Wayne Gretzky heads up ice. Mandatory Credit: ALLSPORT USA /Allsport via cdn.picapp.com
Back in December, The Copper & Blue looked at Dustin Penner's start and saw that he was on pace to do something that only Wayne Gretzky had been able to accomplish as a member of the Edmonton Oilers -- lead the team in Goals, Assists, Points, and +/-. Gretzky did this four different times from 1981-1987, and did one better. Gretzky led the league in those four categories four times. As Bruce said in the comments section:
99 led not just the Oilers but the NHL in all 4 categories in 4 different seasons between 1981-87. He lost the +/- crown to Charlie Huddy in ’82-83 and Mark Howe in ’85-86, and Jari Kurri led the league in goals that same ’85-86 campaign, but in ’81-82, ’83-84, ’84-85, and ’86-87 Gretzky swept the lot.
So Dustin Penner's incredible season wasn't just a great personal accomplishment, it was historic. The Oilers haven't had much to hang their hats on this season, but this is certainly worth recognizing. For the first time since 1986-1987, one player led the Edmonton Oilers in all four categories.
In the fall I wondered if he could deliver enough offense to stay on the 1line, and by spring I'm convinced he could be the cornerstone of a 1line for years to come. This was a wonderful season delivered by a player in his prime and with many years of similar level production straight ahead.
In additional to the traditional stats, Penner swept the Oilers Advanced Stats categories as well. He led the team in PTS/60, +-ON/60, Corsi, and Scoring Chances Differential. He also led the team in Shots. Nearly every statistical category that that both traditionalists and microstats adherents track was dominated by Dustin Penner.
|Year||Player||Goals||Player ||Assists ||Player||Points||Player||+/-|
Bruce points out that Penner really didn't lead the Oilers in +/- as both Ryan Whitney and Ales Hemsky outpaced him there, but neither player came close to playing enough qualifying games to be considered among the team leaders. Bruce is calling this an asterisk, but I don't see it that way as the rules for statistical qualification are have been in place for a long time. Besides given the way this season went, more games for either of those two may have meant long runs of minus play.
Even with the asterisk, Penner becomes the fifth Oiler to lead the team in Goals, Assists and Points. He would keep company with Mark Messier, Vincent Damphousse, Doug Weight and Ryan Smyth, but that only matters to Bruce.
Penner's historical season places him on some rare ice, with only The Great One to keep him company.