The 1985–86 NHL season was the 69th season of the National Hockey League. This season saw the league's Board of Governors introduce the Presidents' Trophy, which would go to the team with the best overall record in the NHL regular season. The Edmonton Oilers would be the first winners of this award.
|1985–86 NHL season|
|League||National Hockey League|
|Duration||October 10, 1985 – May 24, 1986|
|Number of games||80|
|Number of teams||21|
|TV partner(s)||CBC, CTV, SRC (Canada)|
ESPN (United States)
|Top draft pick||Wendel Clark|
|Picked by||Toronto Maple Leafs|
|Presidents' Trophy||Edmonton Oilers|
|Season MVP||Wayne Gretzky (Oilers)|
|Top scorer||Wayne Gretzky (Oilers)|
|Playoffs MVP||Patrick Roy (Canadiens)|
On June 13, 1985, the NHL board of governors voted 17–4 in favour of amending a penalty rule. Previously, coincidental minor penalties would result in 4-on-4 play. The amendment allowed teams to substitute another player to keep the play 5-on-5. It was seen by many as a shot at trying to slow down the high-flying Edmonton Oilers. Wayne Gretzky was quoted as saying, "I think the NHL is making a big mistake. I think the NHL should be more concerned with butt-ending, spearing, and three-hour hockey games than getting rid of 4-on-4 situations." It wasn't until 1992, with the Oiler dynasty (five cups in seven years) having ended, that the NHL reverted to the original 4-on-4 rules.
The Edmonton Oilers once again regained control of top spot in the NHL and were awarded with the Presidents' Trophy—the first time the trophy had been awarded for the best record—while last year's best team, the Philadelphia Flyers slipped to second. The Flyers continued their dominance of the Wales Conference despite the death of their Vezina-winning goaltender, Pelle Lindbergh, in a car accident on November 11. Edmonton's Wayne Gretzky won his seventh straight Hart Memorial Trophy and his sixth straight Art Ross Trophy. This season saw Gretzky score 52 goals, and set records of 163 assists and 215 points. This was the fourth time in five years that Gretzky reached the 200 point plateau; no other player has reached 200 point mark, although Mario Lemieux would garner 199 points in 76 games in 1988–89. Edmonton's defenceman Paul Coffey broke Bobby Orr's record of 46 goals for most goals in a season by a defenceman by scoring 48 times.
Note: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF= Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points, PIM = Penalty Minutes
Prince of Wales ConferenceEdit
|New York Islanders||80||39||29||12||327||284||90|
|New York Rangers||80||36||38||6||280||276||78|
|New Jersey Devils||80||28||49||3||300||374||59|
Clarence Campbell ConferenceEdit
|Chicago Black Hawks||80||39||33||8||351||349||86|
|Minnesota North Stars||80||38||33||9||327||305||85|
|St. Louis Blues||80||37||34||9||302||291||83|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||80||25||48||7||311||386||57|
|Detroit Red Wings||80||17||57||6||266||415||40|
|Los Angeles Kings||80||23||49||8||284||389||54|
The playoffs of 1986 saw three first place teams eliminated in the opening round and the fourth, Edmonton, bowed out in the second.
The Montreal Canadiens decided to go with a rookie goaltender by the name of Patrick Roy. This decision proved to be a good one just like when the Canadiens rode rookie goalie Ken Dryden to a Stanley Cup championship in 1971. In the Final, the Canadiens beat the Calgary Flames, who were also riding a rookie netminder, Mike Vernon. Patrick Roy won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP and had a sparkling 1.92 goals against average along with 15 wins.
The 1986 Stanley Cup playoffs are the last time to date (as of 2021) that all active Canadian teams have qualified in the same season. It is also the second time that all seven active teams at the time qualified, the first occurring three years earlier. Also, the Hartford Whalers won their only playoff series during their tenure in Hartford against the Quebec Nordiques.
|Division Semifinals||Division Finals||Conference Finals||Stanley Cup Finals|
|Prince of Wales Conference|
|Clarence Campbell Conference|
Stanley Cup FinalsEdit
After a 2-year trial of the 2–3–2 home ice format, the finals reverted to the 2–2–1–1–1 format.
|May 16||Montreal Canadiens||2–5||Calgary Flames||Olympic Saddledome|
|May 18||Montreal Canadiens||3–2||OT||Calgary Flames||Olympic Saddledome|
|May 20||Calgary Flames||3–5||Montreal Canadiens||Montreal Forum|
|May 22||Calgary Flames||0–1||Montreal Canadiens||Montreal Forum|
|May 24||Montreal Canadiens||4–3||Calgary Flames||Olympic Saddledome|
|Montreal won series 4–1|
|1986 NHL awards|
Team with most points, regular season
|Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Wales Conference playoff champion)
|Clarence S. Campbell Bowl:
(Campbell Conference playoff champion)
|Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer, regular season)
|Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers|
|Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy:
(Perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication)
|Charlie Simmer, Boston Bruins|
|Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
|Gary Suter, Calgary Flames|
|Conn Smythe Trophy:
(Most valuable player, playoffs)
|Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens|
|Frank J. Selke Trophy:
(Best defensive forward)
|Troy Murray, Chicago Black Hawks|
|Hart Memorial Trophy:
(Most valuable player, regular season)
|Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers|
|Jack Adams Award:
|Glen Sather, Edmonton Oilers|
|James Norris Memorial Trophy:
|Paul Coffey, Edmonton Oilers|
|Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
|Mike Bossy, New York Islanders|
|Lester B. Pearson Award:
(Outstanding player, regular season)
|Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins|
|NHL Plus/Minus Award:
(Player with best plus/minus record)
|Mark Howe, Philadelphia Flyers|
|William M. Jennings Trophy:
(Goaltender(s) of team(s) with best goaltending record)
|Bob Froese/Darren Jensen, Philadelphia Flyers|
|John Vanbiesbrouck, New York Rangers|
|Lester Patrick Trophy:
(Service to hockey in the U.S.)
|John MacInnes, Jack Riley|
|First Team||Position||Second Team|
|John Vanbiesbrouck, New York Rangers||G||Bob Froese, Philadelphia Flyers|
|Paul Coffey, Edmonton Oilers||D||Larry Robinson, Montreal Canadiens|
|Mark Howe, Philadelphia Flyers||D||Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins|
|Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers||C||Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Mike Bossy, New York Islanders||RW||Jari Kurri, Edmonton Oilers|
|Michel Goulet, Quebec Nordiques||LW||Mats Naslund, Montreal Canadiens|
|Wayne Gretzky||Edmonton Oilers||80||52||163||215|
|Mario Lemieux||Pittsburgh Penguins||79||48||93||141|
|Paul Coffey||Edmonton Oilers||79||48||90||138|
|Jari Kurri||Edmonton Oilers||78||68||63||131|
|Mike Bossy||New York Islanders||80||61||62||123|
|Peter Stastny||Quebec Nordiques||76||41||81||122|
|Denis Savard||Chicago Black Hawks||80||47||69||116|
|Mats Naslund||Montreal Canadiens||80||43||67||110|
|Dale Hawerchuk||Winnipeg Jets||80||46||59||105|
|Neal Broten||Minnesota North Stars||80||29||76||105|
|Bob Froese||Philadelphia Flyers||51||2728||116||5||2.55|
|Al Jensen||Washington Capitals||44||2437||129||2||3.18|
|Clint Malarchuk||Quebec Nordiques||46||2657||142||4||3.21|
|Kelly Hrudey||New York Islanders||45||2563||137||1||3.21|
|John Vanbiesbrouck||New York Rangers||61||3326||184||3||3.32|
|Patrick Roy||Montreal Canadiens||47||2651||148||1||3.35|
|Pat Riggin||Washington Capitals / Boston Bruins||46||2641||150||1||3.41|
|Rick Wamsley||St. Louis Blues||42||2517||144||1||3.43|
|Pete Peeters||Boston Bruins / Washington Capitals||42||2506||144||1||3.45|
|Don Beaupre||Minnesota North Stars||52||3073||182||1||3.55|
- New Jersey Devils: Doug Carpenter
- New York Islanders: Al Arbour
- New York Rangers: Ted Sator
- Philadelphia Flyers: Mike Keenan
- Pittsburgh Penguins: Bob Berry
- Washington Capitals: Bryan Murray
- Boston Bruins: Butch Goring
- Buffalo Sabres: Jim Schoenfeld and Scotty Bowman
- Hartford Whalers: Jack Evans
- Montreal Canadiens: Jean Perron
- Quebec Nordiques: Michel Bergeron
- Chicago Black Hawks: Bob Pulford
- Detroit Red Wings: Harry Neale and Brad Park
- Minnesota North Stars: Lorne Henning
- St. Louis Blues: Jacques Demers
- Toronto Maple Leafs: Dan Maloney
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1985–86 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
- Bill Ranford, Boston Bruins
- Daren Puppa, Buffalo Sabres
- Brian Bradley, Calgary Flames
- Gary Suter, Calgary Flames
- Brett Hull*, Calgary Flames
- Adam Oates, Detroit Red Wings
- Petr Klima, Detroit Red Wings
- Bob Probert, Detroit Red Wings
- Shayne Corson, Montreal Canadiens
- Kirk McLean, New Jersey Devils
- Craig Wolanin, New Jersey Devils
- Scott Mellanby, Philadelphia Flyers
- Craig Simpson, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Jeff Brown, Quebec Nordiques
- Cliff Ronning*, St. Louis Blues
- Wendel Clark, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Dave Lowry, Vancouver Canucks
- Jim Sandlak, Vancouver Canucks
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1985–86 (listed with their last team):
- Tom Lysiak, Chicago Black Hawks
- Mike Rogers, Edmonton Oilers
- Mario Tremblay, Montreal Canadiens
- Bob Nystrom, New York Islanders
- Pelle Lindbergh, Philadelphia Flyers
- Denis Herron, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Don Edwards, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Marian Stastny, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Jiri Bubla, Vancouver Canucks
- Dan Bouchard, Winnipeg Jets
- Trade deadline: March 11, 1986.
- March 8, 1986: John Anderson traded from Quebec to Hartford for Risto Siltanen.
- March 10, 1986: Peter Andersson traded from Washington to Quebec for Quebec's third round choice in 1986 Entry Draft.
- March 10, 1986: Reed Larson traded from Detroit to Boston for Mike O'Connell.
- March 10, 1986: Darren Veitch traded from Washington to Detroit for John Barrett and Greg Smith.
- March 11, 1986: Bob Crawford traded from Hartford to NY Rangers for Mike McEwen.
- March 11, 1986: Ron Duguay traded from Detroit to Pittsburgh for Doug Shedden.
- March 11, 1986: Dwight Foster traded from Detroit to Boston for Dave Donnelly.
- March 11, 1986: Nick Fotiu traded from NY Rangers to Calgary for future considerations.
- March 11, 1986: Glenn Resch traded from New Jersey to Philadelphia for Philadelphia's third round choice in 1986 Entry Draft.
- March 11, 1986: Phil Russell traded from New Jersey to Buffalo for Buffalo's 12th round choice in 1986 Entry Draft.
- March 11, 1986: John Tonelli traded from NY Islanders to Calgary for Steve Konroyd and Richard Kromm.
- March 11, 1986: Rik Wilson traded from Calgary to Chicago for Tom McMurchy.
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- Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Toronto: Dan Diamond & Associates. ISBN 978-1-894801-22-5.
- Dryden, Steve, ed. (2000). Century of hockey. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. ISBN 0-7710-4179-9.
- Fischler, Stan; Fischler, Shirley; Hughes, Morgan; Romain, Joseph; Duplacey, James (2003). The Hockey Chronicle: Year-by-Year History of the National Hockey League. Lincolnwood, Illinois: Publications International Inc. ISBN 0-7853-9624-1.