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30 Days Until The Season Begins (as of Monday)

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Photo credit:Hockey Hall of Fame
Zach Laing
5 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.
Happy Bill Ranford day.

A May 25, 1990 edition of the Edmonton Journal highlights the Oilers winning the 1990 Stanley Cup and Bill Ranford being named the Conn Smythe trophy winner.

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As far as legendary Edmonton Oilers go, Bill Ranford is up there with the best of ’em and rests atop many goaltending categories including:
  • Games Played (1st, 449)
  • Wins (2nd, 167)
  • Losses (1st, 193)
  • Ties and OT/SO losses (T-1, 54 with Grant Fuhr)
  • Shots against (1st, 12,965)
  • Saves (1st, 11,502)
  • Minutes (1st, 25,004)
Ranford himself came to the Oilers by way of a March 1988 goaltending swap with the Boston Bruins. Edmonton received Ranford, Geoff Courtnall and a 2nd round pick that year, while the B’s got back Andy Moog. Both goaltenders had been frustrated with their playing time, or lack thereof, with their respective teams prompting the move.
Having been a third-round pick of the Bruins in 1985, Ranford had struggled to establish himself in Boston. He had played in just 45 games posting a meager 19-21-2 record and a .893 save percentage, as Moog, a three-time cup winner at that point, was looking to take on more responsibility in the crease.
Ranford continued to be the Oilers’ backup to Grant Fuhr in his first two full seasons, but in 1989-90, he took over as the guy and for the next two years, he would be among the best goalies in the league. Ranford’s performance in the 1990 Stanley Cup Finals was a huge reason why the Oilers were able to win the cup that year, the club’s first without Wayne Gretzky.
Over 22 playoff games, Ranford went 16-6 with a .912 save percentage and 2.53 goals against average winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. While those numbers today would be considered average, 1990 was a different time. That year Patrick Roy led the league in save percentage with a .912, and just three other goalies had a mark above .900: Mike Liut, Daren Puppa and Clint Malarchuk. Ranford’s .887 in the regular season had him fifth among all goalies with over 20 games played that year.
It was that playoff performance that cemented Ranford’s legacy in Edmonton. While Fuhr had been the guy who helped the Oilers win four, Ranford — as well as all the other Oilers on that 1990 team — separated themselves from the pack given that they were able to lift Lord Stanley’s Mug without Gretzky in town.
Ranford would remain in Edmonton for some time, and in January 1996, he found his way back to Boston when the Oilers traded him for a 1st round pick in 1996, Sean Brown and Mariusz Czerkawski. He would spend less than a calendar year there before he was sent to the Washington Capitals, and later the Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings having brief stints with them all.
But in 1999, he found his way back to where he made a name for himself. Ranford would sign as a free agent with the Oilers as the century was about to turn, and drew in for 16 games backing up Tommy Salo that season. He would retire at season’s end.

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