The Barely-Landers

While discussing the Travis Green trade from yesteryear with Dom, I brought up J.J. Daigneault's short term with the Islanders due to that trade. Dom mentioned he had totally forgotten that Daigneault had been an Islander. With the discussion of the Islanders All Decade Team and the Cry-Landers, it got me to thinking what would happen if you made a team of players who have less then 25 (or so) games played for the Islanders.

Thankfully hockey-reference.com has a list of all skaters and a list of all goalies. The games played stat is sortable to make life easier. Because someone will ask, yes Ryan Smyth does count. Same goes for Roberto Luongo. But it might be more fun to name people whose Islanders stint is long and forgotten. After the jump are my choices for the Barely-Landers.

1st Line

Andrei Vasilyev - Martin Straka - Mike Iggulden

Vasilyev was the Islanders 11th round pick in 1992. He had a 15 game career with the Islanders and 1 game with the Coyotes before going back to play in Europe. He managed 7 points in 10 games during his best season with the Islanders in 95/96. As a 30 year old he returned to North America to play in the ECHL for the Idaho Steelheads, putting up two good seasons to end his career.

Straka was part of the three way deal that brought Bryan Berrard to the Island. in 22 games with the 95/96 Islanders he put up 12 points which was good enough for 14th on the team. For some reason the 23 year old former first rounder was waived and picked up by the Panthers. Eventually Straka returned to the Penguins who had originally drafted him and had some great seasons. To make matters worse even at the end of his career he put up back to back 70 point seasons and a 40 point season to finish his career with the Rangers.

Iggulden, the undrafted Cornell product had 5 points in 11 games during his 08/09 Islanders stint. During his AHL career he had 237 points in 306 games. Following his time with the Islanders organization he played last season in the KHL for Dynamo Riga finishing with 33 points in 55 games.

2nd Line

Brent Grieve - Johan Davidsson - Richard Zednik

Grieve was the Islanders 4th round pick ion 1989. After playing 3 games for the Isles in 93/94 he was traded to the Oilers, for whom he put up 18 points in 24 games. Over the following 3 seasons he played for the Blackhawks and Kings, finishing his NHL career with 36 points in 97 games. Following a 7 year retirement, he played two seasons in the EOSHL for the Whitby Dunlops in his final year putting up 37 points in 15 games.

Davidsson was a part of the trade of Jorgen Jonsson. In his 14 games with the Islanders he had 6 points, nearly matching his previous of 8 points in 64 games. Following his stint with the Islanders he returned to the Nordic countries. He still plays today, putting up a career best 46 points in 58 games for HV 71 Jonkoping last season.

Zednik the one time 40-50 point a season player spent some time in the twilight of his career with the Islanders. He scored one goal and two assists in ten games for the Isles in 06/07, and did nothing in the playoffs. Zednik proceeded to sign with the Panthers in the offseason having two good seasons for them before playing last season in the KHL.

3rd Line

Dave Archibald - Jim Dowd - Michel Bergeron

Archibald once had a promising career, a former 1st rounder taken 6th overall. At 18 and 19 in his first two seasons he put up 66 points in 150 games. After four seasons with the expansion Senators he probably was never going to be the same again. The Islanders signed him before the 96/97 season and played him for a total of 7 games. That was his last year in the NHL.

Dowd was one of those hard nose defensive forwards you loved to have on your team. Following his heroics with the Devils and their 95 Stanley Cup win, he bounced around before ending up with the Canucks. The Canucks left him on the waiver list and the Islanders claimed him for the 96/97 season. The Isles used him all of three times during the season and Dowd signed with the Flames after the season. Dowd went on to be a steady NHL player, even twice captaining the Minnesota Wild.

Bergeron in his first full season was third on the Red Wings in points for the 75/76 season at all of 21 years old. Following a disappointing second season (Including a -40) he was traded to the Islanders. He bounced back with 15 points in 24 games for the Islanders and a +16, and the Islanders traded him to the Capitals. Bergeron went on to play a season with the Caps before disappearing into the Minors and then from hockey.

4th Line

Jason Simon - Mark Janssens - Jim Cummins

Simon was brought in as a free agent for the 93/94 season, playing a total of 4 games. In those 4 games he had 34 PIM, 25 of them in a single game. Not exactly surprising considering that in 122 AHL games he had 517 PIM, and in 218 IHL games he had 1,197 PIM. He did manage to change his game, coming back for two seasons in the OSHL at 37 and 38. In 07/08 his final season he played in 29 games getting 24 points and only 42 PIM.

Janssens was the long time goon for the Rangers and Whalers in the early and mid 90s. He came over as part of the Travis Green trade, played 12 games managing 34 PIM in that time before being traded from the Islanders for a 9th rounder. He played three more seasons with the Blackhawks. In his NHL career he played 711 games and had 1422 PIM.

Cummins bounced around the league for most of his career, most prominently for the Blackhawks in the mid 90s. He was traded to the Isles for Dave Roche and in 10 games he had 31 PIM. He even went on to play a single game in the 01/02 playoffs and got himself 9 PIM. He played one more season for the Avalanche, finishing his career with 511 games played and 1538 PIM.

1st D Pairing

Randy Hiller - Darcy Regier

Hiller was mostly a physical defenseman for the Penguins and Bruins during the 80s, even putting in a few 20 point seasons. He was even a part of the 90/91 Stanley Cup winning Penguins team and signed with the Islanders before the 91/92 season. He played all of 8 games before being traded as part of the Pat Lafontaine deal. He played another 28 games that season which ended up being his last in the NHL.

Regier was drafted by the California Gold Seals, and then transferred with the team when they became the Cleveland Barons. He played 15 games for the Barons in 77/78, and was in the minors for the next few seasons. He played 11 games for the Isles during the dynasty years in 82/83 and 83/84. He was eventually part of the trade that brought J.P. Parise to the Islanders.

2nd D Pairing

Darren Van Impe - Milan Tichy

Van Impe was another of an endless line of veteran players picked up towards the end of the season for a late round pick. Van Impe was picked off of waivers earlier in the year by the Panthers, and then traded to the Islanders for a fifth rounder. Although he had a 14 game stint with 3 points and a plus 6, his playoff play was somewhat improved with 4 points in 7 games but a minus 5 for the 01/02 series. He played one more NHL season before playing for five years in Germany.

Tichy played two seasons for the Islanders, with 10 games played 4 points and a plus three. He also had an impressive run with the Denver/Utah Grizzlies of the IHL for two seasons. Tichy went on to play in the Czech league for a year before disappearing from hockey. Today he is actually the regional scout for the Bluejackets in the Czech Republic.

3rd D Pairing

Ron Smith - Raymond Giroux

Smith was a 4th round pick for the Expansion Islanders, but at that time it was the 49th overall pick in the draft. At 20 he made the Islanders for an 11 game stint, 2 points and a minus 8. Unfortunately that was it for the NHL for Smith as he spent the next 4 years toiling in the minors. He went on to become the interim coach of the Rangers in 1993. Following that he went into politics and became mayor of Port Hope, Ontario from 1994 to 2000.

Sometimes we joke about how playing for a weak or a bad team might scare someone off, but it appears to have happened with Giroux. In 14 games with the awful 99/00 Islanders squad he had 9 points and an even +/-. After that season he went back to Europe for a year playing in both the Swedish and Finnish leagues. He returned to North America to play another season for the Sound Tigers and Islanders. He went on to play mostly for the Devils farm teams and two 11 game stints with the Devils themselves before returning to Europe. He has since had a solid career playing in both the Russian Super League and the KHL.

Goalies

Steve Valiquette - Richard Brodeur

Big Valley as Valiquette was known during his career in the minors with the Islanders, was always someone who was on the outside looking in when it came to the Islanders goaltending prospects. Why the 22 year old Valiquette was not given more chances instead of 32 year old Wade Flathery is beyond me. The 6'6 goalie played in 6 games in the 99/00 season, putting up a .949 SV% and 1.87 GAA for best on a team with very talented goalies. Eventually someone did give Valiquette a chance, unfortunately it was the Short Island Smurfs.

Someone else probably knows why the Islanders traded for Richard Brodeur despite having Billy Smith and Chico already on the roster. He had an impressive run with the Nordiques in the WHA, but with the Islanders he played all of 2 games and spent most of the year with the CHL Indianapolis Checkers. To make matters worse, when they gave up on him they sent him to the Vancouver Canucks. The same Canucks who would make a Cinderella run behind Brodeur to the 82 Stanley Cup finals and face the Isles.

You don't have to make a whole team if you don't want to. Just tell an interesting story about someone you remember having a short stint with the Islanders. I would have never known that a short term Islander went onto become a short term coach of the Rangers and finally a long term Mayor of a town. Also if you know why some of these guys dropped off the face of the Earth feel free to inform me.

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