The 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers. The greatest team in NHL history.
As part of their NHL 100 anniversary celebrations, the league held a vote, urging fans to weigh in on which team they think is the all-time greatest. The answer: the ’84-85 powerhouse Edmonton Oilers.
This weekend, the NHL officially celebrated the team with a special ceremony at Rogers Place.
That team, led by legends like Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr, Glenn Anderson, Kevin Lowe and others defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 to capture the Stanley Cup for their second year in a row.
“I think it’s always tougher to repeat,” said defenceman Charlie Huddy to 630 CHED’s Reid Wilkins. “When you won the previous year and you’re going back into it, it’s always tough. Teams are gearing up for you.”
“In the 1984-85 season, I think there was lots of confidence,” recalled defenceman Randy Gregg. “I think all the players realized the individual accolades were good, but if we wanted to win a Stanley Cup, we had to stay together as a team and work hard.”
While Gretzky, Messier and the like get all the fanfare, it’s important to remember the role that players like Huddy and Gregg played on that team as well. Ditto for Finnish pest Esa Tikkanen. The fresh faced rookie played his first 3 career NHL games during that series against the Flyers. Over 800 career games and he still considers it the highlight of his career.
“I flew from Finland after the world championships to Chicago. Oilers won that series,” remembered Tikkanen. “Then we go to Philadelphia, and they won the first game. Glen Sather comes and tells me next game you are going to play with Jari Kurri and Wayne Gretzky. I said, ‘Okay!'”