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100 Greatest Players

Oilers among NHL100 savor selection

'So special to have five guys on this list'

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- The Edmonton Oilers dynasty that won the Stanley Cup five times in a seven-season span between 1984 and 1990 was well represented at "The NHL100 Presented by GEICO" on Friday.

Five Oilers -- NHL all-time leading scorer Wayne Gretzky, forwards Mark Messier and Jari Kurri, defenseman Paul Coffey and goalie Grant Fuhr -- were among the 67 names revealed Friday to complete the list of the 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian.

"If you look back at those teams and look back at that era, we were definitely part of the conversation," Messier said. "So to be able to share the stage with those guys here tonight is an honor. I say that in all seriousness because nobody wins alone in a team sport.

"To be able to share it with these guys is amazing."

Video: Wayne Gretzky all-time leader in goals, points

Messier's NHL career of 1,756 games produced 694 goals and 1,887 points. He played 12 seasons from Edmonton from 1979 to 1991 and was on each Cup champion: 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1990.

Reflecting on those successes, Messier, 56, said he was honored to share them again with four teammates.

"The five of us, for sure, but the whole team," Messier said. "We've spent a lot of time together and we worked hard to achieve the goals we did.

"We sacrificed a lot. We had a lot of discipline and we paid the price to become champions, and when you do that alongside somebody that wants it just as much as you, it's always a nice feeling."

Video: Mark Messier was one of NHL's greatest leaders

Kurri, 56, also won the Cup five times with the Oilers, and during the 1984-85 season when the Oilers won their second Cup, Kurri scored 71 goals in 73 games. He trailed only Gretzky, who scored 73 in 80 games, that season.

While all of that domination was taking place, Kurri said not a lot of thought was given to its historical value.

"I think that when you're playing your games, you don't think about what's happening or what you're seeing," he said. "But when you're retired, you have these kinds of chances to be a part of something like this, you want to enjoy it. That's the most important thing. This is amazing."

Fuhr, 54, echoed those feelings.

Video: Grant Fuhr was first black player in Hall of Fame

"It doesn't change the memories, but it's so special to have five guys on this list," said Fuhr, who won the Cup four times with Edmonton. "I mean, when we were playing and growing up there and were part of it, we never really thought about it and how good the team really was.

"So to be here tonight and have five of us in the top 100, it kind of lets us know those were pretty special teams and makes me think how fortunate I am to be a part of this.

"It's fun to part of it as a player, but this is a really special moment. Think about it: This is 100 years of hockey we're talking about. There have been so many great guys who have played the game, to be considered in the top 100 is so special."

Kurri said he could barely describe the thrill of being included.

Video: Jari Kurri Gretzky's wingman during Oilers' dynasty

"It's very hard to put into words a 100-year history the NHL has and how many great players have played in this league," he said. "To be a part of that group, I'm not sure how to say it, but such an amazing amount of history here that I idolized and watched and learned from.

"Now we're all sitting in the same room and on the same stage. So happy to be a part of this."

The history, Messier said, is the thing most worth commemorating as the NHL celebrates its centennial.

"This is a special event for the NHL, for the players and the fans," he said. "I think Wayne said it earlier, and I completely agree with him, that the most important part of our game is the tradition and history.

Video: Paul Coffey is one of three D-men to score 40 goals

"I grew up with Saturday night as 'Hockey Night in Canada,' watching players and dreaming of being an NHL player and idolizing the players. I know players grew up watching myself and Wayne and all of us doing the same thing, and the tradition gets handed off from one generation to the next.

"To have that much history and tradition on the stage all at one time tonight is an incredible achievement by the NHL."

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