NHL History: Paul Coffey breaks Bobby Orr’s single season goal record

In was on this day back in 1986, that Edmonton Oilers defenceman, Paul Coffey, broke Bobby Orr’s single-season goal scoring record for a defenceman with his 47th marker of the season.

On April 2nd, 1986, the Edmonton Oilers faced off against the lowly Vancouver Canucks, destroying them by an 8-4 final score, but it was Paul Coffey that made news after the defenceman put up a pair of goals (and two assists, I should add) that landed him in the NHL record books. On his second goal of the night, an absolute beauty that saw him carve through the Canucks like butter, Coffey broke Bobby Orr’s single season goal scoring record from 1975 with his 47th tally of the season.

As you can see in the video above, Coffey clearly knew the magnitude of the goal as the look on his face and the accompanying celebration said it all.

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In the 34 years that have passed, no defenceman has ever come close to matching Coffey’s record — actually, the closest anyone got in modern times was in 2009 when current Oiler, Mike Green, registered 31 goals for the Washington Capitals — and it seems unlikely that anyone will be able to get there. Coffey finished the 1985-86 season with a mindblowing 48 goals and 90 assists for 138 points, which was only a single point off of Orr’s record set in 1971.


Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
1985-86 Edmonton Oilers NHL 79 48 90 138 120 61 10 1 9 10 30
NHL Totals 1409 396 1135 1531 1800 194 59 137 196 264