Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Number 18, Ryan Strome.... Number 18

Ryan Strome was officially recalled today. He will wear the same number for the Isles that he wore in Bridgeport, which is #18.

Number 18 was of course first worn by Eddie Westfall (493 times in regular season play) and after a brief wearing by Alex McKendry in 1980 was mothballed until it was issued to Rob DiMaio in 1992.

Marty McInnis wore the number with some distinction in the mid-90s.  Others who wore what older fans will always regard as Westfall's sweater include Mike Hough, Tim Connolly,  Jim Cummings (for 10 days), Jeff Hamilton, Mike Sillinger, and most recently in the 2011-12 season by Micheal Haley.

Some fans from the early days of the Isles believe that Westfall, who served as the Isles first captain and later their longest-running TV color commentator, should have been the first player to have his number retired (Westfall was inducted into the Islander Hall of Fame in 2011).  Current fans are hoping that ceremony takes place in Brooklyn some 20 years or so from now.

Strome won't turn 21 until July -- he'll join eight current teammates who appeared in game(s) for the Isles before they turned 21:

John Tavares 161 (games before turning 21)
Josh Bailey 141
Kyle Okposo 74
Travis Hamonic 62 
Kevin Poulin 10
Matt Martin 5 
Casey Cizikas 2
Calvin de Haan 1



Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick
 

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