Jeff Beukeboom—Lowering the "Boom"
Jeff Beukeboom must have wondered how
long it would take him to get his name on the Cup.
Drafted by the Oilers in 1983, he was a first-round
player from the same Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds that
had produced a player named
defenceman never afraid
to drop the gloves, Beukeboom remained with
the Greyhounds while the Oilers won Cups in 1984 and 1985.
He finally made his debut in pro hockey in 1985-86, but was called up to the Oilers for
only one playoff game,
playing the rest of the season with the team’s
minor-league affiliate in Nova Scotia. Finally, in 1986-87, Beukeboom was called up to the Oilers, playing
in 44 games. He did not play at all during the
team’s Cup-winning playoff run, but because he had
played over the required minimum of 41 regular-season
games with the Cup-winning club, he had his name
engraved on the trophy for the first time.
Beukeboom would make 1987-88 his
breakthrough year. He played in 73 games, earned 25
points, pounded out 201 penalty minutes and showed that
he was more than a responsible player in his own end,
finishing with a +27 rating. He would play seven playoff
games and engrave his name on the Cup again. Beukeboom was a
tough-but-steady defenceman for the Oilers and went on to win
another Cup with the team in 1990 prior to his trade to
the New York Rangers in 1991.
In 1993-94, he reunited with some
of his old teammates when the Rangers signed Oiler
Anderson, Kevin Lowe and
Graves. That season, Beukeboom won his fourth Cup as the Rangers ended their
54-year-old curse by beating the
Vancouver Canucks in seven games.
Well into his 30s, Beukeboom never
shied from confrontations. In 1985-86 he set a new
personal mark with a 220-PIM season. Unfortunately, it
was his willingness to fight that ended his career
prematurely. He suffered from post-concussion syndrome
after receiving sucker punches in two separate
incidents, and due to his injuries, Beukeboom decided to retire.
In 2003, the Oilers named Beukeboom
an assistant coach of their American Hockey League
affiliate, the Toronto Roadrunners.