The New York Islanders are an NHL franchise in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.
The Islanders were founded and named after their home in Long Island in 1972, as part of the NHL’s effort to combat the growth of the new WHA. After a dismal first season in ’72-73, the Islanders used their top draft pick to select Hall of Famer Denis Potvin, who would anchor the team in the upcoming decades. The hiring of Al Arbour as head coach, and the play of young unknowns like Clark Gillies, Bob Nystrom and goalie Billy Smith helped the Islanders reach the playoffs a number of times in the late ‘70s. In 1976 and 1977, the Islanders drafted Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy, who would develop into two of the most prolific scorers in NHL history. In 1979, the Islanders were the best team in the NHL, but lost to their cross-town rivals, the New York Rangers, in the playoffs.
In 1980, the Islanders picked up center Butch Goring, who helped lead the Islanders to their first Stanley Cup the same season. The Islanders would spend the next three seasons in one of the most successful dynasties of NHL history, winning all three Stanley Cups, sweeping the Gretzky-led Edmonton Oilers in their final Cup championship in 1983. New York would lose in the Cup Finals to Edmonton the following season. During this incredible stretch, the Islanders set a sports record which still stands, winning 19 straight playoff series over five seasons.
After this defeat at the hands of Gretzky and co., the Islanders struggled throughout the rest of the ‘80s. In 1993, however, the acquisitions of star players like Pierre Turgeon, Benoit Hogue, Ray Ferraro, Pat Flatley, Vladimir Malakhov and Steve Thomas helped the Islanders battle to the Conference Championship, where they lost to the Cup Champion Montreal Canadiens. Again, the Islanders would struggle through the rest of the decade, despite dressing stars like Ziggy Palffy, Trevor Linden, Bryan McCabe, Todd Bertuzzi and Ron Hextall.
In 2001, the Islanders acquired Alexei Yashin and Michael Peca, as well as star goalie Chris Osgood. They would make the playoffs in the next two seasons, but failed to make it past the first round. Since the lockout, the Islanders made a number of moves in an attempt to become competitive in a very talented Atlantic Division. Goaltender Rick DiPietro was signed to a 15 year contract, and the pickups of players like Brendan Witt, Mike Comrie and rookie Kyle Okposo have given the Isles the ability to maintain a level of respectability.
The Islanders play out of the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, which holds 16,234 fans.
Stanley Cups won: 1979-80, 1980-81, 1981-82, 1982-83
Notable Players: Adrian Aucoin, Bryan Berard, Mike Bossy, Rick DiPietro, Ray Ferraro, Patrick Flatley, Clark Gillies, Butch Goring, Roman Hamrlik, Glenn Healy, Ron Hextall, Kim Jonsson, Derek King, Pat LaFontaine, Vladimir Malakhov, Bob Nystrom, Kyle Okposo, Chris Osgood, Zigmund Palffy, Michael Peca, Tom Poti.Denis Potvin, Mathieu Schneider, Billy Smith, Steve Thomas, Bryan Trottier, Pierre Turgeon, Dave Volek, Brendan Witt, Alexei Yashin, Mike York