New York Islanders By The Numbers: Who Wore It Best 2

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NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: A player skates in warmups prior to the 2015 New York Islanders Blue & White Rookie Scrimmage & Skills Competition at the Barclays Center on July 8, 2015 in Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Islanders have had quite the history in their 43 years of existence. Some years have been incredible, while some others have been, well, not so memorable. But, with each year, the guys put up stats that add to the legacy of the number they wear on their back. Some numbers have a tremendous history, while others have only been worn by a single person. Over the coming weeks we will explore each number that has been worn by an Islander, and decide who wore each one best. You will be surprised at some of the names you see. It will bring back a lot of great memories, and solicit a lot of laughs. At the end of the article,, the comments section will give you a chance to agree or disagree with our assessment of who wore it best.

Keep in mind, this is who had the best stats while wearing that number. A lot of players wore two numbers. We are looking for the person who wore the number the best, not who had the best overall career. Think of Pat Flatley and the number 8. Yes, he wore that number, but he is best remembered for wearing 26. He had his best stats while wearing 26, not while wearing 8. Therefore someone else would be the selection for number 8.

We now continue with numbers 11-19.


Dave Hudson (1973-1974)
Billy MacMillan (1974-1977)
Wayne Merrick (1978-1984)
Roger Kortko (1985-1986)
Randy Wood (1987-1997)
Adam Creighton (1992)
Darius Kasparaitis (1993-1997)
Sean Haggerty (1998)
Craig Janney (1999)
Kevin Miller (1999)
Bill Muckalt (2000-2001)
Jason Krog (2000)
Niklas Andersson (2000)
Kip Miller (2002)
Mattias Weinhandl (2003-2006)
Andy Hilbert (2007-2009)
Chris Simon (2008)
Nate Thompson (2010)
Brian Rolston (2012)
Lubomir Visnovsky (2013-2015)

There are a few good players to wear this number. No one wore it longer than Randy Wood. He was a solid contributor in the post-Cup era, but certainly not the bet one to wear the number. Probably the most famous person to wear the number was Darius Kasparaitis. When he came to the Islanders with Vladamir Malakhov in 1992, it began an international era in Isles’ hockey never before seen. However, the man who wore this numebr best was none other than Wayne Merrick.

While mostly known for being the tough guy on the “Banana Line” with Bob Nystrom and John Tonelli, he is probably most fondly remembered as the man who score the Cup clinching goal in Game 5 of the 1981 Stanley Cup Finals.

Merrick 411 games with the Islanders, scoring 81 goals, recording 116 assists and 127 penalty minutes. He played in 95 playoff games for the Isles, registering 46 points.


Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders






Terry Crisp (1973)
Ernie Hicke (1973-1975)
J.P. Parise (1975-1978)
Richie Hansen (1978-1979)
Duane Sutter (1980-1987)
Todd Okerlund (1988)
Richard Kromm (1988-1989)
Mick Vukota (1990-1997)
Mark Janssens (1998)
Mike Watt (1999-2000)
Oleg Kvasha (2001-2006)
Chris Simon (2007)
Josh Bailey (2009-2015)

This was a bit of a tough one. There are very players who stand out here. The names you know, but for various reasons. Terry Crisp went on to be a successful  NHL head coach, Richie Hansen was a native Long Islander from Northport, Mick Vukota was a fan favorite during the leaner years of the team, let’s not even discuss Oleg Kvasha because it only annoys people, Todd Okerlund is the son of WWF legend “Mean” Gene Okerlund, and Chris Simon is more famous for getting in trouble than playing actual hockey. J.P Parise is obviously the sentimental pick., especially after his OT goal against the Rangers in ’75, but he was only an Islander for 4 seasons (74-75 – 76-77). No, the pick here is Duane Sutter.

Sutter (center in the picture) played eight seasons with the Islanders and was a member of all four Cup teams. He had 22 playoff goals, and 30 playoff assists as an Islander. But scoring wasn’t his forte. His MO was being a tough guy. In eight years as an Islander, he registered 893 penalty minutes, including 174 in 1984-85.


(Getty Images/NHLI)

(Getty Images/NHLI)










Claude Lapointe (1997-2003)
Bill Guerin (2008-2009)
Rob Schremp (2010)
Colin McDonald (2013-2015)

Oh number 13, you fickle mistress. Honestly, this isn’t that tough. Guerin, Schremp and McDonald have five years of service wearing this number…combined. Claude Lapointe has six alone. While he was never anything flashy, and the Islanders were downright awful during his tenure, he was a solid player.Lucky number 13. Let’s face it, Claude wasn’t surrounded by top notch talent either during the years he was here. If Kasparaitis played during the New Ice Age, well then these years must’ve been the New Dark Age. Claude’s best year as an Islander came in 1998-99 when he scored 14 goals to go along with 23 assists for 37 points. Hardly a masterpiece, but you can only do so much with so little.


(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)










Brian Marchinko (1973-1974)
Bob Bourne (1975-1986)
Tom Fitzgerald (1991-1993)
Joe Day (1994)
Scott Scissons (1994)
Ron Sutter (1995)
Derek Armstrong (1996-1997)
Danton Cole (1996)
Tom Chorske (1998)
Joe Sacco (1999)
Chris Ferraro (2000)
Mike Stapleton (2001)
Jason Blake (2001)
Alexander Kharitonov (2002)
Ted Donato (2002)
Chris Campoli (2006-2009)
Trevor Gillies (2010-2012)
Thomas Hickey (2013-2015)

There have been a lot of players to wear the #14. Unfortunately only one of them was good. That one was obviously Bob Bourne. With all due respect to Tom Chorske and Ted Donato, Bob Bourne just did it better. Bourne is another Islander to have played on all four Cup winning teams. He had three 30 goal seasons, as well as three 20 goal seasons. During his tenure with the Isles, the Netherhillm, Saskatchewan native scored 38 playoff goals, and lead the team in scoring during the 1982-83 playoffs with 8 G and 20 A. During his time with the Islanders, his teams made the playoffs every season.











Billy Harris (1973-1980)
Brad Dalgarno (1991-1996)
Bryan Smolinski (1997)
Tom Chorske (1999)
Ted Donato (1999)
Brad Isbister (2000-2003)
Jeff Tambellini (2006-2010)
P.A. Parenteau (2011-2012)
Cal Clutterbuck (2014-2015)

Although the guy I remember wearing this number when I was a teenager was Brad Dalgarno, that hardly qualifies as a statistic worth noting. There really is only one choice here, and that is Billy Harris. The Toronto native had an impact on the Islanders in two very big ways. The first being that he was the first ever draft pick that the team made in 1972. The second, and probably the most notable, is that he was traded along with Dave Lewis to the LA Kings for some guy named Robert Thomas Goring, but we all know him as “Butch”, aka the missing piece that helped the Isles win four straight cups. Harris started off his career with six straight seasons of 20 goals or more, including 32 in 1975-76. Before being traded to the Kings, Harris had played in more than 500 consecutive games for the Isles. He played in 623 games with the Islanders, amassing 443 points, and 17 more in the playoffs.


UNIONDALE, NY - MARCH 24: Hall of Fame member Pat Lafontaine is honored prior to the game between the New York Islanders and the Minnesota Wild at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on March 24, 2015 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Brian Lavender (1973)
Ralph Stewart (1973-1976)
Richie Hansen (1977)
Dave Salvian (1977)
Michel Bergeron (1978)
Steve Tambellini (1979-1981)
Mike McEwen (1981-1984)
Pat LaFontaine (1984-1991)
Brian Mullen (1993)
Ziggy Palffy (1996-1999)
Vladimir Orszagh (2000)
Daniel Lacroix (2000)
Craig Berube (2001)
Raffi Torres (2002-2003)
Justin Papineau (2003)
Justin Mapletoft (2004)
Mike York (2006-2007)
Jon Sim (2008-2011)
Marty Reasoner (2012-2013)
Peter Regin (2014)
Harry Zolnierczyk (2015)

Let’s cut right to the chase here, this number should be retired for the quintessential post-dynasty Islanders player, Pat LaFontaine. The St. Louis born LaFontaine was selected third overall by the Islanders in the 1983 Entry Draft.  He actually got into 15 games for the Isles that next season putting up 13 goals and 6 assists. The best American born Islander since Ken Morrow would put up 566 points in eight years with the Isles. But, we all remember that sad October day 24 years ago when LaFontaine, who has holding out due to uncertainty surrounding ownership, was traded to Buffalo with left wing Randy Wood and defenseman Randy Hillier for star Sabres center Pierre Turgeon, forwards Benoit Hogue and Dave McLlwaine, and defenseman Uwe Krupp. He would go on to play 268 games with the Sabres and 67 games with some other team. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003, and he will always be an Islander.


NHL: New York Islanders at Detroit Red Wings






Tom Miller (1973-1975)
Jude Drouin (1975-1978)
Alex McKendry (1979)
Garth MacGuigan (1980)
Greg Gilbert (1982-1986)
Mark Hamway (1987)
Brad Dalgarno (1988-1989)
Chris Pryor (1990)
Paul Gagne (1990)
Rod Dallman (1990)
Craig Ludwig (1991)
Bill Berg (1992-1993)
Daniel Marois (1993)
Steve Junker (1993-1994)
Yan Kaminsky (1994)
Chris Marinucci (1995)
Darby Hendrickson (1996)
Wendel Clark (1996)
Sergei Nemchinov (1998-1999)
Ted Drury (2000)
Tony Hrkac (2000)
Taylor Pyatt (2001)
Shawn Bates (2002-2008)
Thomas Pock (2009)
Matt Martin (2011-2015)

A ton of people have worn number 17. Not many notable though. Chris Pryor, Thomas Pock, Rod Dallman, Steve Junker are all names that have worn this number that many people wouldn’t know in a casual conversation; or even a formal conversation. This one came down to Jude Drouin who was vital to the success of the Islanders early, or Matt Martin who is a game changer with his body on the current Islanders. I had to go with Matt Martin here. It’s based on a couple of factors. His age when he started playing for the team, how many games he has played for the team, the impact he has made. Drouin had a great stint with the Isles, and really made a difference in 1975. But, Matt Martin is part of what has been called the “best fourth line in hockey,” and he has the most hits in NHL history in a single season. That is just something that can’t be overlooked.


UNIONDALE, NY - JANUARY 27: Former New York Islanders player <a rel=

Ed Westfall (1973-1979)
Alex McKendry (1980)
Rob DiMaio (1992)
Marty McInnis (1993-1997)
Mike Hough (1998-1999)
Tim Connolly (2000-2001)
Jim Cummins (2002)
Jeff Hamilton (2004-2006)
Mike Sillinger (2007-2009)
Micheal Haley (2012)
Ryan Strome (2014-2015)

No disrespect meant to Ryan Strome, but the choice here is pretty easy. It has to be Ed Westfall. He was the Islanders’ first captain and really helped set this team up for success. Of course it has nothing to do with his number, but when he retired he became a legend all over again in the broadcast booth as the color analyst alongside Jiggs McDonald. Ed was an expansion pick by the Isles in 1972, not only was he the first captain, but he also scored the first ever goal in franchise history. Westfall’s success during the 1974-75 playoffs helped the young, upstart Islanders reach the semifinals in their first ever playoff appearance. Even if you’ve never seen him play, you can probably remember hearing all those times Jiggs referred to him as 18.


Hockey For Heroes 3 On 3 Hockey Tournament









Craig Cameron (1973-1975)
Bryan Trottier (1976-1990)

We finish part two with number 19. There always will be only one number 19, Mr. Bryan Trottier. I am sure Craig Cameron is a lovely man, but Trottier spanned three different Islander eras; the up and coming Islanders, the dynasty Islanders, and the rebuilding Islanders.

Art Ross Trophy(Scoring), Hart Trophy(MVP), Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoffs MVP) to go along with his four Cups. Although Trots would only score 50 goals once in his career (1981-82), he had six seasons of 100 points or more, including a career best 134 points, and an incredible +/- rating of + 76 in 78/79. On December 23, 1978, Trottier had six points in the second period of an Islanders 9-4 victory over the Rangers. His 4 G and 2 A in one period is a record that still stands.

What do you think? Did we get them right? Did we get them wrong? Let us know!

Coming soon numbers 20-29.

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