If you’re of a certain fan orientation (like me), you believe a championship repeat is just a repeat, and three championships in a given decade is a really good run. But dynasties? No, those require uninterrupted success.
Which is why the Islanders still possess the last NHL dynasty, having won the Stanley Cup every year from 1980-83. (Their 19 playoff series wins extending to the final of ‘84 are also impressive, but those series in 1984 do not add to their dynasty credit.) Sorry Edmonton. Sorry Pittsburgh (twice repeats). Sorry Detroit (multiple Cups with jaw-dropping payrolls spread across the pre-cap era).
But anyway, here’s Stan Fischler recalling 1982, a year saved by Tonelli heroics, a year where a Cup repeat (heck, even the Flyers have one of those) grew into something much greater and rare, a year where Bill Torrey had to piece together contract extensions for key players, where Brent Sutter joined his brother, and Al Arbour decided against retirement. Thank Bossy. [Isles]
Arthur Staple returned from vacation to find nothing has changed for the on-ice roster, which leaves the question we’ve all been asking: Can this team improve? [Athletic]
“There’s no credit for trying and failing to add the best talent available on the free agent market [Artemy Panarin]. Last year’s Islanders scrapped and clawed through the season, riding superb goaltending and a simple defensive style to 103 points and a series win. They will need yet another No. 1 goalie to buck expectations and essentially the same group of players to continue to grind out points and wins.”
Enjoy 10 plays by Mathew Barzal, who is delightful:
It...must...be...a...slow July for the NHL on NBC Sports account:
- Trade! Zack Smith of the Senators to Chicago for Artem Anisimov. Lineup and salary/budget implications. [THN]
- Hiring! Ron Francis is reportedly the first GM of the Seattle expansion team. [NHL]
- More re-signings around the league: Ex-Isles prospect Jake Bischoff (yet to play an NHL game, but competing for a spot) for three years with Vegas. | Jakub Vrana for three years with the Capitals. | Connor Carrick for two years with the Devils. | Ryan Donato for two years with the Wild.
- Pretty great story on the tradition of a “day with the Cup” and how it evolved. Article ends with a great Badger Bob Johnson reference. [Athletic]
- More on that Kevin Lebanc contract with San Jose: It was historically cheap. [Fear The Fin]
- NOT AT ALL HOCKEY, BUT: Fun (albeit long) article on Danish culture. Just imagine you’re learning about Frans.