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"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Game 81 Isles 4, New Jersey 1    They're in! Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Kyle Palmieri scored goals 4...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Re: Bill Mikkelson

--- In IslanderFans@yahoogroups.com, "reorgman" <reorgman@...> wrote:
> In between periods - Rich Barrabi interviewed BILL MIKKELSON - the
> original person to wear # 5 for the Islanders !   ( played 1972-73
> for NYI)  His son Brendan is on the Ducks.
> I remember Bill when I was back in Junior High, he was one of our
> starting defenseman that year.  I think Bill went to Washington to
> play for the Caps - in their first year !!!   Even worse than us.

Had a chance to meet Bill during the 2nd intermission.  He was looking at his team picture on the press box wall--there is a picture of the 72/73 squad.  He was -54 that season, which is an Islander record (Arnie Brown also played on that team, and was -57, but only -47 as an Isle).
He played only in the AHL in 73-74 (thank you Denis Potvin and Dave Lewis), but he did join the Caps for the 74/75 season. 
Playing for 2 expansion teams certainly didn't help his +/-.  He finished his 147 game career at -147.  His -82 in 59 games in 74/75 is an NHL record that still stands today.
Mikkelson did experience winning in the AHL; he wears a Calder Cup ring to prove it.  He won a championship with Springfield in 1970-71; a championship he acknowleged was won on the back of someone who would later have 4 other championships -- Butch Goring (Goring had 25 points in 12 games in those playoffs).  Jean Potvin was also on that team, Billy Smith played every playoff game in goal.
Mikkelson, btw, wore #6 as an Islander. Three Islanders, including Bobby Nystrom, wore #5 that first season.
His son, Brendan, is a rookie with the Ducks.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 27th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2009.

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