April 16, 1987 is not a day that lives in infamy — not
for most people, anyway.
Sure, it was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 40th birthday, and the
NBA’s all-time leading scorer went out and scored 15
points and grabbed 10 rebounds that night for the Lakers
in a win over the Utah Jazz.
Former Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater was admitted to St.
Luke’s Hospital in Phoenix that day, but was later
The Federal Communications Commission sternly warned U.S.
radio stations about the use of indecent language on
It was a pretty regular day, all things considered.
Except for one thing.
On April 16, 1987, the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Calgary
Flames 6-1 to win their Smythe Division semifinal series 4
games to 2.
That was the last time the Jets/Phoenix Coyotes won a
9,139 days have passed since this franchise has sniffed
the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but this
year’s resilient Coyotes squad has ended a streak that would have
made Lou Gehrig shake his head with a convincing 4-0 win over the
Chicago Blackhawks Monday night at the United Center in Chicago.
Some random facts about the length of time it’s been since
a series win for this franchise:
• In that time frame, the Detroit Red Wings have won 36
playoff series and four Stanley Cups. Pittsburgh (25
series wins), New Jersey (22) Colorado/Quebec (20) are
next on the list.
• The only other current franchises not to have a series
win in that time span are the Columbus Blue Jackets and
the Winnipeg Jets/Atlanta Thrashers, who have just two
combined playoff appearances in 23 combined years of
• Fourteen different franchises have won the Stanley Cup
since 1987, including five (Detroit, Edmonton, Pittsburgh,
New Jersey and Colorado) who have won more than one.
In April of 1987:
• Phoenix had one major league sports team — the Phoenix Suns.
• A gallon of gas cost around 89 cents.
• The average cost of a new car was $10,300.
Apparently that was also the production cost of filming a 30-
second car spot in ’87.
• George Michael still had a career.
• The Cosby Show was the highest-rated television show.
• Married…with Children had been on the air for two
• The number one movie at U.S. box offices was
“The Secret of My
Success” starring Michael J. Fox.
• The launch of the world wide web was still three years away.
• Current Coyotes’ captain Shane Doan was 10-years-old.
You get the point — it was a much different planet the last time
this franchise moved out of the first round of the playoffs.
And now that the monkey has been forcefully removed from the
back of the Coyotes franchise, we can all sit back, reminisce and
have a good laugh…while longing for cheap gas once again.