NHL’s 20 greatest teams filled with Stanley Cup dynasties
The “Great One” thinks the 1986-87 Edmonton Oilers are the greatest team he played on, but there’s no shortage of debate over whether that’s the best team of all-time.
Four of Wayne Gretzky’s 1980s Oilers dynasty teams are among the 20 “Greatest NHL teams” as voted by fans during the league’s 100th anniversary. Also among the top 20 are three teams from the Montreal Canadiens’ 1970s run and three from the New York Islanders’ 1980s stretch when each dynasty captured four Stanley Cup titles in a row before passing the torch to Edmonton.
Six-time Cup-winning defenceman Kevin Lowe said he and Gretzky agreed the 1987 Oilers were the best of the bunch of teams that filled the rafters in Edmonton with blue, white and orange banners during one of the finest eras of hockey dominance, even though it took seven games to beat the Philadelphia Flyers in the final.
“When (Kent) Nilsson got here, I think we went 10-1 in the regular season,” Lowe said. “There was just so much offence. I don’t know if that was statistically our best Stanley Cup run as a team. It probably wasn’t because we went to seven with the Flyers. But Wayne and I both thought that that seemed like the best overall team.”
The 1983-84, ‘84-85, ‘86-87 and ‘87-88 Oilers, ‘75-76, ‘76-77 and ‘77-78 Canadiens, ‘79-89, ‘8182 and ‘82-83 Islanders, ‘90-91, ‘91-92 and 2015-16 Pittsburgh Penguins, ‘97-98 and ‘01-02 Detroit Red Wings, ‘69-70 Boston Bruins, ‘88-89 Calgary Flames, ‘93-94 New York Rangers, ‘00-01 Colorado Avalanche and ‘09-10 Chicago Blackhawks were voted the top 20 teams of all-time.