<<(Originally published 10-8-03)
NOW WEARING #10, Sean Bergenheim
By Eric Hornick, FSNY
Maybe, just maybe, Sean Bergenheim was born to be a World Class athlete. After all, he was born on February 8, 1984, the day the Olympic flame was lit in Sarajevo.
The 18-year old Bergenheim has made the Islanders Opening Night roster and when he makes his NHL debut he will become the first Islander to be born after the club won the last of its four consecutive Stanley Cups in 1983.
Sean is nearly 2 ½ years younger than Rick DiPietro, who relinquishes his title as the youngest Islander.
Bergenheim was the 22nd pick overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Only five of the 21 players picked ahead of Bergenheim played in the NHL last season; five others have made NHL rosters this season.
Bergenheim will keep the number 10 he wore in Finland, playing for his hometown Jokerit squad.
Without getting too far ahead of ourselves, it could be argued that the speedy Finn is the most offensively talented player to wear #10.
Lorne Henning wore the number with pride and distinction in each of the first nine seasons, notching 184 points. Of course, Lorne was more known for his defense and penalty killing, as well as a particular pass from his own blue line that led to the 1980 Cup Winning Goal.
Alan Kerr also wore #10 for parts of seven seasons, totaling 154 points. He scored a career high 24 goals for the Isles in their Patrick Division championship season of 1988.
For the past decade or so, however, #10 has bounced from player to player. From Micah Aivazoff and Corey Foster to Joe Sacco and Jason Dawe, over a dozen players in all. Mats Lindgren wore that sweater during his stay on Long Island and Eric Manlow wore it briefly last year.
But now it's Bergenheim's. With a three-year contract in his back pocket, the Islanders hope that it will be his number for many years to come.
Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982.>>