Happy birthday to legendary New York Islanders defenseman Denis Potvin as he turns 65 year young today.
Today is Denis Potvin’s 65th birthday. The New York Islanders legend was the team captain for a team that was an unfashionable, but undeniable dynasty in the NHL.
The New York Islanders drafted Denis Potvin first overall in 1973 in the Islanders first NHL amateur draft. They were heavily wooed by the Montreal Canadiens to trade their number one pick, but ultimately decided against it.
Bill Torrey was right to identify Denis Potvin as a guy to build around. Seven years later he’d lift the first of four Stanley Cups alongside Denis Potvin.
A Legendary Career
In 1060 career NHL games from 1973 to 1988 Denis Potvin scored 1052 points. Good enough to rank him seventh all time in scoring for defensemen.
In terms of silverware, outside of those four back-to-back Stanley Cups, Denis Potvin is a Calder Trophy winner with 54 points in his rookie year. He also won three Norris trophies.
Potvin is one of eight defenseman to win the Norris trophy as the leagues top defenseman three or more times.
Potvin’s excellence was his ability to do it all. He could play tough and take you out of the play with a huge hip check. But he could also dominate a game by putting the puck in the net.
Before being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991, Denis Potvin had his number 5 retired by both the Ottawa 67’s and the New York Islanders.
Of all the individual accolades the four Stanley Cups are what matter the most. Speak to any player and they’ll tell you they’d trade any and all individual trophies if it meant they could win a cup. And Potvin won four.
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Happy birthday to the greatest New York Islanders captain in history.