Edmonton's NHL team. The Oilers started life in the World Hockey Association in 1972/73, and moved into the NHL in 1979. It was here that Wayne Gretzky played his greatest games. Other famous Oilers were Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr and Mark Messier. As a small-market Canadian team, they struggle to remain competitive in the modern era. Arch-rivals of the Calgary Flames.
Winners of the Stanley Cup in 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1990. Also won the Presidents' Trophy for the 1985-86 and 1986-87 seasons. If you're wondering about 1986, the Oilers were eliminated by the Calgary Flames that year. In a 2-2 tie in game seven, Oilers rookie defenceman Steve Smith tried to clear the puck, but instead banked it off goalie Grant Fuhr's left leg and into the Edmonton net. The Oilers lost 3-2. For years afterward, Flames fans would yell "Shoot!" whenever Smith had the puck behind his own net.
After the 2004 NHL player lockout, the Oilers struggled in the 2005/2006 season. Despite the big-name signing of defenceman Chris Pronger, the Oilers were plagued by inconsistent goaltending. At the trade deadline the Oilers
picked up forward Sergei Samsonov from the hapless Boston Bruins and goaltender Dwayne Roloson from the Minnesota Wild. Pundits sneered that Roloson wasn't much of an upgrade, and indeed Dwayne struggled in his first few games with Edmonton. Yet the Oilers made a late charge. They finished the regular season eighth in the west, sneaking into the playoffs with 95 points. This earned them a first-round dance with the President's Trophy winners, the Detroit Red Wings. Statistically superior in almost every category, the Wings seemed poised for a quick sweep. Red Wings fans confidently booked their second-round playoff tickets. But the Oilers outworked and out-hustled the Red Wings and Roloson played well. The Oilers took the series in 6 games, confounding experts and macaques alike. In fact, all 4 top seeds in the Western Conference lost their first-round series, setting the Oilers up with the San Jose Sharks in round two. The Oil dropped games 1 and 2 in San Jose, but recovered to take the next 4 straight. Chris Pronger shut down Sharks star Joe Thornton, and Roloson outplayed opposite number Vesa Toskala, turning in a 2-0 shutout in clinching game 6. The Oilers moved on to play the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the Western conference finals, taking games 1 and 2 in Anaheim via identical 3-1 scores.
The Oilers fans showed their class in game 6 of the San Jose series. After Sharks fans had booed the Canadian national anthem before game 5, Edmonton fans responded by lustily cheering the US anthem prior to game 6.
Team colours : Midnight blue, copper, red, and white (originally blue, orange, and white)
Members of the Hockey Hall of Fame who wore Oilers uniforms include Glenn Anderson, Grant Fuhr, Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Mark Messier and Adam Oates ... and surprisingly also Jacques Plante and Norm Ullman, both of whom finished their careers with the Oilers in the WHA.