TOP 100 OILERS: MARTIN GELINAS (50)

He was a hotshot prospect drafted seventh overall by the Los Angeles Kings in 1988, but it turned out the only time he’d ever wear the team’s black and silver jersey was on draft day. A couple months later, he was told he’d been traded to the Edmonton Oilers for Wayne Gretzky — a deal which had fans burning Oiler owner Peter Pocklington in effigy.

Such was hockey life for 18-year-old Martin Gelinas, who arrived in Edmonton with Jimmy Carson, three first-round draft choices and $15 million in the trade that sent Gretzky, Mike Krushelnyski and Marty McSorley to Tinseltown. Impossibly big skates to fill for Carson and Gelinas – anybody, for that matter – in a town where the Great One and the Oilers had won four Stanley Cups.

Martin Gelinas

Left Wing

Born Jun 5 1970 — Shawinigan, PQ 

Height 6.00 — Weight 194 [183 cm/88 kg]

Drafted by Los Angeles Kings

Round 1 #7 overall 1988 NHL Entry Draft

BY THE NUMBERS

Season

Age

Tm

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

PIM

S

S%

ATOI

1988-89

18

EDM

6

1

2

3

-1

0

14

7.1

1989-90

19

EDM

46

17

8

25

0

30

71

23.9

1990-91

20

EDM

73

20

20

40

-7

34

124

16.1

1991-92

21

EDM

68

11

18

29

14

62

94

11.7

1992-93

22

EDM

65

11

12

23

3

30

93

11.8

1993-94

23

TOT

64

14

14

28

-8

34

107

13.1

1993-94

23

QUE

31

6

6

12

-2

8

53

11.3

1993-94

23

VAN

33

8

8

16

-6

26

54

14.8

1994-95

24

VAN

46

13

10

23

8

36

75

17.3

1995-96

25

VAN

81

30

26

56

8

59

181

16.6

1996-97

26

VAN

74

35

33

68

6

42

177

19.8

1997-98

27

TOT

64

16

18

34

-5

40

147

10.9

1997-98

27

VAN

24

4

4

8

-6

10

49

8.2

1997-98

27

CAR

40

12

14

26

1

30

98

12.2

1998-99

28

CAR

76

13

15

28

3

67

111

11.7

13:13

1999-00

29

CAR

81

14

16

30

-10

40

139

10.1

13:39

2000-01

30

CAR

79

23

29

52

-4

59

170

13.5

17:54

2001-02

31

CAR

72

13

16

29

-1

30

121

10.7

16:05

2002-03

32

CGY

81

21

31

52

-3

51

152

13.8

16:33

2003-04

33

CGY

76

17

18

35

10

70

139

12.2

14:50

2005-06

35

FLA

82

17

24

41

27

80

186

9.1

15:59

2006-07

36

FLA

82

14

30

44

7

36

171

8.2

13:26

2007-08

37

NSH

57

9

11

20

5

20

110

8.2

14:07

5 yrs

CAR

348

75

90

165

-11

226

639

11.7

15:12

5 yrs

EDM

258

60

60

120

9

156

396

15.2

5 yrs

VAN

258

90

81

171

10

173

536

16.8

2 yrs

CGY

157

38

49

87

7

121

291

13.1

15:43

2 yrs

FLA

164

31

54

85

34

116

357

8.7

14:42

1 yr

QUE

31

6

6

12

-2

8

53

11.3

1 yr

NSH

57

9

11

20

5

20

110

8.2

14:07

Career

1273

309

351

660

52

820

2382

13.0

15:07

PLAYOFFS

Season

Age

Tm

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

PIM

S

S%

TOI

ATOI

1989-90

19

EDM

20

2

3

5

0

6

24

8.3

1990-91

20

EDM

18

3

6

9

4

25

29

10.3

1991-92

21

EDM

15

1

3

4

-3

10

15

6.7

1993-94

23

VAN

24

5

4

9

-1

14

35

14.3

1994-95

24

VAN

3

0

1

1

1

0

5

0.0

1995-96

25

VAN

6

1

1

2

-1

12

8

12.5

1998-99

28

CAR

6

0

3

3

-4

2

12

0.0

117

19:33

2000-01

30

CAR

6

0

1

1

-4

6

4

0.0

107

17:51

2001-02

31

CAR

23

3

4

7

6

10

33

9.1

328

14:16

2003-04

33

CGY

26

8

7

15

10

35

51

15.7

415

15:58

Career

147

23

33

56

8

120

216

10.6

967

15:51

NOTABLE

It goes without saying that the Oilers were never going to win the Gretzky trade. It was a deal that shook the hockey world with Edmonton at the epi-center, but with Pocklington dismantling the NHL’s last great dynasty because he could no longer afford to pay the hired help, the former star of the Hull Olympiques arrived under the greatest of expectations.

Gelinas was home in Shawinigan, taking a break from the hockey school he was working, when he a stranger approached him. “You just got traded for Wayne Gretzky.” Gelinas’ reaction was what you’d expect: “I just chuckled. Thinking it’s just a joke,” he said. “Then someone else came over and said, ‘You know you just got traded?’ I didn’t quite believe it. And then when I saw a flock of reporters coming at me, I realized, ‘OK, this is true.’ ”

With the shock and anger of Edmonton’s fan base still bubbling over, Gelinas would spend just six games with the Oilers in 1988-89 before he was sent back to junior with the Olympiques. It would be 1989-90 when Gelinas would make his mark with the Oilers as a member of the Kid Line with Joe Murphy and Adam Graves, a trio that would play a role in bringing the Oilers a fifth Stanley Cup.

THE STORY

Gelinas

Gelinas scored 17 goals in just 46 games during the 1989-90 season, but it was the secondary offense that he, Murphy and Graves would provide coach John Muckler during the playoffs on the way to a 4-1 Stanley Cup final series win over the Boston Bruins as the Kid Line people still remember him for. Gelinas was just 19 at the time.

The Kid Line didn’t put up huge numbers – Murphy had 6-8-14, Graves scored 5-6-11 and Gelinas chipped in 2-3-5 – in support of Mark Messier, Craig Simpson, Jari Kurri, Esa Tikkanen and Glenn Anderson, but it helped push the Oilers over the top as Edmonton celebrated its first, and so far only, Stanley Cup of the post-Gretzky era.

Gelinas would enjoy his best regular season with the Oilers in 1990-91 with 20-20-40 in 73 games and he’d play two more seasons in Edmonton before being dealt to Quebec in June 1993. All told, Gelinas would produce 60-60-120 in 258 games with the Oilers, but it was the 1990 Stanley Cup and that baby-faced Kid Line that lands him on this list for me.

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:

  • FISTO Siltanen

    He was a gamer who played in 3 other Cup finals – all losses but two of them going to a 7th game.

    Not a fan of the Flames but one reason I pulled for them in the ’04 Run was Gelinas.

  • ubermiguel

    I know it wasn’t part of Oilers lore, but someone has to mention Marty was the one that killed a rat with a hockey stick in the Pathers’ dressing room leading to that whole rubber rat thing they had for a while.

    In my basement I still have my auto’d Gelinas Pro Set card with Murphy’s picture on the back.

    • Spaceman Spiff

      With all due respect, that particular incident of rat homicide is not a part of Oilers’ lore … or Gelinas’ lore either.

      I will stand corrected on this, but I believe it was Scott Mellanby (another fine former Oiler) who killed the rat during the 1995-96 season. He was playing in FLA at the time.