Edmonton Oil Kings (WCHL)

The Edmonton Oil Kings were a junior ice hockey team, and founding member of the Western Hockey League. They played at Edmonton Gardens in Edmonton, Alberta, and later Northlands Coliseum. In 1976 they moved to Portland, Oregon to become the Portland Winter Hawks. A second incarnation of the team played only one season in 1977–78 before moving to Great Falls, Montana.

Edmonton Oil Kings
CityEdmonton, Alberta, Canada
LeagueWestern Hockey League
Operated1951 (1951)–79
Home arenaEdmonton Gardens, Jasper Place Arena
ColoursRed, Blue, White
Championships1963 & 1966 Memorial Cup Champions
Franchise history
1967–78Flin Flon Bombers
1978–79Edmonton Oil Kings
1979–80Great Falls Americans
1980–82Spokane Flyers
Previous franchise history
1951–76Edmonton Oil Kings
1976-presentPortland Winterhawks

Franchise history

The Edmonton Oil Kings have a history that predates the founding of the Western Hockey League. They won the Memorial Cup in 1963 and 1966 as members of the senior men's Central Alberta Hockey League. The team was required to defeat the Alberta Junior Hockey League champion to earn the right to play for the national junior championship. They were also cup finalists seven different years between 1954 and 1971.

In 1966, Bill Hunter, the team's General Manager, was concerned about the state of junior hockey in western Canada. Each of the west's four provinces all had their own junior league, and Hunter felt that this put them at a disadvantage when competing nationally against the powerful leagues in Ontario and Quebec. Hunter hoped to form a unified western league to compete.

Hunter's hopes became reality in the summer of 1966, when a revolt within the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League caused several of its top clubs, the Estevan Bruins, Regina Pats, Saskatoon Blades, Moose Jaw Canucks and Weyburn Red Wings, to leave the league and join Hunter's Oil Kings in forming a new league. A seventh franchise was also added in Calgary, the Calgary Buffaloes.

The Oil Kings captured back to back President's Cup titles in 1971 and 1972, however it would prove to be the final titles in the celebrated franchise's history, as the Oil Kings found it difficult to compete with the lure of pro hockey provided by the WHA's Edmonton Oilers. The Oil Kings moved to Portland, Oregon in 1976, to become the Portland Winter Hawks.

There was a second Edmonton Oil Kings hockey team in the WHL that played only one season. The Flin Flon Bombers moved to Edmonton for the 1978–79 WHL season, but only survived one year and moved on to Great Falls. The team folded as the Great Falls Americans, then was revived as the Spokane Flyers for two seasons before folding for good.

A new WHL team began play in Edmonton in 2007–08, reviving the Oil Kings name.

League membership

The Oil Kings played in the following leagues during its existence:

Season-by-season record

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

Western Canada Junior Hockey League (1951-56)

SeasonGPWLTPtsGFGAFinishLeague PlayoffsMemorial Cup
1951-52442914159--2ndLost final
1952-5336286258218971stLost final
1953-5436333055263841stWon ChampionshipLost Memorial Cup final
1954-554023161471731153rdLost semi-final
1955-563617190341501433rdLost semi-final

Central Alberta Hockey League (1956–66)

SeasonGPWLTPtsGFGAFinishLeague PlayoffsMemorial Cup
1956-57402416048--2ndLost semi-finalLost Western semi-final
1957-584020191411611643rdLost semi-finalLost Western semi-final
1958-59401326127--4thLost semi-finalLost Western semi-final
1959-603012180241571714thLost finalLost Memorial Cup final
1960-61301218024--4thout of playoffsLost Memorial Cup final
1961-62341417331--5thout of playoffsLost Memorial Cup final
1962-63342112143--1stLost finalMemorial Cup Champion
1963-6440318163--1stLost semi-finalLost Memorial Cup final
1964-65--------out of playoffsLost Memorial Cup final
1965-66--------Co-ChampionMemorial Cup Champion

During this period The Oil Kings were still a Junior team that challenged in the Memorial Cup Playoffs, but played their regular season in a Senior League. The 64-65 and 65-66 regular season results are unavailable.

Western Canada Hockey League (1966–77)

SeasonGPWLTPtsGFGAFinishLeague PlayoffsMemorial Cup
1966–6756341210782811881st OverallLost semi-final
1967–686038166823031943rd OverallLost semi-final
1968–696033252682292061st WestLost final
1969–706035250702542172nd WestLost final
1970–716645201913462581st WestWon ChampionshipLost Cup final
1971–726844222903202462nd WestWon ChampionshipLost Cup round robin
1972–736840208883112401st WestLost semi-final
1973–746825367572523014th WestLost quarter-final
1974–757034297753403215th WestOut of playoffs
1975–767225425553124005th WestLost preliminary round

Western Hockey League (1978–79)

SeasonGPWLTPtsGFGAFinishLeague PlayoffsMemorial Cup
1978–7972174312462884033rd EastEliminated in round robin

NHL alumni

Hockey Hall of Fame

NHL 1st round draft picks

See also


Oil Kings Heritage

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