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|
|League||National Hockey League|
|Duration||October 6, 1988 – May 25, 1989|
|Number of games||80|
|Number of teams||21|
|Top draft pick||Mike Modano|
|Picked by||Minnesota North Stars|
|Presidents' Trophy||Calgary Flames|
|Season MVP||Wayne Gretzky (Kings)|
|Top scorer||Mario Lemieux (Penguins)|
|Eastern champions||Montreal Canadiens|
|Eastern runners-up||Philadelphia Flyers|
|Western champions||Calgary Flames|
|Western runners-up||Chicago Blackhawks|
|Playoffs MVP||Al MacInnis (Flames)|
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.
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.
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.
Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF= Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points
Prince of Wales Conference
|New York Rangers||80||37||35||8||310||307||82|
|New Jersey Devils||80||27||41||12||281||325||66|
|New York Islanders||80||28||47||5||265||325||61|
Clarence Campbell Conference
|Detroit Red Wings||80||34||34||12||313||316||80|
|St. Louis Blues||80||33||35||12||275||285||78|
|Minnesota North Stars||80||27||37||16||258||278||70|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||80||28||46||6||259||342||62|
|Los Angeles Kings||80||42||31||7||376||335||91|
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.
|Division Semifinals||Division Finals||Conference Finals||Stanley Cup Finals|
|Prince of Wales Conference|
|Clarence Campbell Conference|
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.
|May 14||Montreal Canadiens||2–3||Calgary Flames||Olympic Saddledome|
|May 17||Montreal Canadiens||4–2||Calgary Flames||Olympic Saddledome|
|May 19||Calgary Flames||3–4||2OT||Montreal Canadiens||Montreal Forum|
|May 21||Calgary Flames||4–2||Montreal Canadiens||Montreal Forum|
|May 23||Montreal Canadiens||2–3||Calgary Flames||Olympic Saddledome|
|May 25||Calgary Flames||4–2||Montreal Canadiens||Montreal Forum|
|Calgary won series 4–2|
Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes, PPG = Powerplay Goals, SHG = Shorthanded Goals, GWG = Game Winning Goals
|Mario Lemieux||Pittsburgh Penguins||76||85||114||199||100||+41||31||13||8|
|Wayne Gretzky||Los Angeles Kings||78||54||114||168||26||+15||11||5||5|
|Steve Yzerman||Detroit Red Wings||80||65||90||155||61||+17||17||3||7|
|Bernie Nicholls||Los Angeles Kings||79||70||80||150||96||+30||21||8||6|
|Rob Brown||Pittsburgh Penguins||68||49||66||115||118||+27||24||0||6|
|Paul Coffey||Pittsburgh Penguins||75||30||83||113||195||−10||11||0||2|
|Joe Mullen||Calgary Flames||79||51||59||110||16||+51||13||1||7|
|Jari Kurri||Edmonton Oilers||76||44||58||102||69||+19||10||5||8|
|Jimmy Carson||Edmonton Oilers||80||49||51||100||36||+3||19||0||5|
|Luc Robitaille||Los Angeles Kings||78||46||52||98||65||+5||10||0||4|
GP = Games played; Min = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts; GAA = Goals against average; Sv% = Save percentage
|Patrick Roy||Montreal Canadiens||48||2743||33||5||6||4||2.47||.908|
|Mike Vernon||Calgary Flames||52||2938||37||6||5||0||2.65||.897|
|Reggie Lemelin||Boston Bruins||40||2392||19||15||6||0||3.01||.887|
|Peter Sidorkiewicz||Hartford Whalers||44||2635||22||18||4||4||3.03||.890|
|Jon Casey||Minnesota North Stars||55||2961||18||17||12||1||3.06||.900|
|Kirk McLean||Vancouver Canucks||42||2477||20||17||3||4||3.08||.891|
|Andy Moog||Boston Bruins||41||2482||18||14||8||1||3.22||.877|
|Ron Hextall||Philadelphia Flyers||64||3756||30||28||6||0||3.23||.891|
|Clint Malarchuk||Washington Capitals/Buffalo Sabres||49||2754||19||19||8||2||3.36||.880|
|Greg Millen||St. Louis Blues||52||3019||22||20||7||6||3.38||.880|
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):
- Don Sweeney, Boston Bruins
- Stephane Quintal, Boston Bruins
- Sergei Priakin, Calgary Flames
- Paul Ranheim, Calgary Flames
- Theoren Fleury, Calgary Flames
- Ed Belfour, Chicago Blackhawks
- Jeremy Roenick, Chicago Blackhawks
- Randy McKay, Detroit Red Wings
- Tim Cheveldae, Detroit Red Wings
- Martin Gelinas, Edmonton Oilers
- Mike Modano*, Minnesota North Stars
- Eric Desjardins, Montreal Canadiens
- Jyrki Lumme, Montreal Canadiens
- Mike Keane, Montreal Canadiens
- Eric Weinrich, New Jersey Devils
- Paul Ysebaert, New Jersey Devils
- Tom Fitzgerald, New York Islanders
- Tony Granato, New York Rangers
- Mike Richter*, New York Rangers
- John Cullen, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Mark Recchi, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Curtis Leschyshyn, Quebec Nordiques
- Joe Sakic, Quebec Nordiques
- Rod Brind'Amour*, St. Louis Blues
- Trevor Linden, Vancouver Canucks
- Bob Essensa, Winnipeg Jets
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):
- Mark Napier, Buffalo Sabres
- Hakan Loob, Calgary Flames
- Lanny McDonald, Calgary Flames
- Doug Halward, Edmonton Oilers
- Tomas Jonsson, Edmonton Oilers
- John Anderson, Hartford Whalers
- Ron Duguay, Los Angeles Kings
- Craig Hartsburg, Minnesota North Stars
- Dennis Maruk, Minnesota North Stars (The last active player to have been a member of the California Golden Seals/Cleveland Barons franchise.)
- Bob Gainey, Montreal Canadiens
- Billy Smith, New York Islanders
- Marcel Dionne, New York Rangers
- Anton Stastny, Quebec Nordiques
- Mel Bridgman, Vancouver Canucks
- Bengt Gustafsson, Washington Capitals
Ron Hextall, Philadelphia Flyers, First goaltender to score a goal in post-season.
- Trading deadline: March 7, 1989.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Dan Diamond & Associates. p. 153. ISBN 9781894801225.
- Dinger 2011, p. 153.
- 1988-89 NHL Goalie Leaders | QuantHockey.com
- NHL trade deadline: Deals since 1980 | Habs Inside/Out Archived 2009-02-16 at the Wayback Machine