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The History of the Edmonton Oilers: A Journey Through Five Stanley Cup Championships and the Legacy of Wayne Gretzky

If there’s one thing we know in Edmonton, it’s hockey. With one of the best fanbases in the entire NHL, it’s no wonder that people travel from across the nation to see our games. And if you haven’t yet? You’re missing out on one of the greatest hockey experiences ever. So if you’re a hockey fan, come visit us and see what all the fuss is about. We welcome anyone into Oilers Nation. 

The Edmonton Oilers are one of the most storied franchises in the National Hockey League (NHL), with a rich history that spans over four decades. The team has won five Stanley Cup championships in their history, and its success has been largely defined by the presence of one of the greatest hockey players of all time: Wayne Gretzky.

edmonton oilers early years

The Early Years (1972-1978)

The Edmonton Oilers were founded in 1972 as a member of the World Hockey Association (WHA), a rival league to the NHL. Led by head coach and general manager, Glen Sather, the Oilers quickly established themselves as one of the top teams in the WHA. They won their first championship in 1974, led by the dynamic duo of forwards, Ron Chipperfield and Blair MacDonald. 

In 1979, the WHA merged with the NHL, and the Edmonton Oilers became one of four former WHA teams to join the NHL. This marked the beginning of a new era for the Oilers and the start of their ascent to greatness.

edmonton oilers glory years

The Glory Years (1979-1990)

The 1980s are widely considered to be the most successful decade in the history of the Edmonton Oilers. Led by a young superstar named Wayne Gretzky, the Oilers won five Stanley Cup championships in seven seasons between 1984 and 1990.  

Gretzky, who was acquired by the Oilers in a trade with the Indianapolis Racers in 1978, quickly established himself as the most dominant player in the NHL. He won the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player in his first season with the team, and went on to win the award eight more times throughout his career.

However, the Oilers’ success in the 1980s was due to more than just Gretzky. They were a genuinely talented and deep team, with a roster that included other future Hall of Famers such as Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson, and Paul Coffey. In addition, the team was known for its high-octane offence and aggressive playing style, which earned them the nickname “The Boys on the Bus.”

The Oilers won their first Stanley Cup championship in 1984, defeating the New York Islanders in five games. Gretzky was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the most valuable player in the playoffs after recording 12 goals and 38 points in 19 games.

The following year, the Oilers repeated as champions, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in five games. Gretzky once again won the Conn Smythe Trophy after recording 17 goals and 30 assists in 18 playoff games.

In 1986, the Oilers won their third championship in four years, defeating the Calgary Flames in seven games. Gretzky set a new NHL record for most points in a playoff year, with 47 points in 10 games.

The Oilers won their fourth championship in 1987, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in seven games. Gretzky was once again the Conn Smythe Trophy winner, recording 34 points in 21 playoff games.

In 1988, the Oilers reached the Stanley Cup Final for the fifth straight year, but lost to the Boston Bruins in five games. However, they would have a chance to redeem themselves the following year when they faced the same Bruins team in the Final. The Oilers won the championship in five games, with Gretzky once again leading the way with 13 points in the series.

ryan smyth rebuilding years

The Decline and Rebuilding Years (1990-2015)

Unfortunately, the Oilers’ success in the 1980s was unsustainable, and the team began declining in the early 1990s. Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988, and other key players also started to leave the team. Despite making it to the playoffs in the following three seasons, the Oilers could not advance past the second round. 

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Oilers underwent a rebuilding period, but they made it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2006. Led by forward Ryan Smyth and goaltender Dwayne Roloson, the Oilers defeated the Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks, and Anaheim Ducks before losing to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games in the Final.

Following the 2006 season, the Oilers went through a series of management changes, coaching changes, and player personnel moves that made it difficult for the team to regain their winning ways. As a result, they missed the playoffs in nine of the next ten seasons, with their only appearance coming in 2017.

connor mcdavid era

The Connor McDavid Era (2015-Present)

In 2015, the Oilers won the NHL draft lottery and selected Connor McDavid as the first overall pick. McDavid, a dynamic forward with exceptional speed and skill, has quickly become one of the top players in the NHL. He won the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player in 2017, and has led the Oilers back to the playoffs in each of the past two seasons. 

While the team has yet to win another Stanley Cup championship since their last victory in 1990, they have been building a solid foundation around McDavid and other talented players such as Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Darnell Nurse. With the right mix of veteran leadership and young talent, the Oilers have the potential to become a top team in the NHL once again.

The Edmonton Oilers have a rich and storied history, filled with moments of triumph and adversity. Their five Stanley Cup championships and the dominance of Wayne Gretzky during the 1980s are just a small part of the team’s legacy. While they have experienced their fair share of struggles in recent years, the Oilers remain a beloved franchise with a passionate fan base, and are poised to continue their pursuit of another championship in the years to come. 

If you’re a fan of the Edmonton Oilers or simply interested in hockey history, a trip to Edmonton is a must. And if you’re planning your next vacation to our fair city, we want to ensure you get the most out of your stay, so take advantage of our 1, 2, 3 Reward Deal, available exclusively through Edmonton’s Best Hotels. Book your hotel through us and receive up to $225 in rewards to use throughout your stay, including prepaid Mastercards, gas cards, and Ultimate Dining cards. Plus, with our selection of top-rated hotels, you’ll be able to find the perfect accommodations for your needs.

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Terms and Conditions

The “1,2, 3 Pick Your Rewards”, Terms and Conditions and Blackout Dates 

Rewards Program campaign dates

Reward package available to book from January 5, 2022 for stays to December 31, 2023 for rewards except for possible blackout dates. At present there are no blackout dates scheduled.

Rewards are subject to while supplies last.  Substitutions of equivalent kind, value may be made as necessary.  Rewards are non-transferable, no cash value, no cash back.

  • Rewards are non-transferable, non-exchangeable, have no cash value, no cash back.
  • Rewards cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion.
  • Reward deal is net non-commissionable.

Blackout dates

At present there are no blackout dates scheduled. 

In the event blackout dates are scheduled, any guest who makes a booking for a hotel stay during the blackout period prior to the blackout period being named will receive the rewards they are booked for. 

Rewards Program offerings

Book one night’s stay with Edmonton’s Best Hotels and receive your choice of one of three $50 rewards excluding blackout dates:

  • $50 Gas Card or
  • $50 Prepaid Mastercard, or
  • $50 Ultimate Dining Card

Book two night’s stay with Edmonton’s Best Hotels and receive your choice of one of five reward packages excluding blackout dates:

  • $150 prepaid MasterCard, or
  • $75 Gas card and $75 MasterCard, or
  • $75 Gas card and $75 Ultimate Dining Card, or

Book three night’s stay with Edmonton’s Best Hotels and receive your choice of one of four reward packages excluding blackout dates:

  • Three Night Reward 1: $225 Prepaid Mastercard
  • Three Night Reward 3: $75 Ultimate Dining Card + $75 Prepaid Mastercard + $75 Gas Card

One choice of reward per stay. 

Guest must be 18 years of age or older at time of redemption. 

Rewards distribution

Rewards will be emailed directly to guests within 48 hours of Edmonton’s Best Hotels confirming their check-in.  Rewards are not provided by the hotel’s front desk.   All rewards are sent electronically. 


Guest must reserve a minimum of 24 hours prior to arrival.

Rewards are NOT available for reservations made less than 24 hours in advance of arrival.

Reservations made directly with hotels and not through Edmonton’s Best Hotels are not eligible for rewards. No exceptions. Rewards are only provided to guests who book through Edmonton’s Best Hotels online booking platform.  Booking reservation confirmations will have Edmonton’s Best Hotels branding on them. Rewards not provided for hotel reservations during specified blackout dates.

Reservations cannot be extended by hotels for additional rewards.

Guests may add a night to an existing one-night deal reservation and receive additional rewards if the request is made a minimum of 24 hours in advance of arrival.

Booking terms and conditions

Rewards provided for more than one night, must be for consecutive nights under one registration under one name at one property. In addition, no more than up to three consecutive nights will be honoured. If a guest checks in for three days and then checks out and re-checks in for the next day, this is considered a consecutive night booking even if the second booking is made at different hotel.  

There must be a minimum of three days between bookings.

Multiple reservations for the same person for the same night(s) is considered a double booking and only one of those bookings will be eligible for rewards. For example, if a guest books two nights on x and y date and then makes another two-night booking for the same dates at the same hotel or another hotel, EBH considers this a double booking and will honour rewards for only one of those bookings. 

Is there a limit on the number of bookings I make on different dates?  Edmonton Best Hotels welcomes repeat business.  Some of our guests visit Edmonton every month.  Please note as stated earlier there must be a minimum of three days between bookings. Please also note stated blackout dates.

Cancelling and date changes to reservations

If a guest wants to cancel or change the dates of their booking.

What if I want to cancel my booking?  Edmonton Best Hotels must cancel your booking (not the hotel).  If you want to cancel, contact info@edmh.ca and let us know.  We will cancel your booking and send you a cancellation number for your records.  Please do not cancel directly with the hotel.

What if I want to change the dates of my booking?  You must contact Edmonton Best Hotels at info@edmh.ca and let us know you want to make a date change.  Your original booking must be cancelled first.  You will receive a cancellation number for your records.  Then, you must rebook for your new dates.  The hotel nor Edmonton’s Best Hotels cannot make date changes to the original booking.  Please note this does not guarantee you will receive the same hotel rate when you rebook for different dates.

Any questions, please contact Edmonton Best Hotels at info@edmh.ca 

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