New York Islanders Top 10 Best Trades in Team History
Pat LaFontaine Is Drafted
Pat LaFontaine was drafted the third overall by the New York Islanders in the 1983 NHL draft. For those keeping track, the New York Islanders were the Stanley Cup champions (the fourth time in a row) that year too.
How does a Stanley Cup champion earn a third overall selection at the draft? Make a trade with a team that’s been historically dreadful for a few good spare parts.
At the start of the 1981 NHL season, Islanders GM Bill Torrey sent both Dave Cameron and Bob Lorimer to the Colorado Rockies. An expansion team from 1974 that relocated to Denver the following year.
In 1981-82 the Rockies were coming off their second best season in franchise history with 57 points. They wanted to improve on that and getting one good blueliner in Bob Lorimer and a youngster with promise in Dave Cameron could help that.
Except that it didn’t.
The Rockies finished the 1981-82 season with 49 points and were promptly relocated to New Jersey, where they began life as the Devils. In 1982-83 they weren’t any better. Now the Devils finished with a 17-49-14 record for 48 points.
And the Islanders were left holding that first round pick. They took future Hall of Fame player Pat LaFontaine. A player that would go on to score 1,013 points in only 865 NHL games.