15 Little-known Facts About the New York Islanders

The New York Islanders boast one of the NHL’s most impressive dynasties, yet their story extends far beyond those iconic championship years. Discover the hidden gems of their history.

From team name origins to record-setting legends, get ready to dive into the surprising and fascinating facts that define Long Island’s beloved hockey heroes.

1. Not the First Choice

  • The Islanders’ name wasn’t the original plan. “Long Island Ducks” was a strong contender, paying homage to the region’s history of duck farming.

2. A Rough Start

  • In their first season (1972-73), the Islanders set an NHL record for most losses (60) and fewest points (30). Ouch!

3. Dynasty Born from Controversy

  • Legendary coach Al Arbour was originally hired by the rival New York Rangers but jumped ship to the Islanders before ever coaching a game for the Rangers.

4. Rapid Rise to Glory

  • It took the Islanders only eight seasons to go from worst in the league to Stanley Cup Champions – a feat unmatched in North American major sports.

5. 19 Straight Wins

  • During their dynasty, the Islanders set an NHL record by winning 19 consecutive playoff series.

6. The Boss

  • Bryan Trottier dominated the 1980s for the Islanders, earning the nickname “The Boss” and winning multiple scoring titles and MVP awards.

7. “Potvin Sucks!” – Rangers fans developed a notorious chant targeting Islanders goalie Felix Potvin. The rivalry was fierce!

8. Fisherman Fiasco – In 1995, the Islanders unveiled a new logo featuring a grizzled fisherman. It was widely mocked and quickly scrapped.

9. A Captain’s Tragedy – Popular Islanders captain Michael Peca missed the entire 2001-02 season due to a devastating knee injury that required major reconstruction.

10. Weighty Records – Goaltender Billy Smith holds the NHL record for career penalty minutes by a goalie, reflecting his aggressive style.

11. Home Ice Shuffle – The Islanders have called several arenas “home” over the years, including the Nassau Coliseum, Barclays Center, and their current UBS Arena.

12. Mr. Islander – Denis Potvin (no relation to Felix) holds the records for most games played by an Islander, and is regarded by many as the greatest defenseman in franchise history.

13. Goal Scoring Sniper – Mike Bossy holds the NHL record for most consecutive 50-goal seasons, an incredible nine in a row!

14. The Swedish Connection – Swedish stars like Stefan Persson and Anders Kallur were key components of the Islanders’ dynasty years.

15. The Weight of an Alternate Jersey – The Islanders had a unique third jersey featuring heavy tackle twill numbers. It earned the nickname “the concrete jersey” from players.

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