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1985–86 NHL season

1985–86 NHL season

The 1985–86 NHL season was the 69th season of the National Hockey League. This season saw the league's Board of Governors introduce the Presidents' Trophy, which would go to the team with the best overall record in the NHL regular season. The Edmonton Oilers would be the first winners of this award.

The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Calgary Flames four games to one in the final series to win the Stanley Cup.

1985–86 NHL season
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationOctober 10, 1985 – May 24, 1986
Number of games80
Number of teams21
Top draft pickWendel Clark
Picked byToronto Maple Leafs
Regular season
Presidents' TrophyEdmonton Oilers
Season MVPWayne Gretzky (Oilers)
Top scorerWayne Gretzky (Oilers)
Playoffs MVPPatrick Roy (Canadiens)
Stanley Cup
ChampionsMontreal Canadiens
  Runners-upCalgary Flames

League business

On June 13, 1985, the NHL board of governors voted 17–4 in favour of amending a penalty rule. Previously, coincidental minor penalties would result in 4-on-4 play. The amendment allowed teams to substitute another player to keep the play 5-on-5. It was seen by many as a shot at trying to slow down the high-flying Edmonton Oilers. Wayne Gretzky was quoted as saying, "I think the NHL is making a big mistake. I think the NHL should be more concerned with butt-ending, spearing, and three-hour hockey games than getting rid of 4-on-4 situations." It wasn't until 1993, with the Oiler dynasty (five cups in seven years) a thing of the past, that the NHL reverted to the original 4-on-4 rules.

Regular season

The Edmonton Oilers once again regained control of top spot in the NHL and were awarded with the Presidents' Trophy -- the first time the trophy had been awarded for the best record -- while last year's best team, the Philadelphia Flyers slipped to second. The Flyers continued their dominance of the Wales Conference despite the death of their Vezina-winning goaltender, Pelle Lindbergh, in a car accident on November 11. Edmonton's Wayne Gretzky won his seventh straight Hart Memorial Trophy and his sixth straight Art Ross Trophy. This season saw Gretzky score 52 goals, and set records of 163 assists and 215 points. This was the fourth time in five years that Gretzky reached the 200 point plateau; no other player has reached 200 point mark, although Mario Lemieux would garner 199 points in 76 games in 1988–89. Edmonton's defenceman Paul Coffey broke Bobby Orr's record of 46 goals for most goals in a season by a defenceman by scoring 48 times.

Final standings

Note: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF= Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points, PIM = Penalty Minutes

Prince of Wales Conference

Adams Division
Quebec Nordiques804331633028992
Montreal Canadiens804033733028087
Boston Bruins8037311231128886
Hartford Whalers804036433230284
Buffalo Sabres803737629629180
Patrick Division
Philadelphia Flyers8053234335241110
Washington Capitals8050237315272107
New York Islanders8039291232728490
New York Rangers803638628027678
Pittsburgh Penguins803438831330576
New Jersey Devils802849330037459

Clarence Campbell Conference

Norris Division
Chicago Black Hawks803933835134986
Minnesota North Stars803833932730585
St. Louis Blues803734930229183
Toronto Maple Leafs802548731138657
Detroit Red Wings801757626641540
Smythe Division[[CITE|1|https://openlibrary.org/search?q=Dinger%2C%20Ralph%2C%20ed.%20%282011%29.%20*The%20National%20Hockey%20Le]]
Edmonton Oilers8056177426310119
Calgary Flames804031935431589
Winnipeg Jets802647729537259
Vancouver Canucks8023441328233359
Los Angeles Kings802349828438954


The playoffs of 1986 saw three first place teams eliminated in the opening round and the fourth, Edmonton, bowed out in the second.

The Montreal Canadiens decided to go with a rookie goaltender by the name of Patrick Roy. This decision proved to be a good one just like when the Canadiens rode rookie goalie Ken Dryden to a Stanley Cup championship in 1971. In the Final, the Canadiens beat the Calgary Flames, who were also riding a rookie netminder, Mike Vernon. Patrick Roy won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP and had a sparkling 1.92 goals against average along with 15 wins.

The 1986 Stanley Cup playoffs are the last time to date (as of 2019) that all active Canadian teams have qualified in the same season. It is also the second time that all seven active teams at the time qualified, the first occurring three years earlier. Also, the Hartford Whalers won their only playoff series during their tenure in Hartford against the Quebec Nordiques.

Playoff bracket

Division SemifinalsDivision FinalsConference FinalsStanley Cup Finals
Prince of Wales Conference
P4NY Rangers1
P4NY Rangers3
P4NY Rangers4
P3NY Islanders0
N3St. Louis4
N3St. Louis3
N3St. Louis3
Clarence Campbell Conference

Stanley Cup Finals

Montreal won series 4–1


1986 NHL awards
Presidents' Trophy:
Team with most points, regular season
Edmonton Oilers
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(Wales Conference champion)
Montreal Canadiens
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl:
(Campbell Conference champion)
Calgary Flames
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer, regular season)
Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy:
(Perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication)
Charlie Simmer, Boston Bruins
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Best first-year player)
Gary Suter, Calgary Flames
Conn Smythe Trophy:
(Most valuable player, playoffs)
Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens
Frank J. Selke Trophy:
(Best defensive forward)
Troy Murray, Chicago Black Hawks
Hart Memorial Trophy:
(Most valuable player, regular season)
Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers
Jack Adams Award:
(Best coach)
Glen Sather, Edmonton Oilers
James Norris Memorial Trophy:
(Best defenceman)
Paul Coffey, Edmonton Oilers
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Mike Bossy, New York Islanders
Lester B. Pearson Award:
(Outstanding player, regular season)
Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins
NHL Plus/Minus Award:
(Player with best plus/minus record)
Mark Howe, Philadelphia Flyers
William M. Jennings Trophy:
(Goaltender(s) of team(s) with best goaltending record)
Bob Froese/Darren Jensen, Philadelphia Flyers
Vezina Trophy:
(Best goaltender)
John Vanbiesbrouck, New York Rangers
Lester Patrick Trophy:
(Service to hockey in the U.S.)
John MacInnes, Jack Riley

All-Star teams

First Team  Position  Second Team
John Vanbiesbrouck, New York RangersGBob Froese, Philadelphia Flyers
Paul Coffey, Edmonton OilersDLarry Robinson, Montreal Canadiens
Mark Howe, Philadelphia FlyersDRay Bourque, Boston Bruins
Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton OilersCMario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins
Mike Bossy, New York IslandersRWJari Kurri, Edmonton Oilers
Michel Goulet, Quebec NordiquesLWMats Naslund, Montreal Canadiens

Player statistics

Scoring leaders

Wayne GretzkyEdmonton Oilers8052163215
Mario LemieuxPittsburgh Penguins794893141
Paul CoffeyEdmonton Oilers794890138
Jari KurriEdmonton Oilers786863131
Mike BossyNew York Islanders806162123
Peter StastnyQuebec Nordiques764181122
Denis SavardChicago Black Hawks804769116
Mats NaslundMontreal Canadiens804367110
Dale HawerchukWinnipeg Jets804659105
Neal BrotenMinnesota North Stars802976105

Source: NHL[2]

Leading goaltenders

Bob FroesePhiladelphia Flyers51272811652.55
Al JensenWashington Capitals44243712923.18
Clint MalarchukQuebec Nordiques46265714243.21
Kelly HrudeyNew York Islanders45256313713.21
John VanbiesbrouckNew York Rangers61332618433.32
Patrick RoyMontreal Canadiens47265114813.35
Pat RigginWashington Capitals / Boston Bruins46264115013.41
Rick WamsleySt. Louis Blues42251714413.43
Pete PeetersBoston Bruins / Washington Capitals42250614413.45
Don BeaupreMinnesota North Stars52307318213.55

Source: NHL[2]


Patrick Division

  • New Jersey Devils: Tom McVie

  • New York Islanders: Al Arbour

  • New York Rangers: Ted Sator

  • Philadelphia Flyers: Mike Keenan

  • Pittsburgh Penguins: Bob Berry

  • Washington Capitals: Bryan Murray

Adams Division

  • Boston Bruins: Butch Goring

  • Buffalo Sabres: Jim Schoenfeld and Scotty Bowman

  • Hartford Whalers: Jack Evans

  • Montreal Canadiens: Jean Perron

  • Quebec Nordiques: Michel Bergeron

Norris Division

  • Chicago Black Hawks: Bob Pulford

  • Detroit Red Wings: Harry Neale and Brad Park

  • Minnesota North Stars: Lorne Henning

  • St. Louis Blues: Jacques Demers

  • Toronto Maple Leafs: Dan Maloney

Smythe Division

  • Calgary Flames: Bob Johnson

  • Edmonton Oilers: Glen Sather

  • Los Angeles Kings: Pat Quinn

  • Vancouver Canucks: Tom Watt

  • Winnipeg Jets: Barry Long and John Ferguson, Sr.



The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1985–86 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

  • Bill Ranford, Boston Bruins

  • Daren Puppa, Buffalo Sabres

  • Brian Bradley, Calgary Flames

  • Gary Suter, Calgary Flames

  • Brett Hull*, Calgary Flames

  • Adam Oates, Detroit Red Wings

  • Petr Klima, Detroit Red Wings

  • Bob Probert, Detroit Red Wings

  • Shayne Corson, Montreal Canadiens

  • Kirk McLean, New Jersey Devils

  • Craig Wolanin, New Jersey Devils

  • Scott Mellanby, Philadelphia Flyers

  • Craig Simpson, Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Jeff Brown, Quebec Nordiques

  • Cliff Ronning*, St. Louis Blues

  • Wendel Clark, Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Dave Lowry, Vancouver Canucks

  • Jim Sandlak, Vancouver Canucks

Last games

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1985–86 (listed with their last team):

  • Tom Lysiak, Chicago Black Hawks

  • Mike Rogers, Edmonton Oilers

  • Mario Tremblay, Montreal Canadiens

  • Bob Nystrom, New York Islanders

  • Pelle Lindbergh, Philadelphia Flyers

  • Denis Herron, Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Don Edwards, Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Marian Stastny, Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Jiri Bubla, Vancouver Canucks

  • Dan Bouchard, Winnipeg Jets

Trading deadline

  • Trading deadline: March 11, 1986.[3]

  • March 8, 1986: John Anderson traded from Quebec to Hartford for Risto Siltanen.

  • March 10, 1986: Peter Andersson traded from Washington to Quebec for Quebec's third round choice in 1986 Entry Draft.

  • March 10, 1986: Reed Larson traded from Detroit to Boston for Mike O'Connell.

  • March 10, 1986: Darren Veitch traded from Washington to Detroit for John Barrett and Greg Smith.

  • March 11, 1986: Bob Crawford traded from Hartford to NY Rangers for Mike McEwen.

  • March 11, 1986: Ron Duguay traded from Detroit to Pittsburgh for Doug Shedden.

  • March 11, 1986: Dwight Foster traded from Detroit to Boston for Dave Donnelly.

  • March 11, 1986: Nick Fotiu traded from NY Rangers to Calgary for future considerations.

  • March 11, 1986: Glenn Resch traded from New Jersey to Philadelphia for Philadelphia's third round choice in 1986 Entry Draft.

  • March 11, 1986: Phil Russell traded from New Jersey to Buffalo for Buffalo's 12th round choice in 1986 Entry Draft.

  • March 11, 1986: John Tonelli traded from NY Islanders to Calgary for Steve Konroyd and Richard Kromm.

  • March 11, 1986: Rik Wilson traded from Calgary to Chicago for Tom McMurchy.

See also

  • List of Stanley Cup champions

  • 1985 NHL Entry Draft

  • 38th National Hockey League All-Star Game

  • National Hockey League All-Star Game

  • NHL All-Rookie Team

  • 1985 in sports

  • 1986 in sports


Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgDinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Dan Diamond & Associates. p. 153. ISBN 9781894801225.
Sep 19, 2019, 11:17 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgDinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Toronto: Dan Diamond & Associates. ISBN 978-1-894801-22-5.Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Dan Diamond & Associates. p. 153. ISBN 9781894801225..
Sep 19, 2019, 11:17 AM
Citation Linkweb.archive.orgNHL trade deadline: Deals since 1980 | Habs Inside/Out Archived 2009-02-16 at the Wayback Machine
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Citation Linkwww.hockey-reference.comhockey-reference
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Citation Linkwww.habsinsideout.comNHL trade deadline: Deals since 1980 | Habs Inside/Out
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