TOP 100 OILERS: JEFF BEUKEBOOM (37)

Robin Brownlee
December 27 2016 07:00AM

Jeff Beukeboom was a throwback player, a stay-at-home defenseman who took care of this own end of the ice first and made it possible for his more skilled teammates with the Edmonton Oilers to do their jobs because he was so good at his. Beukeboom was as tough and as honest a player as you’d ever meet, quietly winning three Stanley Cups with the Oilers.

It was particularly sickening, then, to see Beukeboom’s career end prematurely as the result of a stunning act of cowardice by Los Angeles Kings thug Matt Johnson, who attacked him from behind. At the time, Beukeboom was 33 and playing for the New York Rangers. While he’d come back briefly after the incident, Beukeboom, who’d suffered multiple concussions during his career, was forced to retire.   

Jeff Beukeboom

Defense -- shoots R

Born Mar 28 1965 -- Ajax, ONT 

Height 6.05 -- Weight 230 [196 cm/104 kg]

Drafted by Edmonton Oilers

Round 1 #19 overall 1983 NHL Entry Draft

BY THE NUMBERS

Season

Age

Tm

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

PIM

S

S%

1986-87

21

EDM

44

3

8

11

7

124

24

12.5

1987-88

22

EDM

73

5

20

25

27

201

76

6.6

1988-89

23

EDM

36

0

5

5

2

94

26

0.0

1989-90

24

EDM

46

1

12

13

5

86

36

2.8

1990-91

25

EDM

67

3

7

10

6

150

48

6.3

1991-92

26

TOT

74

1

15

16

23

200

48

2.1

1991-92

26

EDM

18

0

5

5

4

78

7

0.0

1991-92

26

NYR

56

1

10

11

19

122

41

2.4

1992-93

27

NYR

82

2

17

19

9

153

54

3.7

1993-94

28

NYR

68

8

8

16

18

170

58

13.8

1994-95

29

NYR

44

1

3

4

3

70

29

3.4

1995-96

30

NYR

82

3

11

14

19

220

65

4.6

1996-97

31

NYR

80

3

9

12

22

167

55

5.5

1997-98

32

NYR

63

0

5

5

-25

195

23

0.0

1998-99

33

NYR

45

0

9

9

-2

60

8

0.0

8 yrs


NYR

520

18

72

90

63

1157

333

5.4

6 yrs


EDM

284

12

57

69

51

733

217

5.5

Career



804

30

129

159

114

1890

550

5.5

PLAYOFFS

Season

Age

Tm

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

PIM

S

S%

1985-86

20

EDM

1

0

0

0

1

4

1

0.0

1987-88

22

EDM

7

0

0

0

-1

16

2

0.0

1988-89

23

EDM

1

0

0

0

0

2

0


1989-90

24

EDM

2

0

0

0

2

0

0


1990-91

25

EDM

18

1

3

4

-5

28

15

6.7

1991-92

26

NYR

13

2

3

5

-2

47

10

20.0

1993-94

28

NYR

22

0

6

6

17

50

22

0.0

1994-95

29

NYR

9

0

0

0

1

10

11

0.0

1995-96

30

NYR

11

0

3

3

-1

6

12

0.0

1996-97

31

NYR

15

0

1

1

5

34

9

0.0

Career



99

3

16

19

17

197

82

3.7

NOTABLE

It was always particularly galling to me that Beukeboom’s career ended the way it did, even though he was long removed from Edmonton when Johnson suckered him from behind. Beukeboom suffered severe post-concussion symptoms for years. I recall vividly the day he stopped by an Oiler morning skate at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto to say hello. He looked like hell. He was really struggling. Thankfully, he has since recovered.

At six-foot-five and 230 pounds, Beukeboom was an imposing figure, a big banger who never hesitated to drop the gloves when the situation called for it – he had 98 fights during his career. He was right in the middle of the mix when the Battle of Alberta with the Calgary Flames actually was a battle. With Beukeboom, Marty McSorley, Kevin McClelland, Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger the Oilers of that era were loaded with toughness.

In Beukeboom’s first season with the Oilers, 1986-87, Wayne Gretzky had 183 points, Jari Kurri had 108 and Mark Messier had 107. In his last season with the Oilers, 1991-92, Gretzky, Kurri and Messier were all gone and the Oilers Stanley Cup days were over. In between, Beukeboom never changed, taking care of business in his own end, doing the dirty work when needed and playing to his strengths. You always knew what you were going to get from Beukeboom. His best season in Edmonton was his second, 1987-88, when he scored 5-20-25 and had 201 penalty minutes. 

THE STORY

Jeff Beukeboom

With Paul Coffey traded to Pittsburgh after Beukeboom’s first season in Edmonton, the Oiler blueline, while not as dynamic, was a solid collection that included Smith, Charlie Huddy, Kevin Lowe, Craig Muni and Randy Gregg. Personally, I preferred it when Glen Sather and John Muckler paired Beukeboom with Smith, a tandem dubbed the Twin Towers.

After parts of six seasons with Edmonton, Beukeboom joined a growing collection of former Oilers in New York – Messier sold Ranger GM Neil Smith on him – in a swap that saw the Oilers acquire David Shaw in a deal that completed the Messier trade. Beukeboom’s stay-at-home style didn’t change a bit in Manhattan as he was paired with Brian Leetch. Beukeboom won his fourth Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1994.

With the post-concussion symptoms that ended his career after the 1998-99 season finally behind him, Beukeboom has been back in the game in various coaching and management capacities since the 2003-04 season. These days, he’s an assistant coach with the Rangers under Alain Vigneault. 

This series will look at the top 100 Edmonton Oilers from the NHL era 1979-80 to 2014-15, starting with 100 and working up. 

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260.

PREVIOUSLY:

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
Avatar
#1 Bryan in SK
December 27 2016, 08:42AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
29
cheers

Thanks for this, Robin. A great series, and I always look forward to the next entry. A walk down memory lane for some of us fortysomethings.

Avatar
#2 Morgo_82
December 27 2016, 11:14AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

When the heck did he wear the C? I know it would've been to fill in for an injury but I don't recall him ever wearing it. Very underrated player IMO, he really was missed on the blueline and he proved his worth with the Rangers in 94.

Avatar
#5 D
December 27 2016, 12:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

One of the more underrated players for the Oil who did a lot in the shadow of the greats. I was also surprised to see the photo with him wearing the C. Kind of nice.

Avatar
#6 OilCan2
December 27 2016, 12:18PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

Running through the list of D from that era PROVES defence wins championships.

Avatar
#7 Morgo_82
December 27 2016, 01:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Robin Brownlee wrote:

Oilers played the Toronto Maple Leafs home and away during the pre-season in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991. I believe that picture is from the pre-season in 90 or 91.

That makes sense, thanks Robin.

Avatar
#8 Seanaconda
December 27 2016, 01:31PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers
OilCan2 wrote:

Running through the list of D from that era PROVES defence wins championships.

Would probably use a team less stacked at forward to prove defense wins championships

Avatar
#9 Spydyr
December 27 2016, 06:38PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
15
cheers

A six-foot-five and 230 pounds right shooting tough defencman sounds like something the Oilers of today could use.

Avatar
#10 BornInAGretzkyJersey
December 27 2016, 09:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

Nicely done.

For those of us who grew up collecting hockey cards of that era but not fully comprehending the scope of the dynasty, it's nice to get some historical context.

Mostly though, I love the personal stories and recollections. That's the hook for me.

Avatar
#11 MessyEH!
December 28 2016, 06:54AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

Another great article Robin.

I feel he played his best hockey with Leetch on that 6th Oilers cup team;)

Avatar
#12 @Hallsy4
December 28 2016, 11:13AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Robin, thanks for the article, brother. When do you think the time to trade Nuge is? 3 goals is not acceptable IMO. Nuge, Ebs, Pouliot, Fayne and others, are somewhat dead weight, and I think should be shipped out when appropriate. That's like 20 million that hasn't done much this year, besides Ebs #McDavidEffect. Lucic should also be removed from McDavids line immediately and replaced with Maroon. Have Lucic as a 2nd or 3rd liner where he belongs and will help in playoffs. He talks the talk but I haven't seen him walk the walk in a long time. Mclellan should be publicly disciplined for having Lucic out in that OT. That's a coaching error, he's a good player but not a good 3 on 3 player. Probably one of the worst on the team, in fact. It's just not his game. Toad seems to be good at calling others out, but he needs to be accountable as well, or he loses credibility to me. This team is only in the hunt because of McDavid, Drai, Talbot and a better defense. Lots of dead weight hanging around still.... time to admit that rebuild 3.0 did not work and committ to rebuild 4.0 which is looking awesome. Todd, Smarten up brother or Chia Pete will show you the door.

Avatar
#13 @Hallsy4
December 28 2016, 11:17AM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Chia Pete, you're on thin ice too brother. Barzal lighting it up brings it to the fore front. I don't want to admit it to myself, but Lucic is looking like a mistake too... he has no edge like he used to. Coasting expecting McDavid to carry him. Get him off that line immediately, he's not as good as Maroon, at anything. Chia Pete, make the moves that need to be made.... and try not to handcuff this team while you're at it. THe future looks awesome, and now looks good. The nation has trusted you to lead this task force to the glory promised by MacT, Lowe, and Gretz himself. One more mistake is cause for immediate dismissal.

Comments are closed for this article.