1978-79 Oilers.jpg
1978–79 Edmonton Oilers
Division 1st WHA
1978–79 record 48–30–2
Home record 29–11–1
Road record 19–19–1
Goals for 340 (1st)
Goals against 266 (1st)
Team Information
General Manager Larry Gordon
Coach Glen Sather
Captain Paul Shmyr
Alternate captains Ron Chipperfield
Peter Driscoll
Al Hamilton
Blair MacDonald
Arena Northlands Coliseum
Team Leaders
Goals Wayne Gretzky (43)
Assists Wayne Gretzky (61)
Points Wayne Gretzky (104)
Penalties in minutes Dave Semenko (158)
Plus/minus Paul Shmyr (+37)
Wins Dave Dryden (41)
Goals against average Dave Dryden (2.89)
<1977–78 1979–80>

The 1978–79 Edmonton Oilers season was the Oilers' 7th and final season in the World Hockey Association (WHA). The Oilers finished 1st in the league and lost to the Winnipeg Jets in the Avco World Trophy Finals 4 games to 2.

Off-season[edit | edit source]

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

Wayne Gretzky scores his last WHA regular season goal, April 18, 1979.

Nelson Skalbania, the owner of Indianapolis Racers, signed the 17 year old future super-star, Wayne Gretzky to, at that time, a whopping personal contract worth between 1.125 and 1.75 million dollars over 4 to 7 years. Skalbania, knowing that the WHA was fading, felt owning the young star was more valuable than owning a WHA team. Eight games into the season, though, Skalbania needed cash and liquidated his greatest asset to his old friend and former partner, Peter Pocklington, owner of the Oilers. Pocklington purchased Gretzky and two other Indianapolis players, goaltender Eddie Mio and forward Peter Driscoll paying $700,000 for the contracts of the three players, although the announced price was actually $850,000. On Gretzky's 18th birthday, (January 26, 1979), Pocklington signed him to a 21 year personal services contract worth between 4 and 5 million dollars, the longest in hockey history. Gretzky captured the Lou Kaplan Trophy for rookie of the year, finish third in league scoring, and help the Oilers to first overall in the league.

Final Standings[edit | edit source]

WHA Team GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Edmonton Oilers 80 48 30 2 98 340 266 1220
Quebec Nordiques 80 41 34 5 87 288 271 1399
Winnipeg Jets 80 39 35 6 84 307 306 1342
New England Whalers 80 37 34 9 83 298 287 1090
Cincinnati Stingers 80 33 41 6 72 274 284 1651
Birmingham Bulls 80 32 42 6 70 286 311 1661
xIndianapolis Racers 25 5 18 2 12 78 130 557
#Soviet All-Stars 6 4 1 1 9 27 20 77
#Czechoslovakia 6 1 4 1 3 14 33 107
#Finland 1 0 1 0 0 4 8 2

x-team folded during season
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, PIM = Penalties in Minutes
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.


Game Log[edit | edit source]

Regular Season Results
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 W October 13, 1978 3–2 Cincinnati Stingers (1978–79) 1–0–0
2 L October 17, 1978 1–2 New England Whalers (1978–79) 1–1–0
3 W October 20, 1978 4–3 @ Indianapolis Racers (1978–79) 2–1–0
4 L October 21, 1978 3–4 @ Cincinnati Stingers (1978–79) 2–2–0
5 W October 22, 1978 6–2 @ Winnipeg Jets (1978–79) 3–2–0
6 L October 24, 1978 2–3 Birmingham Bulls (1978–79) 3–3–0
7 L October 29, 1978 2–6 Quebec Nordiques (1978–79) 3–4–0
8 L October 31, 1978 4–5 Quebec Nordiques (1978–79) 3–5–0
9 W November 3, 1978 4–3 OT Winnipeg Jets (1978–79) 4–5–0
10 L November 5, 1978 0–2 @ Quebec Nordiques (1978–79) 4–6–0
11 W November 8, 1978 6–5 @ Quebec Nordiques (1978–79) 5–6–0
12 L November 9, 1978 1–6 @ New England Whalers (1978–79) 5–7–0
13 W November 11, 1978 5–3 @ Birmingham Bulls (1978–79) 6–7–0
14 L November 12, 1978 3–5 @ Cincinnati Stingers (1978–79) 6–8–0
15 W November 17, 1978 6–1 Indianapolis Racers (1978–79) 7–8–0
16 W November 19, 1978 6–3 Cincinnati Stingers (1978–79) 8–8–0
17 W November 21, 1978 4–1 Quebec Nordiques (1978–79) 9–8–0
18 W November 24, 1978 4–3 OT Quebec Nordiques (1978–79) 10–8–0
19 W November 28, 1978 8–2 Indianapolis Racers (1978–79) 11–8–0
20 W December 1, 1978 8–2 New England Whalers (1978–79) 12–8–0
21 L December 3, 1978 0–7 New England Whalers (1978–79) 12–9–0
22 L December 6, 1978 3–6 @ Quebec Nordiques (1978–79) 12–10–0
23 L December 7, 1978 3–5 @ New England Whalers (1978–79) 12–11–0
24 L December 9, 1978 2–6 @ Birmingham Bulls (1978–79) 12–12–0
25 L December 10, 1978 4–6 @ Indianapolis Racers (1978–79) 12–13–0
26 W December 12, 1978 5–2 @ Cincinnati Stingers (1978–79) 13–13–0
27 W December 15, 1978 5–3 Soviet All-Stars (1978–79) 14–13–0
28 W December 19, 1978 5–2 @ Birmingham Bulls (1978–79) 15–13–0
29 L December 22, 1978 4–5 Winnipeg Jets (1978–79) 15–14–0
30 L December 26, 1978 3–5 @ Winnipeg Jets (1978–79) 15–15–0
31 W December 27, 1978 5–3 Winnipeg Jets (1978–79) 16–15–0
32 W December 30, 1978 5–1 Czechoslovakia (1978–79) 17–15–0
33 L January 9, 1979 3–4 OT @ Winnipeg Jets (1978–79) 17–16–0
34 W January 13, 1979 3–0 @ New England Whalers (1978–79) 18–16–0
35 W January 16, 1979 3–1 Winnipeg Jets (1978–79) 19–16–0
36 W January 17, 1979 6–3 @ Winnipeg Jets (1978–79) 20–16–0
37 W January 19, 1979 11–3 Birmingham Bulls (1978–79) 21–16–0
38 L January 21, 1979 3–4 Birmingham Bulls (1978–79) 21–17–0
39 W January 23, 1979 5–1 New England Whalers (1978–79) 22–17–0
40 L January 26, 1979 2–5 Cincinnati Stingers (1978–79) 22–18–0
41 W January 28, 1979 3–0 Cincinnati Stingers (1978–79) 23–18–0
42 L January 31, 1979 3–6 @ Winnipeg Jets (1978–79) 23–19–0
43 L February 2, 1979 2–4 @ Winnipeg Jets (1978–79) 23–20–0
44 L February 4, 1979 3–6 @ Quebec Nordiques (1978–79) 23–21–0
45 W February 6, 1979 6–2 Birmingham Bulls (1978–79) 24–21–0
46 W February 7, 1979 8–5 Cincinnati Stingers (1978–79) 25–21–0
47 W February 9, 1979 3–0 Quebec Nordiques (1978–79) 26–21–0
48 W February 11, 1979 4–3 OT Birmingham Bulls (1978–79) 27–21–0
49 W February 13, 1979 6–1 Quebec Nordiques (1978–79) 28–21–0
50 W February 16, 1979 4–2 @ New England Whalers (1978–79) 29–21–0
51 W February 18, 1979 6–3 @ Birmingham Bulls (1978–79) 30–21–0
52 W February 20, 1979 8–2 New England Whalers (1978–79) 31–21–0
53 W February 23, 1979 3–1 Cincinnati Stingers (1978–79) 32–21–0
54 W February 25, 1979 5–4 Birmingham Bulls (1978–79) 33–21–0
55 T February 27, 1979 1–1 New England Whalers (1978–79) 33–21–1
56 W March 2, 1979 5–2 Cincinnati Stingers (1978–79) 34–21–1
57 W March 3, 1979 6–4 @ Cincinnati Stingers (1978–79) 35–21–1
58 L March 6, 1979 3–4 @ Quebec Nordiques (1978–79) 35–22–1
59 L March 7, 1979 3–6 @ Quebec Nordiques (1978–79) 35–23–1
60 T March 9, 1979 4–4 @ Birmingham Bulls (1978–79) 35–23–2
61 W March 11, 1979 4–0 @ Birmingham Bulls (1978–79) 36–23–2
62 L March 13, 1979 1–5 @ Cincinnati Stingers (1978–79) 36–24–2
63 W March 16, 1979 6–1 Quebec Nordiques (1978–79) 37–24–2
64 L March 18, 1979 2–7 Quebec Nordiques (1978–79) 37–25–2
65 W March 20, 1979 8–4 Finland (1978–79) 38–25–2
66 W March 21, 1979 7–4 @ Winnipeg Jets (1978–79) 39–25–2
67 L March 23, 1979 4–6 Winnipeg Jets (1978–79) 39–26–2
68 W March 25, 1979 6–5 @ Cincinnati Stingers (1978–79) 40–26–2
69 L March 28, 1979 0–3 @ Quebec Nordiques (1978–79) 40–27–2
70 W March 30, 1979 3–1 @ New England Whalers (1978–79) 41–27–2
71 W April 1, 1979 5–3 @ New England Whalers (1978–79) 42–27–2
72 W April 3, 1979 5–1 @ Cincinnati Stingers (1978–79) 43–27–2
73 L April 4, 1979 2–4 @ Quebec Nordiques (1978–79) 43–28–2
74 W April 6, 1979 7–2 New England Whalers (1978–79) 44–28–2
75 W April 8, 1979 5–4 Birmingham Bulls (1978–79) 45–28–2
76 L April 10, 1979 4–6 Winnipeg Jets (1978–79) 45–29–2
77 W April 13, 1979 6–4 @ Birmingham Bulls (1978–79) 46–29–2
78 L April 14, 1979 6–7 @ Birmingham Bulls (1978–79) 46–30–2
79 W April 15, 1979 4–1 @ New England Whalers (1978–79) 47–30–2
80 W April 18, 1979 9–3 Winnipeg Jets (1978–79) 48–30–2

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

Edmonton Oilers 4, New England Whalers 3[edit | edit source]

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 April 26 New England 2 – 6 Edmonton 0–1
2 April 27 New England 5 – 9 Edmonton 0–2
3 April 29 Edmonton 1 – 4 New England 2–1
4 May 1 Edmonton 4 – 5 New England 2–2
5 May 3 New England 2 – 5 Edmonton 2–3
6 May 6 Edmonton 8 – 4 New England 3–3
7 May 8 New England 3 – 6 Edmonton 3–4

Winnipeg Jets 4, Edmonton Oilers 2[edit | edit source]

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 May 11 Winnipeg Jets 3–1 Edmonton Oilers 1–0
2 May 13 Winnipeg Jets 3–2 Edmonton Oilers 2–0
3 May 15 Edmonton Oilers 8–3 Winnipeg Jets 1–2
4 May 16 Edmonton Oilers 2–3 Winnipeg Jets 1–3
5 May 18 Winnipeg Jets 2–10 Edmonton Oilers 3–2
6 May 20 Edmonton Oilers 3–7 Winnipeg Jets 2–4

Player Stats[edit | edit source]

Regular Season
Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM +/- PPG SHG GWG
Gretzky, WayneWayne Gretzky C 72 43 61 104 19 23 9 0 0
MacDonald, BlairBlair MacDonald RW 80 34 37 71 44 35 3 4 0
Callighen, BrettBrett Callighen C 71 31 39 70 79 29 12 0 0
Chipperfield, RonRon Chipperfield C 55 32 37 69 47 25 6 0 0
Flett, BillBill Flett RW 73 28 36 64 14 26 9 0 0
Sobchuk, DennisDennis Sobchuk C 74 26 37 63 31 24 6 1 0
Weir, StanStan Weir C 68 31 30 61 20 24 3 0 0
Micheletti, JoeJoe Micheletti D 72 14 33 47 85 10 3 0 0
Shmyr, PaulPaul Shmyr D 80 8 39 47 119 37 0 0 0
Hamilton, AlAl Hamilton D 80 6 38 44 38 22 2 0 0
Carlson, SteveSteve Carlson C 73 18 22 40 50 15 4 3 0
Driscoll, PeterPeter Driscoll LW 69 17 23 40 115 16 3 0 0
Hunter, DaveDave Hunter LW 72 7 25 32 134 7 0 0 0
Alexander, ClaireClaire Alexander D 54 8 23 31 16 -5 2 1 0
Langevin, DaveDave Langevin D 77 6 21 27 76 33 3 0 0
Semenko, DaveDave Semenko LW 77 10 14 24 158 -12 2 0 0
Hughes, JohnJohn Hughes D 41 2 15 17 82 22 0 0 0
Berry, DougDoug Berry C 29 6 3 9 4 -9 1 0 0
Bailey, GarnetGarnet Bailey LW 38 5 4 9 22 -8 1 0 0
Dryden, DaveDave Dryden G 63 0 8 8 0 0 0 0 0
Siltanen, RistoRisto Siltanen D 20 3 4 7 4 4 0 0 0
Goldsworthy, BillBill Goldsworthy RW 17 4 2 6 14 -3 0 0 0
Neilson, JimJim Neilson D 35 0 5 5 18 5 0 0 0
Guite, PierrePierre Guite LW 12 1 1 2 8 -5 1 0 0
Mio, EddieEddie Mio G 22 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0
Mayer, JimJim Mayer RW 2 0 0 0 0 -2 0 0 0
Tajcnar, RudyRudy Tajcnar D 2 0 0 0 0 -4 0 0 0
George, WesWes George LW 3 0 0 0 11 1 0 0 0
Sandbeck, CalCal Sandbeck D 6 0 0 0 2 -2 0 0 0
Kamppuri, HannuHannu Kamppuri G 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Walsh, EdEd Walsh G 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Dryden, DaveDave Dryden 3531 63 41 17 2 170 2.89 3
Mio, EddieEddie Mio 1068 22 7 10 0 71 3.99 1
Kamppuri, HannuHannu Kamppuri 90 2 0 1 0 10 6.67 0
Walsh, EdEd Walsh 144 3 0 2 0 9 3.75 0
Team: 4833 80 48 30 2 260 3.23 4
Playoffs
Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM PPG SHG GWG
Gretzky, WayneWayne Gretzky C 13 10 10 20 2 0 0 1
Chipperfield, RonRon Chipperfield C 13 9 10 19 8 0 0 0
MacDonald, BlairBlair MacDonald RW 13 8 10 18 6 0 0 0
Callighen, BrettBrett Callighen C 13 5 10 15 15 0 0 1
Sobchuk, DennisDennis Sobchuk C 12 6 6 12 4 0 0 1
Hamilton, AlAl Hamilton D 13 4 5 9 4 0 0 0
Micheletti, JoeJoe Micheletti D 13 0 9 9 2 0 0 0
Siltanen, RistoRisto Siltanen D 11 0 9 9 4 0 0 0
Flett, BillBill Flett RW 10 5 2 7 2 0 0 1
Weir, StanStan Weir C 13 2 5 7 2 0 0 1
Driscoll, PeterPeter Driscoll LW 13 1 6 7 8 0 0 0
Semenko, DaveDave Semenko LW 11 4 2 6 29 0 0 0
Shmyr, PaulPaul Shmyr D 13 1 5 6 23 0 0 0
Hunter, DaveDave Hunter LW 13 2 3 5 42 0 0 0
Gustafsson, Bengt-AkeBengt-Ake Gustafsson RW 2 1 2 3 0 0 0 0
Carlson, SteveSteve Carlson C 11 1 1 2 12 0 0 0
Goldsworthy, BillBill Goldsworthy RW 4 1 1 2 11 0 0 1
Hughes, JohnJohn Hughes D 13 1 0 1 35 0 0 0
Dryden, DaveDave Dryden G 13 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
Langevin, DaveDave Langevin D 13 0 1 1 25 0 0 0
Bailey, GarnetGarnet Bailey LW 2 0 0 0 4 0 0 0
Mio, EddieEddie Mio G 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L GA GAA SO
Dryden, DaveDave Dryden 687 13 6 7 42 3.67 0
Mio, EddieEddie Mio 90 3 0 0 6 4.00 0
Team: 777 13 6 7 48 3.71 0

[1]

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/- = plus/minus; PIM = Penalty minutes; PPG = Power-play goals; SHG = Short-handed goals; GWG = Game-winning goals

MIN = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals-against; GAA = Goals-against average; SO = Shutouts

Awards and Records[edit | edit source]

Transactions[edit | edit source]

Draft Picks[edit | edit source]

Farm Teams[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

From http://www.vintageedmonton.com

Video[edit | edit source]

Wayne Gretzky scores the first two goals of his professional career, October 20, 1978.

Game 6 of the 1979 Avco World Trophy Finals, last game in WHA history, May 20, 1979.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1978-79 Edmonton Oilers Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com. hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-29.
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