What would have happened to The Edmonton Oilers if Peter Pockington had never traded Coffey and Gretzky?

BQ-2: Should Pockington have sold the Oilers to someone else who could afford to pay Wayne Gretzky what he deserved?

4 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    What would have happened realistically? If the Oilers had held onto all of their stars they would have gone bankrupt. With Peter Pocklington, it was always a freaking adventure. After the whole Gainers fiasco, he was a marked man in Edmonton, and he had some mighty struggles with the Alberta government that just hammered him financially. I know that everyone loves to hate Peter Puck, and I can certainly see why in a lot of respects, but thinking logically, he just didn't have the money. That's what it all came down to.

    Wayne Gretzky had potential millions waiting for him on the open market, and there was no way, with the changing landscape of the NHL and his other failing businesses, that Pocklington could hope to compete with that. So he flipped Wayne for Jimmy Carson (who was a jerk, but a hell of a hockey player), Craig Simpson (who had a great career) and a bundle of cash. Peter didn't have the money, and Bruce McNall did (as it turned out, Bruce McNall had other people's money, but that's another story for another time).

    As for Paul Coffey, he had major problems with not just Peter, but Glen Sather as well. The Oilers lowballed him (as they had a tendency of doing back then) and Coffey, who had just won the Canada Cup with Sather as the coach, got pissed off and wanted out. However, he certainly didn't "walk out on Edmonton" like the guy above me claimed.

    Now, from a pure fantasy perspective, what would have happened had the Oilers been able to retain Gretzky, Coffey, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Grant Fuhr and all the rest? They would have formed a dynasty that would have been all those Montreal teams to shame. Think about it: With Gretzky and Coffey, they probably win in 89. They win in 90. 91 and 92 are total tossups because they'd be going head to head with Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins at their peak. Lemieux, Jagr, Francis and Trottier against Gretzky, Messier, Coffey, Fuhr and Anderson? Those would have been the best series' ever played. 1993 would have been a cakewalk. Without Gretzky L.A. never makes it to the finals and even with Patrick Roy at the other end, they would have romped through the Canadians. 94 with the Rangers was basically the New York Oilers. Messier, Lowe, Anderson, Jeff Beukeboom, Craig MacTavish, Adam Graves and a few other guys all came from Edmonton on that team.

    Beyond that, who knows? 95 was sort of the dawn of the dead-puck era, and I don't know how an aging, Gretzky-led Edmonton team would have competed with the New Jersey Devils, and the Colorado Avalanche, who with Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg and Roy were right around the corner.

    So what would have happened if they had kept those guys together? Stanley Cups my friend, lots of them. The only thing that would have stopped them would have been time and age...

  • You are aware that Gretzky's salary until he signed with the Rangers was the same?

    Also, Coffey forced the trade, it wasn't what the Oilers wanted (and he signed with PIttsburgh for less money than he asked for from Edmonton - he just plain wanted out of Edmonton).

    Peter Pocklington was the 3rd richest man in Western Canada at the time of the deal, the two ahead of him (James Pattison of Vancouver - a known hockey hater and Israel Asper - who turned down a chance to buy the Jets) would not have been interested.

    Source(s): LITY
  • 10 years ago

    What would have happened? The Oilers would be one of the teams we talk about now in past tense....they simply could not afford to pay the top players with the serious demise of the Canadian currency at that time. Pocklington may be considered a villian but the reality is he probably saves hockey in Edmonton by the savings he accomplished by trading away the top players. Plus remember he also got a badly needed infusion of cash from the Gretzky deal and they also were able to obtain respectable peices in return so they werent horrendous. It may have been horribly unpopular but the reality is he likely saved the franchise in the long term.

    BQ. They werent a desireable team to own right then so selling probably wasnt much of an option. I doubt it would have kept Wayne in Edmonton.

  • 10 years ago

    I wonder......

    Lets jump into our time machines and find out...because I doubt youd ind anyone on here who can predict such things, merely speculation. So, in that regard, I think Edmonton wouldve been pret-ty damn good in the late 80's early 90's....but they were traded for a reason.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.