The Edmonton Oilers have won five championships in their franchise history. The defense had a lot to do with those Stanley Cups. The Oilers have a long history of great defensemen who could play two way hockey. This is a look back at those defensemen ranking the top 20 blue liners the Oilers have ever had.
20. Chris Pronger- I know most Oiler fans hate Pronger for how he forced his way out of Edmonton but he still deserves to be on this list. In his one season as an Oiler, Pronger scored 12 goals and had 56 points while leading Edmonton to the Stanley Cup finals.
19. Steve Staios- Staios manned the blue line in Edmonton for eight seasons finishing his time as an Oiler with 146 points. His best statistical season came in 2003-2004 when Staios scored 28 points while playing over more than 23 minutes a night.
18. Boris Mironov- Mironov spent parts of six seasons in Edmonton and scored 160 points. His best season with the oilers came in 1997-1998 when Mironov scored ten power play goals while registering 46 points.
17. Ladislav Smid- Smid is the only current Oiler on this list. He has been with Edmonton since being part of the Pronger deal with the Ducks in 2006. While never much of an offensive threat, Smid has been a mainstay for the Oilers defense for the last seven years.
16. Tom Gilbert- Gilbert started his NHL career in Edmonton spending his first five and a half years as an Oiler before being traded to the Minnesota Wild. As a rookie Gilbert was named NHL all-rookie first team. His best season as an Oiler came in year three when he tallied 45 points while getting plenty of ice time.
15. Marc-Andre Bergeron- Bergeron has managed to forge a ten year NHL career after going undrafted. Some of his most productive years came as an Oiler where he was a great finisher on the power play and helped lead Edmonton to the Stanley Cup finals in 2005-2006.
14. Dave Manson- Manson only spent a little more than two seasons in Edmonton but managed to make it to the all-star game in one of those years. He was a key piece to the Oiler power-play scoring 16 goals for Edmonton with the man advantage.
13. Roman Hamrlik- Hamrlik spent three seasons in Edmonton, making one all-star game. His best season came in 1999-2000 when Hamrlik chalked up 45 points while playing more than 25 minutes a night.
12. Sheldon Souray- Souray spent three years with the Oilers but only played one full season because of injuries. During his one healthy season, Souray scored 23 goals and tallied 53 points while making the all-star game and playing almost 25 minutes a night in 2008-2009.
11. Tom Poti- Poti was an Oiler for four seasons from 1998-2001. While his best seasons in the NHL came after he left Edmonton, Poti was still a stalwart on the blue line with the Oilers. Poti scored 27 goals and 78 assists during his time in Edmonton.
10. Eric Brewer- Brewer was a very solid blue liner during his time as an Oiler. So much so that he made the 2002 Canadian Gold Medal winning Olympic team. Brewer was also made the all-star game in 2002-2003.
9. Jason Smith- Smith came to Edmonton in 1999 in a trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs and spent almost 8 seasons manning the blue line for the Oilers. During his time as an Oiler, Smith provided leadership and toughness and still managed to score 31 goals.
8. Janne Niinimaa- Niinimaa was an Oiler defenseman for six seasons logging more than 25 minutes a night. Niinimaa was a stalwart on special teams, scoring more goals that way then at even strength. His best season as an Oiler came in 2000-2001 when Niinimaa tallied 8 power play goals on his way to 46 points and an appearance in the all-star game.
7. Craig Muni- Muni really threw his weight around as an Oiler defenseman from 1986-1993. He was known for his vicious checks and hard-nosed play. During his time in Edmonton, Muni was a key piece in three Stanley Cup championship teams.
6. Steve Smith- Smith was an offensive minded defenseman during his time in Edmonton, scoring more than 50 points in two different seasons. Smith best season came in 1990-1991when he made it to the all-star game in his last season as an Oiler. Smith was a part of 3 Stanley Cups in Edmonton.
5. Lee Fogolin- Fogolin spent eight long years in Edmonton, helping the Oilers win two Stanley Cups. While not much of a scoring threat, Fogolin was on the ice a ton when the Oilers scored. His plus/minus as Oiler is +152. Fogolin’s best year in Edmonton came in 1985-1986 when he tallied 26 points and played in the all-star game while being a plus 47.
4. Randy Gregg- Gregg won five Stanley Cups in his eight seasons as an Oiler. Not bad for a guy who didn’t make it to the NHL until he was 27. His best offensive season came in 1983-1984 when Gregg scored 13 goals to go along with 27 assists.
3. Charlie Huddy- Huddy spent his first 11 NHL seasons as an Oiler and has five rings to show for it. He finished top ten in plus/minus in three consecutive seasons, while leading the league in 1982-1983. That same season Huddy registered hid most goals in a season with 20 and most points with 57.
2. Kevin Love- Lowe played 1,000 games in 15 amazing season with the Oilers. Lowe was an all-star six out of seven years during one stretch during his Oiler career and played on every Oiler Stanley Cup winning team.
1. Paul Coffey- Was there any doubt who would be number one on this list. Coffey holds the Oiler record for goals assists and points by a defenseman. In his seven seasons in Edmonton, Coffey won two James Norris trophies for being the NHL’s best defenseman. He was also named to the NHL first team twice and the second team on three more occasions, not to mention that he played in five all-star games and helped the Oilers win three Stanley Cups. For his efforts, Coffey was enshrined in the hockey hall of fame in 2004.