The 1993–94 NHL season was the 77th regular season of the National Hockey League. The New York Rangers were the Stanley Cup champions. It was the Rangers' fourth championship overall, and their first in 54 seasons, since 1939–40.
The spectacular play of Dominik Hasek of the Buffalo Sabres ushered in a new era of goaltending dominance in the NHL. Only three teams reached the 300-goal plateau, and only one team, the Detroit Red Wings, averaged more than four goals scored per game. Goaltenders combined for 99 shutouts during the regular season, a mark that broke the all-time regular-season record of 85 set in 1974–75.
|1993–94 NHL season|
|League||National Hockey League|
|Duration||October 5, 1993 – June 14, 1994|
|Number of games||84|
|Number of teams||26|
|Top draft pick||Alexandre Daigle|
|Picked by||Ottawa Senators|
|Presidents' Trophy||New York Rangers|
|Season MVP||Sergei Fedorov (Red Wings)|
|Top scorer||Wayne Gretzky (Kings)|
|Eastern champions||New York Rangers|
|Eastern runners-up||New Jersey Devils|
|Western champions||Vancouver Canucks|
|Western runners-up||Toronto Maple Leafs|
|Playoffs MVP||Brian Leetch (Rangers)|
|Champions||New York Rangers|
For this season, the names of the conferences were changed from Campbell and Wales to Western and Eastern respectively, and the divisions' names were changed from Adams, Patrick, Norris, and Smythe to Northeast, Atlantic, Central, and Pacific respectively. Each division had changes. The Northeast Division would welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins, previously from the Patrick Division. The Atlantic Division would welcome the newcomer Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning, previously from the Norris Division. The Central Division would welcome the Winnipeg Jets, previously from the Smythe Division. The Pacific Division would welcome the newcomer Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. New league commissioner Gary Bettman, who had previously worked in the National Basketball Association (NBA), thought the old names could be confusing to non-traditional fans and believed that a change to geographically-named divisions, as used in the NBA and most other North American professional sports, would be more easily understandable to new fans.
In addition, the playoff format was changed to a conference based seeding over division specific brackets: the division winners were seeded one-two by order of point finish, then the top six remaining teams in the conference were seeded three through eight. However, unlike the NBA, the NHL matched the highest-seeded winners against the lowest-seeded winners in the second round. In order to reduce the number of long trips to and from the West Coast, whenever a Central Division team played a Pacific Division team in the playoffs, the format was 2–3–2 rather than the traditional 2–2–1–1–1, a format that was only used for the 1993–94 season.
The Panthers and Mighty Ducks set new records for first-year expansion teams. Both teams finished with 33 wins, surpassing the 31 wins of the Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings in 1967–68. That mark would not be topped by another expansion team until the Vegas Golden Knights notched their 34th win in their inaugural season on February 1, 2018, finishing with 51 wins. The Panthers also set a high-water mark in points, with 83 points, surpassing the previous record set by the Flyers' 73 points in 1968. The Golden Knights would eventually shatter this inaugural expansion team record by 26 points notching a total of 109 points in 2017-18.
The division first-place finishers qualify for the playoffs as 1-2 seeding. The next six per conference are the teams with the six best records of the non-division winners.
bold – Qualified for playoffs; x – Won division; p – Won Presidents' Trophy (and division); * – Division leader
|1||y- Detroit Red Wings *||CEN||84||46||30||8||356||275||100|
|2||x- Calgary Flames *||PAC||84||42||29||13||302||256||97|
|3||Toronto Maple Leafs||CEN||84||43||29||12||280||243||98|
|5||St. Louis Blues||CEN||84||40||33||11||270||283||91|
|8||San Jose Sharks||PAC||84||33||35||16||252||265||82|
|9||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||PAC||84||33||46||5||229||251||71|
|10||Los Angeles Kings||PAC||84||27||45||12||294||322||66|
Divisions: CEN – Central, PAC – Pacific
bold – Qualified for playoffs; x – Won division; y – Won Conference (and division); * – Division leader
No = Division rank, CR = Conference rank, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.
For the first time, all four former WHA teams (Edmonton, Hartford, Quebec, and Winnipeg) failed to make the playoffs in the same season.
The Final pitted the New York Rangers, seeking to win their first Cup since 1940, versus the Vancouver Canucks, looking for their first-ever Cup win. The series was hard-fought and went the full seven games. The Rangers took a 3–1 series lead, but the Canucks won the next two to force a game seven in New York. The Rangers won the game 3–2 to win their fourth Stanley Cup. This to some is considered the best Game 7 in NHL history.
|Conference Quarterfinals||Conference Semifinals||Conference Finals||Stanley Cup Finals|
|1||NY Rangers||4||1||NY Rangers||4|
|(Pairings are re-seeded after the first round.)|
|8||San Jose||4||8||San Jose||3|
The NHL awards presentation took place on June 16, 1994.
|1993–94 NHL Awards|
|Presidents' Trophy:||New York Rangers|
|Prince of Wales Trophy:||New York Rangers|
|Clarence S. Campbell Bowl:||Vancouver Canucks|
|Art Ross Trophy:||Wayne Gretzky, Los Angeles Kings|
|Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy:||Cam Neely, Boston Bruins|
|Calder Memorial Trophy:||Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils|
|Conn Smythe Trophy:||Brian Leetch, New York Rangers|
|Frank J. Selke Trophy:||Sergei Fedorov, Detroit Red Wings|
|Hart Memorial Trophy:||Sergei Fedorov, Detroit Red Wings|
|Jack Adams Award:||Jacques Lemaire, New Jersey Devils|
|James Norris Memorial Trophy:||Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins|
|King Clancy Memorial Trophy:||Adam Graves, New York Rangers|
|Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:||Wayne Gretzky, Los Angeles Kings|
|Lester B. Pearson Award:||Sergei Fedorov, Detroit Red Wings|
|NHL Plus/Minus Award:||Scott Stevens, New Jersey Devils|
|Vezina Trophy:||Dominik Hasek, Buffalo Sabres|
|William M. Jennings Trophy:||Dominik Hasek and Grant Fuhr, Buffalo Sabres|
|Lester Patrick Trophy:||Wayne Gretzky, Los Angeles Kings|
Robert Ridder, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame
|First team||Position||Second team|
|Dominik Hasek, Buffalo Sabres||G||John Vanbiesbrouck, Florida Panthers|
|Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins||D||Al MacInnis, Calgary Flames|
|Scott Stevens, New Jersey Devils||D||Brian Leetch, New York Rangers|
|Sergei Fedorov, Detroit Red Wings||C||Wayne Gretzky, Los Angeles Kings|
|Pavel Bure, Vancouver Canucks||RW||Cam Neely, Boston Bruins|
|Brendan Shanahan, St. Louis Blues||LW||Adam Graves, New York Rangers|
|Wayne Gretzky||Los Angeles||81||38||92||130|
|Brendan Shanahan||St. Louis||81||52||50||102|
|Martin Brodeur||New Jersey||47||2625||105||3||2.40|
|Mike Richter||New York Rangers||68||3710||159||5||2.57|
|Daren Puppa||Tampa Bay||63||3653||165||4||2.71|
|Chris Terreri||New Jersey||44||2340||106||2||2.72|
The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1993–94 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):
The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1993–94 (listed with their last team):
Trading deadline: March 21, 1994.
As a part of the 1992 strike settlement, the NHL and Bruce McNall's Multivision Marketing and Public Relations Co. organized 26 regular season games in cities without a franchise as a litmus test for future expansion.
The Stars played a neutral-site game in their previous market of Minnesota at the Target Center in Minneapolis, where they were greeted enthusiastically. The Minnesota North Stars' tradition of playing on New Year's Eve and holding a post-game skate on the ice was also continued with a game between the Flyers and Bruins.
The Lightning vs. Red Wings contest in Minneapolis was scheduled for Martin Luther King Day, a Monday, necessitating an afternoon face-off at 2:05 PM. However, due to an error on the NHL's part, the Lightning believed themselves to be playing at 7:35 PM, an error that was only discovered two weeks prior to the game by reporters. The Lightning ended up playing an 8:05 PM game in Winnipeg, flying back to the U.S., and playing again 18 hours later in Minneapolis.
The Panthers, in the midst of a playoff race, played a March "home" game against the Maple Leafs 30 miles from Toronto, at Hamilton.
|Date||Winning Team||Score||Losing Team||Score||OT||City||State/Province||Arena||Attendance|
|October 21, 1993||St. Louis||5||San Jose||2||Sacramento||CA||ARCO Arena||7,144|
|October 31, 1993||NY Rangers||4||New Jersey||1||Halifax||NS||Halifax Metro Centre||8,200|
|November 3, 1993||Pittsburgh||6||Buffalo||2||Sacramento||CA||ARCO Arena||10,117|
|November 9, 1993||Anaheim||4||Dallas||2||Phoenix||AZ||America West Arena||8,143|
|November 18, 1993||NY Islanders||5||Montréal||1||Hamilton||ON||Copps Coliseum||17,008|
|December 9, 1993||Dallas||6||Ottawa||1||Minneapolis||MN||Target Center||14,058|
|December 23, 1993||Vancouver||4||Calgary||3||Saskatoon||SK||Saskatchewan Place||11,429*|
|December 31, 1993||Philadelphia||4||Boston||3||Minneapolis||MN||Target Center||10,855|
|January 4, 1994||Tampa Bay||1||Toronto||0||Hamilton||ON||Copps Coliseum||17,526*|
|January 5, 1994||Montréal||2||Québec||0||Phoenix||AZ||America West Arena||11,393|
|January 6, 1994||St. Louis||2||Hartford||1||Cleveland||OH||Richfield Coliseum||6,956|
|January 17, 1994||Detroit||6||Tampa Bay||3||Minneapolis||MN||Target Center||8,764|
|January 23, 1994||Vancouver||5||Edmonton||4||(OT)||Saskatoon||SK||Saskatchewan Place||N/A|
|January 24, 1994||Calgary||3||Los Angeles||3||(OT)||Phoenix||AZ||America West Arena||14,864|
|February 2, 1994||Washington||5||Philadelphia||2||Cleveland||OH||Richfield Coliseum||8,312|
|February 8, 1994||San Jose||4||Chicago||3||Sacramento||CA||ARCO Arena||14,182*|
|February 22, 1994||Florida||3||Winnipeg||2||Hamilton||ON||Copps Coliseum||6,291|
|February 24, 1994||Detroit||3||Hartford||0||Cleveland||OH||Richfield Coliseum||11,621|
|March 4, 1994||Winnipeg||6||Ottawa||1||Minneapolis||MN||Target Center||6,388|
|March 8, 1994||Chicago||3||Anaheim||0||Phoenix||AZ||America West Arena||13,847|
|March 9, 1994||NY Rangers||7||Washington||5||Halifax||NS||Halifax Metro Centre||9,200*|
|March 18, 1994||Buffalo||2||NY Islanders||2||(OT)||Minneapolis||MN||Target Center||8,016|
|March 23, 1994||Florida||1||Toronto||1||(OT)||Hamilton||ON||Copps Coliseum||17,096*|
|March 27, 1994||New Jersey||5||Quebec||2||Minneapolis||MN||Target Center||6,222|
|April 3, 1994||Pittsburgh||6||Boston||2||Cleveland||OH||Richfield Coliseum||17,224|
|April 3, 1994||Los Angeles||6||Edmonton||1||Sacramento||CA||ARCO Arena||10,363|
|Boston Bruins||Brian Sutter|
|Buffalo Sabres||John Muckler|
|Florida Panthers||Roger Neilson|
|Hartford Whalers||Pierre McGuire||Replaced midseason by Paul Holmgren|
|Montreal Canadiens||Jacques Demers|
|New Jersey Devils||Jacques Lemaire|
|New York Islanders||Al Arbour|
|New York Rangers||Mike Keenan|
|Ottawa Senators||Rick Bowness|
|Philadelphia Flyers||Terry Simpson|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||Eddie Johnston|
|Quebec Nordiques||Pierre Page|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||Terry Crisp|
|Washington Capitals||Terry Murray||Replaced late in the season by Jim Schoenfeld|
|Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||Ron Wilson|
|Calgary Flames||Dave King|
|Chicago Blackhawks||Darryl Sutter|
|Dallas Stars||Bob Gainey|
|Detroit Red Wings||Scotty Bowman|
|Edmonton Oilers||Ted Green||Replaced early in the season by Glen Sather|
|Los Angeles Kings||Barry Melrose|
|St. Louis Blues||Bob Berry|
|San Jose Sharks||Kevin Constantine|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||Pat Burns|
|Vancouver Canucks||Pat Quinn|
|Winnipeg Jets||John Paddock|
The 1993 NHL Entry Draft took place on June 26, 1993, at the Quebec Coliseum in Quebec City, Quebec.
First overall pick Alexandre Daigle is widely regarded today as one of the all-time greatest draft busts in NHL history. Regarding his draft position, Daigle uttered the now infamous comment, "I'm glad I got drafted first, because no one remembers number two". Chris Pronger, selected after Daigle with pick two by the Hartford Whalers, was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.1993 NHL Expansion Draft
The 1993 NHL Expansion Draft was held on June 24, 1993, in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The draft took place to fill the rosters of the league's two expansion teams for the 1993–94 season, the Florida Panthers and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.1993 NHL Supplemental Draft
The 1993 NHL Supplemental Draft took place in June 1993.1993–94 Boston Bruins season
The 1993–94 Boston Bruins season was the Bruins' 70th season. The season involved Cam Neely scoring 50 goals in 44 games, however, the Bruins had already played 66 games; making this an unofficial record.
The Bruins reached the second round in the Stanley Cup playoffs, beating the Montreal Canadiens before losing to the New Jersey Devils.1993–94 Chicago Blackhawks season
The 1993–94 Chicago Blackhawks season was the 68th season of operation of the Chicago Blackhawks in the National Hockey League.1993–94 Detroit Red Wings season
The 1993–94 Detroit Red Wings season saw the Red Wings finish in first place in the Central Division with a record of 46 wins, 30 losses, and 8 ties for 100 points. They were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the San Jose Sharks in seven games.1993–94 Hartford Whalers season
The 1993–94 Hartford Whalers season was the 22nd season of the franchise, 15th season in the NHL. The Whalers missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season. It was the first season that all four former WHA teams (Edmonton, Hartford, Quebec, Winnipeg) missed the playoffs since joining the NHL in 1979.1993–94 Los Angeles Kings season
The 1993–94 Los Angeles Kings season involved Wayne Gretzky becoming the all-time leading goal scorer.1993–94 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim season
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim were founded in 1993 by The Walt Disney Company. The team's original name was chosen from the Disney movie The Mighty Ducks, based on a group of misfit kids who turn their losing youth hockey team into a winning team. Disney subsequently made an animated series called Mighty Ducks, featuring a fictional Mighty Ducks of Anaheim team that consisted of anthropomorphized ducks led by the Mighty Duck Wildwing. The team was the first tenant of Arrowhead Pond, a brand-new arena in Anaheim located a short distance east of Disneyland and across the Orange Freeway from Angel Stadium. The arena was completed the same year the team was founded.
The Mighty Ducks hired Jack Ferreira as their first General Manager. Pierre Gauthier became his assistant. Gauthier had been a former goalie for Boston University and had considerable scouting experience with the New England Whalers, Calgary Flames and New York Rangers.1993–94 New Jersey Devils season
The 1993–94 New Jersey Devils season was the franchise's 12th season, twelfth in New Jersey. For the fourth consecutive season, the Devils qualified for the playoffs. In the playoffs, The Devils made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Final where they came within a game of advancing to the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals. Goaltender Martin Brodeur won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's top rookie and new coach Jacques Lemaire won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach.1993–94 New York Islanders season
The 1993–94 New York Islanders season was the 22nd season in the franchise's history and the final one with Al Arbour as head coach. For the second consecutive year, four Islanders reached the 30-goal plateau.1993–94 Ottawa Senators season
The 1993–94 Ottawa Senators season was the National Hockey League (NHL) club's second season. It was an improvement by the club, as they finished with 13 more points than in the 1992–93 expansion season, as the club ended the season with a 14–61–9 record for 37 points. Even so, they had the worst record in hockey for the second consecutive year.1993–94 Quebec Nordiques season
The 1993–94 Quebec Nordiques season was the Nordiques' 22nd season of operation and its 15th in the National Hockey League (NHL). The Nordiques failed to qualify for the 2004 Stanley Cup playoffs.1993–94 St. Louis Blues season
The 1993–94 St. Louis Blues season was the 27th for the franchise in St. Louis, Missouri, and the final season for the Blues at the St. Louis Arena. The Blues finished the regular-season with a record of 40 wins, 33 losses and 11 ties, good for 91 points, and a trip to the NHL Playoffs, where they were swept by the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Quarter-finals. For the second consecutive year, the Blues had two 50-goal scorers (Brett Hull and Brendan Shanahan).1993–94 Tampa Bay Lightning season
The 1993–94 Tampa Bay Lightning season was the Lightning's second season of operation. The team finished last in the Atlantic Division and did not qualify for the playoffs.1993–94 Washington Capitals season
The 1993–94 Washington Capitals season was the Capitals' 20th season of play.
Until 2018, this season was notable as the only time the Washington Capitals ever defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in a playoff series, as the Capitals would lose to the Penguins in 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2009, 2016, and 2017 before finally beating the Penguins in 2018 on their way to their first Stanley Cup.1994 National Hockey League All-Star Game
The 1994 National Hockey League All-Star Game was held in Madison Square Garden in New York City, home of the New York Rangers, on January 22, 1994.Greg Devorski
Greg Devorski (born August 3, 1969 in Guelph, Ontario) is a National Hockey League linesman since the 1993–94 NHL season, who wears uniform number 54 since the 1994–95 NHL season. He is the younger brother of former NHL referee Paul Devorski. Devorski was rewarded with an assignment to the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals.
Devorski was also selected as a linesman for the 2014 Winter Olympics.Penguin Pete
Penguin Pete was the Pittsburgh Penguins’ first mascot. He was an Ecuadorian-born Humboldt penguin on loan from the Pittsburgh Zoo. Penguins officials even had special ice skates made for Pete by CCM in Canada. A skater from the University of Pittsburgh taught Pete at the arena how to ice skate.
Pete made his first appearance during the second intermission of a game against the Philadelphia Flyers on February 21, 1968. Pete made six more appearances. His last appearance was on November 16 of the same year during a game against the New York Rangers. He died of pneumonia on November 23, 1968. It is believed that his death was due to the ice crew at the Civic Arena keeping his nesting area too warm.After his death, Pete was sent to an area taxidermist. He was later displayed in the lobby of the Penguins team offices at the arena. However, the stuffed Pete was later removed from the lobby after a few concerned callers objected to its presence there, according to then-Penguins owner Jack McGregor.A second penguin mascot, dubbed "Re-Pete'", was later loaned to the team and made it through the 1971–72 NHL season.The team later adopted Iceburgh, a more traditional mascot, for the 1993–94 NHL season. While Iceburgh's name is a play on both iceberg and Pittsburgh, not reviving the Penguin Pete name was likely done to avoid confusion with the mascot of the same name at Youngstown State University in nearby Youngstown, Ohio.
1993–94 NHL season
The 2004–05 season was cancelled due to a lockout.