Dynasty Decade: The Story Of The 1980s Stanley Cup Champions
The 1980s was the Dynasty Decade in NHL history. The start of the decade saw the ascendancy of the New York Islanders, who won four straight Stanley Cups. At the same time, the Edmonton Oilers had a young talent by the name of Wayne Gretzky taking the league by storm and winning Hart Trophies. By the middle of the decade, Gretzky’s Oilers had supplanted by the Islanders. Edmonton won four Cups in five years.
This download contains ten articles that tell the story of the championship team in each year. You’ll read about each individual season in the Islander & Gretzky Dynasties. Read about the most dominant team each produced—like 1981 for New York or a devastating playoff run for Edmonton in 1985. Or on the other end of the spectrum, there were years like 1982 when the Islanders barely survived. And by decade’s end, Edmonton stunned the entire sports world when they traded Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings.
They’re all here—from Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier to Mark Messier and Juri Karri. From Billy Smith to Grant Fuhr. And there was also the temporary return of the league’s greatest dynasty. The Montreal Canadiens, who had reigned as recently as 1976-79, won a Cup in 1986 with a great young goalie in Patrick Roy.
Ironically, the Dynasty Decade ended with a quintessential outlier—the Calgary Flames won the 1989 Stanley Cup in the first year that Gretzky was gone from Edmonton. It signaled the gradual start of a new era with significantly more parity, the era we know in the NHL today.
You’ll read about all the key players on each individual championship team. Learn about how their regular season unfolded and learn about the caliber of players and teams they defeated in the playoffs.
The Dynasty Decade is a package of ten articles that exist individually on TheSportsNotebook.com, and have been edited for this compilation. For readers that lived through the 1980s, it’s a great way to stir old memories. For younger readers, it’s a terrific primer course on hockey during an era when ruling dynasties were the order of the day.
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