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NHL100: Five Islanders legends on league’s greatest of all time list

The team gets a nice selection of players on the NHL’s big anniversary honor roll.

Chicago Blackhawks v New York Islanders
You’re next, young buck
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Friday night in Los Angeles, the NHL unveiled the final names on the NHL100 presented by GEICO, a list of the 100 greatest players in league history.

In an un-shocking and yet still noteworthy turn of events, Islanders legends Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier, Denis Potvin and Billy Smith were all on the list, as was Pat LaFontaine, who was a surprising and delightful addition. All five are NHL Hall of Famers and still atop the franchise’s all time scoring and goaltending lists.

The dynasty four were easy picks. But even the most die-hard LaFontaine fanboys like me would agree that he wasn’t a lock to make the final cut. Then you see his highlights mixed in with those of Bossy, Trottier, Jari Kurri, Peter Stastny and so on, and it all comes rushing back that, yeah, that dude was goddamn ridiculous.

Making things even sweeter for Islanders fans were the dulcet tones of the one-and only-Jiggs McDonald, who narrated the video of the 1980’s section. I agree with this guy.

The selections were chosen by a blue ribbon panel of 50-plus individuals with long histories in hockey. They didn’t rank the players 1-100, but that’s cool. This way everyone has a good time and we all know who’s No. 1 anyway. The list is a little weird in that guys like Potvin, Trottier and Smith were included under “The 1980’s” despite starting their careers in the early 70’s. Maybe it’s based on the decade they’re most associated with or when they retired? Who knows.

Here’s video specifically about Bossy, explaining how he first declared to Bill Torrey he’d be a 50-goal scorer:

There’s going to be a lot written about some more awesome players (like Joe Thornton, Jarome Iginla, Marian Hossa and Zdeno Chara) that didn’t make this big list of awesome players. But overall, it was a nice production. Host Jon Hamm, a big time Blues fan, was lively and funny although he called Alex Ovechkin “Sergei.” Also, Keanu Reeves was there and John Legend provided the music. Maybe having it in Los Angeles helped the NHL finally pull some actual star power together for once.

Nice to see the Islanders’ star power be well-represented, too.