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Photo Credit: David E. Klutho

Top 100 Oilers: Mike Krushelnyski (23)

Mike Krushelnyski didn’t begin his NHL career with the Edmonton Oilers and he, most famously, didn’t end it with the Oilers either. What he did do was make the most of his time here, sipping champagne three times from the Stanley Cup in the four seasons, a span of just 290 regular season games and 68 more in the playoffs, he wore the Oil Drop.

Krushelnyski arrived in Edmonton by way of the trade that sent Ken Linseman to the Boston Bruins. He left Edmonton in the blockbuster deal that still stands as the biggest swap in the history of the NHL – he and Marty McSorley accompanied Wayne Gretzky to Los Angeles in the Aug. 9, 1988 sale to the Kings that landed the Oilers Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, a bunch of draft picks and $15 million. In between, the big forward teammates called Krusher was a helluva player here.

Mike Krushelnyski

Center — shoots L
Born Apr 27 1960 — Montreal, PQ
Height 6.02 — Weight 200 [188 cm/91 kg]

Drafted by Boston Bruins

Round 6 #120 overall 1979 NHL Entry Draft

BY THE NUMBERS

Season

Age

Tm

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

PIM

SH

S

S%

1981-82

21

BOS

17

3

3

6

0

2

0

19

15.8

1982-83

22

BOS

79

23

42

65

38

43

1

153

15.0

1983-84

23

BOS

66

25

20

45

9

55

1

152

16.4

1984-85

24

EDM

80

43

45

88

56

60

1

187

23.0

1985-86

25

EDM

54

16

24

40

11

22

0

98

16.3

1986-87

26

EDM

80

16

35

51

26

67

2

89

18.0

1987-88

27

EDM

76

20

27

47

26

64

1

124

16.1

1988-89

28

LAK

78

26

36

62

9

110

0

143

18.2

1989-90

29

LAK

63

16

25

41

7

50

2

101

15.8

1990-91

30

TOT

74

18

27

45

1

58

0

109

16.5

1990-91

30

LAK

15

1

5

6

7

10

0

11

9.1

1990-91

30

TOR

59

17

22

39

-6

48

0

98

17.3

1991-92

31

TOR

72

9

15

24

-5

72

2

100

9.0

1992-93

32

TOR

84

19

20

39

3

62

1

130

14.6

1993-94

33

TOR

54

5

6

11

-5

28

0

71

7.0

1994-95

34

DET

20

2

3

5

3

6

0

20

10.0

4 yrs EDM

290

95

131

226

119

213

4

498

19.1

4 yrs TOR

269

50

63

113

-13

210

3

399

12.5

3 yrs BOS

162

51

65

116

47

100

2

324

15.7

3 yrs LAK

156

43

66

109

23

170

2

255

16.9

1 yr DET

20

2

3

5

3

6

0

20

10.0

Career

897

241

328

569

179

699

11

1496

16.1

PLAYOFFS

Season

Age

Tm

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

PIM

S

S%

1981-82

21

BOS

1

0

0

0

2

1982-83

22

BOS

17

8

6

14

12

1983-84

23

BOS

2

0

0

0

1

0

2

0.0

1984-85

24

EDM

18

5

8

13

9

22

37

13.5

1985-86

25

EDM

10

4

5

9

3

16

15

26.7

1986-87

26

EDM

21

3

4

7

4

18

29

10.3

1987-88

27

EDM

19

4

6

10

4

12

18

22.2

1988-89

28

LAK

11

1

4

5

-7

4

21

4.8

1989-90

29

LAK

10

1

3

4

0

12

16

6.3

1992-93

32

TOR

16

3

7

10

4

8

29

10.3

1993-94

33

TOR

6

0

0

0

-2

0

4

0.0

1994-95

34

DET

8

0

0

0

1

0

1

0.0

Career

139

29

43

72

17

106

172

12.2

NOTABLE

Fate and owner Peter Pocklington’s crumbling financial empire dictated that Krushelnyski wasn’t here for a long time, but there’s no doubt he was here for a good time. The six-foot-two, 200-pound native of Montreal was a member of Edmonton’s Stanley Cup teams in 1985, 1987 and 1988 after arriving from Boston in June of 1984.

Krushelnyski, who could play either centre or wing, didn’t waste any time endearing himself to Oiler fans, enjoying the best season of his career with 43-45-88 in his first year here. He spent most of his time playing wing on a line with Gretzky and Jari Kurri. Despite those big numbers, Glen Sather didn’t see him as a fit with No. 99, bumping him down the line-up in subsequent seasons.

While Krushelnyski’s regular season numbers dropped off, his effectiveness as a playoff performer was consistently top-notch. In the 1985 playoffs, Krushelnyski produced 13 points in 18 games. He had nine points in 10 games in 1986. All told, Krushelnyski produced 39 points in the 68 post-season games he played with the Oilers – the majority of them spent as a third-liner.

THE STORY

Even when rumors of the Gretzky sale to Los Angeles began to swirl behind the scenes in the days leading up to the big deal on Aug. 9, Krushelnyski didn’t put any stock in in the talk. He never saw it coming, or at least he never thought he’d be a part of the swap. When asked if he had any inkling he would be involved, Krushelnyski laughed off the possibility.

“Not at all,” he said. “I think I was with a reporter a couple days earlier, and they were mentioning, ‘Well, what do you think of the trade?’ and I’m like, ‘What are you, nuts? You can’t trade Wayne Gretzky.’ And lo and behold, two days later, my agent calls me, and it looks like we’re off to L.A.” The Great One, McSorley and Krushelnyski were dealt to Tinseltown.

Krushelnyski never replicated the personal and team success he had in Edmonton with Gretzky and the Kings or in stints with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings (he won a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings as an assistant coach in 1998). Here is where he was most productive and most successful. Four seasons. Three Cup rings. Thanks for coming, Krush.

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:

    • paul wodehouse

      …he DID wear orange …just not so bloody much … Krusher was a very calm cool and collected guy and offered balance where there wasn’t any at times … anyway thanks Robin for calling a spade a spade and calling the SALE of 99 a SALE…plus for all these years I was under the impression that the price tag was 18 million…also that Slats got 10% and leased his property in Banff down from the Banff Springs Hotel with it until he moved to NYC … the MSN I was a part of was told buying houses in a (Banff) National Park was a no-no … p.s. Mike could also make Marty NUTS playing cards on the plane on travel days…

  • tileguy

    I think this is the first time I disagree on where this player should rank, Guerin and Horcoff and a few others were better Oilers, but I am too happy today to argue.

  • Romanus

    He also scored that big goal for the kings in overtime to eliminate the flames. WhIle not an oiler memory, he gets points for helping crush the flames as an ex oiler.

  • Rama Lama

    RB…….you are making me feel old, but I love being reminded of the Oilers Greats! Not sure I would have ranked MK so high but he definetly should be up there somewhere. His greatest moment has to be the “lying on the ice and swiping his stick at the puck……..the arch on the puck over the goalie into the net is classic! If memory serves me correct that was the series against LA?