1991–92 NHL season
|League||National Hockey League|
|Duration||October 3, 1991 – June 1, 1992|
|Number of games||80|
|Number of teams||22|
|Presidents' Trophy||New York Rangers|
|Season MVP||Mark Messier, (New York)|
|Top scorer||Mario Lemieux, (Pittsburgh)|
|Eastern champions||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Eastern runners-up||Boston Bruins|
|Western champions||Chicago Blackhawks|
|Western runners-up||Edmonton Oilers|
|Playoffs MVP||Mario Lemieux, (Pittsburgh)|
|Stanley Cup champions||Pittsburgh Penguins|
The 1991–92 NHL season was the 75th regular season of the National Hockey League. The Pittsburgh Penguins repeated as Stanley Cup champions, winning a best of seven series four games to none against the Chicago Blackhawks.
- 1 League business
- 2 Regular season
- 3 Playoffs
- 4 Awards
- 5 Player statistics
- 6 Milestones
- 7 Hat tricks
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
As mentioned above, 1991–92 was the 75th anniversary season for the NHL. Accordingly, all players wore a patch on their uniforms depicting the NHL 75th anniversary logo (seen above) for this season.
This was the first season for the San Jose Sharks, the first expansion team in the NHL since 1979. The birth of the Sharks returned NHL hockey to the San Francisco Bay Area after the California Golden Seals had relocated to Cleveland, Ohio in 1976.
As part of the NHL's 75th anniversary celebration, and taking cues from Major League Baseball's "Turn Back The Clock" uniform program, throwback uniforms were worn by Original Six teams for select games, and throwbacks were also worn for the All-Star Game.
The uniform styles that were worn include:
- Boston Bruins – circa 1933
- Chicago Blackhawks – circa 1940
- Detroit Red Wings – circa 1928
- Montreal Canadiens – circa 1926
- New York Rangers – circa 1940
- Toronto Maple Leafs – circa 1940
- Wales All-Stars – white All-Star jersey circa 1952
- Campbell All-Stars – red All-Star jersey circa 1952
The throwback uniforms would have an impact on future seasons in the NHL, as several teams adopted throwbacks as alternate jerseys. The National Football League and National Basketball Association would follow the NHL's lead, with teams wearing throwbacks to celebrate their leagues' 75th and 50th anniversaries, respectively.
New York Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch became the fifth, and last as of 2013, defenseman to score 100 points in a season. He finished the season with 102 points and captured the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league's best defenseman. The Rangers ended the season with 105 points, winning the Presidents' Trophy as the top regular-season team in the NHL. It was the first time the Rangers had topped the league since 1942.
For the first time, the NHL finished play in the month of June. A primary reason for this was the 10-day NHL strike, the first work stoppage in league history, that started on April 1. The games that were supposed to be played during the strike were not canceled, but rescheduled and made up when play resumed on April 12.
For the first time in his NHL career, Wayne Gretzky failed to finish in the top two in scoring. The Pittsburgh Penguins' Kevin Stevens became only the third person in NHL history to outscore Gretzky in the regular season (Marcel Dionne tied Gretzky in Wayne's rookie year, but had more goals, and Mario Lemieux won the Art Ross Trophy over Gretzky in 1988 and 1989).
Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF= Goals For, GA = Goals Against
|1||P - New York Rangers||80||50||25||5||321||246||105|
|4||New Jersey Devils||80||38||31||11||289||259||87|
|5||New York Islanders||80||34||35||11||291||299||79|
P - Clinched Presidents Trophy
|1||P — New York Rangers||PAT||80||50||25||5||321||246||105|
|6||New Jersey Devils||PAT||80||38||31||11||289||259||87|
|8||New York Islanders||PAT||80||34||35||11||291||299||79|
P — Clinched Presidents Trophy, ADM — Adams Division, PAT — Patrick Division
|1||Detroit Red Wings||80||43||25||12||320||256||98|
|3||St Louis Blues||80||36||33||11||279||266||83|
|4||Minnesora North Stars||80||32||42||6||246||278||70|
|5||Toronto Maple Leafs||80||30||43||7||234||294||67|
|2||Los Angeles Kings||80||35||31||14||287||250||84|
|6||San Jose Sharks||80||17||58||5||219||359||39|
Note: All dates in 1992
- The 1992 playoffs saw history being made, as for the first time ever, all four #1 seeds were eliminated in the same round. In the division finals, the Norris Division #1 seed Detroit Red Wings were swept by the Chicago Blackhawks in four straight games, and the Montreal Canadiens, who had won the Adams Division #1 seed, suffered the same fate at the hands of the Boston Bruins. The Pittsburgh Penguins eliminated the Patrick Division #1 seed, the New York Rangers, in six games, while the Vancouver Canucks, the Smythe Division toppers, fell to the Edmonton Oilers, also in six games.
- A record 54 games were played in the first round, with six of the eight series going the full seven games.
- This was the last year the Hartford Whalers would qualify for the playoffs. The franchise would not reach the postseason again until 1999, by which time it was known as the Carolina Hurricanes.
- Of the eight division semifinal series, three of them would take place again the following year (Vancouver Canucks vs. Winnipeg Jets, Boston Bruins vs. Buffalo Sabres, and Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues).
|Division semi-finals||Division finals||Conference finals||Stanley Cup Final|
|Prince of Wales Conference|
|Clarence Campbell Conference|
The series was held between the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins and the Clarence Campbell Conference champion Chicago Blackhawks. The Penguins won in four games, three out of four won by a one-goal margin. Mario Lemieux of Pittsburgh won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs' MVP.
|May 26||Chicago Blackhawks||4-5||Pittsburgh Penguins||Pittsburgh Civic Arena|
|May 28||Chicago Blackhawks||1-3||Pittsburgh Penguins||Pittsburgh Civic Arena|
|May 30||Pittsburgh Penguins||1-0||Chicago Blackhawks||Chicago Stadium|
|June 1||Pittsburgh Penguins||6-5||Chicago Blackhawks||Chicago Stadium|
|Pittsburgh Penguins Win Series (4-0)|
Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points
|Wayne Gretzky||Los Angeles||74||31||90||121|
|Brett Hull||St. Louis||73||70||39||109|
|Luc Robitaille||Los Angeles||80||44||63||107|
|Mark Messier||NY Rangers||79||35||72||107|
|Brian Leetch||NY Rangers||80||22||80||102|
|Adam Oates||St. Louis/Boston||80||20||79||99|
Note: GP = Games Played; TOI = Time On Ice (minutes); W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals Against; SO = Shutouts; Sv% = Save Percentage; GAA = Goals Against Average
|John Vanbiesbrouck||NY Rangers||45||2526||27||13||3||120||2||.910||2.85|
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1991–92 (listed with their first team):
- Stu Barnes, Winnipeg Jets
- Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
- Pavel Bure, Vancouver Canucks
- Keith Carney, Buffalo Sabres
- Evgeny Davydov, Winnipeg Jets
- Adam Foote, Quebec Nordiques
- Bill Guerin, New Jersey Devils
- Derian Hatcher, Minnesota North Stars
- Bret Hedican, St. Louis Blues
- Arturs Irbe, San Jose Sharks
- Trevor Kidd, Calgary Flames
- Igor Kravchuk, Chicago Blackhawks
- Ray Whitney, San Jose Sharks
- Joe Juneau, Boston Bruins
- Vladimir Konstantinov, Detroit Red Wings
- Vyacheslav Kozlov, Detroit Red Wings
- Martin Lapointe, Detroit Red Wings
- Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings
- Glen Murray, Boston Bruins
- Scott Niedermayer, New Jersey Devils
- Felix Potvin, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Darryl Sydor, Los Angeles Kings
- Keith Tkachuk, Winnipeg Jets
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1991–92 (listed with their last team):
- Barry Pederson, Boston Bruins
- Rick Vaive, Buffalo Sabres
- Tony Tanti, Buffalo Sabres
- Clint Malarchuk, Buffalo Sabres
- Greg Millen, Detroit Red Wings
- Ilkka Sinisalo, Los Angeles Kings
- Larry Robinson, Los Angeles Kings
- Chris Nilan, Montreal Canadiens
- Patrik Sundstrom, New Jersey Devils
- Rick Green, New York Islanders
- John Tonelli, Quebec Nordiques
- Mark Pavelich, San Jose Sharks
- Ken Linseman, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Mike Bullard, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Randy Gregg, Vancouver Canucks
- Mike Liut, Washington Capitals
- Mario Marois, Winnipeg Jets
- Lucien DeBlois, Winnipeg Jets
- Aaron Broten, Winnipeg Jets
- List of Stanley Cup champions
- 1991 NHL Entry Draft
- 1991 NHL Dispersal and Expansion Drafts
- 43rd National Hockey League All-Star Game
- National Hockey League All-Star Game
- NHL All-Rookie Team
- Ice hockey at the 1992 Winter Olympics
- 1991 Canada Cup
- 1991 in sports
- 1992 in sports
- Diamond, Dan, ed. (2000). Total Hockey. Kingston, NY: Total Sports. ISBN 1-892129-85-X.
- Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Toronto, ON: Dan Diamond & Associates. ISBN 978-1-894801-22-5.
- Dryden, Steve, ed. (2000). Century of hockey. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. ISBN 0-7710-4179-9.
- Fischler, Stan; Fischler, Shirley; Hughes, Morgan; Romain, Joseph; Duplacey, James (2003). The Hockey Chronicle: Year-by-Year History of the National Hockey League. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International Inc. ISBN 0-7853-9624-1.