The people have spoken: The 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers are the greatest NHL team of all time.
After six weeks of voting and more than 3.6 million ballots cast, the Gretzky-led Oilers came out on top, edging the 1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins for the No. 1 spot.
It’s important to remember that this was a fan vote as part of the NHL’s centennial celebration — so take the final rankings with a grain of salt.
With that being said, the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens kinda got jobbed. That’s not to take anything away from the ’84-85 Oilers — they were an absolute juggernaut.
They led the league in goals scored, with Gretzky and Jari Kurri putting up 73 and 71 respectively. They had two other forwards with 40-plus goals and 80-plus points in Mike Krushelnyski and Glenn Anderson, not to mention a 121-point season from defenseman Paul Coffey.
Like every other team on this list, the Oilers went on to win the Stanley Cup, going 15-3 in the postseason and scoring a record 98 goals during that run. Gretzky once again led the way here, scoring a ludicrous 47 points in 18 games — an untouchable NHL record.
But they also finished second in the regular-season standings to the Flyers, and there’s a good case to make this wasn’t even the best team of the Oilers’ dynasty.
It’s more difficult to make that argument with the 1976-77 Canadiens. They still hold the record for most points in a season (132) and fewest losses (8) while finishing first in goals for (387) and goals against (171) en route to winning their second of four straight Stanley Cups.
Once again, none of this really matters — but it makes for an interesting debate. Here’s how the rest of the top-10 shook out:
1. 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers
2. 1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins
3. 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens
4. 1987-88 Edmonton Oilers
5. 1986-87 Edmonton Oilers
6. 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings
7. 1982-83 New York Islanders
8. 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens
9. 1983-84 Edmonton Oilers
10. 2001-02 Detroit Red Wings