Along with Skates at the Stakes podcast host AJ DeVito, Mike and Dan remember Tom Kuhnhackl, a depth winger capable of unforgettable goals and non-goals alike.
Coming over as a free agent in the first year under Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz, Kuhnhackl provided the Islanders with the kind of no frills veteran experience they didn’t always have before. And in the Islanders’ first playoff series Game 1 at home in many years, Kuhnhackl blew the roof off of Nassau Coliseum with a goal... that was called back due to offsides.
But the event remains a signature moment for that series and that magical season, even though the next two campaigns had only a few standout moments for the German-born forward. AJ tells us about his connection to Kuhnhackl through their shared heritage, the games, friends and barbecues he remembers from that resurgent season, as well as hockey cannibals and “The Skating Wardrobe.”
Thanks so much to AJ for coming on and please check out Stakes at the Stakes, one of the most passionate and persistent Islanders podcasts you’ll find.
WEIRD BONUS MATERIAL!
- Stop me if you’ve heard this before but the signing of Kuhnhackl wasn’t seen as a major move by the Islanders.
- After being let go by the Penguins, Kuhnhackl helped the Islanders sweep them in the first round of the 2019 playoffs.
- Kuhnhackl’s most memorable moment was really anything. A goal he scored was called back due to offsides seconds into Game 1 against the Penguins in the 2019 playoffs. But the feeling this non-goal brought to an already raucous Nassau Coliseum won’t be forgotten by those who witnessed it.
- He did score actual goals, too. Like this one while falling on his back against the Canucks.
- This between-the-legs pass to Matt Martin (of all people) for a goal was also spectacular
- He returned to the Islanders on another one year contract for 2019-20 for another season of healthy scratches, waivers and then playoff games.
- His final signing with the Islanders was a PTO with Bridgeport in January, 2021. After that, it was off to Europe.
What makes a “Weird Islander?”
We’re always open to suggestions about other Weird Islanders to discuss. Remember the criteria. Candidates must fulfill one of the two of the following:
- Played one (1) season or less for the Islanders or very short stints over multiple seasons.
- Be a veteran NHLer who is not generally associated with his time on Islanders.
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