Former Edmonton Oiler Petr Klíma has passed away
By Cam Lewis6 months ago
The Edmonton Oilers announced on Thursday morning that alumni Petr Klíma has passed away. He was 58 years old.
Klíma was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the fifth round of the 1983 draft and he made a name for himself as a prospect by scoring 10 points over seven games for Czechoslovakia at the 1984 World Juniors in Sweden.
A couple of years later, Klíma defected from Czechoslovakia and defected to North America. When he joined the Red Wings, Klíma became the first-ever Czech player to defect to a U.S.-based club. Detroit scout Alex Davidson had secretly met with Klíma during the aforementioned World Juniors to begin planning the move.
Klíma broke into the NHL with 32 goals and 56 points in 1985-86 and finished seventh in Calder Trophy voting for the league’s best rookie. After a few more seasons with the Red Wings, Klíma was dealt to Edmonton in a blockbuster deal along with Adam Graves, Joe Murphy, and Jeff Sharples in exchange for Jimmy Carson and Kevin McClelland.
Klíma scored 25 goals and 53 points over 63 games in his first season with the Oilers in 1989-90. He also added five goals in 21 playoff games that spring as the Oilers won their fifth Stanley Cup and first since Wayne Gretzky was sold to the Los Angeles Kings.
Among those five goals that Klíma scored during the 1990 Stanley Cup run is one of the most iconic in Oilers’ history.
The Oilers carried a 2-0 lead into the third period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final but the Boston Bruins scored twice to force overtime. Nobody could get a puck past Edmonton’s Bill Ranford or Boston’s Andy Moog until late in the third overtime period. Klíma, who had spent large portions of the game on the bench, came on and wired a shot five-hole on Moog to finally win the game.
Edmonton went on to win the Stanley Cup in five games and Game 1 is still the longest ever in Stanley Cup Final history.
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Klíma played a few more years in Edmonton before getting traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1993. He returned to the Oilers as a free agent in 1997 and retired from the NHL in 1999. All told, he scored 313 goals and 573 points across 786 games in the league.
Klíma has two 25-year-old twin sons, Kevin and Kelly, who play for Hradec Kralove in the Czech Republic’s top league. We offer our condolences to Klíma’s family and all of his loved ones.
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