At the start of the season, I tried to project what New York Islanders players could challenge and maybe even win an individual award. And boy, I was off.
It’s been years since the New York Islanders were frequently involved in individual awards. Since that dynastic run in the 80’s the Islanders have fallen off the relevancy radar of the NHL. And thus nowhere near the awards ceremony.
Sure the Isles had that run in 1993 when they went to the Eastern Conference Finals, but that was a blip in an unremarkable number of decades since Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier, and Denis Potvin ran the show.
Rarely have the New York Islanders had representation at the NHL Awards ceremony? Rarely have one of their players been awarded for individual achievements.
Since the 80’s the Isles have won: a Masterton (Mark Fitzpatrick 91-92), a Calder (Bryan Berard 96-97), a Selke (01-02), King Clancy (Doug Weight 10-11), a Lady Byng (Pierre Turgeon 92-93), and an NHL Foundation Award (Travis Hamonic 16-17).
It’s not entirely the NHL’s fault, the Isles haven’t had players put up seasons that deserve trophies.
But when the 2017-18 season started I tried to think, if any Isles player could win an award, who could it be?
It’s fair to say that after a promising end to the 2016-17 season, where the Islanders ended 24-12-4 I was hopeful. Maybe 2017-18 could be a good year for the Islanders. I was wrong to be hopeful, and I was wrong with a number of my selections.