New York Islanders
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The New York Islanders franchise was awarded to clothing manufacturer Roy Boe, owner of the NBAs New York Nets in 1972. In order to bring a team to Long Island, a $4 million territorial fee had to be paid to the nearby New York Rangers.
Rather than trying to procure already established NHL veterans in the Islanders early years, GM Bill Torrey was committed to build the team over time through the draft. Through this process they were able to sign the likes of goalie Billy Smith, forwards Bob Nystrom and Lorne Henning and defenseman Denis Potvin paving the way for great success in the near future.
In 1975-76, in only there fourth year of existance, the Islanders posted there first 100 point season finishing fifth best in the league with 101 points. After having only managed 30 points in their debut season, the Isles were well on there way to becoming an elite team in the NHL.
The 1975/76 season debuted rookie center Bryan Trottier, who scored an impressive 95 points earning him the Calder trophy as rookie of the year.
In the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft, the Isles selected Mike Bossy with their 15th pick overall. The following season, Bossy became the third Isle to win the Calder Trophy, scoring 53 goals and setting a new mark for most goals scored by a rookie.
In 1978-79, the Isles finished with the best record in the NHL. Bryan Trottier won league MVP honours and captured the scoring title, while sophomore Mike Bossy scored 69 goals, leading the league in goals. Unfortunately the team was bounced from the playoffs in the semi-finals by their cross town rivals, the New York Rangers.
On November 28, 1979, New York Islanders netminder Billy Smith became the first goaltender in NHL history to be credited with a goal.
After a few seasons of regular season dominance only to be followed by playoff disappointment, 1980 was to be the breakthrough season for the Isles, defeating the red hot Philadelphia Flyers on a Bob Nystrom overtime goal to bring home the stanley cup. Bryan Trottier won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs MVP.
Mike Bossy came out of the gate flying in the 1981 season scoring 50 goals in 50 games, becoming only the second player to accomplish this feat since Maurice Richard had done so in 1944/45.
The Islanders were dominate again in the 1981 playoffs as they only lost three games en route to defeating the Minnesota North Stars and once again taking home the Stanley Cup. Butch Goring took the honours that season as playoff MVP.
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