My story begins in 1971 when I was a fan of the Boston Bruins. No I was not a Bobby Orr fan, my favourite players were Derek Sanderson and Eddie Westfall.
After the Bruins won the Cup in 1972 and the NHL expanded with the Atlanta Flames and the New York Islanders, Eddie Westfall was claimed by the Islanders in the expansion draft. At the time I thought that the Bruins had made a monumental blunder. Even though I still cheered for the Bruins the following season I never really forgave them and when they lost out in the playoffs that year. I called it the curse of Eddie Westfall and I said they were too stupid to win the Stanley Cup (still waiting for the post Westfall Cup win).
Being from Goderich, Ontario, you either love the Toronto Maple Leafs or you hate them (I chose the latter), and needing a new team to cheer for it was always fun to watch the Broad Street Bullies beat up on the Leafs and with them being an expansion team and with the added bonus of sticking it to the Bruins it made it a fun year.
But there is a guilty pleasure in cheering for a team as barbaric as the Flyers were, so after watching the Islanders win game #4 of the 1975 quarterfinal series against Pittsburgh I had a new team to cheer for. Any team with the best defenceman in the world and maybe the best all around player of all time in Denis Potvin and an old favourite in Eddie Westfall was good enough for a lifetime subscription from me.
Fast forward to the 1980-81 season and the Isles are defending Champs. Through all their trials and tribulations getting to that point I managed to make my whole family Islanders fans (my sister in law says to keep the peace you have no choice but to be an Islanders fan). After the Isles won the Cup in 1980, my brother felt they had accomplished their goal and was looking for a new team. Enter the St.Louis Blues.
With the Islanders signal being weak (some things never change) and the Blues signal being strong we were actually able to follow the Blues more closely than the Islanders. With players like Bernie Federko, Wayne Babych, Jorgen Pettersson, Brian Sutter, Mike Zuke, Perry Turnbull and even ex-Isle Gerry Hart they had a strong team. I remember late that season the Islanders and Blues played a game that would ultimately decide first place. The Isles finished with 110 points and I believe the Blues finished with 107 points. It's safe to say that the game was just as intense in our living room as it was on the ice. The Islanders won that game, taking 3 of the 4 games they played as I recall.
After the Blues were eliminated in the playoffs that year my brother came to his senses and even though he still has a soft spot for the Blues, he went back to being an Islanders fan.
Also, one of the reasons that I became a fan of Doug Weight was through the St.Louis connection. Although his career is winding down I am happy for the time he has had on the Island, whether that time is up or not is a decision that I am glad Garth Snow has to make and not me.