The Isles have launched their 40th anniversary celebration .... complete details are here: http://islanders.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=587764
Among the team's plans are 4 special nights to honor Isles from each of the last 4 decades with introduction into the Islanders Hall of Fame as well as an alumni night.
The Islanders will celebrate "Decade Nights" throughout the year, in which they will honor an Islanders legend with induction into the Islanders Hall Of Fame. Each of the former players will have their names placed on the Islanders Hall of Fame banner that hangs in the rafters at Nassau Coliseum. In addition, a brass plaque, depicting each player as well as a list of accomplishments and contributions to the organization, will be mounted in the team's dressing hallway.
|1970's||Nov. 19||Boston Bruins||Ed Westfall|
|1980's||Dec. 31||Edmonton Oilers||Ken Morrow|
|1990's||Jan. 14||Buffalo Sabres||Patrick Flatley|
|2000's||Feb. 11||Los Angeles Kings||Kenny Jonsson|
On Saturday, Oct. 29, when the Islanders take on the San Jose Sharks, the organization will also have members of the team's alumni in attendance.
In addition to being the original Captain, Westfall led the most overlooked team in Isles history -- the 1974-75 team that really started it all. From Parise's OT goal to ex-Isle the Rangers to Westfall's goal to complete the 1-0 goal-post kissing comeback against the Pens to the Kate Smith-cut short rally against the defending (and eventual) champion Flyers, the Isles' playoff DNA was sewn in that spring of 1975. After 18 years as a player, Westfall retired in the spring of 1979 before beginning a 19-year career in the Islander broadcast booth.
Morrow, of course, turned Gold to Silver in a 13-week span in 1980 and it was his empty-netter that cemented the 4th straight championship -- a feat not matched by any professional team in North America since. The Lester Patrick Award winner was not known as a big goal scorer, but scored 11 in the playoffs including perhaps the most pivotal goal in franchise history -- in overtime of game 3 of the best-of-5 first round against Los Angeles (1980) -- as well as the goal to defeat the Rangers in the decisive game 5 in 1984, considered to be one of the greatest overtimes ever played.
Flatley and Jonsson both captained the Isles; Flatley joining the squad in the Drive For Five and Jonsson being acquired from Toronto in what was perhaps Mike Milbury's best trade - a deal that also brought the Isles the right to draft Roberto Luongo. In fact, only Denis Potvin captained the Isles longer than Flatley; Potvin and Bryan McCabe are the only defenders besides Jonsson to serve as Captain as well.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick