Saturday, March 11, 2017

Stat Kings - 1983-84 NHL Scoring Leaders

It's time for another Stat Kings post here on Shoebox Legends.  In this series I take a look at statistical leaders from sports history and match them up with relevant cardboard.  My hope is that these posts will help me to more closely tie my card collection to the actual sports I enjoy watching, and get me some more play and enjoyment out of the cards I already have vs. always chasing something new.

In the first installment we looked at the NHL scoring leaders from the season I was born, 1982-83.  Today we'll jump forward one year and look at the scoring leaders from the '83-84 campaign.  Let's get rolling...

#22 - Marcel Dionne - Center - Los Angeles Kings - 92 Points
66 Games Played, 39 Goals, 53 Assists

There were actually four players who recorded 92 points in the '83-84 campaign, the first being HOFer Marcel Dionne.  Marcel had finished 5th in the league the season prior with 107 points, but finishes much lower here due to the fact that he played in just 66 games in '83-84.  Those missing game's would result in Marcel's lowest point output for any season between '78-79 and '85-86.  Still good enough to barely make this countdown though!

#21 - Brian Propp - Left Wing - Philadelphia Flyers - 92 Points
79 Games Played, 39 Goals, 53 Assists

The second guy to record 92 points in '83-84 was winger Brian Propp of the Flyers.  He recorded the exact same stat line as Dione with 39 goals and 53 assists, only it took him 79 games to do so.  In retrospect I probably should have ranked him at #22 and Dione at #21 because of that, but oh well.  While Brian never topped the 100-point plateau, this was the first of three consecutive 90-point seasons for Propp.

#20 - Charlie Simmer - Left Wing - Los Angeles Kings - 92 Points
79 Games Played, 44 Goals, 48 Assists

Charlie Simmer recorded 92 points in 1983-84 as well, and there's no doubt that he and Marcel Dionne are both on this list in large part due to the fact that they played on the infamous "Triple Crown" line together for LA.  While his point total was the same as Dionne and Propp, he lit the lamp five times more than those guys did with 44 goals scored.

#19 - Mike Bullard - Center - Pittsburgh Penguins - 92 Points
76 Games Played, 51 Goals, 41 Assists

Speaking of lighting the lamp, Mike Bullard recorded a career-best 51 goals with the Pens in '83-84!  Bullard's NHL career was relatively short, but after moving on from the league he played professionally overseas until 2003.  He was certainly one of the top offensive weapons that Pittsburgh possessed in the pre-Mario Lemieux era.

#18 - Rick Vaive - Right Wing - Toronto Maple Leafs - 93 Points
76 Games Played, 52 Goals, 41 Assists

Part of the fun of doing these posts for me is discovering some of the more obscure names that I never would have guessed to be on the list.  As far as this list goes, Rick Vaive is that guy for me.  I guess it's just due to the fact that I was merely an infant during his prime, but I was unaware of just how effective a goal-scorer Vaive was.  In fact, '83-84 was the third consecutive season that Rick scored 50 or more!  Those actually represented the first 50-goal seasons in Maple Leafs history.

#17 - Tim Kerr - Right Wing - Philadelphia Flyers - 93 Points
79 Games Played, 54 Goals, 39 Assists

This is the lone card in today's post that is not from the '83-84 season.  O-Pee-Chee was the only game in town that year, and they did not include Tim in their set.  You can understand the decision, as Kerr had played in just 24 games the season prior.  He would break out big-time in '83-84 though with 54 goals.

Tim became a force to be reckoned with, especially on the powerplay, and for the next four seasons he was unbelievably good.  He scored 50 or more goals in each of them, thanks in large part to the fact that he was able to stay healthy and in the lineup (he played 74 games or more each season during this stretch).  After that four-year stretch during which he scored 224 times, he would never never again play 70 games or score 50 goals in a season.  Kerr stepped away from the game in his early 30s, but it's interesting to think of what his numbers might be like had he been healthier and played longer.

#16 - Denis Savard - Center - Chicago Blackhawks - 94 Points
75 Games Played, 37 Goals, 57 Assists

Amazingly enough, 94 points was a down year for Denis Savard at this point in his career.  To put it in perspective, the Hawks' center was third in the entire league with 121 points the season prior.  He'd score 105 points or more in the two seasons following this.  Nonetheless, 94 points is certainly nothing to scoff at, and is good enough to place Savard just outside the top 15...

#15 - Bernie Nicholls - Center - Los Angeles Kings - 95 Points
78 Games Played, 41 Goals, 54 Assists

I find it amazing that Bernie Nicholls is the third Los Angeles Kings player to make this list, yet the team was so bad in '83-84.  With guys like Dionne, Simmer, Nicholls and Dave Taylor on the squad they managed to win just 23 games.  I can only assume they were a total train wreck defensively speaking.

Nicholls is one of those players in the Hall of Very Good.  He came close to scoring 500 goals, and accumulated 1,200+ points at better than a point-per-game pace over a couple of decades in the NHL.  His 95 points in '83-84 were the fourth best total he'd accumulate over the course of his career.

#14 - Ray Bourque - Defense - Boston Bruins - 96 Points
78 Games Played, 31 Goals, 65 Assists

Ray Bourque burst onto the scene at the beginning of the 80s, and while he wouldn't start racking up Norris Trophies until later in the decade he was a force to be reckoned with right out of the gate.  His 96 points in 1983-84 would actually end up as his career high believe it or not, same with his 31 goals scored.  I love the old photo of a mustached Bourque back when he wore just a single #7 on his sweater.

#13 - Glenn Anderson - Right Wing - Edmonton Oilers - 99 Points
80 Games Played, 54 Goals, 45 Assists

Glenn Anderson just missed his third consecutive 100-point season in '83-84, and was a big part of the powerhouse Oilers team that was about to capture 5 of the next 7 Stanley Cups.  He was inside the league's top 10 in scoring in '82-83, but slips down to 13th here.  This is certainly not the last time his name will crop up if I continue this series on through the rest of the '80s (which I plan to do).

#12 - Mark Messier - Center - Edmonton Oilers - 101 Points
73 Games Played, 37 Goals, 64 Assists

Just above Glenn on the list is teammate Mark Messier, who registered two points more than Anderson despite playing in 7 fewer games.  It's fitting that Glenn and Mark appear together on this list, as they were teammates for all 5 Edmonton Stanley Cups as well as the Rangers Cup win in 1994.

#11 - Dale Hawerchuk - Center - Winnipeg Jets - 102 Points
80 Games Played, 37 Goals, 65 Assists

Dale Hawerchuk was really hitting his stride in 1983-84, his third season in the league.  He was 16th in league scoring in '82-83 with 91 points, but jumps up 11 points and 5 spots in the rankings in '83-84.  This would kick-off a run of 5 straight 100+ point seasons for Dale.  The Jets were not a very good team this year, but Hawerchuk was a definite bright spot.

#10 - Rick Middleton - Right Wing - Boston Bruins - 105 Points
80 Games Played, 47 Goals, 58 Assists

Rick Middleton improved his individual stats between '82-83 and '83-84 as well.  His 96 points the season prior were good for 13th in the league, here he sneaks into the top 10 with a 105-point effort (a career high).  This might have been his last truly great season, though he certainly had a couple more very good seasons left in him.

#9 - Bernie Federko - Center - St. Louis Blues - 107 Points
79 Games Played, 41 Goals, 66 Assists

Bernie Federko was a consistent scoring force over the course of his 1,000 career NHL games, most of which were played with the Blues.  1983-84 was his best individual season with 107 points, though he was a model of consistency and had seasons of 102, 103 and 104 points as well.

#8 - Bryan Trottier - Center - New York Islanders - 111 Points
68 Games Played, 40 Goals, 71 Assists

Bryan Trottier barely made the top 20 in '82-83, finishing 19th in league scoring, but really re-surged in '83-84 for 111 points, despite missing 12 games of action.  This was Trottier's sixth and final 100-point season, and it was also the end of the era of dominance by the New York Islanders.

#7 - Jari Kurri - Right Wing - Edmonton Oilers - 113 Points
64 Games Played, 52 Goals, 61 Assists

It's no surprise that the top half of this list is littered with Edmonton Oilers.  Jari Kurri was enjoying playing with Gretzky and the gang, and in '83-84 elevated himself into a spot in the top 10 in league scoring.  113 points is an amazing feat, even for this high-scoring era in the game, but believe it or not Jari's best seasons were yet to come.

#6 - Barry Pederson - Center - Boston Bruins - 116 Points
80 Games Played, 39 Goals, 77 Assists

Here's a name that I think will surprise casual fans.  Barry Pederson might not be a household name for many, but at the time when this card was being pulled from packs he was as promising a young star as any in the game.  Still in his early 20s, only 5 players in the entire league registered more points that Barry in '82-83, and again in '83-84 only 5 players topped him (all of them HOFers).  Unfortunately doctors discovered a tumor in Barry's shoulder in the summer of 1984, and though he'd return to the NHL he was never the same player again.

#5 - Mike Bossy - Right Wing - New York Islanders - 118 Points
67 Games Played, 51 Goals, 67 Assists

One of the best pure snipers in the history of the game, Mike Bossy is famous for reaching the 50-goal plateau in each of the first 9 seasons of his career.  Despite missing 13 games of action he still (barely) eclipsed that mark in '83-84 to keep the streak alive.  Oh yeah, then there were the 67 assists.

#4 - Peter Stastny - Center - Quebec Nordiques - 119 Points
80 Games Played, 46 Goals, 73 Assists

Peter Stastny dropped from "most points of any player not named Gretzky" in '82-83 down into the #4 spot in '83-84 with 119 points.  The Nordiques advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs this season, thanks in large part to Peter, as well as the next guy on this list...

#3 - Michel Goulet - Left Wing - Quebec Nordiques - 121 Points
75 Games Played, 56 Goals, 65 Assists

Michel Goulet was one of the top scorers of the high-flying '80s in the NHL, but the '83-84 campaign in particular was his best.  His 121 points were a full 15 points more than he'd register in any other season.  He's another guy on this list, like Barry Pederson and even Mike Bossy, where you have to wonder where his numbers may have ended up had he been able to play longer.

#2 - Paul Coffey - Defense - Edmonton Oilers - 126 Points
80 Games Played, 40 Goals, 86 Assists

In the #2 spot for points scored in '83-84 is Edmonton defenseman Paul Coffey.  Paul had the biggest improvement from the season prior of any player on this list, jumping from 14th place all the way up to second, which is insane for someone who plays defense.  It's easy to see based on his 86 assists that he benefited from the gluttony of talent all around him on the Oilers roster, but Paul was an offensive force to be reckoned with as well and reached the 40-goal mark for the first of two times in his career.

Those 40 goals are still the third most ever recorded by a defenseman in a single season.  Unreal.

#1 - Wayne Gretzky - Center - Edmonton Oilers - 205 Points
74 Games Played, 87 Goals, 118 Assists

I don't think a single one of you will be surprised by the name that tops the list here.  Wayne was in his absolute prime at this point, and just a few seasons into his career had already established himself as probably the greatest player ever to lace up skates.  His 87 goals in '83-84 are still the second most ever recorded in a single season, and without some major changes to the game I don't think this total will ever be surpassed again.

I mentioned this in the last Stat Kings post I did, but Wayne was so good that while other superstars were measured based on surpassing 100 points in a season, a great season for Wayne had him over 200.  Wayne outscored the next closest guy on this list, Paul Coffey, by almost 80 points, and Gretzky missed 6 games!  He's the only player to record 200 or more in a season, and he did it four times!  1983-84 was special for Gretzky for a different reason though, as he would finally capture that elusive Stanley Cup for the first time.

To put a bow on things, here's the card from the following year's O-Pee-Chee set that pays tribute to Wayne's 1983-84 205-point league-leading campaign.

So there you have it, the 1983-84 NHL scoring leaders.  These posts are a lot of work to put together, hopefully at least a few of you enjoyed this look back in time.  For my next Stat Kings post I'll be switching it up to baseball!


Mike Matson said...

1983-1984 was the last year Simmer would have that many points.. Definitely helped by his linemates in Los Angeles..

Chris said...

I'm thrilled to see another Stat Kings post, these are so fun to read. It's amazing how many points were scored that year - by HOFers, by defensemen, by players who have been somewhat forgotten over the years. I knew Barry Pederson kinda fell off the map, but I didn't know why. Sure, there are a lot of Oilers and Islanders on this list - but look how many Bruins, Kings, and Nordiques there were. Okay, only two Nords.. but both of them were in the top 5.

I guess there weren't many decent defensemen back then. And the poor goalies! No wonder why they inflated their pads like the Stay Puft marshmallow man.

Hackenbush said...

I hear the NHL wants to increase scoring. My idea is--and it may be a bit radical--make the net bigger. Goalies and their equipment has both gotten to the point that it's hard to get the puck past them. Am I crazy?

Billy Kingsley said...

I love this concept. I actually missed the end of the 2nd period of the Bruins-Flyers game because I was so enthralled with reading this post. I hope you not on finish the 1980s but do the 90s, 2000s and 2010s...and then start moving backwards. This is great. My goal was to work on sorting and entering the cards you sent me into my Excel charts but I saw this and had to stop and read it!

Marc said...

These are some of my favorites posts. It's nice to go back and reminisce 80's hockey. Sure must take a lot of work on your end but, are absolute must reads.

If I may add, Michel Goulet had 16 game winning goals this season. Ties him with Phil Esposito for most GWG in one season. Gretzky had a point or more in the first 51 consecutive games this season.

Man those Oilers teams were stacked with talent.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...