I haven’t even really been on LHH since Bill Torrey passed, so it wasn’t until Sunday evening that I saw Dom’s posts (and everyone’s comments) about him, which were truly beautiful, as well as illuminating.
I was born after Torrey was forced to resign from the Islanders, and by the time I could start remembering hockey, most of his work had been erased due to horrible mismanagement by Don Maloney and/or Mike Milbury, by way of a host of dreadful owners real and fake.
But my father was in high school for most of the Dynasty Era, and I was educated by him early on of the championship legacy left behind by Torrey and coach Al Arbour. Growing up a diehard fan of a perennially unsuccessful team, it was the knowledge of a time the Islanders were not only relevant, but dominant - and, ultimately, legendary - that kept me going, so to speak, through all the misery of the last twenty-odd years of Isles fandom. The hope that maybe, one day, the Islanders would once again be the class of the NHL, a thought made even remotely possible by the legend of Torrey.
Hell, if it weren’t for the Stanley Cup victories, I may not have a team to root for. So I owe that to Torrey, and love him for that.
But I could never have imagined the effect Torrey and his teams had on those who lived it. Thank you all for the stories and memories of his legacy, and I’m genuinely sorry for your loss.
More Islanders/Torrey Stories
- Eric Duhatschek has some thoughts of his own on his time spent with The Architect, their paths crossing for work often. [The Athletic]
- Gare Joyce does the same for Sportsnet.
- And here’s a link to the Bits from Friday with Dom’s tribute and a collection of numerous other Torrey links. [LHH]
- Stay up to date on the many Islanders overseas at the World Championships. [LHH]
- Join Pat LaFontaine and “celebrity friends” at a charity event for Companions in Courage in NYC. It features brand new wine.
There appears to be some traction with the Islanders nabbing another legendary GM (though his best years are certainly behind him).
Take this for the proverbial FWIW, because it’s not what I would term a “report” as much as it is anecdotal — there seems to be a decided uptick in the Lou Lamoriello-to-NYI talk within the NHL community. @DarrenDreger noticed it today in DEN; my sense here in NA is the same.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 7, 2018
Yesterday’s playoff scores. The Bruins and Sharks were eliminated by the Lightning and the Golden Knights, and half of each Conference Final has been set. Tonight, the Capitals will try to eliminate the Penguins on the road, and the Jets will attempt the same against the Predators on home ice.
- Tangentially related to the tweet above, the Maple Leafs appear set to make Kyle Dubas their new GM, wisely, but now run the risk of losing Mark Hunter. [Sportsnet]
- It had been debated as to whether Brad Marchand had received a warning for licking opponents last round, but he definitely licked Ryan Callahan’s face on Friday night, and was definitely warned by the league this time.
- The Stars think they’ve found an ideal fit with new head coach Jim Montgomery. [Stars]
- Canadian coaching legend Brian Kilrea is upbeat about his recent prostate cancer diagnosis. [The Athletic]
- ‘Have another donut’ is 30 years old and still holds up. [NY Post]
- And finally, meet the very few fans of the Winnipeg Jets living in the Atlanta area, choosing to root for the former Thrashers rather than dislike them. [NY Times]