90 Days Until The Season Begins
By Zach Laing2 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.
There are 90 days to go, so let’s continue the countdown with the 1990 Stanley Cup Champion Edmonton Oilers.
An Edmonton Journal article from May 25th, 1990 highlights the Oilers’ Stanley Cup Championship win from the night before.
There’s no denying what led to the Edmonton Oilers dynasty of the 1980’s and a huge part of it being the talents of Wayne Gretzky. He captained the Oilers putting up the best numbers the NHL has, and ever will see, and was surrounded by a group of young but incredibly talented players.
So when the infamous sale to the Los Angeles Kings happened in the summer of 1988, the biggest question lingered: how will the Oilers carry on? Initially, the answer was not too well.
In the 1988-89 season, the Oilers fell from being a 99-point team who swept the Boston Bruins in the Cup Finals, to a still good, but far less dominant 84-point team. That year the Oilers got knocked out of the playoffs in the first four in seven games by the LA Kings with Gretzky leading the charge for them.
Come the 1989-90 season, however, Glen Sather stepped off the Oilers bench and a fresh face in John Muckler entered the fray. Edmonton, who still had the likes of guys like Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Glen Anderson, Kevin Lowe, and Steve Smith leading the charge, was committed to bringing another cup back to the City of Champions.
In the regular season, their record improved to being a 90-point team once again and they earned themselves a berth into the Stanley Cup playoffs in a middling Smythe Division.
They stumbled out of the gates in the first round against the Winnipeg Jets dropping three of the first four games and putting their back firmly up against the wall. But then, as so many Oilers teams had done in years past, they found their dominance. Edmonton roared back in games five, six and seven to move onto the second round.
The Kings lay in wait for the Oilers, who were seeking revenge after being knocked out the year prior by them. Edmonton got what they were looking for dispatching the Kings in four short games and outscoring them 24-10 in the process.
Edmonton met with the Chicago Blackhawks in the conference finals — a team that the Oilers would beat in six games. And come the finals, the Oilers again met the Bruins and much like two years prior, made quick work of them winning the series in five games.
The 1990 Oilers are and forever will be remembered fondly in this market. They were determined to show the hockey world that the team wasn’t just Wayne Gretzky, and Messier cemented himself as one of the greatest players of all time by captaining that team.
Bill Ranford poses with the Conn Smythe trophy in 1990.
How many days are left until the Edmonton Oilers start the 2023-24 season? 90!
Can you guess who will be featured in tomorrow’s countdown?
- 99 Days Until The Season Begins — Wayne Gretzky
- 98 Days Until The Season Begins — Jesse Puljujarvi
- 97 Days Until The Season Begins — Connor McDavid
- 96 Days Until The Season Begins — Jayden Grubbe
- 95 Days Unit The Season Begins — The 1995 Draft
- 94 Days Until The Season Begins — Ryan Smyth
- 93 Days Until The Season Begins — Petr Nedved
- 92 Days Until The Season Begins — Tomas Jurco
- 91 Days Until The Season Begins — Magnus Paajarvi
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at email@example.com.
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