1988 Stanley Cup Finals
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1988 Stanley Cup Finals
1988 Stanley Cup Finals
1234 Total
Edmonton Oilers 2466 4
Boston Bruins 1233 0
Location(s)Edmonton: Northlands Coliseum (1, 2, 4[a])
Boston: Boston Garden) (3, 4[a])
CoachesEdmonton: Glen Sather
Boston: Terry O'Reilly
CaptainsEdmonton: Wayne Gretzky
Boston: Ray Bourque, Rick Middleton
DatesMay 18 - May 26
MVPWayne Gretzky (Oilers)
Series-winning goalWayne Gretzky (9:44, second, G4)
NetworksGlobal/Canwest (Canada-English, games 1 and 2)
CBC (Canada-English, games 3 and 4)
ESPN (United States)
WSBK and NESN (Boston Area)
AnnouncersDan Kelly and John Davidson (Global/Canwest)
Bob Cole and Harry Neale (CBC)
Mike Emrick, Bill Clement, and Mickey Redmond (ESPN)
Fred Cusick, Derek Sanderson, and Dave Shea (NESN)
Fred Cusick and Derek Sanderson (WSBK)

The 1988 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 1987-88 season, and the culmination of the 1988 Stanley Cup playoffs. It was contested between the Edmonton Oilers and Boston Bruins. The Oilers would win the series in a four game sweep.[a] This would be the sixth of eight consecutive Finals contested by a team from Alberta (the Oilers appeared in six of them, the Calgary Flames in two), and the last of five consecutive Finals to end with the Cup presentation on Alberta ice (the Oilers won four such Cups, the Montreal Canadiens the other). The series is remembered for the power failure that occurred during game four at Boston Garden, which caused that contest to be suspended. The league decided to replay game four at Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton, at the site, date and time that was originally scheduled for game five.

Paths to the Finals

Edmonton defeated the Winnipeg Jets 4-1, the Calgary Flames 4-0 and the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 to reach the Finals.

Boston defeated the Buffalo Sabres 4-2, the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 and the New Jersey Devils 4-3 to reach the Finals.

Game summaries

The Finals pitted the Oilers' offensive juggernaut against the Bruins' more balanced team. The Oilers showed their defensive prowess, surrendering just nine goals in the four completed games. Ray Bourque was physical in defending against Gretzky, but that would not ground the "Great One" on his way to claiming his second Conn Smythe Trophy and setting playoff records with 31 assists in just 18 games, and 13 points in the Finals series.

Game one


May 18Boston Bruins1-2
0-0, 1-1, 0-1
Edmonton OilersNorthlands Coliseum
Attendance: 17,502

Game two


May 20Boston Bruins2-4
0-2 ,0-0, 2-2
Edmonton OilersNorthlands Coliseum
Attendance: 17,502

Game three


Game four (suspended)

Glenn Anderson set a new record for quickest goal from the start of a Finals game when he scored ten seconds into the contest. That record was tied two years later in the third game of the 1990 Finals by John Byce who, in a twist, was playing for the Bruins against the Oilers.[1] Fog interfered with the game, requiring stoppages during the second period so that all 40+ players could skate around the ice to clear it away. The Oilers scored with 3:23 left in the second period, tying the game at 3-3, then the arena suffered a power failure before the ensuing face-off. The teams were sent to their dressing room until – after a very long delay and no change in the situation – NHL President John Ziegler Jr. announced that the game was suspended.[2] Despite the game being suspended and replayed, Anderson's record is official.

Game four was subsequently rescheduled and moved to Edmonton, which was originally set to be the site of a game five if necessary. The Oilers won that game, sweeping the series and winning their fourth Stanley Cup in five years. Had the Bruins extended the series to the full seven games, game five would have been played on the original date for game six in Boston, Edmonton would have hosted the rescheduled game six, and then game seven would have been played in Boston as the makeup game.[3]

Game five


Series summary

Boston Bruins vs. Edmonton Oilers

Date Away Score Home Score Notes
May 18 Boston Bruins 1 Edmonton Oilers 2
May 20 Boston Bruins 2 Edmonton Oilers 4
May 22 Edmonton Oilers 6 Boston Bruins 3
May 24 Edmonton Oilers 3 Boston Bruins 3
May 26 Boston Bruins 3 Edmonton Oilers 6

Edmonton wins best-of-seven series 4-0[a]

Team rosters

Years indicated in boldface under the "Finals appearance" column signify that the player won the Stanley Cup in the given year.

Boston Bruins

# Nat Player Position Hand Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
33 United States John Blum D R 1983-84 Detroit, Michigan first (did not play)
77 Canada Ray Bourque - C D L 1979 Saint-Laurent, Quebec first
12 Canada Randy Burridge LW L 1985 Fort Erie, Ontario first
34 Canada Lyndon Byers RW R 1982 Nipawin, Saskatchewan first
18 Canada Keith Crowder - A RW R 1979 Windsor, Ontario first
40 Canada Greg Hawgood D L 1986 Edmonton, Alberta first (did not play)
23 United States Craig Janney C L 1986 Hartford, Connecticut first
39 Canada Greg Johnston RW R 1983 Barrie, Ontario first (did not play)
27 Canada Bob Joyce LW L 1987-88 Saint John, New Brunswick first
11 Canada Steve Kasper C L 1980 Saint-Lambert, Quebec first
6 Canada Gord Kluzak D L 1982 Climax, Saskatchewan first
28 United States Reed Larson D R 1985-86 Minneapolis, Minnesota first
37 Canada Moe Lemay LW L 1987-88 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan second (1987)
1 Canada Rejean Lemelin G L 1987-88 Quebec City, Quebec second (1986)
13 Canada Ken Linseman C L 1984-85 Kingston, Ontario third (1983, 1984)
17 Canada Nevin Markwart LW L 1983 Toronto, Ontario first (did not play)
19 Canada Tom McCarthy LW L 1986-87 Toronto, Ontario first
16 Canada Rick Middleton - C C L 1976-77 Toronto, Ontario third (1977, 1978)
29 United States Jay Miller LW L 1985-86 Wellesley, Massachusetts first
35 Canada Andy Moog G L 1987-88 Penticton, British Columbia fifth (1983, 1984, 1985, 1987)
8 Canada Cam Neely RW R 1986-87 Comox, British Columbia first
10 United States Billy O'Dwyer C L 1987-88 South Boston, Massachusetts first
41 Canada Allen Pedersen D L 1983 Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta first
25 Canada Willi Plett RW R 1987-88 Asunción, Paraguay first
40 Canada Bruce Shoebottom D L 1987-88 Windsor, Ontario first (did not play)
42 United States Bob Sweeney C R 1982 Concord, Massachusetts first
22 Sweden Michael Thelven D R 1980 Stockholm, Sweden first
26 Canada Glen Wesley D L 1987 Red Deer, Alberta first

Edmonton Oilers

# Nat Player Position Hand Acquired Place of birth Finals appearance
12 Canada Keith Acton C L 1987-88 Stouffville, Ontario first
9 Canada Glenn Anderson RW L 1979 Vancouver, British Columbia fifth (1983, 1984, 1985, 1987)
6 Canada Jeff Beukeboom D R 1983 Ajax, Ontario second (1987, did not play)
15 Canada Geoff Courtnall LW L 1987-88 Victoria, British Columbia first
31 Canada Grant Fuhr G R 1981 Spruce Grove, Alberta fifth (1983, 1984, 1985, 1987)
21 Canada Randy Gregg D L 1981-82 Edmonton, Alberta fifth (1983, 1984, 1985, 1987)
99 Canada Wayne Gretzky - C C L 1979-80 Brantford, Ontario fifth (1983, 1984, 1985, 1987)
12 Canada Dave Hannan C L 1987-88 Onaping Falls, Ontario first
22 Canada Charlie Huddy D L 1980-81 Oshawa, Ontario fifth (1983, 1984, 1985, 1987)
26 Canada Mike Krushelnyski C L 1984-85 Montreal, Quebec third (1985, 1987)
17 Finland Jari Kurri RW R 1980 Helsinki, Finland fifth (1983, 1984, 1985, 1987)
19 Canada Normand Lacombe RW R 1987-88 Montreal, Quebec first
4 Canada Kevin Lowe - A D L 1979 Lachute, Quebec fifth (1983, 1984, 1985, 1987)
14 Canada Craig MacTavish C L 1985-86 London, Ontario second (1987)
24 Canada Kevin McClelland RW R 1983-84 Oshawa, Ontario fourth (1984, 1985, 1987)
33 Canada Marty McSorley D R 1985-86 Hamilton, Ontario second (1987)
11 Canada Mark Messier - A LW L 1979 Edmonton, Alberta fifth (1983, 1984, 1985, 1987)
28 Canada Craig Muni D L 1986-87 Toronto, Ontario second (1987)
30 Canada Bill Ranford G L 1987-88 Brandon, Manitoba first
18 Canada Craig Simpson LW R 1987-88 London, Ontario first
5 Canada Steve Smith D L 1981 Glasgow, Scotland second (1987)
10 Finland Esa Tikkanen LW L 1983 Helsinki, Finland third (1985, 1987)

Stanley Cup engraving

The 1988 Stanley Cup was presented to Oilers captain Wayne Gretzky by NHL President John Ziegler following the Oilers 6-3 win over the Bruins in game four.

The following Oilers players and staff had their names engraved on the Stanley Cup

1988 Edmonton Oilers



Coaching and administrative staff

  • Peter Pocklington (Owner)
  • Glen Sather (President/General Manager/Head Coach)
  • John Muckler (Co-Coach), Edward Ted Green (Asst. Coach)
  • Bruce MacGregor (Asst. General Manager)
  • Barry Fraser (Director of Player Personnel/Chief Scout), Bill Tuele (Director of Public Relations)
  • Dr. Gordon Cameron (Team Physician), Peter Millar (Athletic Therapist), Juergen Merz (Message Therapist)
  • Barrie Stafford (Trainer), Lyle Kulchisky (Asst. Trainer)

Stanley Cup engraving

  • #29 Daryl Reaugh (backup goalie) joined the team after Andy Moog left in September to play for Team Canada, and at the 1988 Olympics. Reaugh would play 6 games (dressed for 60). After the Olympics, Moog was traded to Boston Bruins for minor leaguer goalie Bill Ranford. Reaugh was sent to the minors, being recalled during the conference finals. His name was left off, because he was playing in the minors after the trade deadline. Reaugh was included on the team picture.
  • #20 Steve Dykstra played 42 NHL games in 1987-88 season. Dykstra joined Edmonton in a trade from the Buffalo Sabres, playing in 15 of the Oilers last 21 games, but not in the playoffs. He was left off, because he did not play all 42 games with Edmonton.
  • #32 Jim Wiemer played 12 regular season games and two games in Conference Finals. He was left off the Stanley Cup because he did not play in the finals
  • This would mark the final time Wayne Gretzky would win the Stanley Cup.
Team picture on the ice, after winning a championship
  • After the Oilers won the 1988 Stanley Cup, Wayne Gretzky (in what ended up being his last game with the Oilers) requested a picture on the ice with all the players, and all non-playing members including management, coaches, trainers, scouts, locker room assistants. The team honoured his request, and it has remained a tradition followed by each Stanley Cup-winning team. The team picture tradition after winning a championship then became a tradition followed by most hockey championship teams at all levels around the world.

Gretzky wanted every member of the Oilers to be included on the team picture. However, when the cup was engraved all five scouts were left off: Garnet Bailey, Ed Chadwick, Lorne Davis, Matti Vaisanen (on the Cup in 1985, 1987, 1990), Bob Freeman (part time, not on the Cup). The Oilers also left three players off the Stanley Cup: Daryl Reaugh, Steve Dykstra, Jim Weimer. Bill Tuele (Public Relations Director) had his name added to the cup for the first time. He has rings with the Oilers in 1984, 1985, 1987, but his name was not put on the Stanley Cup those seasons.


In the United States, this was the final year under ESPN's national three-year deal. Under the U.S. TV contracts that would take effect beginning next season, SportsChannel America would take over as the NHL's American television partner.

ESPN's coverage of the 1988 Cup Finals was blacked out locally in the Boston area due to WSBK and NESN's local rights to Bruins games.

In Canada, this was the second and final year that the English-language rights to the Cup Finals was split between the Global-Canwest consortium and the CBC. Global aired games one and two. The CBC aired game three, then both the original and replayed game fours. CBC had the rights to game 5 of Stanley Cup Finals, and Canwest/Global also had the rights to games 6 & 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals between Edmonton Oilers and Boston Bruins (both CBC and Canwest/Global had the rights of Game 7, using separate production facilities and separate on-air talent), which were not necessary.

See also

Further reading


  • Diamond, Dan (2000). Total Stanley Cup. Toronto: Total Sports Canada. ISBN 978-1-892129-07-9.
  • Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2004). Lord Stanley's Cup. Bolton, Ont: Fenn Pub. pp. 12, 50. ISBN 978-1-55168-261-7.


  1. ^ a b c d Game four was abandoned due to a power failure at the Boston Garden with the score tied 3-3; it was subsequently replayed in Edmonton
  1. ^ Diamond (2000, p. 90)
  2. ^ Weekes, Don (2003). The Best and Worst of Hockey's Firsts: The Unofficial Guide. Canada: Greystone Books. pp. 240. ISBN 9781550548600.
  3. ^ Crowe, Jerry (May 25, 1988). "Oilers, Bruins Play Game 4 in a Fog, End in the Dark". Los Angeles Times.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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