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The 1993–94 NHL season was the 77th regular season of the National Hockey League (NHL). The season lasted from October 5, 1993 to June 14, 1994.

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.

League businessEdit

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 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 slightly altered to resemble that of the NBA.

Whereas the playoffs had previously been bracketed and seeded by division, they were now broken down only by conference: 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 matches 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 which lasted only for the 1993–94 season.

Franchise changesEdit

Regular seasonEdit

Final standingsEdit

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.

Eastern ConferenceEdit

Template:1993–94 NHL Atlantic Division standings

Template:1993–94 NHL Northeast Division standings

Western ConferenceEdit

Template:1993–94 NHL Central Division standings

Template:1993–94 NHL Pacific Division standings

Note: z = won Presidents' Trophy.
       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.

Head coaches of the Eastern ConferenceEdit

Team Coach Comments
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

Head coaches of the Western ConferenceEdit

Team Coach Comments
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

Scoring leadersEdit

Player Team GP G A Pts
Wayne Gretzky Los Angeles 81 38 92 130
Sergei Fedorov Detroit 82 56 64 120
Adam Oates Boston 77 32 80 112
Doug Gilmour Toronto 83 27 84 111
Pavel Bure Vancouver 74 60 47 107
Jeremy Roenick Chicago 84 46 61 107
Mark Recchi Philadelphia 84 40 67 107
Brendan Shanahan St. Louis 81 52 50 102
Dave Andreychuk Toronto 83 53 46 99
Jaromir Jagr Pittsburgh 80 32 67 99

PlayoffsEdit

Main article: 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs

For the first time, all four former WHA teams (Edmonton, Hartford, Quebec, and Winnipeg) failed to make the playoffs in the same year.

Playoff bracketEdit

Template:NHLBracket

FinalEdit

Main article: 1994 Stanley Cup Finals

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.

NY Rangers (1) vs. Vancouver (7)
Date Away Score Home Score OT
May 31 Vancouver 3 New York 2 OT
June 2 Vancouver 1 New York 3
June 4 New York 5 Vancouver 1
June 7 New York 4 Vancouver 2
June 9 Vancouver 6 New York 3
June 11 New York 1 Vancouver 4
June 14 Vancouver 2 New York 3
New York Rangers wins series 4–3
and Stanley Cup.
Brian Leetch (NY Rangers)
wins Conn Smythe Trophy.

NHL awardsEdit

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

All-Star teamsEdit

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 Ron Francis, Pittsburgh Penguins
Pavel Bure, Vancouver Canucks RW Cam Neely, Boston Bruins
Brendan Shanahan, St. Louis Blues LW Adam Graves, New York Rangers

DebutsEdit

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):

Last gamesEdit

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):

1994 trading deadlineEdit

Neutral site gamesEdit

There were a series of neutral-site games in this season which created a few interesting scenarios:

  • The Stars played a neutral-site game in their previous hometown of 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 continued. However, the North Stars having moved to Dallas, organizers had to attempt to emulate it by scheduling the Flyers and Bruins. Also, the game was played at the Target Center in Minneapolis rather than the Met Center in Bloomington.
  • The Lightning vs. Red Wings contest at Minneapolis was scheduled for Martin Luther King Day, a Monday, necessitating an afternoon face-off at 2:05 PM. Due to an error on the NHL's part, however, 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 just 18 hours later in Minneapolis.
  • The Devils and Rangers, whose arenas were located twelve miles apart, played over 1,000 miles away and in a different country (at Halifax, Nova Scotia).
  • Similarly, the Canadiens and Nordiques, both hailing from the province of Quebec, played each other 2,500 miles from home (in Phoenix, AZ), travelling not only to another country but also from a French- to an English-speaking city.
  • The Panthers, in the midst of a playoff race, played a March "home" game against the Maple Leafs 30 miles from Toronto, at Hamilton.

In total, 26 such games were played:

Complete list of neutral-site gamesEdit

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 SaskPlace 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 16, 1994 Detroit 6 Tampa Bay 3 Minneapolis MN Target Center 8,764
January 23, 1994 Vancouver 5 Edmonton 4 (OT) Saskatoon SK SaskPlace 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

See alsoEdit

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