1991–92 NHL season

The 1991–92 NHL season was the 75th regular season of the National Hockey League. The league expanded to 22 teams with the addition of the expansion San Jose Sharks. For the first time, the Stanley Cup Finals extended into June, with the Pittsburgh Penguins repeating as Stanley Cup champions, winning the best of seven series four games to none against the Chicago Blackhawks.

1991–92 NHL season
The NHL 75th anniversary logo
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationOctober 3, 1991 – June 1, 1992
Number of games80
Number of teams22
Top draft pickEric Lindros
Picked byQuebec Nordiques
Regular season
Presidents' TrophyNew York Rangers
Season MVPMark Messier (Rangers)
Top scorerMario Lemieux (Penguins)
Eastern championsPittsburgh Penguins
  Eastern runners-upBoston Bruins
Western championsChicago Blackhawks
  Western runners-upEdmonton Oilers
Playoffs MVPMario Lemieux (Penguins)
Stanley Cup
ChampionsPittsburgh Penguins
  Runners-upChicago Blackhawks

League business

This was the first season for the San Jose Sharks, the first expansion team in the NHL since 1979. The birth of the Sharks returned NHL hockey to the San Francisco Bay Area after the California Golden Seals had relocated to Cleveland, Ohio in 1976.

This was also the last season for John Ziegler as NHL president. He would be succeeded by Gil Stein, who held the position for one year before being replaced by newly named commissioner Gary Bettman, during and after the 1992–93 season. After Stein's departure, the league presidency was merged into the new office of commissioner.

A new rule was added in which the final minute of every period is measured in tenths of a second, unlike whole seconds as in past seasons. This timekeeping procedure matches that of the IIHF, which began doing so in 1990.

75th season celebration

To celebrate the 75th anniversary season for the NHL, all players wore a special anniversary patch on their uniforms during this season.

Taking cues from Major League Baseball's "Turn Back The Clock" uniform program, throwback uniforms were worn by Original Six teams for select games, and throwbacks were also worn for the All-Star Game.

The uniform styles that were worn include:

The throwback uniforms would influence future seasons in the NHL, as several teams adopted throwbacks as alternate jerseys. The National Football League and National Basketball Association would follow the NHL's lead, with teams wearing throwbacks to celebrate their leagues' 75th and 50th anniversaries, respectively.

Regular season

New York Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch became the fifth, and last as of 2018, defenseman to score 100 points in a season. He finished the season with 102 points and captured the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league's best defenseman. The Rangers ended the season with 105 points, winning the Presidents' Trophy as the top regular-season team in the NHL. It was the first time the Rangers had topped the league since 1942.

For the first time, the NHL finished play in the month of June. A primary reason for this was the 10-day NHL strike, the first work stoppage in league history, that started on April 1. The games that were supposed to be played during the strike were not canceled, but rescheduled and made up when play resumed on April 12.

For the first time in his NHL career, Wayne Gretzky failed to finish in the top two in scoring. The Pittsburgh Penguins' Kevin Stevens became only the third person in NHL history to outscore Gretzky in the regular season (Marcel Dionne tied Gretzky in Wayne's rookie year, but had more goals, and Mario Lemieux won the Art Ross Trophy over Gretzky in 1988 and 1989).

Final standings

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

Wales Conference

Adams Division[1]
1 Montreal Canadiens8041281126720793
2 Boston Bruins8036321227027584
3 Buffalo Sabres8031371228929974
4 Hartford Whalers8026411324728365
5 Quebec Nordiques8020481225531852
Patrick Division[1]
1 P - New York Rangers8050255321246105
2 Washington Capitals804527833025798
3 Pittsburgh Penguins803932934330887
4 New Jersey Devils8038311128925987
5 New York Islanders8034351129129979
6 Philadelphia Flyers8032371125227375

P - Clinched Presidents Trophy

Wales Conference[2]
R Div GP W L T GF GA Pts
1 pNew York RangersPAT8050255321246105
2 Washington CapitalsPAT804527833025798
3 Montreal CanadiensADM8041281126720793
4 Pittsburgh PenguinsPAT803932934330887
5 New Jersey DevilsPAT8038311128925987
6 Boston BruinsADM8036321227027584
7 New York IslandersPAT8034351129129979
8 Philadelphia FlyersPAT8032371125227375
9 Buffalo SabresADM8031371228929974
10 Hartford WhalersADM8026411324728365
11 Quebec NordiquesADM8020481225531852

Divisions: ADM – Adams, PAT – Patrick

p – Clinched Presidents' Trophy
bold Qualified for playoffs

Campbell Conference

Norris Division[1]
1 Detroit Red Wings8043251232025698
2 Chicago Blackhawks8036291525723687
3 St. Louis Blues8036331127926683
4 Minnesota North Stars803242624627870
5 Toronto Maple Leafs803043723429467
Smythe Division[1]
1 Vancouver Canucks8042261228525096
2 Los Angeles Kings8035311428725084
3 Edmonton Oilers8036341029529782
4 Winnipeg Jets8033321525124481
5 Calgary Flames8031371229630574
6 San Jose Sharks801758521935939
Campbell Conference[3]
R Div GP W L T GF GA Pts
1Detroit Red WingsNRS8043251232025698
2Vancouver CanucksSMY8042261228525096
3Chicago BlackhawksNRS8036291525723687
4Los Angeles KingsSMY8035311428729684
5St. Louis BluesNRS8036331127926683
6Edmonton OilersSMY8036341029529782
7Winnipeg JetsSMY8033321525124481
8Calgary FlamesSMY8031371229630574
9Minnesota North StarsNRS803242624627870
10Toronto Maple LeafsNRS803043723429467
11San Jose SharksSMY801758521935939

Divisions: NRS – Norris, SMY – Smythe
bold Qualified for playoffs


Playoff bracket

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

Stanley Cup Finals

The series was held between the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins and the Clarence Campbell Conference champion Chicago Blackhawks. The Penguins won in four games, three out of four won by a one-goal margin. Mario Lemieux of Pittsburgh won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs' MVP.

Pittsburgh won series 4–0


Presidents' Trophy:New York Rangers
Prince of Wales Trophy:Pittsburgh Penguins
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl:Chicago Blackhawks
Art Ross Trophy:Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy:Mark Fitzpatrick, New York Islanders
Calder Memorial Trophy:Pavel Bure, Vancouver Canucks
Conn Smythe Trophy:Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins
Frank J. Selke Trophy:Guy Carbonneau, Montreal Canadiens
Hart Memorial Trophy:Mark Messier, New York Rangers
Jack Adams Award:Pat Quinn, Vancouver Canucks
James Norris Memorial Trophy:Brian Leetch, New York Rangers
King Clancy Memorial Trophy:Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:Wayne Gretzky, Los Angeles Kings
Lester B. Pearson Award:Mark Messier, New York Rangers
NHL Plus/Minus Award:Paul Ysebaert, Detroit Red Wings
Vezina Trophy:Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens
William M. Jennings Trophy:Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens
Lester Patrick Trophy:Al Arbour, Art Berglund, Lou Lamoriello

All-Star teams

First team  Position  Second team
Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens G Kirk McLean, Vancouver Canucks
Brian Leetch, New York Rangers D Phil Housley, Winnipeg Jets
Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins D Scott Stevens, New Jersey Devils
Mark Messier, New York Rangers C Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins
Brett Hull, St. Louis Blues RW Mark Recchi, PIT/PHI
Kevin Stevens, Pittsburgh Penguins LW Luc Robitaille, Los Angeles Kings

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

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

Player Team GP G A Pts
Mario LemieuxPittsburgh644487131
Kevin StevensPittsburgh805469123
Wayne GretzkyLos Angeles743190121
Brett HullSt. Louis737039109
Luc RobitailleLos Angeles804463107
Mark MessierNY Rangers793572107
Jeremy RoenickChicago805350103
Steve YzermanDetroit794558103
Brian LeetchNY Rangers802280102
Adam OatesSt. Louis/Boston80207999

Leading goaltenders

Note: GP = Games Played; TOI = Time On Ice (minutes); W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals Against; SO = Shutouts; Sv% = Save Percentage; GAA = Goals Against Average

Regular Season
Patrick RoyMontreal673935362281555.9142.36
Ed BelfourChicago5229282118101325.8942.70
Kirk McLeanVancouver653852381791765.9012.74
John VanbiesbrouckNY Rangers452526271331202.9102.85
Bob EssensaWinnipeg472627211761265.9102.88


Patrick Division

Adams Division

Norris Division

Smythe Division



The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1991–92 (listed with their first team):

Last games

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1991–92 (listed with their last team):

Hat tricks

See also


  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (2000). Total Hockey. Kingston, NY: Total Sports. ISBN 1-892129-85-X.
  • 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, IL: Publications International Inc. ISBN 0-7853-9624-1.
  1. "1991-1992 Division Standings". National Hockey League. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
  2. "1991-1992 Conference Standings". National Hockey League. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
  3. "1991-1992 Conference Standings Standings - NHL.com - Standings". NHL.
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