The Edmonton Oilers are an NHL franchise in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference.
The Oilers were founded in 1972, as part of the World Hockey Association. When Edmonton acquired young superstar Wayne Gretzky, they finished at the top of the WHA league standings in the last season of its existence. In 1979, the Oilers joined the NHL, led by GM Glen Sather, who created one of the greatest teams in NHL history. With Gretzky’s talent complemented by superstars like Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey and Grant Fuhr, the Oilers were one of the dominant teams in the ‘80s. While the Oilers made the playoffs each of their first four seasons. In 1984, Gretzky and Messier led the Oilers to their first Stanley Cup, and another in 1985. They lost the following season’s Division Finals playoff on a goal scored on his own net by defenseman Steve Smith. In 1986 and 1987, however, the Oilers won two more Cups, making them one of the most dominant teams in a single decade of NHL history.
In 1988, in one of the most controversial trades in history, Wayne Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. The move came back to bite Edmonton almost immediately, as Gretzky defeated the Oilers in the first round of the playoffs that season. In 1989-90, the Oilers returned to the Cup Finals, this time not as the overwhelming favorites, but still managed to pull off their fifth Cup championship. The Oilers would struggle throughout the 1990s after Conference Final appearances in 1991 and ’92. A number of star players buoyed the Oilers’ rejuvenation in 1997. With Doug Weight and Jason Arnott leading the way and Curtis Joseph in net, the Oilers made it to the second round of the playoffs. Edmonton remained competitive over the next seven seasons, making the playoffs in every season but 2002. In an interesting coincidence, the Oilers would play the Dallas Stars every time they made the playoffs, five times in the first round.
In 2005, the Oilers picked up a number of veteran players like Chris Pronger, who helped keep the Oilers competitive. In 2006, with Pronger anchoring the defense, and fan favorite Ryan Smyth leading the way, Edmonton rolled through the playoffs on the way to yet another Stanley Cup appearance. Despite losing star goalie Dwayne Roloson in the first game of the series, the Oilers managed to force the series to seven games, before losing to Carolina.
Since the Stanley Cup run in 2006, the Oilers have not made the playoffs. A number of solid young draft picks and some offseason pickups have the Oilers looking to make another run at the playoffs in 2008-09/
Edmonton plays out of the Rexall Place which holds 16, 839.
Stanley Cups won: 1983-83, ’84-85, ’86-87, ’87-88, ’89-90
Notable Players: Glenn Anderson, Jason Arnott, Andrew Cogliano, Paul Coffey, Shayne Corson, Grant Fuhr, Sam Gagner, Adam Graves, Wayne Gretzky, Shawn Horcoff, Charlie Huddy, Jari Kurri, Kevin Lowe, Craig MacTavish, Marty McSorley, Mark Messier, Ethan Moreau, Michael Peca, Chris Pronger, Bill Ranford, Glen Sather, Billy Smith, Steve Smith, Ryan Smyth, Sheldon Souray, Esa Tikkanen, Doug Weight
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