Continuing our best of series, today we will look at the best player to wear number four for the New York Islanders in their history.
In New York Islanders‘ history, 19 players have worn the number four on their back. The first to ever do so was Jim Mair, briefly, in 1973 while some other notables are Bob Lorimer, Paul Boutilier, Gerald Diduck, Bryan McCabe, Roman Hamrlik, Thomas Hickey (in 2019) and most recently Andy Greene.
Of those listed above, the honorable mention is probably Roman Hamrlik. Hamrlik was the first overall pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992, before making his way to Long Island for the 2000-2001 season. Hamrlik ate up big minutes for the early 2000s era Islanders averaging 25:27 per game over his four years with the team.
His best year came in his first season when he put up 46 points (16 goals, 30 assists) in 76 games with the club. Hamrlik was solid, but not good enough to be the best player to wear that number in Isles history.
Jean Potvin is our winner today. Jean had two stints with the Islanders, the first from 1972-1978 where he donned the number four. Over his first six years with the club, he had 193 points and his best year came during the 1975-1976 season.
Jean, the older brother to Denis, put up an impressive 72 points (17 goals, 55 assists) in 78 games. His previous career-high in points was 33 which he had the year prior so to see that number jolt up to 72 is pretty impressive.
The following season he added a 46 point season before being moved after 34 games with the Islanders in 1977-1978. Potvin would play in Cleveland and Minnesota before returning to the Islanders for two more years.
He played 32 games in 1979-1980 and 18 games in 1980-1981 to round out his career. While he was a much bigger part of the team in the mid-’70s, Jean Potvin still technically was a part of two Stanley Cup-winning New York Islanders teams.
When thinking of the Potvin brothers, obviously Denis comes to mind (more on him tomorrow) but people sleep on Jean Potvin, who was a very solid defenseman for this team.