded to New England for Dave Inkpen, Blair MacDonald, and Mike Zuke.

September 14, 1977
• Signed Juha Widing (Cleveland (NHL)) as free agent.
• Signed Gary MacGregor (formerly with New England) as free agent.
• Signed Jerry Holland (NY Rangers (NHL)) as free agent.

September 16, 1977
• Louis Levasseur traded to New England for Brett Callighen, Dave Dryden, and fourth round pick.

September 19, 1977
• Danny Arndt, Chris Evans*, and Pete Laframboise traded to Birmingham for Jeff Jacques* and Lou Nistico*.

October 1977 (exact date unknown)
• Signed Bob Falkenberg (formerly with San Diego) as free agent.

November 1977 (exact date unknown)
• Frank Beaton signed as free agent by Birmingham.
• Ken Broderick, Dave Inkpen, Warren Miller, and Rick Morris traded to Quebec for Pierre Guite and Don McLeod.
• Future considerations traded to Houston for Dave Semenko.

December 2, 1977
• Ken Baird signed as free agent by Winnipeg.

December 12, 1977
• Paul Stewart signed as free agent by Cincinnati.


December 17, 1977
• Dave Debol* and future considerations traded to Cincinnati for Dennis Sobchuk.
• Butch Deadmarsh traded to Cincinnati for Del Hall.

January 1978 (exact date unknown)
• Cash traded to NY Rangers (NHL) for Jim Troy.

March 5, 1978
• Signed Kevin Primeau as free agent.

March 1978 (exact date unknown)
• Future Considerations traded to Minnesota (NHL) for Chris Ahrens and Pierre Jarry.
• Signed Ray McKay (formerly with Birmingham) as free agent.


In its sixth year, the WHA was showing signs of slowly dying. Three more franchises folded prior to the start of the season: Calgary, Phoenix, and San Diego, leaving just eight teams in the league (Birmingham, Cincinnati, Edmonton, Houston, Indianapolis, New England,, Quebec, and Winnipeg). Divisions were dropped, and the eight teams were just put in one pool. One unique thing that happened was that games were played against visiting all-star teams from the USSR and Czechoslovakia that counted in the standings.

Guidolin was out as GM and his replacement was Brian Conacher of the infamous Conacher hockey family—he had done the same job with Indianapolis the previous season. Sather decided to retire as a player and dedicated himself full time to coaching the Oilers in a relationship that would last over the next 23 years.

The Oilers would throw everything at the wall this season to see what would stick. They used a whopping 42 players during the season, making three blockbuster deals during the season. In goal they brought back Dave Dryden to be the starter and he would be backed up by another veteran in Don McLeod (acquired from Quebec one of those said trades).

The team was quite solid on the backend. Al Hamilton had a terrific season getting nearly a point a game and being named a first-team all-star. They also managed to get two stalwarts from two of the folded teams. Paul Shmyr was plucked from San Diego—he was a WHA original and had a great season getting 49 points from the backend while being named team captain. Joe Micheletti was a stalwart from the University of Minnesota plucked from the carcass of the Calgary Cowboys—he would match Shmyr’s numbers giving the Oilers three offensive threats from defense. Dave Langevin had a solid sophomore campaign rounding out their top 4.

Up front after the retirements of both Norm Ullman and Glen Sather, the Oilers were lead by another acquisition from the defunct Cowboys (thanks Calgary) in Ron Chipperfield who lead the team with 85 points. Bill Flett put in another solid year with 69 and third in scoring was a returning Blair MacDonald, reacquired from the Whalers in one of those big trades just prior to the start of the season. Other contributors included Mike Zuke (acquired in the same deal with MacDonald), Brett Callighen who had arrived late in 76-77, but got a full season under his belt this time, and Dave Semenko who had shunned the Montreal Canadiens to sign with the Oilers—he would of course become a fixture as the Oilers’ policeman over the next decade.

On the ice, the Oilers improved greatly for the second straight season climbing up to a game below 0.500, going 38-39-3. This put them 5th in the league and set up a date in the first round with the 2nd place Whalers. After dropping the first two games in close fashion in Hartford, the Oilers pulled off a shoutout victory at Northlands in game 3. Then with a chance to tie things at home in game 4, they completely crapped the bed getting curb stomped 9-1. A 4-1 loss in game 5 and it would be another early exit for the team, who now stood at 0-5 in playoff series and 3-17 in playoff games.

Just one WHA season to go. Now who could be on the horizon for the team....


[Updated on: Thu, 03 August 2023 14:48]


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 Re: Season 6: 1977-78; Steady improvement [message #824215 is a reply to message #824214 ]
Fri, 09 June 2023 08:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
oilfan94  is currently offline oilfan94
Messages: 357
Registered: June 2006
Location: USA

No Cups

I was confused seeing a K for captain instead of a C, since I think that is more of a Russian thing. I googled it and found this from Wikipedia:

Quote:

In the World Hockey Association's final season of 1978-79, Paul Shmyr, the captain of the Edmonton Oilers, wore a "K" (for kapitan) on his sweater instead of a "C", as a salute to both his personal, and the city of Edmonton's, Ukrainian heritage.



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 Re: Season 6: 1977-78; Steady improvement [message #824217 is a reply to message #824215 ]
Fri, 09 June 2023 10:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 563
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

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Good find--I actually didn't know that.

What struck me most about the photo was Don McLeod's (at least I'm pretty sure that's McLeod, the goalie in the bottom right) decision to sport a Hitler mustache. Even in 1978, I can't imagine this would go over too well.



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 Re: Season 6: 1977-78; Steady improvement [message #824218 is a reply to message #824217 ]
Fri, 09 June 2023 10:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
oilfan94  is currently offline oilfan94
Messages: 357
Registered: June 2006
Location: USA

No Cups

benv wrote on Fri, 09 June 2023 12:11

Good find--I actually didn't know that.

What struck me most about the photo was Don McLeod's (at least I'm pretty sure that's McLeod, the goalie in the bottom right) decision to sport a Hitler mustache. Even in 1978, I can't imagine this would go over too well.


I'm not sure it is. Looking closely at it looks like the mustache could extend more, but isn't as thick. Hard to tell 100% on an old picture like this. When I look up other pictures of him it looks like a full mustache.

But if you are right, maybe he preferred to call it a Charlie Chaplin mustache.



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 Re: Season 6: 1977-78; Steady improvement [message #824219 is a reply to message #824218 ]
Fri, 09 June 2023 10:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
welcometotheOC  is currently offline welcometotheOC
Messages: 633
Registered: April 2010
Location: Also, sadly, Cowtown

No Cups

oilfan94 wrote on Fri, 09 June 2023 10:23

benv wrote on Fri, 09 June 2023 12:11

Good find--I actually didn't know that.

What struck me most about the photo was Don McLeod's (at least I'm pretty sure that's McLeod, the goalie in the bottom right) decision to sport a Hitler mustache. Even in 1978, I can't imagine this would go over too well.


I'm not sure it is. Looking closely at it looks like the mustache could extend more, but isn't as thick. Hard to tell 100% on an old picture like this. When I look up other pictures of him it looks like a full mustache.

But if you are right, maybe he preferred to call it a Charlie Chaplin mustache.


OOPS on my tiny work phone and thought I quoting, but actually was reporting your post … purely accidental !! Sorry!!



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 Re: Season 6: 1977-78; Steady improvement [message #824220 is a reply to message #824219 ]
Fri, 09 June 2023 10:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
welcometotheOC  is currently offline welcometotheOC
Messages: 633
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Location: Also, sadly, Cowtown

No Cups

welcometotheOC wrote on Fri, 09 June 2023 10:31

oilfan94 wrote on Fri, 09 June 2023 10:23

benv wrote on Fri, 09 June 2023 12:11

Good find--I actually didn't know that.

What struck me most about the photo was Don McLeod's (at least I'm pretty sure that's McLeod, the goalie in the bottom right) decision to sport a Hitler mustache. Even in 1978, I can't imagine this would go over too well.


I'm not sure it is. Looking closely at it looks like the mustache could extend more, but isn't as thick. Hard to tell 100% on an old picture like this. When I look up other pictures of him it looks like a full mustache.

But if you are right, maybe he preferred to call it a Charlie Chaplin mustache.


OOPS on my tiny work phone and thought I quoting, but actually was reporting your post … purely accidental !! Sorry!!


Fat thumbs meant to say it was just a sketchy moustache combined with low res scan of the photo



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 Re: Season 6: 1977-78; Steady improvement [message #824311 is a reply to message #824220 ]
Thu, 15 June 2023 09:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dragon_Matt  is currently offline Dragon_Matt
Messages: 733
Registered: January 2009
Location: edmonton

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'Fun?' fact, Hitler Hitler was a fan of Chaplin's films and may have modelled his mustache after Chaplin.


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 Season 7, 1978-79; Well hello Mr. Gretzky [message #824306 is a reply to message #824021 ]
Wed, 14 June 2023 22:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 563
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

No Cups

https://hockeygods.com/system/gallery_images/19209/normal.png?1599959385

	Coach: Glen Sather					
	GM: Larry Gordon					
						
	Regular Season Record: 48W-30L-2T (.613)--98 points					
	340GF 266GA      Finish: 1st overall					
						
				Regular Season		
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Gretzky, Wayne	F	72	43	61	104
2	MacDonald, Blair	F	80	34	37	71
3	Callighen, Brett	F	71	31	39	70
4	Chipperfield, Ron	F	55	32	37	69
5	Flett, Bill	F	73	28	36	64
6	Sobchuk, Dennis	F	74	26	37	63
7	Weir, Stan	F	68	31	30	61
8	Micheletti, Joe	D	72	14	33	47
9	Shmyr, Paul	D	80	8	39	47
10	Hamilton, Al	D	80	6	38	44
11	Driscoll, Peter	F	69	17	23	40
12	Carlson, Steve	F	73	18	22	40
13	Hunter, Dave	F	72	7	25	32
14	Alexander, Claire	D	54	8	23	31
15	Langevin, Dave	D	77	6	21	27
16	Semenko, Dave	F	77	10	14	24
17	Hughes, John	D	41	2	15	17
18	Berry, Doug	F	29	6	3	9
19	Bailey, Garnet	F	38	5	4	9
20	Siltanen, Risto	D	20	3	4	7
21	Goldsworthy, Bill	F	17	4	2	6
22	Neilson, Jim	D	35	0	5	5
23	Guite, Pierre	F	12	1	1	2
24	Tajcnar, Rudy	D	2	0	0	0
25	Mayer, Jim	F	2	0	0	0
26	George, Wes	F	3	0	0	0
27	Sandbeck, Cal	D	6	0	0	0
						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L-T
1	Dryden, Dave	63	3531	2.89	0.890	41-17-2
2	Mio, Eddie	22	1068	3.99	0.853	7-10-0
3	Walsh, Ed	3	144	3.75	0.836	0-2-0
4	Kamppuri, Hannu	2	90	6.67	0.792	0-1-0




			Playoffs			
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Gretzky, Wayne	F	13	10	10	20
2	Chipperfield, Ron	F	13	9	10	19
3	MacDonald, Blair	F	13	8	10	18
4	Callighen, Brett	F	13	5	10	15
5	Sobchuk, Dennis	F	12	6	6	12
6	Siltanen, Risto	D	11	0	9	9
7	Hamilton, Al	D	13	4	5	9
8	Micheletti, Joe	D	13	0	9	9
9	Flett, Bill	F	10	5	2	7
10	Weir, Stan	F	13	2	5	7
11	Driscoll, Peter	F	13	1	6	7
12	Semenko, Dave	F	11	4	2	6
13	Shmyr, Paul	D	13	1	5	6
14	Hunter, Dave	F	13	2	3	5
15	Gustafsson, Bengt	F	2	1	2	3
16	Goldsworthy, Bill	F	4	1	1	2
17	Carlson, Steve	F	11	1	1	2
18	Hughes, John	D	13	1	0	1
19	Langevin, Dave	D	13	0	1	1
20	Bailey, Garnet	F	2	0	0	0
	 					
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L
1	Dryden, Dave	13	687	3.67		6-7
2	Mio, Eddie	3	90	4.00		0-0


Playoff result: Eliminated Avco Cup Final
Round 1: Bye
Round 2: vs New England, won 4 games to 3; 35GF 29GA
Round 3: vs Winnipeg, lost 2 games to 4; 26GF 21GA
Summary: Series: 1-1; Games: 6-7; 61GF 50GA



Transactions

May 1978 (exact date unknown)
• Claimed Steve Carlson on waivers from New England.
• Claimed Jim Mayer on waivers from New England.

June 1978 (exact date unknown)
• Signed Wes George (Detroit (NHL)) as free agent.
• Juha Widing traded to Indianapolis for Bill Goldsworthy.
• Signed Dave Hunter (Montreal (NHL)) as free agent.
• Pierre Jarry claimed by Indianapolis in intra-league draft.
• Don McLeod claimed by Indianapolis in intra-league draft.
• Jim Troy claimed by Indianapolis in intra-league draft.
• Signed Ed Walsh as free agent.
• Signed Stan Weir (Toronto (NHL)) as free agent.

June 16, 1978
• Signed Claire Alexander (Vancouver (NHL)) as free agent.
• Signed Jim Neilson (Cleveland (NHL)) as free agent.

July 1978 (exact date unknown)
• Gavin Kirk signed as free agent by Birmingham.
• Gary MacGregor signed as free agent by Indianapolis.
• Signed Rudy Tajcnar as free agent.

August 1978 (exact date unknown)
• Signed Doug Berry (Colorado (NHL)) as free agent.

September 29, 1978
• Mike Zuke signed as free agent by St. Louis (NHL).

October 23, 1978
• Ab DeMarco signed as free agent by Boston (NHL).

November 2, 1978
• Cash traded to Indianapolis for Peter Driscoll, Wayne Gretzky, and Eddie Mio.

November 1978 (exact date unknown)
• Wes George traded to Indianapolis for future considerations.

January 1979 (exact date unknown)
• Signed John Hughes (formerly with Indianapolis) as free agent.
• WHA dispersal draft—Oilers claimed Bryon Baltimore (Cincinnati).

March 1979 (exact date unknown)
• Signed Bengt Gustafsson (Washington (NHL)) as free agent.
• Signed Hannu Kamppuri as free agent.
• Signed Risto Siltanen (St. Louis (NHL)) as free agent.



Another year another couple of WHA team folding. The Houston Aeros closed up shop before the season got underway. Then, after playing just 25 games, the Indianapolis Racers also shut things down, leaving the league with just six teams. By this point it was clear that this would be the last season for the fledgling league and a merger with the NHL was imminent—but we’ll save that for next time.

The Oilers continued their musical chairs at GM since Hunter had left. Concaher was out as GM after just the one season and was replaced by Larry Gordon, a guy whose expertise was more on the business side of things rather than hockey. Sather would return as the head coach (get used to hearing this for a while).

A returning Dave Dryden was once again the starting goalie, who had possibly the best season of his career, playing 63 out of the 80 games and being named the first team all-star goalie and winning not only the Ben Hatskin trophy, but also the Gordie Howe Trophy (Ok, unless ou’re a die-hard you don’t know what these were—they were the WHA equivalents of the Vezina and Hart respectively). Backup goalie duty would be handled mostly by the newly acquired Eddie Mio—more on this transaction in a moment.

On defense, captain Paul Shmyr was back with another great season as was Dave Langevin—both would be named as second team all-stars. And of course there was perpetual Oiler Al Hamilton playing his seventh season with the team and putting up another great campaign with 44 points. Hamilton would become the only player in WHA history to play all seven seasons with the same franchise. Solidifying the defense further would be the returning Joe Micheletti who also put up 47 points from the backend, and late in the season by young Finnish player Risto Siltanen who signed with the team in March.

Ok now let’s address the biggest thing that happened this season, possibly the biggest thing that happened in Oilers history. Peter Pocklington’s ex-partner Nelson Skalbania was now the owner of the Indianapolis Racers. Early in the season the team was losing money hand over-fist and Skalbania was desperate to try to recoup some of his losses. Skalbania had astutely signed 17-year old phenom Wayne Gretzky to his first pro contract, a seven-year personal services contract (worth a total of 1.75 million—my how things have changed). Since the NHL did not allow players under 20, a lot of young stars started out in the WHA since they had no such restrictions.

Anyway after playing just eight games with the Racers (ironically scoring his first professional goal against the Oilers) Skalbania told Gretzky that he was going to sell him to either the Oilers or the Jets, but he would give Gretzky the choice of which team he would go to. Since Gretzky knew little about either team or city he asked his agent (Gus Baldali) what he should do and Baldali told him that the Oilers had more money, a better arena, and were the most likely team to move to the NHL so he should choose them. You could argue that this endorsement is the most important in Oiler history.

So as history records, Gretzky was sold to the Oilers along with Eddie Mio and Peter Driscoll for $700,000. Gretzky would solidify things by agreeing to extend his personal services contract to 10 years with an option for another 10, all done at a ceremonial signing at center ice on Gretzky’s 18th birthday.

Gretzky would finish the season with the Oilers getting 104 point in 72 games (110 in 80 overall) finishing 3rd in league scoring, being named a second team all-star and winning the Lou Kaplan trophy (WHA’s Calder trophy) easily the best offensive season in team history. Gretzky had a lot of support up front—he played most of the season with the returning Callighen and MacDonald (the famed GMC line) who each recorded 70 points. Chipperfield and Flett were also back getting 69 and 64 points respectively. There were also a couple of relative newcomers in Dennis Sobchuk, a longtime WHA star the Oilers had acquired the previous season and Stan Weir, and NHL veteran who had switched leagues. Both made significant offensive contributions.

So with all this gushing praise, and trophies and all-stars you’d think the Oilers must have been pretty good? Well you’re right—after six years of mediocrity, the Oilers were the top team in the WHA by a good 11 points over Quebec, with a 48-30-2 record and earning a bye into the semi-finals. Their opponent was the New England Whalers and this would prove a very close series with the home team winning every game and the Oilers eventually prevailing with a 6-3 victory in game 7 to give them their first ever playoff victory. The Jets had upset the Nordiques in the other semi-final and we would have an all western Canadian final. The Jets came into Northalnds and shocked the Oilers taking both games, but the Oilers would respond with an 8-3 drubbing of the Jets in front of their fans in game 3. After the Jets won another close one in game 4, the Oilers played their best game with their backs against the wall in 10-2 victory at home. It was back to Winnipeg for game 6 and the Oilers could not find their game as they fell 7-3 to lose the last ever game in the WHA and would never be able to get a WHA championship. The Oilers did score the last ever goal in the league potted by none other than Dave Semenko.

So that closes the book on the Oilers in the WHA. Time to move on to the big leagues.




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 Re: Season 7, 1978-79; Well hello Mr. Gretzky [message #824335 is a reply to message #824306 ]
Thu, 15 June 2023 20:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
welcometotheOC  is currently offline welcometotheOC
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No Cups

Flett and Mattias Ekholm - brilliant beards!


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 Season 8 (NHL season 1), 1979-80: NHL Baby! [message #824368 is a reply to message #824021 ]
Fri, 16 June 2023 22:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 563
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Location: Edmonton

No Cups

https://thenationnetwork.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/images/83/38/article_833871cb-56f2-416f-a5dc-6b4a8a809f98.jpg

	Coach: Glen Sather					
	GM: Larry Gordon					
						
	Regular Season Record: 28W-39L-13T (.431)--69 points					
	301GF 322GA      Finish: 16th overall					
						
				Regular Season		
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Gretzky, Wayne	F	79	51	86	137
2	MacDonald, Blair	F	80	46	48	94
3	Weir, Stan	F	79	33	33	66
4	Callighen, Brett	F	59	23	35	58
5	Lumley, Dave	F	80	20	38	58
6	Hunter, Dave	F	80	12	31	43
7	Hicks, Doug	D	78	9	31	40
8	Chipperfield, Ron	F	67	18	19	37
9	Siltanen, Risto	D	64	6	29	35
10	Messier, Mark	F	75	12	21	33
11	Price, Pat	D	75	11	21	32
12	Lowe, Kevin	D	64	2	19	21
13	Connnor, Cam	F	38	7	13	20
14	Ashby, Don	F	18	10	9	19
15	Hamilton, Al	D	31	4	15	19
16	Schmautz, Bobby	F	29	8	8	16
17	Fogolin, Lee	D	80	5	10	15
18	Semenko, Dave	F	67	6	7	13
19	Campbell, Colin	D	72	2	11	13
20	Murdoch, Don	F	10	5	2	7
21	Flett, Bill	F	20	5	2	7
22	Driscoll, Peter	F	39	1	5	6
23	Makkonen, Kari	F	9	2	2	4
24	Newman, Dan	F	10	3	1	4
25	Bednarski, John	D	1	0	0	0
26	Baltimore, Bryon	D	2	0	0	0
27	Forbes, Mike	D	2	0	0	0
28	Carter, Ron	F	2	0	0	0
29	Harrison, Jim	F	3	0	0	0
30	Toal, Mike	F	3	0	0	0
31	Areshenkoff, Ron	F	4	0	0	0
32	Tidey, Alex	F	5	0	0	0
33	Popiel, Paul	D	10	0	0	0
34	Bianchin, Wayne	F	11	0	0	0
						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L-T
1	Mio, Eddie	34	1711	4.21		9-13-5
2	Corsi, Jim	26	1366	3.65		8-14-3
3	Dryden, Dave	14	744	4.27		2-7-3
4	Low, Ron	11	650	3.42		8-2-1
5	Cutts, Don	6	269	3.57		1-2-1
6	Dupuis, Bob	1	60	4.00		0-1-0


			Playoffs			
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Gretzky, Wayne	F	3	2	1	3
2	Messier, Mark	F	3	1	2	3
3	MacDonald, Blair	F	3	0	3	3
4	Murdoch, Don	F	3	2	0	2
5	Callighen, Brett	F	3	0	2	2
6	Lowe, Kevin	D	3	0	1	1
7	Lumley, Dave	F	3	1	0	1
8	Hamilton, Al	D	1	0	0	0
9	Siltanen, Risto	D	2	0	0	0
10	Campbell, Colin	D	3	0	0	0
11	Fogolin, Lee	D	3	0	0	0
12	Hicks, Doug	D	3	0	0	0
13	Price, Pat	D	3	0	0	0
14	Ashby, Don	F	3	0	0	0
15	Driscoll, Peter	F	3	0	0	0
16	Hunter, Dave	F	3	0	0	0
17	Semenko, Dave	F	3	0	0	0
18	Weir, Stan	F	3	0	0	0
						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L
1	Low, Ron	3	212	3.40		0-3


Playoff result: Eliminated in preliminary round
Round 1: vs Philadelphia, lost 0 games to 3;  6GF 12GA



Transactions

June 9, 1979
• Oilers receive 4th round pick in 1979 (Glenn Anderson) from Minnesota for not selecting Paul Shmyr as a priority selection in dispersal draft.
• WHA dispersal draft—Oilers retained rights to Bryon Baltimore, Brett Callighen, Ron Carter, Ron Chipperfield, Peter Driscoll, Dave Dryden, Bill Flett, Wayne Gretzky, Al Hamilton, Dave Hunter, Blair MacDonald, Joe Micheletti, and Eddie Mio.
• WHA dispersal draft—Oilers lost Doug Berry (Colorado), Steve Carlson (Los Angeles), Bengt Gustafsson (Washington), John Hughes (Vancouver), Dave Langevin (NY Islanders), Jim Mayer (NY Rangers), Cal Sandbeck (Minnesota), Dave Semenko (Minnesota), Paul Shmyr (Minnesota), Risto Siltanen (St. Louis), Dennis Sobchuk (Philadelphia), and Stan Weir (Toronto).

June 13, 1979
• 2nd round pick in 1980 (Ric Nattress) traded to Montreal for Dave Lumley and Dan Newman.
• Expansion Draft—Oilers claimed Ron Areshenkoff (Buffalo), Wayne Bianchin (Pittsburgh), Colin Campbell (Pittsburgh), Cam Connor (Montreal), Lee Fogolin (Buffalo), Mike Forbes (Boston), John Gould* (Atlanta), Doug Hicks (Chicago), Pete Lopresti (Minnesota), Pat Price (NY Islanders), and Reg Thomas* (Chicago).

July 4, 1979
• Claimed Stan Weir on waivers from Toronto.

July 15, 1979
• Signed John Bednarski (formerly with NY Rangers) as free agent.

July 22, 1979
• Signed Kari Makkonen (formerly with NY Islanders) as free agent.

August 7, 1979
• Joe Micheletti traded to St. Louis for Tom Roulston and Risto Siltanen.

August 8, 1979
• Dennis Patterson signed as free agent by Philadelphia.

August 9, 1979
• 2nd (Neal Broten) and 3rd (Kevin Maxwell) round picks in 1979 traded to Minnesota for Dave Semenko and 3rd round pick in 1979 (Mark Messier).
• 1979 NHL entry draft—Oilers selected Kevin Lowe (21), Mark Messier (48), Glenn Anderson (69), and Mike Toal (105).

August 22, 1979
• Reg Thomas* traded to Toronto for 6th round pick (Steve Smith) in 1981.

September 14, 1979
• Signed Charlie Huddy as free agent.

September 24, 1979
• Future considerations traded to Chicago for Jim Harrison.

October 4, 1979
• Signed Jim Corsi as free agent.

November 2, 1979
• Signed Poul Popiel (formerly with Vancouver) as free agent.

November 13, 1979
• John Gould* traded to Buffalo for Alex Tidey.

December 10, 1979
• Dan Newman traded to Boston for Bobby Schmautz.

January 1, 1980
• Signed Roy Sommer (formerly with Toronto) as free agent.


January 12, 1980
• Signed Don Cutts (formerly with NY Islanders) as free agent.

February 25, 1980
• Bobby Schmautz traded to Colorado for Don Ashby.

March 1, 1980
• Signed Bob Dupuis as free agent.

March 11, 1980
• Ron Chipperfield traded to Quebec for Ron Low.
• Cam Connor and 3rd round pick in 1981 (Peter Sundstrom) traded to NY Rangers for Don Murdoch.
• Jim Corsi traded to Minnesota for future considerations.


So the WHA folded after the 78-79 season and the Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, Quebec Nordiques, and New England Whalers (now to be dubbed as the Hartford Whalers at the insistence of the Bruins) were welcomed into the NHL (the remaining two franchises in Cincinnati and Birmingham were payed to go away).

So let’s take a look at the NHL at this point. The 78-79 season had been played with 17 teams. You had your original six: Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, NY Rangers, and Toronto. You had five teams from the big 1967 expansion: Los Angeles, Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis (the sixth team from that expansion, the Oakland Seals/California Golden Seals/Cleveland Barons had folded in 1978. Interesting note that Cleveland remains the only NHL team to fold in the past 80 years). And finally you had an additional six teams from three different 70s expansions: Buffalo, Vancouver, Atlanta Flames, NY Islanders, Colorado Rockies (nee Kansas City Scout), and Washington. The four WHA teams would make the total 21. While the league was technically divided into two conferences and four divisions, these were essentially meaningless. The schedule was completely balanced with each team playing four games against every other team in the league, and the top 16 teams overall made the playoffs. Number 1 played number 16, number 2 played number 15 and so on with re-seeding after each round.

So the NHL didn’t allow the four new teams to just keep all their players—they needed to punish them first. For the past seven years the NHL had been annoyed when players whose rights were held by NHL teams chose to sign with the WHA. So a dispersal draft was held where each of the WHA teams would be able to protect two goalies and two skaters (called priority selections), while the rest of their roster would be picked over by the other NHL teams. Basically if an unprotected player’s NHL rights were previously held by another team they had the right to claim that player. Following this draft an expansion draft was held where the 17 NHL teams would get to protect most of their roster (15 skaters and 2 goalies) while the four WHA teams each selected 16 players total.

Wayne Gretzky presented a special problem for this process. The NHL would have liked for Gretzky to go in the 1979 entry draft as an 18 year old (this is what happened to Mike Gartner, Michel Goulet, and Mark Messier who had all played as 17 year olds in the 78-79 WHA season) but the personal services contract he had with Pocklington presented an issue. The NHL asked Gretzky to void this contract, but he refused—apparently he realized he would likely go first overall to the Colorado Rockies and preferred to stay in Edmonton. So as a compromise the NHL allowed the Oilers to keep Gretzky’s rights, but made the Oilers use one of their two priority selections on Gretzky, and as further punishment the Oilers would draft last in both the expansion and entry drafts. I would call this a small price to pay to lock up the greatest player in history at 18 years old (without even having to draft him).

So obviously there would be big changes in the team going forward. For the dispersal draft the Oilers protected their two goalies Dryden and Mio. For the second skater they chose to protect Bengt Gustafsson, a hot-shot rookie Swede who had joined the Oilers late in 1979 for two playoff games. The NHL then proceeded to declare that the contract the Oilers had with Gustafsson was invalid and allowed Washington to reclaim him anyway. So the Oilers essentially went into the dispersal draft on June 9, 1979 with none of their skaters protected.

Despite this, they didn’t fare too badly. They did get hit hard on defense losing their two all star d-men from the previous season. Captain Paul Shmyr was claimed by Minnesota while Dave Langevin was claimed by the Islanders. The three other players of significance they lost were Dave Semenko, Risto Siltanen, and Stan Weir, but all three would be re-acquired by the team prior to the start of the season. The Oilers used the expansion draft to replenish the defense, and despite being given the last pick in the entry draft, they would still manage to draft three players that would have long Hall of Fame careers with the team.

So the Oilers entered their first NHL season with the same goaltending duo they had for their last WHA season. After his terrific 78-79, Dryden suddenly couldn’t stop anything. He was getting up there in age at 38, and would play only 14 games in the season before deciding to retire. That left the bulk of the work to Mio and Jim Corsi, the latter a free agent signing. They split the bulk of the load, but neither was giving coach Sather much confidence, causing him to upgrade at the deadline (more on that in a moment).

On defence, in addition to losing Shmyr and Langevin, Joe Michelleti had been traded to re-acquire Risto Siltanen, leaving the Oilers to rely on four guys picked up in the expansion draft: Lee Fogolin, Doug Hicks, Pat Price, and Colin Campbell. Risto Siltanen also came into his own, and their top pick in the draft, a youngster named Kevin Lowe, jumped right into the NHL and was also a solid contributor. While not outstanding, this sextet would do the job most nights. It should also be noted that Al Hamilton was still around, but he was aging and an eye injury suffered the previous season limited his effectiveness. He played just 31 games in 79-80 and would retire after the season (and then have his number retired by the team in 1981).

Amazingly, the Oilers were able to retain their entire top GMC line into the NHL. While Callighen was never drafted in the NHL, it would seem MacDonald’s rights were previously owned by the Kings, so I’m not sure why they didn’t reclaim him. Anyway both would have great seasons, especially MacDonald. He would ride Gretzky’s coat-tails to a 94 point season (good for 9th in NHL scoring) by far the best of his career. Callighen meanwhile was also able to excel, despite missing 21 games with injury—he put up 58 points. Also having a career season was second line centre Stan Weir, whose 66 points put him third on the team. Fifth in team scoring was Dave Lumley with 58; acquired from the Habs in the offseason for a draft pick, he would have a long tenure with the team. Ron Chipperfield was also back. With the loss of Shmyr, he would become the first captain of the team in the NHL, and contributed 18 goals and 37 points before being dealt at the deadline (more on that later). Other notable names included Dave Semenko and Dave Hunter both holdovers from the WHA who would both provide “truculence” over the years; Cam Connor was their first pick in the expansion draft, but he would only play half the season with the team before they flipped him to the Rangers for Don Murdoch—one of the first Oiler acquisitions of a supreme talent with off ice troubles (he had been busted for transporting drugs across the border). And last but not least their 3rd round pick from the draft was a good looking local boy named Mark Messier, who was not yet the player he would become, but he greatly improved his numbers from what he had done in the WHA (11 points in 52 games in 78-79, up to 33 in 75 with the Oilers in 79-80). Keep an eye on this guy.

Which finally brings us to the man himself. Some pundits predicted that the young skinny Gretzky would find the going much tougher in the NHL, but he quickly silenced them. Playing on an expansion team, Gretzky casually put up 137 points, tying for the league lead with the legendary Marcel Dionne. He didn’t even turn 19 until halfway through the season. It was quite the season and got the hockey world’s attention. He would be denied the Calder trophy, as they deemed his year in the WHA made him ineligible. He would also be denied the Art Ross trophy as the tiebreaker was goals, which Dionne had on him 53 5o 51. He would however claim the both Hart and Lady Bying trophies; it would have been nice to see him win four of the six major trophies though.

As might be expected, the team struggled against the more formidable NHL competition (as did all four WHA expansion teams). As the trade deadline approached in March, the Oilers found themselves several points back of the 16th and final playoff spot. In an effort to make something happen, Gordon traded their captain, Ron Chipperfield, to Quebec for veteran goalie Ron Low, in hopes it could spark the team into the playoffs. The gamble payed off as Low was terrific down the stretch propelling the Oilers to an 8-2-1 record which was enough to squeak them into the playoffs, with a 28-39-13 record—good for 16th place, 2 points up on Washington.

Their reward was a first round match-up with the 1st place Flyers. Philadelphia had had a terrific season, starting it off with a record unbeaten streak (25-0-10 to start the season), and finishing with 116 points. From very early on, it was clear that the Oilers were over-matched as the Flyers dominated play right from the get go. Only the extraordinary play of Ron Low kept two of the games close, as the Oilers were badly outshot in each game. I remember watching this series as an 8 year old with my dad and asking why is all the play in the Oilers’ zone? Both games 1 and 3 of the best of 5 went to OT, with the Flyers prevailing; the Flyers also took game 2 5-1 to sweep the series. A tough beginning to the NHL for the Oilers but as we know improvement would come fast and furious.

[Updated on: Fri, 23 June 2023 14:26]


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 Season 9 (NHL season 2), 1980-81: All arrows up [message #824375 is a reply to message #824021 ]
Sun, 18 June 2023 16:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 563
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

No Cups

https://thenationnetwork.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/images/18/00/article_1800b127-6498-46d7-9e01-d63b4be6bf32.jpg


	Coach: Bryan Watson (4-9-5) and Glen Sather (25-26-11)					
	GM: Glen Sather					
						
	Regular Season Record: 29W-35L-16T (.463)--74 points					
	328GF 327GA       Finish: 14th overall					
						
				Regular Season		
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Gretzky, Wayne	F	80	55	109	164
2	Kurri, Jari	F	75	32	43	75
3	Messier, Mark	F	72	23	40	63
4	Callighen, Brett	F	55	25	35	60
5	Anderson, Glenn	F	58	30	23	53
6	Hagman, Matti	F	75	20	33	53
7	Siltanen, Risto	D	79	17	36	53
8	MacDonald, Blair	F	51	19	24	43
9	Lowe, Kevin	D	79	10	24	34
10	Price, Pat	D	59	8	24	32
11	Weir, Stan	F	70	12	20	32
12	Coffey, Paul	D	74	9	23	32
13	Fogolin, Lee	D	80	13	17	30
14	Hunter, Dave	F	78	12	16	28
15	Hicks, Doug	D	59	5	16	21
16	Murdoch, Don	F	40	10	9	19
17	Semenko, Dave	F	58	11	8	19
18	Lumley, Dave	F	53	7	9	16
19	Brackenbury, Curt	F	58	2	7	9
20	Huddy, Charlie	D	12	2	5	7
21	Ashby, Don	F	6	2	3	5
22	Driscoll, Peter	F	21	2	3	5
23	Hughes, John	D	18	0	3	3
24	Roulston, Tom	F	11	1	1	2
25	Lariviere, Gary	F	13	0	2	2
26	Sommer, Roy	F	3	1	0	1
27	Bladon, Tom	D	1	0	0	0
28	Hughes, Pat	F	2	0	0	0
29	Unger, Garry	F	13	0	0	0
						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L-T
1	Mio, Eddie	43	2393	3.89		16-15-9
2	Low, Ron	24	1260	4.43		5-13-3
3	Edwards, Gary	15	729	3.62		5-3-4
4	Moog, Andy	7	313	3.83	0.882	3-3-0
5	Lopresti, Pete	2	106	4.57		0-1-0


			Playoffs			
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Gretzky, Wayne	F	9	7	14	21
2	Anderson, Glenn	F	9	5	7	12
3	Kurri, Jari	F	9	5	7	12
4	Callighen, Brett	F	9	4	4	8
5	Coffey, Paul	D	9	4	3	7
6	Messier, Mark	F	9	2	5	7
7	Hughes, Pat	F	5	0	5	5
8	Hagman, Matti	F	9	4	1	5
9	Lariviere, Gary	F	9	0	3	3
10	Siltanen, Risto	D	9	2	0	2
11	Hicks, Doug	D	9	1	1	2
12	Lowe, Kevin	D	9	0	2	2
13	Lumley, Dave	F	7	1	0	1
14	Brackenbury, Curt	F	2	0	0	0
15	Weir, Stan	F	5	0	0	0
16	Semenko, Dave	F	8	0	0	0
17	Unger, Garry	F	8	0	0	0
18	Fogolin, Lee	D	9	0	0	0
19	Hunter, Dave	F	9	0	0	0
						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L
1	Moog, Andy	9	526	3.65		5-4
2	Edwards, Gary	1	20	6.00		0-0

Playoff result: Eliminated in quarter-finals			
Round 1: vs Montreal, won 3 games to 0; 15GF 6GA			
Round 2: vs NY Islanders, lost 2 games to 4;  20GF 29GA			
Summary: Series: 1-1; Games: 5-4; 35GF 35GA			



Transactions

June 11, 1980
• Ron Areshenkoff and 10th round pick in 1980 (Bob O’Brien) traded to Philadelphia for Barry Dean*.
• 1980 NHL entry draft—Oilers selected Paul Coffey (6), Jari Kurri (69), Walt Poddubny (90), Andy Moog (132), and Lars-Gunner Petersson* (174).

June 26, 1980
• John Bednarski signed as free agent by Buffalo.

July 1, 1980
• Ron Carter claimed on waivers by Buffalo.

July 10, 1980
• Signed Tom Bladon (formerly with Pittsburgh) as free agent.

August 1, 1980
• Alex Tidey signed as free agent by Los Angeles.

September 11, 1980
• Signed Matti Hagman (formerly with Boston) as free agent.

September 1980
• Kevin Primeau signed as free agent by Vancouver.

October 10, 1980
• Claimed Curt Brackenbury on waivers from Quebec.
• Colin Campbell claimed on waivers by Vancouver.

December 13, 1980
• Tom Bladon signed as free agent by Winnipeg.

December 15, 1980
• Claimed John Hughes on waivers from Vancouver.

February 2, 1981
• 3rd round pick in 1982 (Wally Chapman) traded to Minnesota for Gary Edwards.

March 10, 1981
• Blair MacDonald and Lars-Gunner Petersson* traded to Vancouver for Ken Berry and Garry Lariviere.
• John Hughes traded to NY Rangers for Ray Markham*.
• Pat Price traded to Pittsburgh for Pat Hughes.
• 7th round pick in 1981 (Craig Hurley) traded to Los Angeles for Garry Unger.


So there was one franchise movement in the NHL prior to the 80-81 season with the Atlanta Flames traipsing across the continent and moving to Calgary to give the Oilers’ their natural rival and the give Canada a full one-third of the NHL franchises.

There was also movement in the Oilers’ management with Larry Gordon purchasing the Oilers’ farm team in Wichita, he moved down to become the owner and GM of that franchise. Sather was then promoted from coach to GM—a job he would maintain for the next 20 years. To replace himself as head coach, he hired Bryan Watson, who had no experience as a head coach. The Oilers also had their second consecutive terrific entry draft getting Paul Coffey in the first round, Jari Kurri in the 4th, and Andy Moog in the 7th.

On the ice, the Oilers were hoping to enjoy a full season with Ron Low as the number one guy after his excellent showing at the end of the previous season. Unfortunately Low seemed to lose his form, and was bad as the starter early on—so bad they would eventually go back to Eddie Mio as the main guy. Mio was better, but they wanted more and would acquire veteran Gary Edwards in February to try to solidify things. Edwards wasn’t much better and they would even try pulling up 21 year old Andy Moog for a while to try to find the right goalie.

On defence, Lee Fogolin and Kevin Lowe were starting to establish themselves as a legitimate shutdown pair. Meanwhile, Risto Siltanen had a terrific year,, leading the d-men with 53 points. New boy Paul Coffey was not yet what he would be, but his 32 points as a 19 year old were just a taste of things to come. Campbell had left in the off-season, but Hicks and Price were back to round out the corps. Price would be gone at the deadline while a young free agent signing named Charlie Huddy would make his debut.

Up front newcomer Jari Kurri exploded into the lineup, replacing Blair MacDonald as Gretzky’s right wing getting 75 points (2nd on the team). MacDonald himself seemed to regress a bit, but he still managed 43 points in 51 games. He would be dealt at the deadline (second year in a row the Oilers dealt their captain at the deadline—Fogolin would become the new captain). Callighen had a great year, getting over a point a game, on the left side with Gretzky and Kurri as did newcomer Matti Hagman. Messier nearly double his previous year’s point total getting 63 points, and playing with rookie Glenn Anderson who managed 53. The bottom lines were rounded out by Lumley (who had a poor season), Semenko, Hunter, Weir (who also dropped in production), and newcomer Curt Brackenbury.

And of course there’s Gretzky himself. At just 20 years old, he broke Bobby Orr’s record for assists with 109 (Orr had 102) and Phil Esposito’s record for points with 164 (old mark: 152). He would collect the Hart, Art Ross, and 1st team all star honours. And as we know he was just warming up.

The team itself got off to a really bad start (somewhat caused by Ron Low’s poor play) at 4-9-5, which would cost Watson his job after just 18 games. Sather demoted Watson to assistant coach, and went behind the bench himself. Sather would continue to do both jobs (GM and head coach) for the next nine years. The Oilers steadily improved and despite some shaky goaltending were able to finish the season with a 29-35-16 record—good for 14th place overall and a first round playoff date with the 3rd place Montreal Canadiens.

Everyone expected the veteran Habs to make short work of the upstart Oilers. Sather played a hunch and decided to start Andy Moog in net for the series. The decision paid off, as Moog was great and the Oilers completely dominated Montreal winning in three straight games and outscoring the Habs 15-6. The Oilers had their first ever NHL playoff win, and were feeling confident going into a 2nd round series with the league’s best regular season team and defending Stanley Cup champion New York Islanders. The Oilers found themselves overmatched in this series but still put up a valiant effort. After losing badly in the first two games, they came back to Edmonton and took game 3. Then they had a chance to even the series when game 4 went to OT, but the Islanders prevailed on a goal by Ken Morrow. The Oilers would prolong the series with a game 5 victory, but couldn’t hold on and lost in six games.

It was clear at this point the team was on the rise; after the Islanders collected their second cup, they admitted that the Oilers were the best team they had played along the way. The stories say the team was so young that they dind’t realize how good they were playing and how they were supposed to act—they would chant “Here we go Oilers” from the bench to the befuddlement of their opponents.

The true greatness was still to come….





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 Re: Season 9 (NHL season 2), 1980-81: All arrows up [message #824377 is a reply to message #824375 ]
Mon, 19 June 2023 09:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
Messages: 6986
Registered: August 2005
Location: Edmonton, AB

6 Cups

I just hear the narrator from "Wayne Gretzky: Above and Beyond" as I read this:

Paraphrasing - "But the next season brought the perfect compliment to Gretzky's breath-taking passing game, a young Finn named Jari Kurri...Though the two could barely communicate off the ice, on the ice, they spoke fluent offence."



"Thinking that a bad team's best players are the reason the team is bad is the "Tambellini re-signing Lennart Petrell" of sports opinions." @Woodguy55
#FireLowe #FireBobbyNicks #FireKenHolland #FireKeithGretzky

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 Season 10 (NHL 3), 1981-82: The Bubble Bursts [message #824448 is a reply to message #824021 ]
Wed, 21 June 2023 01:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 563
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

No Cups

https://scontent.fyxd3-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.18169-9/524893_10151193608087128_728502386_n.jpg?_nc_cat=107&ccb=1-7&_nc_sid=cdbe9c&_nc_ohc=xwPkBmY6q8cAX_MmZHQ&_nc_ht=scontent.fyxd3-1.fna&oh=00_AfDFQjoKxugbvEt4srsqaMCLmB4oDdT8Ger900Pc6ncwYA&oe=64E96AE3


	Coach: Glen Sather					
	GM: Glen Sather					
						
	Regular Season Record: 48W-17L-15T (.694)--111 points					
	417GF 295GA     Finish: 1st Smythe Division (2nd overall)					
						
				Regular Season		
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Gretzky, Wayne	F	80	92	120	212
2	Anderson, Glenn	F	80	38	67	105
3	Coffey, Paul	D	80	29	60	89
4	Messier, Mark	F	78	50	38	88
5	Kurri, Jari	F	71	32	54	86
6	Lumley, Dave	F	66	32	42	74
7	Siltanen, Risto	D	63	15	48	63
8	Hagman, Matti	F	72	21	38	59
9	Hughes, Pat	F	68	24	22	46
10	Lowe, Kevin	D	80	9	31	40
11	Hunter, Dave	F	63	16	22	38
12	Fogolin, Lee	D	80	4	25	29
13	Callighen, Brett	F	46	8	19	27
14	Semenko, Dave	F	59	12	12	24
15	Hicks, Doug	D	49	3	20	23
16	Lariviere, Gary	F	62	1	21	22
17	Unger, Garry	F	46	7	13	20
18	Weir, Stan	F	51	3	13	16
19	Huddy, Charlie	D	41	4	11	15
20	Roulston, Tom	F	35	11	3	14
21	Forbes, Mike	D	16	1	7	8
22	Boschman, Laurie	F	11	2	3	5
23	Berry, Ken	F	15	2	3	5
24	Habschied, Marc	F	7	1	3	4
25	Nethery, Lance	F	3	0	2	2
26	Brackenbury, Curt	F	14	0	2	2
27	Strueby, Todd	F	3	0	0	0
28	Poddubny, Walt	F	4	0	0	0
29	Jackson, Don	D	8	0	0	0
						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L-T
1	Fuhr, Grant	48	2847	3.31	0.898	28-5-14
2	Low, Ron	29	1554	3.86		17-7-1
3	Moog, Andy	8	399	4.81	0.842	3-5-0


				Playoffs		
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Gretzky, Wayne	F	5	5	7	12
2	Anderson, Glenn	F	5	2	5	7
3	Kurri, Jari	F	5	2	5	7
4	Siltanen, Risto	D	5	3	2	5
5	Huddy, Charlie	D	5	1	2	3
6	Lowe, Kevin	D	5	0	3	3
7	Hughes, Pat	F	5	2	1	3
8	Lumley, Dave	F	5	2	1	3
9	Messier, Mark	F	5	1	2	3
10	Coffey, Paul	D	5	1	1	2
11	Fogolin, Lee	D	5	1	1	2
12	Hagman, Matti	F	3	1	0	1
13	Boschman, Laurie	F	3	0	1	1
14	Unger, Garry	F	4	1	0	1
15	Lariviere, Gary	F	4	0	1	1
16	Roulston, Tom	F	5	1	0	1
17	Hunter, Dave	F	5	0	1	1
18	Callighen, Brett	F	2	0	0	0
19	Gregg, Randy	D	4	0	0	0
20	Semenko, Dave	F	4	0	0	0
						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L
1	Fuhr, Grant	5	309	5.05		2-3


Playoff result: Eliminated in Smythe Division semi-final						
Round 1: vs Los Angeles, lost 2 games to 3; 23GF 27GA						



Transactions

May 5, 1981
• Signed John Blum as free agent.

June 10, 1981
• 1981 NHL entry draft—Oilers selected Grant Fuhr (8), Todd Strueby (29), Paul Houck* (71), Phil Drouilliard* (92), Steve Smith (111), Marc Habscheid (113), Miroslva Horava* (176), and Gord Sherven (197).

August 21, 1981
• Don Murdoch traded to Minnesota for Don Jackson and 3rd round pick in 1982 (Wally Chapman (Minnesota)).

October 6, 1981
• Signed Ray Coté as free agent.

October 8, 1981
• Gary Edwards claimed on waivers by St. Louis.

December 11, 1981
• Eddie Mio traded to NY Rangers for Lance Nethery.

March 9, 1982
• Phil Drouilliard* and Walt Poddubny traded to Toronto for Laurie Boschman.
• Doug Hicks traded to Washington for Todd Bidner*.
• Stan Weir traded to Colorado for Ed Cooper*.


The NHL abandoned its balanced schedule and playoffs starting in this season, never to return (the mathematician in me will always miss this perfectly balanced system—I never cared much about rivalries anyway). The league was completely realigned into two conferences and four divisions. Out east in the Wales Conference you had the Patrick Division (NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington) and the Adams Division (Boston, Buffalo, Hartford, Montreal, and Quebec). Out West in the Campbell Conference we had the Norris Division (Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, St. Louis, Toronto, and Winnipeg) while the Oilers were in the Smythe division with Calgary, Colorado, Los Angeles, and Vancouver. Teams would now play each team in their own division eight times, while playing the rest of the league only three. Top four in each division made the playoffs with the first two rounds being all within the divisions, before conference champs were determined to get to the Stanley Cup Finals. This format would remain in place for the next twelve years.

The Oilers entered training camp in September 1981 with a bit of pall over the team after the death in a car accident of Don Ashby in the off-season who had spent parts of the previous two seasons with the organization. Once the grieving was done, though the team got to work.

Mio and Edwards were gone, so the goaltending was a three way battle between Moog, Low, and Grant Fuhr, the Oilers shiny new local boy, who was their first round selection (8th overall) in the recent draft. After his playoff performance, you would think Moog would have the upper hand, but he really faltered to start the season, and would end up spending almost the whole year in the minors. Fuhr ceased the starting job with Low backing him up for almost the entire season. Fuhr had an excellent campaign, going 28-5-14. He quickly established his reputation as a goalie who wouldn’t stop everything, but he would stop the important ones. His performance was noted by the league as he was named the second team all-star goalie and was runner up for both the Vezina (lost to Billy Smith) and Calder trophies (lost to Dale Hawerchuk).

On the blueline, the Oilers boasted two of the top offensive d-men in the league. Siltanen put in his best season as an Oiler, getting 63 points in 63 games, while Paul Coffey nearly tripled his previous seasons total, getting 89 points—the top offensive production in the league for a defenseman, and third on the team in scoring. This performance earned him a second-team all star placing on defence and second runner-up for the Norris (behind Doug Wilson and Ray Bourque). Lowe and Fogolin continued to round out the top 4, with the bottom two spots being filled by the likes of Hicks (dealt at the deadline), and Huddy.

The Oilers offense went absolutely super-nova this season, becoming the first team to score over 400 goals in a season, getting 417. Gretzky made a complete mockery of the NHL record book, breaking the records for goals (92), assists (120) and points (212). His 212 points was 60 more than anyone who wasn’t him had ever gotten. His 92 goals was a full 16 more than Esposito’s previous mark of 76. Most famously he made the previous high water mark of 50 goals in 50 games look pedestrian by getting 50 in 39. As made famous on the broadcast when he scored 5 goals on Dec 30 to achieve the feat, he had 50 goals before anyone else in the league even had 30. I don’t think it’s possible to overstate how good Gretzky’s season was—he of course earned himself his third straight Hart trophy, his second straight Art Ross, and his second straight first all-star selection.

Of course Gretzky wasn’t alone, as it seems every Oiler forward set career marks. Anderson was second in team scoring with 105 points. Messier improved to 88 points including 50 goals—this performance was good enough to earn him a place as the 1st team all-star on left wing. Kurri put up 86 points, but perhaps most surprisingly was Dave Lumley having an out of body season with 32 goals and 74 points. At one point in the season he potted a goal in 12 straight games. Other contributors in the bottom half of the forwards were Matti Hagman, Pat Hughes (both acquired the previous season), Dave Hunter, Dave Semenko, Gary Lariviere, and wiley veteran Gary Unger. Callighen and Weir were also still around but found their roles reduced. Weir would be dealt at the deadline, while Callighen would retire after the season after being unable to fully recover from an eye injury.

As you can probably surmise from all this praise, the Oilers had a terrific season. They would finish the campaign 48-17-15 good for 2nd place in the league (7 points behind the defending cup champion Islanders), and easily topping the Smythe division, a whopping 34 points clear of the second place Canucks. Their first round opponent was the Los Angeles Kings, a team the Oilers finished 48 points ahead of. What resulted of course was one of the biggest upsets in NHL history as the Kings would win the series in 5 games. This is series is well documented, mostly for the “Miracle on Manchester”; I’ve written about this series extensively before so rather than repeat myself I will refer you to it here:

http://oilfans.com/forum/index.php?t=msg&goto=804525& ;amp ;rid=2208&SQ=cfa3bca05ec2e702167e0d2dd70d3e32#msg_804525


So for the first time in their history when the Oilers were a heavy favourite they badly failed the test. Lessons would be learned as they would have to wait for next year….

[Updated on: Wed, 26 July 2023 21:10]


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 Re: Season 10 (NHL 3), 1981-82: The Bubble Bursts [message #824449 is a reply to message #824448 ]
Wed, 21 June 2023 10:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam  is currently offline Adam
Messages: 6986
Registered: August 2005
Location: Edmonton, AB

6 Cups

I'd hazard a guess that if you asked most people who haven't read this thread who the second player in Oilers history to record a 100-point season was, Glenn Anderson wouldn't often be higher than the 3rd guess.

Also - Gretzky with 12 points in 5 games in a losing effort in the playoffs. Crazy.



"Thinking that a bad team's best players are the reason the team is bad is the "Tambellini re-signing Lennart Petrell" of sports opinions." @Woodguy55
#FireLowe #FireBobbyNicks #FireKenHolland #FireKeithGretzky

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 Season 11 (NHL 4), 1982-83: Continued Improvement [message #824505 is a reply to message #824021 ]
Thu, 22 June 2023 17:40 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 563
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

No Cups

https://scontent.fyxd3-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.18169-9/976_10151203683082128_1488978350_n.jpg?_nc_cat=104&ccb=1-7&_nc_sid=cdbe9c&_nc_ohc=oodpzAn8NQkAX9xXF37&_nc_ht=scontent.fyxd3-1.fna&oh=00_AfBvzJaF1tJXa6U5LoDe36Zzege4P_sw1k1j2OZwPFsfxw&oe=64E9504B


	Coach: Glen Sather					
	GM: Glen Sather					
						
	Regular Season Record: 47W-21L-12T (.663)--106 points					
	424GF 315GA    Finish: 1st Smythe Division (3rd overall)					
						
				Regular Season		
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Gretzky, Wayne	F	80	71	125	196
2	Messier, Mark	F	77	48	58	106
3	Anderson, Glenn	F	72	48	56	104
4	Kurri, Jari	F	80	45	59	104
5	Coffey, Paul	D	80	29	67	96
6	Linseman, Ken	F	72	33	42	75
7	Huddy, Charlie	D	76	20	37	57
8	Hughes, Pat	F	80	25	20	45
9	Roulston, Tom	F	67	19	21	40
10	Lowe, Kevin	D	80	6	34	40
11	Lumley, Dave	F	72	13	24	37
12	Pouzar, Jaroslav	F	74	15	18	33
13	Hunter, Dave	F	80	13	18	31
14	Gregg, Randy	D	80	6	22	28
15	Semenko, Dave	F	75	12	15	27
16	Boschman, Laurie	F	62	8	12	20
17	Fogolin, Lee	D	72	0	18	18
18	Habschied, Marc	F	32	3	10	13
19	Lindstrom, Willy	F	10	6	5	11
20	Jackson, Don	D	71	2	8	10
21	Blum, John	D	5	0	3	3
22	Unger, Garry	F	16	2	0	2
23	Lariviere, Gary	F	17	0	2	2
24	Strueby, Todd	F	1	0	0	0
25	Nachbaur, Don	F	4	0	0	0
						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L-T
1	Moog, Andy	50	2833	3.54	0.891	33-8-7
2	Fuhr, Grant	32	1803	4.29	0.868	13-12-5
3	Low, Ron	3	104	5.77	0.818	0-1-0
4	Middlebrook, Lindsay	1	60	3.00	0.909	1-0-0


				Playoffs		
	Player	Position	Games	Goals	Assists	Points
1	Gretzky, Wayne	F	16	12	26	38
2	Kurri, Jari	F	16	8	15	23
3	Messier, Mark	F	15	15	6	21
4	Anderson, Glenn	F	16	10	10	20
5	Coffey, Paul	D	16	7	7	14
6	Linseman, Ken	F	16	6	8	14
7	Lindstrom, Willy	F	16	2	11	13
8	Hunter, Dave	F	16	4	7	11
9	Lowe, Kevin	D	16	1	8	9
10	Huddy, Charlie	D	15	1	6	7
11	Hughes, Pat	F	16	2	5	7
12	Jackson, Don	D	16	3	3	6
13	Gregg, Randy	D	16	2	4	6
14	Coté, Ray	F	14	3	2	5
15	Fogolin, Lee	D	16	0	5	5
16	Roulston, Tom	F	16	1	2	3
17	Pouzar, Jaroslav	F	1	2	0	2
18	Semenko, Dave	F	15	1	1	2
19	Lariviere, Gary	F	1	0	1	1
20	Unger, Garry	F	1	0	0	0
21	Nachbaur, Don	F	2	0	0	0
22	Lumley, Dave	F	16	0	0	0
						
				Goalies		
	Goalie	Games	Min	GAA	SV %	W-L
1	Moog, Andy	16	949	3.03		11-5
2	Fuhr, Grant	1	11	0.00		0-0

Playoff result: Eliminated in Stanley Cup Final				
Round 1: vs Winnipeg, won 3 games to 0;  14GF 9GA				
Round 2: vs Calgary, won 4 games to 1; 35GF 13GA				
Round 3: vs Chicago, won 4 games to 0; 25GF 11GA				
Round 4: vs NY Islanders, lost 0 games to 4; 6GF 17GA				
Summary: Series: 3-1; Games: 11-5; 80GF 50GA				




Transactions

June 9, 1982
• 1982 NHL entry draft—Oilers selected Jim Playfair (20), Steve Graves (41), Brent Loney* (62), Jaroslav Pouzar (83), Raimo Summanen (125), and Dean Clark (167).

August 19, 1982
• Brent Loney*, and Risto Siltanen traded to Hartford for Ken Linseman and Don Nachbaur.

September 25, 1982
• Roy Sommer signed as free agent by New Jersey.

October 1, 1982
• Curt Brackenbury signed as free agent by St. Louis.

October 18, 1982
• Signed Randy Gregg as free agent.

October 27, 1982
• Signed Jim McTaggart* (formerly with Washington) as free agent.

February 19, 1983
• Ron Low and Jim McTaggart* traded to New Jersey for Lindsay Middlebrook and Paul Miller*.

March 7, 1983
• Laurie Boschman traded to Winnipeg for Willy Lindstrom.



One franchise movement in the NHL prior to the start of the 82-83 season: The Colorado Rockies got out of Denver and moved east to New Jersey, becoming the Devils as we now know and love them. This would begin a brief period of stability for the league with no franchise movements or expansions over the next nine years (which coincidentally coincides with the Oilers’ “decade of greatness”—did I just coin that?). New Jersey was placed in the Patrick Division, while the Jets would leave the Norris and join the other western Canadian teams in the Smythe division to balance things out. They would of course become the punching bags for the Oilers over the next eight years—probably would have been better off staying in the Norris which was perpetually weak through most of the 80s.

The Oilers were anxious to get going and make up for the previous season’s playoff failure. They still had three goalies on tap with Fuhr, Moog, and Low battling for playing time. For the third consecutive year, the guy that had won the starter job for the previous season’s playoffs would lose out for it the following one. After Fuhr’s outstanding rookie season (followed by his stinky playoff performance) he seemed to suffer a sophomore jinx and was outplayed by Moog who would take the starting job from him for this season. Fuhr was relegated to backup (even spending a month in the minors) while Low mostly sat on the sidelines, playing just 3 games before being dealt to the Devils. Moog was good, playing in 50 games and going 33-8-7 with a 0.891 save% (compared to Fuhr’s less than stellar 13-12-5 and 0.868) and would get the nod going wire to wire in the Oilers’ playoff run.

On defense, the Oilers decided to trade Risto Siltanen in the offseason in a three way deal with Hartford and Philadelphia that saw the Oilers get back forward Ken Linseman (more on him later). They replaced Siltanen’s offence internally with Charlie Huddy taking a huge leap forward and becoming Paul Coffey’s defense partner—a partnership that would prove formidable over the next five years. Huddy was able to cover for Coffey’s frequent rushes while contributing to the offense himself. Coffey ended up with 96 points (and another 2nd all star selection) while Huddy had an impressive 57 points and a +62 plus/minus rating that won him the Emery Edge award (wonder why that trophy doesn’t exist anymore). Lowe and Fogolin were back to anchor the 2nd pair while a couple of newcomers would now patrol on the 3rd pair: Randy Gregg and Don Jackson. This sextet would be would basically be six guys iced on D for almost every game that season.

What could Gretzky do after shattering records in 81-82? Well he couldn’t go much higher, so he came down a little bit. His paltry 71 goals was 21 less than what he got the previous year—yet still enough to win the goal scoring title by 11 goals over Mike Bossy. He did break his own assist record for the third straight year amassing 125 for a total of 196 points. Obviously this was good enough for another Hart, Art Ross, and 1st team all-star selection. The supporting cast was also impressive with three other forwards getting 100 points: Messier (106), Anderson (104) and Kurri (104)—Messier was named the 1st team all-star left wing for the 2nd consecutive year. The newly acquire Linseman managed 75 points while also being the super-pest his “rat” nickname implied—the Oilers had acquired him for his combination of offense and nastiness, and he delivered in spades. Rounding out the forwards were a mix of old and new faces in Pat Hughes (great on the penalty kill), Tom Roulston, Dave Lumley (came back down to earth getting only 37 points after his 73 point campaign the year before), Jaroslav Pouzar (the most common LW to play with Gretzky and Kurri), Dave Hunter, and Dave Semenko. One player that had a disappointing season was Laurie Boschman. The Oilers had acquired him the previous season for his offensive ability and toughness, but he never seemed to fit in with the team. He managed just 20 points in 62 games on an offensive juggernaut and the Oilers would cut bait with him at the deadline, dealing him to the Jets for the wily veteran Willy Lindstrom, who would soon find chemistry playing with Ken Linseman.

On the ice it was another great season for the team going 47-21-12, good for 106 points and 1st place in the Smythe division (a full 28 clear of 2nd place Calgary) and tied with Philadelphia for 2nd in the league behind only Boston. Their first round opponent was their old WHA rival the Winnipeg Jets, who were a full 32 points worse than the Oilers. The team was determined not to let another upset happen, and although the Jets played them hard and kept the games close, the Oilers would prevail in a 3 game sweep. The second round would give us our first battle of Alberta. The Oilers would absolutely destroy the Flames, winning the first two games easily before the series shifted to the old Calgary Corral where the Oilers demolished the Flames 10-2. They would let their guard down for a moment in game 4, allowing Calgary to eke out a 1-goal victory, but then returned to Edmonton to curb stomp them 9-1 in game 5.

Their Campbell Conference Final opponent would be Chicago who were easily the best team in the Norris division and had finished just 2 points back of the Oilers. A long competitive series was anticipated, but the Oilers turned things up to 11 and easily swept the Hawks, outscoring them 25-11. In just their fourth year in the league, the Oilers had made the Stanley Cup Final.

Their opponent would be the Islanders who had won the cup in the previous 3 years. After getting 118 points in 81-82 on their way to cup 3, the Islanders dropped 22 points in 82-83 and had just 96. They had really turned things on in the playoffs, though, beating the President’s trophy winning Bruins in the Wales final in 6 games. A tremendous SCF was anticipated between the young upstart Oilers and the aging but still formidable Islanders. The Islanders played a defensive system that completely shut down the Oilers offense, and when they did get opportunities Billy Smith was there to stop seemingly everything (he would win a well deserved Conn Smythe trophy). Smith’s combative nature made him publicly enemy number one in Edmonton (after this series I remember writing an essay for my grade 3 Language Arts class about how much I hated him), but there was no doubt how good he was in this series. The Islanders would sweep the Oilers. After seemingly scoring at will against the Flames and Black Hawks, the Oilers only managed a paltry 6 goals in the four games against the Islanders.

When the Oilers talk about this series they always say that they really learned from the Islanders what it took to win—a lesson they would take into the next several years.

[Updated on: Wed, 26 July 2023 21:08]


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