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Hockey Trivia Article - 1980s Edmonton Oilers

In the 1980s a hockey team emerged that captured the imagination of both Canadian and American hockey fans. The Edmonton Oilers of the 80s were full of young talent that could not be matched by the rest of the teams in the National Hockey League.

In the mid to late 1980s, from 1984-1989, the Edmonton Oilers won 4 out of 5 Stanley Cups. They were led by "The Great One" Wayne Gretzky. Joining Gretzky were many other great players including Mark Messier, Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri, Kevin Lowe, Glenn Anderson, and Grant Fuhr.

The Oilers were absolutely dominant as they won the Cup in 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1988. Gretzky won the Art Ross award 7 straight times. He also won many Hart Trophies. He broke the record for most assists and most points in a season. He would reset the assists record 3 more times and the record for most points once more.

It was amazing to watch the Edmonton Oilers as they skated circles around their competition during their dominant years. The Oilers came very close to beating the Calgary Flames in 1986. Had they done that, they may very well have won the Cup that year too.

The Oilers lost to the Flames in a very competitive 7 game series. In fact, game 7 was decided when rookie defensemen, Steve Smith, tried to clear the puck and bounced it off Oilers' goalie, Grant Fuhr, and into the Edmonton net. That was the deciding goal in a 3-2 loss.

That's how close the Oilers came to winning 5 straight Stanly Cups. But they had to settle for 4 out of 5. And after winning their fourth Cup, major changes were about to occur.

In August of 1988, team captain Wayne Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. That would lead to the Edmonton Oilers being knocked out in the first round of the playoffs. Adding insult to injury, it was Gretzky's team, the Kings, that defeated the Oilers.

However, led by Mark Messier and many young players including Adam Graves and Joe Murphy, the Oilers won the Stanly Cup in 1990. It was their fifth championship in seven years. It seemed to prove that the Oilers didn't need Grtezky to be successful, but it would be the last Stanley Cup the Oilers would win.

Eventually many other great players would leave Edmonton. Messier, along with other Oilers' greats like Graves, Kevin Lowe, Glenn Anderson, and Craig MacTavish, won a Stanley Cup with the New York Rangers in 1994.

Gretzky joined the Rangers late in his career but would never again win another Stanley Cup. Gretzy finished his career with the 4 Stanley Cups he won with the Oilers, 10 scoring titles, and 9 Most Valuable Player Awards.

The talent the Oilers possessed during the mid and late 1980s is proven by the fact that they won 4 of 5 Stanley Cups and the fact that the players went on to achieve individual and team success past their time with the Edmonton.

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