The 1987–88 NHL season was the 71st season of the National Hockey League. It was an 80-game season with the top four teams in each division advancing to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This season would see the Edmonton Oilers win their fourth Stanley Cup in five years by sweeping the Boston Bruins 4–0 in the Stanley Cup Final. In the process of their Cup win, Edmonton lost only two games, a record for the "16 wins" playoff format.
|1987–88 NHL season|
|League||National Hockey League|
|Duration||October 8, 1987 – May 26, 1988|
|Number of games||80|
|Number of teams||21|
|TV partner(s)||CBC, Canwest/Global, TSN, SRC (Canada)|
ESPN (United States)
|Top draft pick||Pierre Turgeon|
|Picked by||Buffalo Sabres|
|Presidents' Trophy||Calgary Flames|
|Season MVP||Mario Lemieux (Penguins)|
|Top scorer||Mario Lemieux (Penguins)|
|Playoffs MVP||Wayne Gretzky (Oilers)|
The NHL introduced a new trophy, the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which was to be awarded to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution in his community.
This was Wayne Gretzky's final season with the Edmonton Oilers and, as injuries held him out of 20% of the season, this would be the only season of the decade in which he was not the winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy and the first season since 1979–80 that he did not hold or share the league lead in points. Mario Lemieux would capture his first Hart Trophy and lead the league in scoring.
On December 8, Ron Hextall of the Philadelphia Flyers became the first goalie to directly score a goal, shooting the puck into an empty net after their opponent had pulled their goalie for a sixth attacker.
On December 19, the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins combined to score two goals in two seconds. The Bruins were trailing 6-4 in the third period when Ken Linseman scored with 10 seconds remaining, followed by Blues center Doug Gilmour scoring off the resulting faceoff into an empty net.
The New Jersey Devils qualified for the playoffs for the first time, since their move from Denver in 1982.
Prince of Wales ConferenceEdit
|New York Islanders||80||39||31||10||308||267||88|
|New Jersey Devils||80||38||36||6||295||296||82|
|New York Rangers||80||36||34||10||300||283||82|
Clarence Campbell ConferenceEdit
|Detroit Red Wings||80||41||28||11||322||269||93|
|St. Louis Blues||80||34||38||8||278||294||76|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||80||21||49||10||273||345||52|
|Minnesota North Stars||80||19||48||13||242||349||51|
|Los Angeles Kings||80||30||42||8||318||359||68|
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
Note: Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.
|Division Semifinals||Division Finals||Conference Finals||Stanley Cup Finals|
|Prince of Wales Conference|
|Clarence Campbell Conference|
Stanley Cup FinalsEdit
Game four is well known for fog that interfered with the game, and a power outage that caused the game to be cancelled at 16:37 of the second period with the score tied 3–3.
When the Oilers won the replayed game four, they started the tradition in which the champs gather around with the Cup in a team photo.
|May 18||Boston Bruins||1–2||Edmonton Oilers||Northlands Coliseum|
|May 20||Boston Bruins||2–4||Edmonton Oilers||Northlands Coliseum|
|May 22||Edmonton Oilers||6–3||Boston Bruins||Boston Garden|
|May 24||Edmonton Oilers||3–3||Boston Bruins||Boston Garden|
|May 26||Boston Bruins||3–6||Edmonton Oilers||Northlands Coliseum|
|Edmonton won series 4–0|
- NHL disregards stats from May 24 incomplete game.
|Stanley Cup||Edmonton Oilers||Boston Bruins|
(Best regular season record)
|Calgary Flames||Montreal Canadiens|
|Prince of Wales Trophy
(Wales Conference playoff champion)
|Boston Bruins||New Jersey Devils|
|Clarence S. Campbell Bowl
(Campbell Conference playoff champion)
|Edmonton Oilers||Detroit Red Wings|
|Art Ross Trophy
(Player with most points)
|Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins)||Wayne Gretzky (Edmonton Oilers)|
|Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
(Perseverance, Sportsmanship, and Dedication)
|Bob Bourne (Los Angeles Kings)||N/A|
|Calder Memorial Trophy
(Best first-year player)
|Joe Nieuwendyk (Calgary Flames)||Joe Nieuwendyk (Calgary Flames)|
Darren Pang (Chicago Blackhawks)
Ray Sheppard (Buffalo Sabres)
|Conn Smythe Trophy
(Most valuable player, playoffs)
|Wayne Gretzky (Edmonton Oilers)||N/A|
|Emery Edge Award
(Best plus-minus statistic)
|Brad McCrimmon (Calgary Flames)||N/A|
|Frank J. Selke Trophy
|Guy Carbonneau (Montreal Canadiens)||Guy Carbonneau (Montreal Canadiens)|
Jan Erixon (New York Rangers)
Steve Kasper (Boston Bruins)
|Hart Memorial Trophy
(Most valuable player, regular season)
|Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins)||Grant Fuhr (Edmonton Oilers)|
Wayne Gretzky (Edmonton Oilers)
Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins)
|Jack Adams Award
|Jacques Demers (Detroit Red Wings)||Terry Crisp (Calgary Flames)|
Jacques Demers (Detroit Red Wings)
Jean Perron (Montreal Canadiens)
|James Norris Memorial Trophy
|Ray Bourque (Boston Bruins)||Ray Bourque (Boston Bruins)|
Scott Stevens (Washington Capitals)
Gary Suter (Calgary Flames)
|King Clancy Memorial Trophy
(Leadership and humanitarian contribution)
|Lanny McDonald (Calgary Flames)||Wayne Gretzky (Edmonton Oilers)|
Lanny McDonald (Calgary Flames)
Bryan Trottier (New York Islanders)
|Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
(Sportsmanship and excellence)
|Mats Naslund (Montreal Canadiens)||Wayne Gretzky (Edmonton Oilers)|
Mats Naslund (Montreal Canadiens)
Joe Nieuwendyk (Calgary Flames)
|Lester B. Pearson Award
|Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins)||N/A|
|Grant Fuhr (Edmonton Oilers)||Tom Barrasso (Buffalo Sabres)|
Grant Fuhr (Edmonton Oilers)
Kelly Hrudey (New York Islanders)
|William M. Jennings Trophy
(Goaltender(s) of team with fewest goals against)
|Patrick Roy and Brian Hayward (Montreal Canadiens)||N/A|
|Lester Patrick Trophy
(Service to ice hockey in U.S.)
|Keith Allen, Fred Cusick, and Bob Johnson||N/A|
Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes, PPG = Powerplay Goals, SHG = Shorthanded Goals, GWG = Game Winning Goals
|Mario Lemieux||Pittsburgh Penguins||77||70||98||168||92||+23||22||10||7|
|Wayne Gretzky||Edmonton Oilers||64||40||109||149||24||+39||9||5||3|
|Denis Savard||Chicago Blackhawks||80||44||87||131||95||+4||14||7||6|
|Dale Hawerchuk||Winnipeg Jets||80||44||77||121||59||-9||20||3||4|
|Luc Robitaille||Los Angeles Kings||80||53||58||111||82||-9||17||0||6|
|Peter Stastny||Quebec Nordiques||76||46||65||111||69||+2||20||0||2|
|Mark Messier||Edmonton Oilers||77||37||74||111||103||+21||12||3||7|
|Jimmy Carson||Los Angeles Kings||80||55||52||107||45||-19||22||0||7|
|Hakan Loob||Calgary Flames||80||50||56||106||47||+41||9||8||4|
|Michel Goulet||Quebec Nordiques||80||48||58||106||56||-31||29||1||4|
GP = Games played; Min = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts; GAA = Goals against average; Sv% = Save percentage
|Grant Fuhr||Edmonton Oilers||75||4304||40||24||9||4||3.43||88.1|
|Mike Vernon||Calgary Flames||64||3565||39||16||7||1||3.53||87.7|
|Ron Hextall||Philadelphia Flyers||62||3561||30||22||7||0||3.5||88.6|
|Mike Liut||Hartford Whalers||60||3532||25||28||5||2||3.18||88.5|
|John Vanbiesbrouck||New York Rangers||56||3319||27||22||7||2||3.38||89.0|
|Daniel Berthiaume||Winnipeg Jets||56||3010||22||19||7||2||3.51||88.2|
|Ken Wregget||Toronto Maple Leafs||56||3000||12||35||4||2||4.44||87.0|
|Tom Barrasso||Buffalo Sabres||54||3133||25||18||8||2||3.31||89.6|
|Mario Gosselin||Quebec Nordiques||54||3002||20||28||4||2||3.78||86.7|
|Clint Malarchuk||Washington Capitals||54||2926||24||20||4||4||3.16||88.5|
- New Jersey Devils: Doug Carpenter and Jim Schoenfeld
- New York Islanders: Terry Simpson
- New York Rangers: Michel Bergeron
- Philadelphia Flyers: Mike Keenan and Paul Holmgren
- Pittsburgh Penguins: Pierre Creamer
- Washington Capitals: Bryan Murray
- Boston Bruins: Terry O'Reilly
- Buffalo Sabres: Ted Sator
- Hartford Whalers: Jack Evans
- Montreal Canadiens: Jean Perron
- Quebec Nordiques: Andre Savard and Ron Lapointe
- Chicago Blackhawks: Bob Murdoch
- Detroit Red Wings: Jacques Demers
- Minnesota North Stars: Herb Brooks
- St. Louis Blues: Jacques Martin
- Toronto Maple Leafs: John Brophy
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1987–88:
- Tommy Albelin, Quebec Nordiques
- Rob Brown, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Sean Burke, New Jersey Devils
- Adam Graves, Detroit Red Wings
- Jiri Hrdina, Calgary Flames
- Craig Janney, Boston Bruins
- Calle Johansson, Buffalo Sabres
- Brian Leetch, New York Rangers
- Jeff Norton, New York Islanders
- Luke Richardson, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Mathieu Schneider, Montreal Canadiens
- Brendan Shanahan, New Jersey Devils
- Ray Sheppard, Buffalo Sabres
- Kevin Stevens, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Ron Tugnutt, Quebec Nordiques
- Pierre Turgeon, Buffalo Sabres
- Glen Wesley, Boston Bruins
- Trent Yawney, Chicago Blackhawks
- Scott Young, Hartford Whalers
- Zarley Zalapski, Pittsburgh Penguins
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1987–88:
- Bob Bourne, Los Angeles Kings
- Richard Brodeur, Hartford Whalers
- Clark Gillies, Buffalo Sabres
- Doug Jarvis, Hartford Whalers
- Pierre Larouche, New York Rangers
- Dave Lewis, Detroit Red Wings
- Gilles Meloche, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Rick Middleton, Boston Bruins
- Wilf Paiement, Pittsburgh Penguins (The last active player to have been a member of the Kansas City Scouts.)
- Steve Payne, Minnesota North Stars
- Denis Potvin, New York Islanders
- Dave Semenko, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Charlie Simmer, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Brian Sutter, St. Louis Blues
- Perry Turnbull, St. Louis Blues
- Tiger Williams, Hartford Whalers
- Ron Hextall, Philadelphia Flyers, First goaltender in NHL history to shoot and score a goal.
- Trading Deadline: March 8, 1988
- March 8, 1988: Charlie Bourgeois and Hartford's third round choice in 1989 Entry Draft traded from St. Louis to Hartford for Hartford's second round choice in 1989 Entry Draft.
- March 8, 1988: Geoff Courtnall, Bill Ranford and future considerations traded from Boston to Edmonton for Andy Moog.
- March 8, 1988: Brian Curran traded from NY Islanders to Toronto for Toronto's sixth round choice in 1988 Entry Draft.
- March 8, 1988: Moe Lemay traded from Edmonton to Boston for Alan May.
- March 8, 1988: Jim Pavese traded from NY Rangers to Detroit for future considerations.
- March 8, 1988: Gordie Roberts traded from Philadelphia to St. Louis for future considerations.
- March 8, 1988: Steve Tsujuira traded from New Jersey to Boston for Boston's 10th round choice in 1988 Entry Draft (Alexander Semak).
- March 8, 1988: Steve Weeks traded from Hartford to Vancouver for Richard Brodeur.
- Diamond, Dan, ed. (2000). Total Hockey. Kingston, NY: Total Sports. ISBN 1-892129-85-X.
- Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Toronto, ON: 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, IL: Publications International Inc. ISBN 0-7853-9624-1.
- The original fourth game was cancelled (score was tied) while in progress, due to a rink electrical outage. The original fourth game stats weren't counted. The fourth game was rescheduled and replayed.
- "Etched in Stone: The Top 20 Most Unbreakable Records in NHL History". Bleacherreport.com. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
- Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Dan Diamond & Associates. p. 153. ISBN 9781894801225.
- Dinger 2011, p. 153.
- NHL Goaltender Leaders During 1987-88 Season | QuantHockey.com
- NHL trade deadline: Deals since 1980 | Habs Inside/Out Archived February 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine