1988–89 NHL season

The 1988–89 NHL season was the 72nd season of the National Hockey League. The Calgary Flames won an all-Canadian Stanley Cup final against the Montreal Canadiens four games to two. This remains the last time two Canadian teams faced each other for the Stanley Cup.

1988–89 NHL season
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationOctober 6, 1988 – May 25, 1989
Number of games80
Number of teams21
Top draft pickMike Modano
Picked byMinnesota North Stars
Regular season
Presidents' TrophyCalgary Flames
Season MVPWayne Gretzky (Kings)
Top scorerMario Lemieux (Penguins)
Eastern championsMontreal Canadiens
  Eastern runners-upPhiladelphia Flyers
Western championsCalgary Flames
  Western runners-upChicago Blackhawks
Playoffs MVPAl MacInnis (Flames)
Stanley Cup
ChampionsCalgary Flames
  Runners-upMontreal Canadiens

Regular season

This year saw the start of Wayne Gretzky's tenure with the Los Angeles Kings, having been traded in the off-season after leading the Edmonton Oilers to the 1988 Stanley Cup. Coinciding with Gretzky's acquisition, the team also changed its uniforms and colours for 1988–89, scrapping the purple and gold associated with its co-tenant at the Great Western Forum, the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers, in favour of black and silver. Gretzky's presence signaled a dramatic on-ice turnaround for the Kings. Prior to his arrival via trade with the Edmonton Oilers on August 9, 1988, Los Angeles had the fourth-worst record in the NHL at 30 wins, 42 losses, and 8 ties. After Gretzky's first season with the Kings, however, they moved all the way up to fourth-best in the NHL, with a record of 42 wins, 31 losses, and 7 ties for 91 points. They also managed to defeat Gretzky's former team, the Oilers, in seven games in the Smythe Division Semifinal before falling victim to a four-game sweep at the hands of the eventual Cup champion Flames in the Division Final.

Four years after Andy Van Hellemond became the first on-ice official to wear a helmet, the NHL also made helmets mandatory for its officials like it did with its players in 1979; like the ruling for players, any official that was not wearing a helmet before the ruling could also go helmetless if they so desired.[1]

Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Art Ross Trophy for the second consecutive season, leading the league with 199 points. Lemieux remains the only player other than Gretzky to approach the 200 point plateau (Gretzky surpassed the 200 point mark four times in five years during the 1980s). This was the only season that there were four players that scored 150 or more points; Gretzky tallied 168, while Steve Yzerman and Bernie Nicholls totalled 155 and 150 points, respectively. This was also the only time that two teammates, Gretzky and Nicholls of the Los Angeles Kings, had hit the 150 point mark. Narrowly edging out Lemieux, Gretzky won his ninth Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's MVP, while Yzerman finished third in the balloting. Yzerman was voted by his fellow players as the NHLPA MVP, taking the Lester B. Pearson Award.

New York Rangers rookie Brian Leetch broke the record for goals by a rookie defenceman with 23. He finished that season with 71 points and easily captured the Calder Memorial Trophy.

On March 22, an incident took place in Buffalo during a game between the Buffalo Sabres and the St. Louis Blues. During a goalmouth collision between the Blues' Steve Tuttle and the Sabres' Uwe Krupp, Tuttle's skate blade slashed the throat of Buffalo goaltender Clint Malarchuk, severing the latter's jugular vein. Thanks to some timely action by Sabres trainer and former US Army Vietnam War veteran Jim Pizzutelli, Malarchuk quickly received treatment and was released from the hospital the next day. He returned to action 10 days later.

This was the first season that every NHL arena had full rink board advertisements.

Final standings

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

Prince of Wales Conference

Adams Division
Montreal Canadiens8053189315218115
Boston Bruins8037291428925688
Buffalo Sabres803835729129983
Hartford Whalers803738529929079
Quebec Nordiques802746726934261


Patrick Division
Washington Capitals8041291030525992
Pittsburgh Penguins804033734734987
New York Rangers803735831030782
Philadelphia Flyers803636830728580
New Jersey Devils8027411228132566
New York Islanders802847526532561


Clarence Campbell Conference

Norris Division
Detroit Red Wings8034341231331680
St. Louis Blues8033351227528578
Minnesota North Stars8027371625827870
Chicago Blackhawks8027411229733566
Toronto Maple Leafs802846625934262


Smythe Division
Calgary Flames8054179354226117
Los Angeles Kings804231737633591
Edmonton Oilers803834832530684
Vancouver Canucks803339825125374
Winnipeg Jets8026421230035564

[2]Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Note: Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.


The 1989 Stanley Cup Final featured two Canadian hockey teams, the Montreal Canadiens and the Calgary Flames. Montreal finished the regular season with 115 points, only two behind the league leader Calgary. They had last faced each other only three years earlier, with Montreal winning a five-game series in 1986. Calgary was only the second opposing team in NHL history to win a Stanley Cup at the Montreal Forum (the New York Rangers defeated the Montreal Maroons in 1928) and the first to do so against the Canadiens, marking the first time since 1983 that the Stanley Cup wasn't awarded in the province of Alberta.

Playoff bracket

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

Stanley Cup Finals

The Stanley Cup Finals was decided between the top two teams during the 1988–89 NHL regular season. Captain Lanny McDonald scored the second Flames goal in Game 6. This turned out to be the last goal in his Hockey Hall of Fame career as he retired during the following off-season. Doug Gilmour scored two goals in the third period, including the eventual game and Cup winner to cement the victory for the Flames.

Calgary won series 4–2


Presidents' Trophy:Calgary Flames
Prince of Wales Trophy:Montreal Canadiens
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl:Calgary Flames
Art Ross Trophy:Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy:Tim Kerr, Philadelphia Flyers
Calder Memorial Trophy:Brian Leetch, New York Rangers
Conn Smythe Trophy:Al MacInnis, Calgary Flames
Frank J. Selke Trophy:Guy Carbonneau, Montreal Canadiens
Hart Memorial Trophy:Wayne Gretzky, Los Angeles Kings
Jack Adams Award:Pat Burns, Montreal Canadiens
James Norris Memorial Trophy:Chris Chelios, Montreal Canadiens
King Clancy Memorial Trophy:Bryan Trottier, New York Islanders
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:Joe Mullen, Calgary Flames
Lester B. Pearson Award:Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings
NHL Plus/Minus Award:Joe Mullen, Calgary Flames,
William M. Jennings Trophy:Patrick Roy/Brian Hayward, Montreal Canadiens
Vezina Trophy:Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens
Lester Patrick Trophy:Dan Kelly, Lou Nanne, Lynn Patrick, Bud Poile

All-Star teams

First team  Position  Second team
Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens G Mike Vernon, Calgary Flames
Chris Chelios, Montreal Canadiens D Al MacInnis, Calgary Flames
Paul Coffey, Pittsburgh Penguins D Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins
Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins C Wayne Gretzky, Los Angeles Kings
Joe Mullen, Calgary Flames RW Jari Kurri, Edmonton Oilers
Luc Robitaille, Los Angeles Kings LW Gerard Gallant, Detroit Red Wings

Player statistics

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

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM +/- PPG SHG GWG
Mario LemieuxPittsburgh Penguins7685114199100+4131138
Wayne GretzkyLos Angeles Kings785411416826+151155
Steve YzermanDetroit Red Wings80659015561+171737
Bernie NichollsLos Angeles Kings79708015096+302186
Rob BrownPittsburgh Penguins684966115118+272406
Paul CoffeyPittsburgh Penguins753083113195−101102
Joe MullenCalgary Flames79515911016+511317
Jari KurriEdmonton Oilers76445810269+191058
Jimmy CarsonEdmonton Oilers80495110036+31905
Luc RobitailleLos Angeles Kings7846529865+51004

Source: NHL.[3]

Leading goaltenders

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

Player Team GP Min W L T SO GAA Sv%
Patrick RoyMontreal Canadiens482743335642.47.908
Mike VernonCalgary Flames522938376502.65.897
Reggie LemelinBoston Bruins4023921915603.01.887
Peter SidorkiewiczHartford Whalers4426352218443.03.890
Jon CaseyMinnesota North Stars55296118171213.06.900
Kirk McLeanVancouver Canucks4224772017343.08.891
Andy MoogBoston Bruins4124821814813.22.877
Ron HextallPhiladelphia Flyers6437563028603.23.891
Clint MalarchukWashington Capitals/Buffalo Sabres4927541919823.36.880
Greg MillenSt. Louis Blues5230192220763.38.880

Source: Quanthockey.com.[4]


Patrick Division

Adams Division

Norris Division

Smythe Division



The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1988–89 (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 1988–89 (listed with their last team):


Ron Hextall, Philadelphia Flyers, First goaltender to score a goal in post-season.

Trading deadline

  • Trading deadline: March 7, 1989.[5]
  • February 27, 1989: Peter Deboer traded from Toronto to Vancouver for Paul Lawless.
  • March 4, 1989: Perry Berezan and Shane Churla traded from Calgary to Minnesota for Brian MacLellan and Minnesota's fourth round choice in 1989 Entry Draft.
  • March 6, 1989: Ken Wregget traded from Toronto to Philadelphia for future considerations.
  • March 7, 1989: Clint Malarchuk, Grant Ledyard and Washington's sixth round pick in 1991 Entry Draft traded from Washington to Buffalo for Calle Johansson and Buffalo's second round pick in 1989 Entry Draft.
  • March 7, 1989: Jim Pavese traded from Detroit to Hartford for Torrie Robertson.
  • March 7, 1989: Lindy Ruff traded from Buffalo to NY Rangers for NY Rangers' fifth round pick in 1990 Entry Draft.
  • March 7, 1989: Reed Larson traded from NY Islanders to Minnesota for future considerations.
  • March 7, 1989: Claude Vilgrain traded from Vancouver to New Jersey for Tim Lenardon.
  • March 7, 1989: Brian Wilk and John English traded from Los Angeles to Edmonton for Jim Wiemer and Alan May.
  • March 7, 1989: Greg Gilbert traded from NY Islanders to Chicago for Chicago's fifth round pick in 1989 Entry Draft.
  • March 7, 1989: Washington Capitals obtain Dino Ciccarelli and Bob Rouse from the Minnesota North Stars for Mike Gartner and Larry Murphy.
  • March 7, 1989: Jean Leblanc and Vancouver's fifth round pick in 1989 Entry Draft traded from Vancouver to Edmonton for Doug Smith and Greg C. Adams.

See also


  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (2000). Total Hockey. Kingston, New York: Total Sports. ISBN 1-892129-85-X.
  • Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Toronto: Dan Diamond & Associates. ISBN 978-1-894801-22-5.
  • Dryden, Steve, ed. (2000). Century of hockey. Toronto: 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.
  1. Shoalts, David (April 28, 2000). "Ex ref supports mandatory helmets". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 29 September 2019. The NHL has 60 referees and linesmen under contract and among them are 11 men who do not wear helmets. This is allowed through a grandfather clause in the collective agreement between the NHL Officials' Association and the league, which made wearing helmets mandatory beginning with the 1988-89 season. However, just as the NHL did with its players when helmets became compulsory for them in 1979, a grandfather clause was inserted in the agreement. All referees and linesmen who were employed on or before Sept. 1, 1988 did not have to wear a helmet.
  2. Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Dan Diamond & Associates. p. 153. ISBN 9781894801225.
  3. Dinger 2011, p. 153.
  4. 1988-89 NHL Goalie Leaders | QuantHockey.com
  5. NHL trade deadline: Deals since 1980 | Habs Inside/Out Archived 2009-02-16 at the Wayback Machine
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.