Islanders most productive lines in team history
The New York Islanders had some pretty incredible lines throughout their history. Some won multiple Stanley Cups while others were incredibly productive. Here are the best lines in Isles history.
Recently, ESPN compiled the best lines for every NHL team over the last thirty years. For the New York Islanders, the best line was Pierre Turgeon, Derek King, and Steve Thomas. It’s a fine selection for the Islanders. All three were incredibly productive and gave Islanders fans some incredible hockey to watch.
But there have been so many other lines that were incredibly productive in the Islanders colorful history that didn’t get mentioned. So I tried to give some of them some attention. I put together some of the most productive line combinations in Islanders history, from expansion in 1972 through to today.
This is subjective and in no way definitive. If you have another line that needs to be listed let me know in the comments.
Twelve Stanley Cup rings between the three of them (with the New York Islanders). Each was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The Trio Grande of Clark Gillies (LW), Bryan Trottier (C), and Mike Bossy (RW) defined the New York Islanders dynasty.
The trio put up a combined 3,248 points and were awarded an insane ten pieces of hardware: three Lady Byng Trophies, two Calder Trophies, two Conn Smythe Trophies, a Hart Trophy, an Art Ross Trophy, and a King Clancy Trophy.
They weren’t just the best line in Islanders history, but arguably the best line of their generation.
They weren’t together too long but the trio of Bryan Smolinski (LW), Robert Reichel (C), and Ziggy Palffy (RW) were productive while together.
Palffy was the principal threat on that line and did most of the heavy lifting in terms of production. He had three seasons with at least 43 goals and 87 points, until he was traded away to the Los Angeles Kings.
Robert Reichel did well, putting up 140 points in 164 games with the Islanders before he too was eventually traded away.
It lasted for 47 games, that’s it. But in those 47 games, this trio of Thomas Vanek (LW), John Tavares (C), and Kyle Okposo (RW) was electric.
For years the Islanders were looking to get an elite level winger for their elite level center in John Tavares. So Garth Snow picked up Vanek from Buffalo and it clicked.
Vanek would score 44 points in those 47 games. Tavares would score at a 1.1 points-per-game pace, Okposo would score at a 0.96 points-per-game pace.
Unfortunately, Vanek didn’t like the idea of playing in Brooklyn so he was traded away and the line was no longer.
Under Doug Weight in 2017-18, the Islanders ran a run-and-gun offense, and the line of Anders Lee (LW), John Tavares (C), and Josh Bailey (RW) put up incredible numbers.
Josh Bailey put up a career-high 71 points and earned an All-Star game nod. Anders Lee became an elite level goal scorer by putting in 40 goals for the first time in his career. John Tavares would have a very Tavares-like season with 37 goals and 84 points.