How Many Cups Would Gretzky Have Won With The Oilers

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by hunter1909*, Oct 25, 2004.

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  1. hunter1909*

    hunter1909* Guest

    when gretzky was 27, he had just won 4 cups in 5 seasons with certainly one of the best teams ever assembled(im an oilers fan i admit, the only team id rate higher is the 1950s montreal canadiens)...

    the oilers looked like dominating the playoffs for the next 10 seasons back then, before he was sold to the los angeles kings...

    the team featured a young gretzky/ messier/ kurri/ anderson plus a talented defence and a lot of great role players...

    HOW MANY MORE CUPS WOULD THE OILERS HAVE GOT HAD THAT TEAM NOT BEEN BROKEN UP
     
  2. Bring Back Bucky

    Bring Back Bucky Registered User

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    I'd like to say a dozen, but to be honest with you, they probably would have won an extra one in 89, but 1990 still would likely have been the end or close to it.

    I think that a new era of economics was beginning, and with Pocklington sinking into trouble as payrolls began to escalate, an exodus of the core was inevitable. We like to dream of a "team" concept, but would Messier still have looked for 2million in 1991? Yeah, I don't think he'd have been less interested in his own bottom line just because Wayne was still there. Pretty much everyone left town in the period of 87 and 91. I don't know much about the other major sports, but for hockey, this was the first real indication of how hard it would be to keep together a core of players like this one. As an Oilers fan, I think we were pretty lucky to see that much skill on ice for a period as long as we did.
     
  3. Kravitch

    Kravitch Guest

    I think the whole OIlers team should have won a ton more Cups. You obviously have 1986 where they undoubtingly were suppose to win it all. They should have won it in 1991 but for some reason lost to Minnesota in the CCF. I guess you can even say 1983 even though they were swept by a very evenly matched Islanders team. And I don't know about 1989. I have no clue why they didnt advance that year.
     
  4. hunter1909*

    hunter1909* Guest

    WELL THE QUESTION WASNT LETS HAVE A LECTURE...ITS HOW MANY MORE CUPS THE OILERS WOULD HAVE WON HAD THE TEAM NOT BEEN BROKEN UP
     
  5. Bring Back Bucky

    Bring Back Bucky Registered User

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    Sorry for insulting you by replying to your post. I was just musing about how the times they were a changing. Didn't mean to hurt your feelings. :shakehead
     
  6. mazmin

    mazmin Go! Jets! Go!

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    The better question is... How many Cups would have Gretzky won on the Winnipeg Jets???

    Anyone familiar with that fateful bridge game that determined where Gretzky would play in the NHL? The Jets side won the but decided "the kid" was too skinny and took the safe bet (Morris Lukowich and a bunch of other Houston Aeros).
     
  7. looooob

    looooob Registered User

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    because they finished at least 33 points behind Calgary that year for one thing
     
  8. Shane

    Shane Registered User

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    I dunno. The Bruins teams that won two cups in the late sixties/early seventies was pretty great. Orr, Esposito, Cheevers, Cashman, etc. I'd say they rank up there two. And of course, you can't forget the Islanders of the early eighties (Bossy, Trottier, Potvin, etc.) as well.
     
  9. KOVALEV10*

    KOVALEV10* Guest

    What about the 70-s habs? 6 cups in 10 years, 4 in a row, awesome offensive forqards like Lafleur, Shutt, Lemaire, Cournoyer, Mahovlich, Larouche, great defensive forwards like Risebrough and Bob Gainey and an awesome defense chore with Savard, Lapointe and Robinson not to mention a great goalie duo of Ken Dryden and Michel Larocque.

    Anyways back to the question I believe they would've won maybe one more then they did with Gretzky but more. At least thats my opinion but as many people around here say "What if"-s dont mean anything!
     
  10. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    I think the Oilers probably would have won one or two more at most, sometime between 1991 and 1994. Calgary was pretty unstoppable in 1989, and the Pittsburgh Penguins were becoming a major power in the early 90s. I think an Edmonton/Pittsburgh final would have been amazing.
     
  11. Kravitch

    Kravitch Guest


    That and an Edmonton/Montreal final. That would have awakend the hockey spirits of yesteryear.
     
  12. McThome

    McThome Registered User

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    one or two more? All these Oilers were the elite around the league until like '95. That team stays together another 5-6 years they win another 3-4 cups. Indeed, what series it would have been in teh finals against the Pens, but they had Coffey (who was traded for hockey reasons as much as financial if not more though). The Oilers definately had another 3-4 cups in them.
     
  13. dawgbone

    dawgbone Registered User

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    Don't forget... in 89 they traded off Gretzky for a completely uninterested Jimmy Carson (who had a decent season, but you could tell he missed the warm air of L.A.).

    I doubt the Flames would have finished 33 points ahead of the Oilers had Gretz not been traded, and I think 1989-1992 would have yielded at least 3 more cups, as opposed to just the one.
     
  14. Most of the Oilers greats were still dominant players into the mid 90s. They could have won 8-10 cups if they had been kept together. Sather did a masterful job of introducing new players to the line up and making them fit. The dynasty could easily have stretched into the mid to late 90s.

    Pittsburgh - Edmonton (mario vs Wayne ) would have made for some awesome final series' between 1990-1996.
     
  15. MrMastodonFarm*

    MrMastodonFarm* Registered User

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    Because Calgary was the better team that year?
     
  16. dawgbone

    dawgbone Registered User

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    Only because the Oilers traded Wayne ;)
     
  17. looooob

    looooob Registered User

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    I know we're just kidding around at this point, but it is worth pointing out the Flames had a damn good year in 89, 117 points...only 2 less than the Maximum number 99 and the Oilers every had (119 twice)

    so, I'll agree, thank god Gretzky was traded when he was (as a shortsighted Flames fan circa 1988)...but the Flames did have all cylinders clicking that year (in fact I guess they had more points that Gretzky and the Oilers did in 87-88 also, but still got absolutely humiliated in the playoffs by the Oil :p: )
     
  18. dawgbone

    dawgbone Registered User

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    No I know...

    I remember thinking how awesome it would have been to see the Oilers with Gretz of 88 vs the Flames of 89.

    Calgary would have had a huge chip on their shoulder from the previous year, and the Oilers were as confident as ever after beating Boston...
     
  19. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    I strongly disagree with this. A lot of the old Oilers were reunited on Rangers or Kings or Blues teams, and if we look at the individual performances of the players that made up the Oiler core, only Messier and Gretzky and Coffey were still dominant by 1992. And Coffey wasn't even with the Oilers anymore by the time the Oilers traded Gretzky.

    Glenn Anderson never scored more than 25 goals after 1990.

    Jari Kurri was about a point a game player after 1990 in a league where scoring was still very high. Also, he was playing with Gretzky in LA when he was scoring these mediocre numbers.

    Kevin Lowe was breaking down physically, still solid, but not dominant.

    Grant Fuhr was useless after 1989 as far as the Oilers were concerned. They had already replaced him with Bill Ranford for the 1990 run.

    Esa Tikkanen: not a star player. Same goes for MacTavish, Steve Smith, Craig Muni, etc.

    Craig Simpson: the wheels came off pretty fast on his career.

    I just don't think that a team in severe decline would have been able to compete with a young Penguins team, a young Red Wings team, a gritty New Jersey team etc. to have been able to keep going with the Cup wins into the mid 90's. The Rangers did win with a lot of ex-Oilers in 1994, but the Rangers had a lot of young players like Leetch, Kovalev, Richter and Zubov who really led the way (outside of Messier).
     
  20. dawgbone

    dawgbone Registered User

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    The team however, was always more than the sum of it's parts.

    Outside of Gretzky/Kurri, Messier/Anderson, and Coffey, the Oilers teams didn't have much more than a bunch of interchangeable parts. Even with the loss of Coffey, they still managed 3 Stanley Cups.

    Let's put it this way:

    Gretzky lead a bad Kings team to the Stanley Cup finals in 1993 (a year after the Oilers made back to back Conference finals), and while Messier was a catalyst for the Rangers team, guys like Tikkanen, Mac-T, Graves, Anderson, Beukeboom, Lowe (who hadn't started breaking down physically for another couple of years), all had very important roles on the Rangers Cup team... similar roles to the ones they played on the Oiler teams.

    Anderson is the only one you could argue who dropped off considerably in terms of the role he played with the Oilers, vs the one he played with the Rangers.
     
  21. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    Adam Graves would have never been an Edmonton Oiler if Gretzky had not been traded. At the same time, the Edmonton Oilers benefitted from trading away guys like Anderson, Messier, Fuhr and the other core players.

    Anderson and Fuhr brought back Vincent Damphousse, who led the Oilers in 1992, and was a point a game player in the playoffs. Fuhr had been replaced by Ranford by the time he was traded. Anderson was in severe decline. Jari Kurri had left the Oilers in 1991, Bernie Nicholls also played a huge role in the playoff success of the team. Jimmy Carson, who was acquired for Gretzky, was traded for Adam Graves and Petr Klima and Joe Murphy. I think Scott Mellanby came to the Oilers for Kurri, not sure. And Kurri was very much in decline. Kevin Lowe was definitely breaking down. For one, he wasn't depended on as much with the Rangers, who had Leetch and Zubov, and his numbers were dropping off. All of these players contributed to the Oilers teams between 1990 and 1992.

    Yes, Messier, MacTavish, Tikkanen, Lowe, Beukeboom etc. played a role on the Rangers 1994 team, but Messier was the only real impact player on that team from the Oilers. The rest were role players. Brian Leetch, Alexei Kovalev, Mike Richter and Adam Graves (who wouldn't have been an Oiler if not for the Gretzky trade) were the real driving forces.

    I think a team with Gretzky, Messier, Lowe, Fuhr, Kurri and Anderson would still have been a great team, but I really don't think they would have had the depth to contend with the other teams that were getting better around that time to win another 5 cups.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2004
  22. dawgbone

    dawgbone Registered User

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    Not necessarily... they might not have gotten the package of Klima, Graves and Murphy for him and McLelland, but Graves wasn't a main part of the package, Klima and Murphy were.

    I am not sure what you are arguing... are you saying Damphousse and Nicholls would have done better than Gretzky, Messier, Kurri (who for a guy in decline, still scored 81 goals over the next 3 seasons) and Anderson (who was clutch for them in their 1990 cup run, and was solid despite playing without a top centre in the 1991-92 run)? Sure, Mellanby came, but gave no where near the production that Kurri did (even in his decline years).

    His numbers were dropping off? He was never an offensive defenseman to begin with. His fortay was always defense, it's just someone had to get Gretzky the puck (which is where he got most of his points from).

    And what were Mac-T, Tikkanen, Lowe and Beukeboom on the Oilers teams? Here's a hint... they weren't the primary focus. They were role players, the guys who did a lot of the grunt work.

    As for Graves... he might not have been a Ranger either (completely debateable conversation there), and there's a strong chance he would have been an Oiler even without the Gretzky trade.

    Well most of your argument has been that they wouldn't have done better with their top players as they did with the guys who they traded to get (who in the most part weren't as good).

    It's also worth debating whether they still would have made certain deals, because if there was one thing Sather knew how to do, it was make trades... you said Anderson and Fuhr were on the decline, and Slats might have made that trade anyways (making the team that much better in the process, with the addition of Damphousse). Slats had always been able to trade the 2nd tier guys away and not miss a beat... I don't think this would have been any different. With Messier and Gretzky, I certainly wouldn't have written the Oilers off at all. They did very well in the following years despite suffering a major drop in talent.
     
  23. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    The fact is that the Oilers were a pretty good team up until 1993 when the wheels fell off completely. Without breaking down the specifics of every individual trade, the pieces they got for their core pieces allowed for them to continue to be successful. These players certainly didn't replace Gretzky, Messier or Kurri, but they did allow for the Oilers to get to the conference finals in 1991 and 1992. If we take away the contributions of the various players the Oilers got for Gretzky and later Messier, I'm not sure that the net difference would have yielded another 4-5 cups.

    What would the Oilers have had to work with? Gretzky and Messier, a great one two combo at center, Glenn Anderson, a winger who didn't score 30 goals after 1990 (so basically a 35-40 goal scorer replaced with a 25 goal scorer), Jari Kurri, who scored 30 goals once after 1990 (so we're basically substituting a 40-50 goal man for a 25 goal man), Craig Simpson (a 60 point player in a high scoring league) and Esa Tikkanen, Craig MacTavish (role players) and maybe Geoff Courtnall.

    So we have Gretzky and Messier and then a bunch of guys scoring around 25 goals a year. Those kinds of numbers from the top six weren't clearly better than what the Flames, Penguins of the same period.
     
  24. dawgbone

    dawgbone Registered User

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    That's assuming of course Anderson would have had the drop off he did, or Kurri... different coaches use different players in different ways.

    Yes the players they got for these guys were good, and got them to the conference finals, but they still weren't as good as the guys that the Oilers gave up to get them.

    I think the Oilers, with essentially the same team as in 1988, could have certainly won another cup in 1989. They rode a hot goalie to the Cup in 1990, and had very good playoffs years in 1991 and 1992.

    Would they have beat the Pens in 91 or 92? It's debatable... the Oilers showed in 1998 that they were a playoff team, regardless of what the regular season showed.

    Glenn Anderson doesn't score 30 goals again in his career, but how many times was he riding shotgun on Messiers line again?

    Kurri only scores 30 once more, but how many times was he playing in the Oilers system, where he played 5 on 5, pp and pk (where he was very dangerous)?

    Neither the 1991 nor the 1992 team was nearly as good as it could have been. And as I mentioned earlier, Slats was very good at changing around the complimentary players.

    The Montreal team in 1993 had too much going for it, but Gretzky proved (yet again) that he could be a dominant player and essentially carried the Kings (with Hrudey's help) all the way into the finals.

    The Rangers wouldn't have won in 1994 without Messier.

    So that's 1989, 90, 91, 92, 93 and 94... all years the Oilers would have been competetive for the Stanley Cup. I'm not saying they would have won them all, but I'd venuture a guess of at least 3, and possibly 4 cups there.
     
  25. hunter1909*

    hunter1909* Guest

    this is my all time fave post...

    thanks guys for making my life complete : p

    the fact is...the gretzky oilers with messier would have been incredibly dominating right up until 1999...

    who would have bet against a gretzky messier oilers taking out the dallas stars lmao....

    some of you talk as if the oilers were incapable off adding new role players...lowe...mact etc etc etc...

    the fact is...the oilers were incredible...

    mark messier...one of the greatest ever players of all time...2nd line oilers center...lmao
     
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