A) The arrogance of Gretzky lovers knows no bounds.
B) The NHL in the 1980's was inferior, rife with corruption..
C) Get back to me when you have a serious thread that includes the rest of the cast.
Care to elaborate on any or all of those statements? If not, here are my counter points:
A) Fact is, Gretzky was an amazing player. Doesn't matter if you personally rank him 1, 2, 3 whatever - there's no denying he's one of the greatest of all time. His fans have a right to talk about him, and speculate about what might have been. Its no different that Orr and Lemieux fans wondering about their careers minus the injuries, or Crosby fans wondering about last season w/o the concussion. Fans have a right to talk about the players they like. You don't have to participate in the discussion.
B) I disagree, but even if you could prove it were so, how would that change the topic of this thread, namely how many more cups could Gretzky and the Oilers have won w/o the trade? If the NHL was "corrupt" and had some pro-Gretzky or pro-Oiler bias, that would have only made it easier for them to accumulate more cups. But, given the NHL implemented rules specifically to hurt the Oilers (namely the coincidental minors rule), I think it would be hard to prove they had some pro-Edmonton agenda.
C) This thread does include the rest of the Oiler cast. The assumption is that he stays in Edmonton, as do most their other elite players from that time period. The Oilers were good enough to win 1 more without him, but they won 4 with him. Its not a huge stretch of the imagination to think they could have won a sixth had he not been traded. He was still good enough to take the Kings there in 93, and he had a MUCH weaker supporting cast than he had in his Edmonton years.
I'd say the Oils would have won another three or
four cups had not only Gretzky stayed, but also
Coffey( left over a contract dispute), Fuhr , Anderson
Mark Messier was their best all around player. Big, strong,
and could score goals. I recall the time he beat the crap
out of Donald Brashear, when he played for Vancouver.
I couldn't believe it! Brashear was a tough guy. Messier
No, I never did see Mark in many fights, but there
weren't too many guys out to pick a fight with him either.
Assuming everything else happens as it did (ie. Messier traded at the start of the 91-92 season):
1989 - Calgary finished 33 points ahead of Edmonton that year and had a really, really good team. I still think they could beat the Oilers even with Gretzky. I would say it's a toss up.
1990 - Duh!
1991 - The Oilers made the conference finals without Gretzky so I'd bet they would get to the finals with him and would overwhelm Pittsburgh's rather porous defence. Wouldn't it have been amazing to watch Gretzky and Lemieux go head-to-head in the Stanley Cup final?
1992 - With Messier, Anderson and Kurri gone, I'm not sure if Gretzky would have been enough to get Edmonton over the hump and past Chicago and Pittsburgh.
1993-96 - The Oilers failed to top 70 points for four straight seasons and missed the playoffs each time. There's no way a declining (but still great) Gretzky turns those teams into Stanley Cup champions, no matter how good he is.
So, I'd give Edmonton one more cup and possibly two.
I think they could have easily won 7-8 total, provided that nobody else was jettisoned from the team.It's a bold proclamation but the Oilers won 4 cups in 5 years, and managed to win another without Gretzky a season after he left. It was before my time, but looking at the stats, they were an absolutely ridiculous team.
I don't think you can look at how the Oilers did in the future seasons and just add Gretzky's production. The Oilers seemed to run out of steam/hope. They were motivated to win without Gretzky, but once that happened the team started to fall apart. Players pivotal to the team besides Gretzky left, the Canadian dollar was bottoming out, and the team started its decline.
... Gretzky mentioned on "Kings Ransom" that he'd won four Cups with the Oilers prior to the trade, and when asked how many more he would have won if he had stayed in Edmonton, his response was "I dunno - the team was good enough, maybe I would have won four more."
Sather also said in that documentary that he thought they could have won "2 or 3 more cups".
Nevermind the fact the Flames won the President's Trophy the year before, when the Oilers still had Gretzky...
And then got swept by Edmonton in the 1988 playoffs. I think people forget just how much of a difference the Oilers were without Gretzky. The Penguins without Crosby are a different team but if you really want to imagine the difference then you might need to almost double it.
So yeah, the Oilers win again in 1989 and then 1990. I think they win in 1991 as well for sure. The Pens had some issues getting past New Jersey, Boston and Minnesota. Remember the Penguins hadn't won anything yet in 1991 and were down 2-1 in the final against (clear throat) Minnesota. Obviously they proved to be a great team winning two in a row but I think they lose to the Oilers in 1991. They might meet again in 1992 and possibly win then and again in 1993 (they'd have been more hungry with only one). I can't see Mario only winning the Cup once either and the early 1990s saw them getting a bit older too (Oilers).
But even if Fuhr falters in the early 1990s the way he did, there still is Ranford and he proved he could win a Cup sans Gretzky, so WITH Gretzky I can't see how they wouldn't continue.
I'll say the Oilers probably win a minimum of 7 ('84, '85, '87, '88, '89, '90, '91) and then the jury is out on 1992. The Pens would have to start winning some time so give them a couple of Cups right there. 1993 and 1994? Remember, no Messier on the Rangers = no Cup. I just don't see how they would be stopped other than the Pens until the mid 1990s surge of Colorado and Detroit.
We'll never know, but let's thank Pocklington again for making sure we never had the right to find out.
In the documentary, I'm pretty sure that Gretzky said that they probably would've won "4 more Cups" if he had stayed in Edmonton.
However, with Pocklington as the owner, that wasn't going to happen. He treated his players as "assets" and sold them off one by one to cover losses in his other businesses. The Oilers don't win 4 more Cups without Messier there to help Gretzky.