The 1987–88 NHL season was the 71stseason of the National Hockey League. It was an 80 game season with the top four teams in each division advancing to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This season would see the Edmonton Oilers win their fourth Stanley Cup in five years by sweeping the Boston Bruins 4–0 (plus one cancelled game) in the Stanley Cup Final. In the process of their cup win, Edmonton lost only two games, a record for the "16 wins" playoff format.
The Oilers started a tradition in which the championship team poses with the Cup.
The NHL introduced a new trophy, the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which was to be awarded to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution in his community.
This was Wayne Gretzky's final season with the Edmonton Oilers and, as injuries held him out of 20% of the season, this would be the only season of the decade in which he was not the winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy and the first season since 1979-80 that he didn't hold or share the league lead in points. Mario Lemieux would capture his first Hart Trophy and lead the league in scoring.
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