TOP 100 OILERS: IGOR KRAVCHUK (86)

Kravchuk

If you’re wondering what Igor Kravchuk is doing on this list of Top 100 Edmonton Oilers or had forgotten about him altogether, you’re probably not alone. Kravchuk was a very good player, but he had terrible timing – he toiled for some completely forgettable Oiler teams in the mid-1990s.

When Kravchuk arrived from the Chicago Blackhawks to start the 1992-93 season, the Oilers had won five Stanley Cups and made the playoffs for 13 straight seasons. When the big Russian blueliner moved along to St. Louis during the 1995-96 season, the Oilers were on their way to missing playoffs for the fourth straight year. Bad teams. Bad times.

Igor Kravchuk #21

Defenseman

NUMBER: 29 BIRTHDATE: September 13, 1966
HEIGHT: 6′ 1″  BIRTHPLACE:  Ufa, Russia
WEIGHT: 215 DRAFTED: CHI / 1991 NHL Entry Draft
SHOOTS: Left ROUND: 4th   (71st overall)

BY THE NUMBERS

CAREER REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS

SEASON TEAM GP G A P +/- PIM  PPG  SHG  GWG  S S% 
1991-92 BLACKHAWKS 18 1 8 9 -3 4 0 0 1 40 2.5
1991-92 SOVIET UNION-CAN-CUP 5 0 0 0 2
1991-92 CSKA MOSCOW-CIS 30 3 8 11 6
1991-92 RUSSIA-OLYMPICS 8 3 2 5 6
1992-93 BLACKHAWKS 38 6 9 15 11 30 3 0 0 101 5.9
1992-93 OILERS 17 4 8 12 -8 2 1 0 0 42 9.5
1993-94 OILERS 81 12 38 50 -12 16 5 0 2 197 6.1
1994-95 OILERS 36 7 11 18 -15 29 3 1 0 93 7.5
1995-96 OILERS 26 4 4 8 -13 10 3 0 0 59 6.8
1995-96 BLUES 40 3 12 15 -6 24 0 0 1 114 2.6
1996-97 BLUES 82 4 24 28 7 35 1 0 0 142 2.8
1997-98 SENATORS 81 8 27 35 -19 8 3 1 1 191 4.2
1997-98 RUSSIA-OLYMPICS 6 0 2 2 2
1998-99 SENATORS 79 4 21 25 14 32 3 0 0 171 2.3
1999-00 SENATORS 64 6 12 18 -5 20 5 0 1 126 4.8
1999-00 RUSSIA-WC-A 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 0.0
2000-01 SENATORS 15 1 5 6 4 14 0 0 1 13 7.7
2000-01 FLAMES 37 0 8 8 -12 4 0 0 0 54 0.0
2001-02 FLAMES 78 4 22 26 3 19 1 0 1 135 3.0
2001-02 RUSSIA-OLYMPICS 6 0 2 2 0
2002-03 PANTHERS 7 0 1 1 -3 4 0 0 0 8 0.0
NHL TOTALS 699  64  210  274  -57  251 28 2 8 1,486  4.3

CAREER PLAYOFF STATISTICS

SEASON TEAM GP  A P +/- PIM  PPG  SHG  GWG  S S%
1991-92 BLACKHAWKS 18 2 6 8 -2 8 1 0 0 48 4.2
1995-96 BLUES 10 1 5 6 0 4 0 0 1 14 7.1
1996-97 BLUES 2 0 0 0 -1 2 0 0 0 6 0.0
1997-98 SENATORS 11 2 3 5 -2 4 0 0 0 24 8.3
1998-99 SENATORS 4 0 0 0 -5 0 0 0 0 12 0.0
1999-00 SENATORS 6 1 1 2 -5 0 0 0 0 19 5.3
NHL TOTALS 51 6 15  21  -15  18 1 0 1 123  4.9

NOTABLE

Kravchuk

While the ongoing stretch of futility the Oilers find themselves in now as they head for a 10th straight year out of the playoffs ranks as the longest skein of ineptitude in franchise history, the teams Kravchuk played for were as deep and as dark a hole as fans in this city have seen.

The .357 points percentage clip the 1992-93 Oilers played at remains a franchise low. Kravchuk’s tenure was a four-year tire fire that saw him play for four different coaches. Ted Green, Glen Sather, George Burnett and Ron Low all took turns at the helm without much luck.

Through it all, Kravchuk performed pretty well, considering he played on a blueline corps that included the likes of Francois Leroux, Brian Glynn, Gord Mark and Dean Kennedy during his stay in Edmonton. In his second season with the Oilers, 1993-94, Kravchuk finished fifth in team scoring behind Doug Weight, Jason Arnott, Zdeno Ciger and Shayne Corson with 12-38-50. 

THE STORY

Kravchuk

All told, Kravchuk played 160 games in Edmonton and tallied 27-61-88 for a points per game mark of .55. To add some context, Tom Gilbert averaged .41 PPG as an Oiler, Boris Mironov was .50 in his time here and Sheldon Souray was .53 before talking himself out of town.

Originally acquired from Chicago with Dean McAmmond for Joe Murphy, Kravchuk got his get-out-of-jail card in February of 1993 when Sather dealt him to the Blues with Ken Sutton for Donald Dufresne and Jeff Norton.

When all is said and done, Kravchuk enjoyed the best season of his 699-game NHL career on that 1993-93 edition of the Oilers. He was a very good player on a very bad team.

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:

  • Jay (not J)

    ‘Bad years. Bad times’ describes a mere 4 year streak without the playoffs? 15 – 20 years from now I wonder how we’ll describe this current era that we’re in. Nice to see an Oiler who had his best season on a crummy team. Now it seems that everyone is excused by their linemates or partners on the blueline dragging them down.

    • D

      It was a 4 year streak without playoffs at a time when the owner was threatening to make it a permanent streak.

      The 90s were the darkest period because in addition to the on ice futility, there was the constant issue of the team leaving town for good (just like Winnipeg and Quebec).

        • D

          Agreed. There have been too many wasted seasons in the last decade. The time has come for the Oilers to get their act together.

          Still, it does feel easier to emotionally invest in this current team than the one in the mid 1990s because the threat of moving is not hanging over the city’s head.

  • Jay (not J)

    Man I am an old guy! Not as folic as you but old… I forgot all about Kravchuk, he was a stud good memory Robin, for a guy on the precipice of dementia you pulled a rabbit out of your hat!

  • Jay (not J)

    If the question were: True or False, Igor played on a blueline corps that included the likes of Francois Leroux, Brian Glynn, Gord Mark and Dean Kennedy? I’d answer false…to be truthful, I’d forgotten these players even existed!