Continuing our best of series, today we will look at the best player to wear number nine for the New York Islanders in their history.
Number 9 is synonymous with one player in New York Islanders history, and that’s fan favorite, Kirk Muller! Obviously, kidding. In the Islanders’ history only four players have ever worn that number.
The first to ever do it was Brian Spencer, who played with the Isles for two years in 1973 and 1974. Before we get to the winner, let’s talk about Dave Chyzowski and Kirk Muller.
Chyzowski played with the Islanders from 1990-1995. He put up 31 points In 118 games played over five years with the team. He was a major bust as New York selected him second overall in 1989 and he was out of the league by age 25 with only 15 career goals to his name.
I promise I was joking earlier about Kirk Muller. Isles fans hate him and for good reason. He played just 27 games for the Islanders (putting up 15 points by the way) but he very clearly didn’t want to be here.
He refused to report on multiple occasions and Mike Milbury ended up having to trade him to Toronto.
Luckily, Clark Gillies very much wanted to be a New York Islander. From 1974 through 1986. Gillies wore number 9 for the New York Islanders. Drafted by the Islanders fourth overall in 1974, he made his NHL debut that same season putting up 47 points (25 goals, 22 assists).
During his 12 years with the team, Gillies scored 30 or more goals in a season six times. He was a two-time all-star and of course a part of the Islanders four Stanley Cup Championships.
His best year came in 1979 when he netted 35 goals and put up 91 points as a 24-year-old. He would go on to finish his Islander career with 663 points (304 goals, 359 assists) in 872 games.
In 2002, Gillies was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He’s widely considered as one of the best Islanders of all-time and for good reason. His role was on the top line with Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier isn’t understated.