24 Days Until The Season Begins

Cam Lewis
7 months ago
Throughout the summer and into the fall, we’ll be counting down the days until the Edmonton Oilers begin their 2023-24 season with a daily trip down memory lane. Today at No. 24 we have Kevin McLelland, a four-time Stanley Cup winner with the Oilers.
The 1983-84 Oilers carried a 20-4-3 record into the month of December but the excitement surrounding the team soured when the New York Islanders came into town and cruised to a 4-2 win. The Islanders had swept the Oilers aside for their fourth consecutive Stanley Cup the previous spring and the defending champs appeared unbeatable.
A few days after that loss, Glen Sather made a deal to shake things up. The Oilers sent Tom Roulston to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Kevin McClelland in a trade that was meant to sacrifice some skill in favour of toughness from Edmonton’s perspective.

Edmonton Journal Newspaper Clipping From December 7, 1983.

Sather was criticized for adding another unproven 21-year-old to a team that seemed to be in need of grizzled veterans but McLelland came as advertised. He scored eight goals and 28 points in 52 games in his first season with the Oilers and racked up 127 penalty minutes.
The Oilers beat the Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, and Minnesota North Stars and reached the Stanley Cup Final where they were again met by the Islanders. In Game 1 at Nassau Coliseum, McLelland scored two minutes into the third period to break a scoreless tie and the Oilers won 1-0.
The Islanders came back a couple of days later with a commanding 6-1 win in Game 2 but the Oilers completely took control of the series when it shifted back to Edmonton. They won both Games 3 and 4 by a score of 7-2 and then they clinched their first-ever Stanley Cup with a 5-2 victory in Game 5.
McLelland wound up playing parts of seven seasons with the Oilers and won four Stanley Cups in Edmonton. He scored 56 goals and 150 points over 428 games for the Oilers while racking up 1,289 penalty minutes, which ranks second in team history behind only Kelly Buchberger.
A few games into the 1989-90 season, McLelland was moved to the Detroit Red Wings along with Jimmy Carson in exchange forPortage College Voyageurs Adam Graves, Petr Klima, and Joe Murphy, three key contributors to Edmonton’s 1990 Stanley Cup.
McLelland played in Detroit, Toronto, and Winnipeg before retiring after the 1994-95 season. In his post-playing days, McLelland has coached the St. John’s Maple Leafs of the AHL, the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL, and the Wichita Thunder of the ECHL. He’s currently the head coach of the Portage College Voyageurs in Lac La Biche.


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