Top 5 Oilers of the 90's
Ryan Frankson | edmontonoilers.com
The Edmonton Oilers squads of the 1990's had massive shoes to fill after the team captured five Stanley Cup championships during the previous decade. The 90's saw a number of outstanding players showcase their skills in Oil Country, including forwards Doug Weight and Bill Guerin, who will be inducted into the USA Hockey Hall of Fame this year. And while there were many worthy candidates, we've narrowed down the list and compiled our countdown of the top five Oilers of the 90's.
Kelly Buchberger made his Oilers debut during the 1987 Stanley Cup Final and went on to spend the next 12 seasons in Edmonton, serving as team captain between 1995 to 1999. "Bucky" will go down in history as one of the franchise's top heart-and-soul players, consistently sacrificing his body for the sake of the team and scrapping against some of the NHL's toughest combatants. He posted his top offensive season in 1991-92 with 44 points and is now one of the team's assistant coaches.
4. Jason Arnott
Jason Arnott began his impressive NHL career with the Oilers after the team selected him seventh overall at the 1993 Draft. Arnott posted one of the top rookie campaigns in League history the following year, scoring 33 goals and 68 total points, which stands as his third-most productive campaign to date. Arnott scored 239 points with the Oilers between 1993 and 1998, made the All-Rookie Team in 1994 and was picked for the NHL All-Star Game in 1997.
Curtis Joseph was the go-to goalie between the pipes for the Oilers for just two and a half seasons, but he played a starring role in some of the team's greatest accomplishments during the 90's. "CuJo" was named Team MVP in both the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons, leading the Oilers to back-to-back Western Conference semifinal appearances after upset wins over the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche, respectively. Joseph had an impressive 14 regular season shutouts and five more goose-eggs in the post-season during his time in Edmonton.
2. Ryan Smyth
Selected sixth overall by the Oilers at the 1994 NHL Draft, Ryan Smyth soon became a fan favourite in Oil Country for the latter half of the 90's thanks to his effort and abilities on the ice, his contributions in the community and, of course, his trademark flowing hair. "Smytty" scored a career-best 39 goals in his first full season with the team in 1996-97, paving the way for a hugely successful NHL career that took him away from Edmonton for a few seasons before his return in 2011.
1. Doug Weight
The Oilers got up-and-coming forward Doug Weight from the New York Rangers during the 1992-93 season in exchange for legendary Finnish forward Esa Tikkanen, marking the beginning of quite a legacy for Weight in Edmonton. He spent the rest of the decade in Oil Country, racking up 577 regular season points and 33 more in 39 playoff games. Weight is the last Oilers player to crack the 100-point plateau in a season, putting up a whopping 104 in 1995-96. He took the captain's torch from Kelly Buchberger, proudly donning the 'C' to close out the decade and his tenure with the team.
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