Happy Birthday New York Islanders. Back on November 8th 1971, the Islanders were awarded an NHL franchise.
It was 47 years ago today, November 8th 1971, that the New York Islanders were awarded an NHL franchise. From being that other team in New York to one of the greatest dynasties in the NHL.
The Islanders have, amongst other things, the WHA and the New York Rangers cost-benefit analysis for their existence.
Either way, its been 47 years of some high-highs and some low-lows.
From Great to Terrible
The WHA wanted to get into the New York sports landscape. The Rangers didn’t want a neighbor, they wanted the New York market all to themselves.
A WHA team could come in and potentially take some fans, but if an NHL team came in, the Rangers could get paid. And paid they did. The Islanders paid the Rangers $5 million in territorial fees.
By season three the New York Islanders were already a playoff team with a 33-25-22 record. More importantly they would eliminate the Rangers in the preliminary round of the playoffs.
For the next 13 seasons, the New York Islanders would make the post season. Between 1980 and 1983 they would become only the second team in NHL history to win four back-to-back Stanley Cups.
As the championship core either retired or moved on for a variety of reasons, the Islanders started to trend downwards. And would soon hit some of their lowest lows.
The John Spano fisaco in 1996 where Spano was able to lie his way into technically being the owner of the Islanders. By 2000, the Isles had missed the playoffs for six straight year, and between 2007 and 2012 they’d miss the playoffs for five straight years.
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In year number 47 with Lou Lamoriello at the helm, Barry Trotz behind the bench and a slew of talented youngsters in the system, things look great for years to come. Happy birthday, Islanders.