New York Islanders: The All-Time Top 50 Non-Players
As a compliment to the Eyes on Isles list of the 50 Greatest New York Islanders players, here is a corresponding list of non-players.
What follows is a list of the 50 greatest New York Islanders who didn’t actually play for the team. Or, in a few cases, did play for them but made huge contributions elsewhere.
The rules for qualification are as follows: 1) The author needs to value your contribution to Islanderdom. 2) You can not ever have been referred to as, “Goldie”.
1. Bill Torrey – The only argument for the top spot is Torrey vs Arbour. But Bill was the one who brought Al aboard AND compiled the greatest team ever assembled in sports AND built the franchise that supported them. He’s #1.
2. Al Arbour – No matter how talented his roster was, both human nature and swirling fates have conspired to derail every other pro sports coach who tried to equal his 19 Straight Series victories. Al alone rose above that.
3. Roy Boe – He was a little off center, and seemed to favor his Nets over his Islanders. But without the original owner of the franchise, there is no team.
4. Jimmy Devellano – Torrey’s right hand, and the supervisor of drafts that brought in more than half of that 50 Greatest Player list. You go find Trottier in the second round, or Bossy 15th overall. I dare you.
5. Leon Stickle – It was just a moment, on the warm weekend afternoon of May 24, 1980. But if Stickle doesn’t miss obvious offsides, the Isles Dynasty might not have begun there and then, or ever.
6. Charles Wang – Yep. Longest tenured owner in Islander History, the only one to find them a decent facility to play in, and the only one who never even threatened to move them. Viva la Lighthouse!!!
7. Neil Smith – While his 30 something day GM folly was a goofy footnote, his first tenure in the Isles front office, under Jimmy D, was legendary.
8. John Pickett – A mostly absentee owner who did next to nothing. But that is a GOOD thing when Torrey is running the show. The only majority owner to win a cup!
9. Jiggs McDonald – Though he missed 1980, he was the voice of victory. Affable, articulate, and the first world-class voice ever to grace an Islander broadcast booth.
10. Ralph G Caso, Norman Levy, William A Shea – Nassau County Executive, Town of Hempstead Supervisor, and legal consultant who together got the NVMC built, and lobbied the NHL to put a franchise in the middle of nowhere.