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Dustin Penner Joins Wayne Gretzky In The Record Books

Wayne Gretzky heads up ice. Mandatory Credit: ALLSPORT USA /Allsport

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Wayne Gretzky heads up ice. Mandatory Credit: ALLSPORT USA /Allsport via

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.

Lowetide recapped Penner's season thusly:

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
Player Points Player +/-
1988 Carson 49
Kurri 102 Muni
1989 Messier 45 Messier 84
Messier 129 Gregg
1990 Klima
Messier 52
69 Klima
1991 Damphousse 38 Damphousse 51 Damphousse 89 Maciver
1992 Klima 32 Nicholls 32 Klima 48 Gelinas
1993 Arnott 33 Weight
50 Weight 74 Arnott
1994 Oliver 16 Weight 33 Weight 40 Kennedy
1995 Ciger 31 Weight 79 Weight 104 Satan
1996 Smyth 39 Weight 61 Weight 82 Marchment
1997 Weight 26 Weight 44 Weight 70 Tie
1998 Guerin 30 Guerin 34 Guerin 64 Poti
1999 Smyth 28 Weight 51 Weight 72 Smith
2000 Smyth 31 Weight 65 Weight 90 Tie
2001 Comrie 33 Niinimaa 39 Tie 60 Comrie
2002 Smyth 27 Marchant
Smyth 61 Reasoner
2003 Smyth 23
Smyth 36
Smyth 59 Ulanov 18

2005 Smyth 36
Hemsky 77 Staios 10
2006 Smyth 31
Hemsky 40
53 Thoresen
2007 Penner
Hemsky 51
Hemsky 71 Nilsson
2008 Tie 23
Hemsky 43
Hemsky 66 Grebeshkov
2009 Penner 32
Penner 31
Penner 63 Penner

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.