‘84-85 Oilers encountered some bumps, Gretzky says

Even the greatest team in NHL history as selected by fans had doubt casted their way before eventually proving themselves.

The Wayne Gretzky-led 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers were chosen as the greatest NHL team of all-time through a fan vote during the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Oilers downed the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup final that season to win their second-straight championship. Along with Gretzky, the team’s roster was stacked with Hall of Famers including Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey and goaltender Grant Fuhr.

Gretzky produced 208 points and took home numerous awards, including his sixth straight Hart Trophy as league MVP. Coffey earned the Norris as top defencemen while Kurri won the Lady Byng for sportsmanship. Eight players in all were named an all-star, but critics still wondered at the time if the Oilers could win with their style of play.

“It was fun, it was nice, but there were a couple bumps in the road where people questioned whether we were good enough defensively to become successful,” Gretzky said Sunday at Air Canada Centre prior to puck drop between the Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs.

“Grant would have had so many different numbers had he played for a defensive-minded team,” Gretzky added. “He was the one guy in some ways who didn’t get the respect of the numbers other guys got because we were so offensive minded. He didn’t care if we won 8-7 as long as we won.”