Ice hockey has one of the most passionate fan bases of all time. Fans can’t get enough of the high speed skating, shooting, scoring, and of course – fighting! It is only fitting that such an awesome, unique sport would have a championship trophy that continuously wins the accolade of ‘The Best Trophy In Sports’ – Of course, we are talking about the Stanley Cup
First off, let’s get to know a little about the Stanley Cup. The Stanley Cup is a well-known hockey trophy awarded to one NHL team when they are crowned champions of the league.
The Stanley Cup, or as the French call it, La coupe Stanley is one of the oldest championship awards in North America and even across the globe. Named after the Lord of Preston, Lord Stanley gave this honorary award as a token of encouragement for the young amateur hockey players.
This prestigious trophy was initially deemed a Dominion Hockey Challenge cup, all the way back in 1982. The sport has been promoted and encouraged by the whole predecessor of the Stanley family as well.
After its commission, in 1894, the first-ever award was presented to the Montreal Hockey Club. Afterward, an eligibility criterion was set for the teams and clubs wishing to take part in the champion to compete for the trophy, as there was no structure in place and initially there was some confusion among how to admit teams to the Challenge Cup
The Allan Cup was created to be awarded to the top amateur hockey teams in Canada, and the Stanley Cup became the prize solely for professionals.
In 1914 The National Hockey Association (NHA) and Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) made an agreement to enroll their players in the championship making them the first few hockey associations to officially take part.
The Stanley Cup Championship has since been watched religiously by fans across Canada and over time across the world. Which brings us to the matter of the article – how often did the most famous hockey names, Wayne Gretzky, get his name on the cup?
Gretzky is a world renowned former Canadian professional ice hockey player, who was active from 1979 to 1999. Mr. Gretzky, also universally known as “The Great One”, and he has quite a few titles to his name.
All time leading goal scorer, leading point scorer, leading assist producer, and named the best ice hockey player to ever live by players, coaches, sportswriters, and just about anyone who is a fan of the game. How good was he? Well he is the only player to ever notch 200 points in one season.
Gretzky has made an amazing impact on the game as a whole. The league even had to introduce a rule on his befalf, although not officially called the Gretzky rule, it became known as it due to his amazing prowess on the ice. Before 1985, when teams took offsetting minor penalties, it would drop both teams to 4 on 4 or 3 on 3. When teams went down to these numbers Gretzky and his team were so dominant that it was deemed simply unfair. From that point forward offsetting minor penalties would not drop teams down a players, the game would remain at 5 on 5. Although the rule was removed eventually to try and promote more scoring, you can imagine how dominant a player Gretzky was to force the hand of the league with this rule!
Now – On to the info you are searching for!
How Many Stanley Cups Did Wayne Gretzky Win?
Wayne Gretzky has won a total of 4 Stanley cups. in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988, all of which playing with the Edmonton Oilers. Gretzky also won the Conn Smythe trophy twice in 1985 and 1988, won Hart trophy 9 total times from 1980 all the way to 1987 and in 1989, oh and he also snagged the Art Ross trophy a total of 10 times. Not a bad resume!
Read on to hear about each of Wayne’s epic Stanley Cup Championships!
Wayne Gretzky’s First Stanley Cup – 1983/84
Wayne Gretzky was playing with the Edmonton Oilers, serving as team captian during their 1984 Stanley Cup championship. This was only their 5th season in the National Hockey League.
The playoff was between the Edmonton Oilers, which had never won a Stanley Cup before, and New York Islanders, who were considered the dynasty at the time, defending the cup after four cup wins in the previous four years.
Gretzky was coming off a massive 205 point regular season, and managed to add another 35 points that year in the playoffs. These two amazing stats were enough to finally bring the cup home for Edmonton, unseating the dynasty New York Islanders and cementing the Oilers as the new top dog in the NHL after a decisive 4-1 series victory.
Wayne Gretzky’s Second Stanley Cup – 1984/85
Wayne Gretzky helped his club get a back to back Stanley Cup win en route to being named the MVP of the playoffs in 1984-1985. The Oilers won the best of the seven series, 4-1 against a powerhouse Philadelphia Flyers team to win the Stanley Cup.
The Philadelphia Flyers had won 2 Stanley Cups consecutively 1974 and 1975 and were hungry for another, but after a season amassing 208 points and a playoff performance to rack up another 47 (Gretzky’s highest combined total) is was not to be.
Gretzky cemented his status as the Great One by being named the MVP of the championship, and was awarded his first Conn Smythe trophy
Wayne Gretzky’s Third Stanley Cup – 1986/87
In the 86/87 finals, the championship was a rematch of the Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers. The Oilers prevailed once again, but it wasn’t quite as smooth sailing as the first time around.
Flyers were able to win the first game. Gretzky was able to score a goal himself and assist another but, ultimately, to no avail. The Oilers were able to win game 2, but again the Flyers came back and stole game 3
Game 4 had a bit of a scandal concerning the ever volatile Philadelphia Flyer goalie Ron Hextall. With the Oilers leading, he took a vicious two hand chop to the back of Oiler Kent Nilsson as the Flyers were trailing. Despite this, nothing was able to stop the Oilers from getting another win as Gretzky piled on the assists.
The series eventually moved to a game 7, but Gretzky and the Oilers wouldn’t let up and managed a 3-1 win to defeat the Flyers again and win their 3rd championship
A heartwarming moment courtesy of the Great One came right after the win as he immediately handed the Stanley Cup trophy to Steve Smith. This of course, was after Smith’s infamous own goal in 1985/86 that knocked the Oilers out of the playoffs. There was nothing better than seeing Smith holding the cup as redemption after that fateful own goal that undoubtedly haunted him up until that moment.
Wayne Gretzky’s Fourth and Final Stanley Cup – 1987/88
The 1987/88 season, The Oilers were up against a new cup finals foe – The Boston Bruins. After the nail biter a season before, this playoff final didn’t quite live up to the bill as the Oilers swept the Bruins 4-0.
Let’s talk about the MVP and Conn Smythe winner Wayne Gretzky. With his great leadership and under rated defensive ability the Oilers surrendered only 9 goals in the 4 games, an astoundingly low total for that era of the NHL.
One of the most memorable moments of the series didn’t quite come from the hockey. but from a huge power failure that caused a game to be suspended, and the game was restarted a few days later in Edmonton.
Gretzky was up against future hall of famer Ray Bourque in his prime and still managed to steal the show. Gretzky was able to score 13 points in the final series and also managed to set a record with 31 assists in a total of 18 games. The Great One continued to dominate even when faced with a team who had a hall of fame defenseman on their squad.
Gretzky After The Oilers – No More Stanley Cup Championships
With 20 years in NHL and one year in WHA, Wayne Gretzky took home countless awards and titles. Gretzky captained the Edmonton Oilers through 6 Stanley Cup playoff runs and brought home the hardware 4 times.
Unfortunately, Gretzky wasn’t able to bring any win for the L.A. Kings over 6 years as the team never quite had the roster to support Gretzky, and he battled several injuries as he aged as well.
He eventually was traded to the St. Louis Blues for a short stint and a decent playoff run, but his stay in the music city wouldn’t be long.
Wayne eventually found his way to the New York Rangers from 1996-1999, but as he got older and the game got faster, despite his skill and cemented status as the best player of all time, could not make it to another Stanley Cup finals for a shot at the cup. Wayne retired after the last game of the Rangers season.
Gretzky was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 22, 1999, skipping the three year waiting period. It was announced he would be the last player to be granted a fast track to the HHOF. He eventually went on to Coach the Phoenix Coyotes, and was the Executive Director of the 2002 Olympic Gold winning Canada team. Gretzky has appeared sporadically at NHL games since, but his presence has been felt to this day.
Gretzky is just one of those players that you never get tired of talking about. The only player ever to manage a 200 point season, and he did it 4 times. The only player to 100 points in 14 consecutive seasons. Retiring with 40 season records, 6 all-star records, and 15 playoff records.
20 years of playing in the NHL with 4 different teams. Always a force to be reckoned with. Wayne Douglas Gretzky, the Great One indeed.