Tonight, John Tonelli’s number 27 goes up to the rafters. Let’s take a look at the Islanders legend’s time on Long Island.
Every Islander fan knows the phrase “Tonelli to Nystrom.” It’s the phrase that birthed a dynasty, as it was the game-winning call of the New York Islanders first Stanley Cup victory back in 1980. It’s arguably the most famous call in Islanders history and you’re bound to hear it tonight.
Before tonight’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, the Islanders are retiring John Tonelli’s number 27. A well-deserved honor for the Islanders legend.
Tonelli was drafted by the Islanders in the second round of the 1977 NHL Draft, after one more year in the WHA he was ready to make an impact with the Islanders. His first season saw him put up 56 points (17 goals, 39 assists) playing Left Wing.
After a few years getting his feet under him, he exploded for 93 points in 1981-1982 as the Islanders were on their way to their third straight Stanley Cup. His best year in blue and orange came in 1984-1985 when he netted a career-high 42 goals and had 100 points to his name.
In March of 1986, the Islanders moved Tonelli for Steve Jonroyd and Rich Kromm ending his eight-year run with the Isles. Over those eight years, he had 544 points (206 goals, 338 assists) in 594 games and four Stanley Cups to his name.
Tonelli joins his teammates: Denis Potvin, Clark Gillies, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy, Bob Nystrom, and Billy Smith who all of their numbers in the rafters. Make sure to tune in tonight and watch this special ceremony.
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