1983–84 NHL season

The 1983–84 NHL season was the 67th season of the National Hockey League. The Edmonton Oilers de-throned the four-time defending Stanley Cup champion New York Islanders four games to one in the Cup finals.

1983–84 NHL season
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationOctober 4, 1983 – May 19, 1984
Number of games80
Number of teams21
Top draft pickBrian Lawton
Picked byMinnesota North Stars
Regular season
Season championsEdmonton Oilers
Season MVPWayne Gretzky (Oilers)
Top scorerWayne Gretzky (Oilers)
Playoffs MVPMark Messier (Oilers)
Stanley Cup
ChampionsEdmonton Oilers
  Runners-upNew York Islanders

League business

Not since World War II travel restrictions caused the NHL to drop regular season overtime games in 1942–43 had the NHL used overtime to decide regular season games. Starting this season, the NHL introduced a five-minute extra period of overtime following the third period in the event of a tied game. A team losing in overtime would get no points. This rule remained in effect until the 1999–2000 season, where a team losing in overtime was awarded 1 point. If the game remained tied after the five-minute extra period, it remained a tie, until the NHL shootout arrived in the 2005–06 season. Overtime in the Stanley Cup playoffs remained unchanged.

In the entry draft, Brian Lawton became the first American to be chosen first overall, by the Minnesota North Stars. Three Americans were chosen in the top five: Lawton, Pat Lafontaine (third) and Tom Barrasso (fifth). Sylvain Turgeon was chosen second and Steve Yzerman was chosen fourth overall. The St. Louis Blues did not participate in the draft, having been "orphaned" by Ralston Purina. The NHL took control of the franchise after the draft. On July 27, 1983, Harry Ornest purchased the Blues for US$3 million.[1]

Arthur M. Wirtz, long-time chairman and part-owner of the Chicago Black Hawks, died at the age of 82 on July 21, 1983.[2] His son, Bill, took over ownership of the team.

Regular season

The Edmonton Oilers ran away with the best record in the league, and for the third straight year set a new record for most goals in a season, 446. The Oilers' new captain, Wayne Gretzky, was once again breaking records and rewriting his name into the record book. This season saw Gretzky score at least one point in the first 51 games of the season. During those 51 games, Gretzky had 61 goals and 92 assists for 153 points, which is equivalent to exactly three points per game. He also won his fifth straight Hart Trophy and his fourth straight Art Ross Trophy. The season's second leading scorer was Gretzky's teammate Paul Coffey, who, with 126 points, became the third defenceman to score 100 points in a season.

The Calgary Flames played their inaugural season at the Olympic Saddledome.

Prior to the season, the St. Louis Blues were purchased by Harry Ornest, keeping the team from moving to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and remaining in the Missouri city, where it remains. In addition, the team's home venue, the Checkerdome, reverted to its original name, the Arena, after six seasons.

Final standings

Note: GP = Games played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalties in minutes

Prince of Wales Conference

Adams Division
Boston Bruins80492563362611606104
Buffalo Sabres80482573152571190103
Quebec Nordiques80422810360278160094
Montreal Canadiens8035405286295137175
Hartford Whalers80284210288320118466


Patrick Division
New York Islanders8050264357269104
Washington Capitals8048275308226101
Philadelphia Flyers8044261035029098
New York Rangers804229931430493
New Jersey Devils801756723135041
Pittsburgh Penguins801658625439038


Clarence Campbell Conference

Norris Division
Minnesota North Stars8039311034534488
St. Louis Blues803241729331671
Detroit Red Wings803142729832369
Chicago Black Hawks803042827731168
Toronto Maple Leafs802645930338761


Smythe Division
Edmonton Oilers8057185446314119
Calgary Flames8034321431131482
Vancouver Canucks803239930632873
Winnipeg Jets8031381134037473
Los Angeles Kings8023441330937659



Playoff bracket

  Division Semifinals Division Finals Conference Finals Stanley Cup Finals
A1 Boston 0  
A4 Montreal 3  
  A4 Montreal 4  
  A3 Quebec 2  
A2 Buffalo 0
A3 Quebec 3  
  A4 Montreal 2  
Prince of Wales Conference
  P1 NY Islanders 4  
P1 NY Islanders 3  
P4 NY Rangers 2  
  P1 NY Islanders 4
  P2 Washington 1  
P2 Washington 3
P3 Philadelphia 0  
  P1 NY Islanders 1
  S1 Edmonton 4
N1 Minnesota 3  
N4 Chicago 2  
  N1 Minnesota 4
  N2 St. Louis 3  
N2 St. Louis 3
N3 Detroit 1  
  N1 Minnesota 0
Clarence Campbell Conference
  S1 Edmonton 4  
S1 Edmonton 3  
S4 Winnipeg 0  
  S1 Edmonton 4
  S2 Calgary 3  
S2 Calgary 3
S3 Vancouver 1  

Stanley Cup Finals

It was a rematch of the 1983 final as the Islanders attempted to match the 1950s Montreal Canadiens and win five consecutive Stanley Cup championships, against the Edmonton Oilers attempting to win the franchise's first championship. The Islanders lost the first game at home 1-0, but came back to defeat the Oilers 6-1 in the second game. Edmonton took over the series from that point, winning the next three games, all played in Edmonton.

Edmonton won series 4–1


1983-84 NHL awards
Stanley CupEdmonton OilersNew York Islanders
Prince of Wales Trophy
(Wales Conference champion)
New York IslandersMontreal Canadiens
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl
(Campbell Conference champion)
Edmonton OilersMinnesota North Stars
Art Ross Trophy
(Player with most points)
Wayne Gretzky (Edmonton Oilers)Paul Coffey (Edmonton Oilers)
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
(Perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication)
Brad Park (Detroit Red Wings)N/A
Calder Memorial Trophy
(Best first-year player)
Tom Barrasso (Buffalo Sabres)Steve Yzerman (Detroit Red Wings)
Conn Smythe Trophy
(Most valuable player, playoffs)
Mark Messier (Edmonton Oilers)N/A
Emery Edge Award
(Best plus-minus statistic)
Wayne Gretzky (Edmonton Oilers)N/A
Frank J. Selke Trophy
(Defensive forward)
Doug Jarvis (Washington Capitals)Bryan Trottier (New York Islanders)
Hart Memorial Trophy
(Most valuable player, regular season)
Wayne Gretzky (Edmonton Oilers)Rod Langway (Washington Capitals)
Jack Adams Award
(Best coach)
Bryan Murray (Washington Capitals)Scotty Bowman (Buffalo Sabres)
James Norris Memorial Trophy
(Best defenseman)
Rod Langway (Washington Capitals)Paul Coffey (Edmonton Oilers)
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
(Sportsmanship and excellence)
Mike Bossy (New York Islanders)Rick Middleton (Boston Bruins)
Lester B. Pearson Award
(Outstanding player)
Wayne Gretzky (Edmonton Oilers) N/A
Vezina Trophy
(Best goaltender)
Tom Barrasso (Buffalo Sabres)Rejean Lemelin (Calgary Flames)
William M. Jennings Trophy
(Goaltenders of team with fewest goals against)
Al Jensen and Pat Riggin (Washington Capitals)N/A
Lester Patrick Trophy
(Service to ice hockey in the U.S.)
John Ziegler, Jr. and Art RossN/A

All-Star teams

First Team  Position  Second Team
Tom Barrasso, Buffalo Sabres G Pat Riggin, Washington Capitals
Rod Langway, Washington Capitals D Paul Coffey, Edmonton Oilers
Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins D Denis Potvin, New York Islanders
Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers C Bryan Trottier, New York Islanders
Mike Bossy, New York Islanders RW Jari Kurri, Edmonton Oilers
Michel Goulet, Quebec Nordiques LW Mark Messier, Edmonton Oilers

Source: NHL.[4]

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Wayne GretzkyEdmonton Oilers748711820539
Paul CoffeyEdmonton Oilers804086126104
Michel GouletQuebec Nordiques75566512176
Peter StastnyQuebec Nordiques80467311973
Mike BossyNew York Islanders6751671188
Barry PedersonBoston Bruins80397711664
Jari KurriEdmonton Oilers64526111314
Bryan TrottierNew York Islanders68407111159
Bernie FederkoSt. Louis Blues79416610743
Rick MiddletonBoston Bruins80475810514

Source: NHL.[5]

Leading goaltenders

Note: GP = Games played; Min – Minutes played; GA = Goals against; GAA = Goals against average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts

Player Team GP MIN GA GAA W L T SO
Pat RigginWashington Capitals4122991022.66211424
Tom BarrassoBuffalo Sabres4224751172.84261232
Al JensenWashington Capitals4324141172.91251334
Doug KeansBoston Bruins331779923.1019832
Bob FroesePhiladelphia Flyers4828631503.14281372
Pete PeetersBoston Bruins5028681513.16291620
Dan BouchardQuebec Nordiques5733731803.20291881
Roland MelansonN.Y. Islanders3720191103.27201120
Richard SevignyMontreal Canadiens4022031243.38161821
Murray BannermanChicago Black Hawks5633351883.38232942



Patrick Division

Adams Division

Norris Division

Smythe Division



The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1983–84 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last games

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1983–84 (listed with their last team):

1984 trading deadline

  • Trading deadline: March 6, 1984 [7]
  • March 5, 1984 – Winnipeg Jets obtain D Randy Carlyle from Pittsburgh for Winnipeg's first-round choice in 1984 Entry Draft (D Doug Bodger) and future considerations (D Moe Mantha) – (trade completed one day before trading deadline).
  • March 5, 1984: Dave Barr and future considerations traded from NY Rangers to St. Louis for Larry Patey and the rights to Bob Brooke.
  • March 6, 1984: John Blum traded from Edmonton to Boston for Larry Melnyk.
  • March 6, 1984: The rights to Risto Jalo traded from Washington to Edmonton for future considerations.

See also


  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (2008). Total Stanley Cup 2008. NHL.
  • Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Toronto, ON: Dan Diamond & Associates. ISBN 978-1-894801-22-5.
  • Dryden, Steve, ed. (2000). Century of hockey. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. ISBN 0-7710-4179-9.
  • Fischler, Stan; Fischler, Shirley; Hughes, Morgan; Romain, Joseph; Duplacey, James (2003). The Hockey Chronicle: Year-by-Year History of the National Hockey League. Lincolnwood, Illinois: Publications International Inc. ISBN 0-7853-9624-1.
  • McFarlane, Brian (1989). One hundred years of hockey. Toronto: Deneau Publishers. ISBN 0-88879-216-6.
  1. McFarlane 1989, p. 232.
  2. McFarlane 1989, p. 233.
  3. Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Dan Diamond & Associates. p. 152. ISBN 9781894801225.
  4. Dinger 2011, p. 229.
  5. Dinger 2011, p. 152.
  6. https://www.hockey-reference.com/leagues/NHL_1984_leaders.html
  7. NHL trade deadline: Deals since 1980 | Habs Inside/Out Archived 2009-02-16 at the Wayback Machine

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