A recent subject today in Truth & Rumors on FanNation suggesting that there is speculation that the NHL post-season be shortened got me to thinking...
NO...I mean about the other thing... HOCKEY!
On this day, May 19, 1984...The Edmonton Oilers won their first Stanley Cup against one of the greatest dynasties ever by defeating the 4 time consecutive cup champions, New York Islanders in Edmonton by a 4-1 game series victory.
That was 25 years ago today, can you imagine?
A then, 23 year old kid named Wayne Gretzky had just completed what was his most productive season having played in only 74 games. He scored an unbelievable 87 goals coupled with 118 assists for a total of 205 points at a clip of 2.77 points per game!
In the mean time, the Edmonton Oilers set the NHL on fire by scoring an unprecedented 440 goals! A scoring output the likes of which has never been seen since nor is likely to be in the foreseeable future.
That year launched the careers of many other notable players to come with the likes of; Steve Yzerman-DRW, Chris Chelios-MC, Kelly Hrudy-NYI, Pat Lafontaine-NYI, Doug Gilmour-SLB, Dirk Graham-MNS, John McClean-NJD, Russ Courtnall-TML and Cam Neely-VC.
The year also saw the careers of Bobby Clarke, Billy Harris, Guy Lapointe, Dale McCourt, Rick Macleish and Tony Esposito come to a conclusion and exit the game.
So much hockey and great players have come and gone on this anniversary of the Oiler's, silver 25th year celebration since thier 1st lap around the rink while hoisting Lord Stanley's cup, it is impossible to imagine. Many fans now days never saw those players that left the game that year or even some of the ones that started their careers apart from clips and what they have read or looked up on a statistical charts somewhere. Neely's career ended in 1996 as an example.
How great was that year?
New records were set for goal scoring, others tied or broken, offence was the name of the game with the top 10 point leaders all surpassing the 100 point mark & the Cup was finally brought back to Canada where the largest parade in Edmonton was ever staged in the aftermath of the celebration. It also marked the torch being past from one incredible dynasty to what to date was the next and last.
Hockey has gone through enormous changes in those 25 years with new teams, new players, rules, salary caps, equipment and stadium designs etc.
25 years later I am still watching. It's still a great game in spite of the complaints and opinions we share on the league & its management.
But you know what?
25 years ago, we had similar issues to one degree or another.
However, on May 19th, 1984 we were able to close that season, while here we are just starting the 3rd round in 2009. That year gave us so much hockey and history, I'm personally glad that it finished when it did.
We don't need the NHL playoffs going into June & doing so will not ever make it any more entertaining or attractive. Shorten the pre-season if that's what it takes and call it a wrap in May.
Thanks for all those wonderful moments from that time until now.
Well, I guess if this were 25 years ago...we now could go back to thinking about other things since the season and cup would be decided.
Well afterall, this is still Puck Bunnies gentlemen!