Jeff Beukeboom was a throwback player, a stay-at-home defenseman who took care of this own end of the ice first and made it possible for his more skilled teammates with the Edmonton Oilers to do their jobs because he was so good at his. Beukeboom was as tough and as honest a player as you’d ever meet, quietly winning three Stanley Cups with the Oilers.
It was particularly sickening, then, to see Beukeboom’s career end prematurely as the result of a stunning act of cowardice by Los Angeles Kings thug Matt Johnson, who attacked him from behind. At the time, Beukeboom was 33 and playing for the New York Rangers. While he’d come back briefly after the incident, Beukeboom, who’d suffered multiple concussions during his career, was forced to retire.   
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Jeff Beukeboom
Defense — shoots R
Born Mar 28 1965 — Ajax, ONT 
Height 6.05 — Weight 230 [196 cm/104 kg]
Drafted by Edmonton Oilers
Round 1 #19 overall 1983 NHL Entry Draft

BY THE NUMBERS

Season
Age
Tm
GP
G
A
PTS
+/-
PIM
S
S%
1986-87
21
44
3
8
11
7
124
24
12.5
1987-88
22
73
5
20
25
27
201
76
6.6
1988-89
23
36
0
5
5
2
94
26
0.0
1989-90
24
46
1
12
13
5
86
36
2.8
1990-91
25
67
3
7
10
6
150
48
6.3
1991-92
26
TOT
74
1
15
16
23
200
48
2.1
1991-92
26
18
0
5
5
4
78
7
0.0
1991-92
26
56
1
10
11
19
122
41
2.4
1992-93
27
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82
2
17
19
9
153
54
3.7
1993-94
28
68
8
8
16
18
170
58
13.8
1994-95
29
44
1
3
4
3
70
29
3.4
1995-96
30
82
3
11
14
19
220
65
4.6
1996-97
31
80
3
9
12
22
167
55
5.5
1997-98
32
63
0
5
5
-25
195
23
0.0
1998-99
33
45
0
9
9
-2
60
8
0.0
8 yrs
NYR
520
18
72
90
63
1157
333
5.4
6 yrs
EDM
284
12
57
69
51
733
217
5.5
Career
804
30
129
159
114
1890
550
5.5
PLAYOFFS
Season
Age
Tm
GP
G
A
PTS
+/-
PIM
S
S%
1985-86
20
1
0
0
0
1
4
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1
0.0
1987-88
22
7
0
0
0
-1
16
2
0.0
1988-89
23
1
0
0
0
0
2
0
1989-90
24
2
0
0
0
2
0
0
1990-91
25
18
1
3
4
-5
28
15
6.7
1991-92
26
13
2
3
5
-2
47
10
20.0
1993-94
28
22
0
6
6
17
50
22
0.0
1994-95
29
9
0
0
0
1
10
11
0.0
1995-96
30
11
0
3
3
-1
6
12
0.0
1996-97
31
15
0
1
1
5
34
9
0.0
Career
99
3
16
19
17
197
82
3.7

NOTABLE

It was always particularly galling to me that Beukeboom’s career ended the way it did, even though he was long removed from Edmonton when Johnson suckered him from behind. Beukeboom suffered severe post-concussion symptoms for years. I recall vividly the day he stopped by an Oiler morning skate at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto to say hello. He looked like hell. He was really struggling. Thankfully, he has since recovered.
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At six-foot-five and 230 pounds, Beukeboom was an imposing figure, a big banger who never hesitated to drop the gloves when the situation called for it – he had 98 fights during his career. He was right in the middle of the mix when the Battle of Alberta with the Calgary Flames actually was a battle. With Beukeboom, Marty McSorley, Kevin McClelland, Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger the Oilers of that era were loaded with toughness.
In Beukeboom’s first season with the Oilers, 1986-87, Wayne Gretzky had 183 points, Jari Kurri had 108 and Mark Messier had 107. In his last season with the Oilers, 1991-92, Gretzky, Kurri and Messier were all gone and the Oilers Stanley Cup days were over. In between, Beukeboom never changed, taking care of business in his own end, doing the dirty work when needed and playing to his strengths. You always knew what you were going to get from Beukeboom. His best season in Edmonton was his second, 1987-88, when he scored 5-20-25 and had 201 penalty minutes. 
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THE STORY

With Paul Coffey traded to Pittsburgh after Beukeboom’s first season in Edmonton, the Oiler blueline, while not as dynamic, was a solid collection that included Smith, Charlie Huddy, Kevin Lowe, Craig Muni and Randy Gregg. Personally, I preferred it when Glen Sather and John Muckler paired Beukeboom with Smith, a tandem dubbed the Twin Towers.
After parts of six seasons with Edmonton, Beukeboom joined a growing collection of former Oilers in New York – Messier sold Ranger GM Neil Smith on him – in a swap that saw the Oilers acquire David Shaw in a deal that completed the Messier trade. Beukeboom’s stay-at-home style didn’t change a bit in Manhattan as he was paired with Brian Leetch. Beukeboom won his fourth Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1994.
With the post-concussion symptoms that ended his career after the 1998-99 season finally behind him, Beukeboom has been back in the game in various coaching and management capacities since the 2003-04 season. These days, he’s an assistant coach with the Rangers under Alain Vigneault. 
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This series will look at the top 100 Edmonton Oilers from the NHL era 1979-80 to 2014-15, starting with 100 and working up. 
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260.

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