Puneet Varma (Editor)

1986–87 NHL season

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League  National Hockey League
Season champions  Edmonton Oilers
Champion  Edmonton Oilers
Top scorer  Wayne Gretzky
Number of games  80
Sport  Ice hockey
Champions  Edmonton Oilers
Start date  1986
Number of teams  21
Season MVP  Wayne Gretzky
1986–87 NHL season

Duration  October 9, 1986 – May 31, 1987
Playoffs Playoffs MVP  Ron Hextall, (Philadelphia)
Similar  1991–92 NHL season, 1980–81 NHL season, 1985–86 NHL season

The 1986–87 NHL season was the 70th season of the National Hockey League. The Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup by beating the Philadelphia Flyers four games to three in the Cup finals.


League business

The Chicago-based club officially changed their name from the two-worded "Black Hawks" to the one-worded "Blackhawks" based on the spelling found in their original franchise documents.

Regular season

The Oilers won their second straight Presidents' Trophy as the top team and Wayne Gretzky won his eighth straight Hart Trophy and his seventh straight Art Ross Trophy.

On November 26, 1986, Toronto's Borje Salming was accidentally cut in the face by a skate, requiring more than 200 stitches. It was the third injury to his face and Salming returned to play wearing a visor.

On April 4, 1987, the Islanders' Denis Potvin became the first NHL defenceman to reach 1000 points. A shot by the Islanders' Mikko Makela deflected in off Potvin's arm in a 6–6 shootout between the Islanders and Sabres.

Final standings

Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF= Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes


In an attempt to reduce the number of first round upsets, the NHL expanded the best-of-five series in the first round to a best-of-seven series.

Stanley Cup Finals

The Oilers and Flyers would meet again in the final for the second time in three years. This time, Edmonton was the regular season champion with 50 wins and 106 points, and Philadelphia was second with 46 wins and 100 points. Unlike the 1985 final, this series would go the full seven games. Edmonton took the first two games at home, then split in Philadelphia. However, the Flyers won the next two games, one in Edmonton and one back in Philadelphia by one goal, to force a deciding seventh game. Edmonton won game seven to earn its third Stanley Cup in four seasons.

All-Star teams

Source: NHL

Scoring leaders

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes, PPG = Powerplay Goals, SHG = Shorthanded Goals, GWG = Game Winning Goals

Source: NHL.

Leading goaltenders

Minimum 2000 min. GP = Games played; Min = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts; GAA = Goals against average; Sv% = Save percentage


The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1986–87 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

  • Gary Roberts, Calgary Flames
  • Joe Nieuwendyk, Calgary Flames
  • Dave Manson, Chicago Blackhawks
  • Joe Murphy, Detroit Red Wings
  • Steve Chiasson, Detroit Red Wings
  • Kelly Buchberger*, Edmonton Oilers
  • Jimmy Carson, Los Angeles Kings
  • Luc Robitaille, Los Angeles Kings
  • Steve Duchesne, Los Angeles Kings
  • Craig Berube, Philadelphia Flyers
  • Ron Hextall, Philadelphia Flyers
  • Vincent Damphousse, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Fredrik Olausson, Winnipeg Jets
  • Last games

    The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1986–87 (listed with their last team):

  • Thomas Gradin, Boston Bruins
  • Mike Milbury, Boston Bruins
  • Lee Fogolin, Buffalo Sabres
  • Don Lever, Buffalo Sabres
  • Gilbert Perreault, Buffalo Sabres
  • Phil Russell, Buffalo Sabres
  • Murray Bannerman, Chicago Blackhawks
  • Darryl Sutter, Chicago Blackhawks
  • Danny Gare, Edmonton Oilers
  • Wayne Babych, Hartford Whalers
  • Peter McNab, New Jersey Devils
  • Mike Bossy, New York Islanders
  • Chico Resch, Philadelphia Flyers (Last player born in the 1940s)
  • 1987 Trading Deadline

  • Trading Deadline: MARCH 10, 1987
  • March 10, 1987: Paul Boutilier traded from Boston to Minnesota for Minnesota's fourth round choice in 1988 Entry Draft.
  • March 10, 1987: Raimo Helminen traded from NY Rangers to Minnesota for future considerations.
  • March 10, 1987: Raimo Summanen traded from Edmonton to Vancouver for Moe Lemay.
  • March 10, 1987: Stu Kulak traded from Edmonton to NY Rangers, completing an earlier trade.
  • March 10, 1987: Marcel Dionne, Jeff Crossman and Los Angeles' third round choice in 1989 Entry Draft traded from Los Angeles to NY Rangers for Bob Carpenter and Tom Laidlaw.
  • References

    1986–87 NHL season Wikipedia