The Edmonton Oilers are a professional ice hockey team based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team was founded in 1971 and has since won five Stanley Cup championships. The Oilers are also known for having one of the greatest players in NHL history, Wayne Gretzky, on their team in the 1980s.
The Oilers were originally founded as a member of the World Hockey Association (WHA) in 1971. They joined the NHL in 1979 along with the Hartford Whalers, Quebec Nordiques, and Winnipeg Jets. In their early years, the Oilers struggled to make the playoffs but had some notable players, such as Mark Messier and Glenn Anderson.
Wayne Gretzky Era
In 1979, the Oilers drafted Wayne Gretzky, who would go on to become the greatest player in NHL history. Gretzky led the Oilers to four Stanley Cup championships in the 1980s and won numerous awards, including the Hart Trophy (NHL MVP) eight times. The Oilers also had other great players during this time, such as Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, and Paul Coffey.
After Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988, the Oilers struggled to find success. They missed the playoffs in six of the next seven seasons and did not win another Stanley Cup until 1990. The team had some bright spots during this time, such as the emergence of Doug Weight and Ryan Smyth.
The Oilers have struggled in recent years but have some promising young players. Connor McDavid, who was drafted first overall in 2015, is one of the best players in the NHL and has won the Hart Trophy twice. Leon Draisaitl, who was drafted third overall in 2014, is also a great player and won the Hart Trophy in 2020. The Oilers made the playoffs in 2017 and 2020 but have not advanced past the second round.
The Edmonton Oilers are a historic NHL team with a rich history. They have had some of the greatest players in NHL history, including Wayne Gretzky. While the team has struggled in recent years, they have some promising young players and could be a contender in the near future.
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