The 17 Players
It’s a feat that hasn’t been replaced since and likely never will. Through four back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, the New York Islanders were able to keep a core of 17 players.
Think about that. With a 23-man active roster, that returning core represents almost three-quarters of the team. That’s insane to think about in modern terms.
With the salary cap, there’s no way that this can be replicated in the modern era. It’s not possible to keep three-quarters of a championship team together for at least four years.
Of those 17 players, five would go on to the Hockey Hall of Fame, eight would be named to the Islanders Hall of Fame, and eight would have their numbers retired by the Islanders.
Here are all seventeen players of the Core of the Four:
Billy Smith (HOF 1993)