Do you want to see a fight at an Edmonton Oilers game

If you do, go to a game in February…in Calgary… make sure you're in your seats during the second period… have Kelly Buchberger in the Oilers' lineup… put Ian Laperriere on the other team… and have it be the 1987-1988 season. 

If you could attend such a game, you'd have some pretty awesome Edmonton Oilers tickets. 

Since entering the National Hockey League, 217 different Oilers have fought 1,982 times. 

Of those nearly 2,000 fights, 957 occurred at home and 1,025 occurred on the road. 

That's not the only nugget of puck pugilism we want to share. 

Below, we look at the Edmonton Oilers and their rich history of dropping the gloves.

Thanks to our friends at hockeyfights.com, we've compiled lists highlighting the history of the Oilers and their hockey fights.


Oilers Fights Per Regular Season

With the NHL's recent rule changes, it's no surprise that the 1980s and 1990s dominate the list of seasons with the most Oilers fights.  Only one campaign from the 21st century makes the rundown.


Season

# of Fights

1987-1988

94

1985-1986

90

1993-1994

79

1979-1980

79

2008-2009

69

1989-1990

67

1997-1998

65

1991-1992

65

1986-1987

65

1988-1989

64

 

Derek Boogaard vs. Steve MacIntyre
^ top Derek Boogaard vs. Steve MacIntyre. Photo credit: Matthew D. Britt

Seasons with the Fewest Oilers Fights

Labor strife canceled the 2004-2005 season and truncated the 1994-1995 and 2012-2013 crusades to 48 games. 

That explains why the Oilers duked it out just 13 times in 2012-2013.  In the other lock-out shortened season, the Oilers turned up their aggression.  They averaged nearly a fight a night.


Season

# of Fights

2012-2013*

13

2015-2016

26

2011-2012

27

2005-2006

28

2014-2015

30

1981-1982

33

2016-2017

35

2013-2014

36

1996-1997

41

1994-1995*

41

*= 48-game season

^ top


Fighting and the Stanley Cup

The NHL officially recognizes the Edmonton Oilers of 1983 through 1990 as a dynasty.  During that era, the franchise won five Stanley Cups.  Besides winning sports' toughest trophy, the Oilers also posted a franchise-best 94 fights.

The Oilers reached the Stanley Cup Finals at the end of the 1982-1983 and 2005-2006 seasons.  They didn't skate away with the cup, but they did post 61 and 28 fights, respectively, during those regular seasons.


Stanley Cup Championship

# of Fights

Franchise Rank

1983-1984

48

25th

1984-1985

57

16th

1986-1987

65

7th

1987-1988

94

1st

1989-1990

67

6th

Luke Gazdic vs Brian McGrattan
Luke Gazdic vs Brian McGrattan. Photo courtesy of YouTube

 

^ top

Oilers Fights Per Month

Edmonton Oilers like to fight in the middle of the season—December, January, and February.  They seem to keep their gloves on in autumn and spring.

It's completely understandable that April has a low number brawls.  The regular season ends in the middle of April.


Month

Total # of Fights

October

277

November

298

December

333

January

333

February

341

March

301

April

99

 

^ top

Months with the Most Oilers Fights

The 1980s are responsible for six months with the most Edmonton Oilers fights.  The 1990s were responsible for five, and the 21st century has two entries including one of four months where the Oilers tussled twenty or more times.

Remember, the Oilers first NHL season was 1979-1980.


Month/Year

# of Fights

January 1980

28

December 1985

26

March 1988

22

February 2008

20

January 1988

19

January 1992

19

December 1992

18

February 1994

18

November 1980

17

March 1987

17

October 1991

17

December 1993

17

December 2009

17


Oilers vs. Wild. Photo courtesy of Flickr

 

^ top

Oilers Fights Per Period

Surprisingly, Oilers tend to resort to fisticuffs in the middle of the game instead of the end. 

You'd think the waning moments of a contest, when the outcome has been decided, is when Oilers would throw down the most, but that doesn't appear to be the case.


Period

# of Fights

1

707

2

712

3

561

4

2

 

^ top

Most Oilers Fights in Regular Season Game

On Jan. 19, 1980 the Edmonton Oilers fought the Pittsburgh Penguins nine times during a single regular season game.  Oilers hit Penguins and the back of the net.  They picked up the win, 5-2.   

The two games where the Oilers fought eight times were both losses.  The Oilers fell 2-4 to the Kings and 2-5 to the Flames.


Date

Opponent

# of Fights

Jan. 19, 1980

@ Pittsburgh

9

Feb. 28, 1990

@ Los Angeles

8

March 20, 1995

Calgary

8

Dec. 20, 1985

Los Angeles

7

March 20, 1987

Calgary

7

Feb. 11, 2004 

Atlanta

7

Feb. 16, 2008

@ Vancouver

7

Oct. 14, 1988

@ Calgary

6

Oct. 25, 2003

Calgary

6

 

^ top

Oilers with the Most Fights, All-Time

Kelly Buchberger played for the Edmonton Oilers from 1987 to 1999.  He, and another member of the top ten, Marty McSorley, were the last players remaining from the Oilers five Stanley Cup Championship teams.

Speaking of champions, Mark Messier's 39 fights makes him the first Oiler cut from the following list.  If the following list included all 217 Oilers who threw fists, near the bottom, you'd find Wayne Gretzky.  While an Oiler, “The Great One” fought twice.


Oiler

# of Fights

Kelly Buchberger

138

Georges Laraque

97

Kevin McClelland

92

Zack Stortini

80

Louie Debrusk

71

Marty McSorley

59

Steve Smith

47

Dave Semenko

46

Sean Brown

44

Jeff Beukeboom

40

 

^ top


Opposing Players with Most Fights Against Oilers, All-Time

Marty McSorley played 160 games for the Edmonton Oilers between 1985 to 1988 and then played another 46 games in 1998-99.  During those 201 games, McSorley fought 59 times.

He battled his former teammates ten times as a member of the Los Angeles Kings, twice as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and once as a San Jose Shark.


Opposing Player

# of Fights

Ian Laperriere

21

Gino Odjick

18

Joel Otto

16

Jim Peplinski

15

Stu Grimson

14

Jay Miller

13

Marty McSorley*

13

Matt Johnson

13

Chris Nilan

12

Jeff Odgers

12

Tim Hunter

24

*= Also played with Edmonton Oilers

^ top

 


Most Oilers Fights in a Single Regular Season

During the 2007-2008 campaign, Zack Stortini appeared in 66 games, spent 201 minutes in the sin bin, and fought 23 times.  The following season, he appeared in fewer games (52), and spent less time in the penalty box (181 PIM), but mixed it up two more times.

In 1985-1986, McSorley fought 25 times in 59 games.  He spent 265 minutes off the ice thinking about the penalties he committed and finished the regular season with two more fights than points.


Oiler

# of Fights

Season

Zack Stortini

25

2008-2009

Marty McSorley

25

1985-1986

Zack Stortini

23

2007-2008

Kevin McClelland

22

1987-1988

Kelly Buchberger

20

1988-1989

Louie Debrusk

19

1992-1993

Kelly Buchberger

19

1989-1990

Georges Laraque

18

2001-2002

Louie Debrusk

18

1993-1994

Marty McSorley

18

1987-1988

Kevin McClelland

18

1985-1986

 

^ top

Oilers Fights Against NHL Franchises, Home & Away

The Calgary Flames are rude guests.  When they visit Rogers Place, they like to turn the ice rink into a boxing ring.  One of their 122 fights in Edmonton came when the franchise was based in Atlanta.


Edmonton Oilers' Home Opponents

# of Fights

Calgary Flames

122

Vancouver Canucks

85

Los Angeles Kings

78

Arizona Coyotes

72

Chicago Blackhawks

43

Colorado Avalanche

42

Dallas Stars

42

San Jose Sharks

40

St. Louis Blues

39

Boston Bruins

34

Anaheim Ducks

31

Buffalo Sabres

30

Detroit Red Wings

27

New York Islanders

27

Philadelphia Flyers

27

New Jersey Devils

25

Minnesota Wild

22

Montreal Canadiens

22

Toronto Maple Leafs

22

Carolina Hurricanes

20

Washington Capitals

18

New York Rangers

16

Florida Panthers

15

Winnipeg Jets

15

Pittsburgh Penguins

13

Columbus Blue Jackets

11

Tampa Bay Lightning

10

Nashville Predators

6

Ottawa Senators

3

^ top

James Vandermeer vs. Tim Jackman
James Vandermeer vs. Tim Jackman, Calgary vs. Oilers

About 300 kilometers separate Edmonton and Calgary.  This proximity breeds contempt.  Since 1979, the two franchises have duked it out more than 250 times.  One-hundred and thirty of those fracases happened in Calgary.

Most of the Oilers' melees with the Arizona Coyotes came when the franchise was in Winnipeg.  The franchise that's currently in Winnipeg used to be in Atlanta and nicknamed the “Thrashers.”  Edmonton has clashed with that franchise just four times.


Edmonton Oilers' Away Opponents

# of Fights

Calgary Flames

130

Los Angeles Kings

103

Vancouver Canucks

91

Arizona Coyotes

64

St. Louis Blues

52

Colorado Avalanche

51

Dallas Stars

51

Detroit Red Wings

46

Chicago Blackhawks

42

Boston Bruins

35

San Jose Sharks

35

New York Islanders

29

Pittsburgh Penguins

29

Toronto Maple Leafs

26

Anaheim Ducks

25

Minnesota Wild

23

Nashville Predators

23

New Jersey Devils

23

Columbus Blue Jackets

21

New York Rangers

21

Philadelphia Flyers

21

Buffalo Sabres

16

Montreal Canadiens

15

Carolina Hurricanes

14

Washington Capitals

14

Ottawa Senators

10

Tampa Bay Lightning

7

Florida Panthers

4

Winnipeg Jets

4

 

Shop For NHL Tickets

 

^ top

You Might Also Like:


Cost-Per-Win for Every NHL Team
Concert Guide
Going to a Concert? This is a Must-Read