Islanders: Best Player To Wear Number 37
By Matt O'Leary
Continuing our best of series, today we will look at the best player to wear number 37 for the New York Islanders in their history.
11 players for the New York Islanders wore the number 37 in their history. The first to ever do it was Jeff Finley from 1988-1990, with Dennis Vaske, Jeff Libby, Dmitri Nabokov, Jeremy Colliton, and Brian Strait as notables.
Of that bunch, we’re going to go with Dennis Vaske for the honorable mention. Vaske was selected by the Islanders in the second round of the 1986 NHL Draft. It took until the 1990-91 season before he made his NHL debut playing five games that year.
His best year with the Isles came in the 1993-1994 season when he had 13 points (2 goals, 11 assists) in 65 games and a plus-21. He’d play 41 the following season before being dwindled down to below 20 the following three years with the Isles.
In 232 games over eight years, he finished 5 goals and 46 points. It isn’t phenomenal but I couldn’t find it in my heart to give it to Brian Strait. Our winner today is going to be Mark Parrish.
Parrish was acquired along with Oleg Kvasha in a deal that sent Olli Jokinen and Roberto Luongo to Florida. The trade was awful, there’s no denying it, but Parrish was solid with the Isles in his five years on the Island.
In his first year with the Isles, Parrish put up 30 points (17 goals, 13 assists) which was a slight step back from his production in Florida. The following year was his coming-out party as a 24-year-old.
He put up a career-high in goals with 30 and points with 60. He also had two goals in the playoffs for the Isles that year in their series against Toronto. In 2003-2004, Parrish only played in 59 games but he still had 24 goals that year.
His 22.9 shooting percentage led the league. In 57 games with the Isles in 2005-2006, Parrish had a 23.5 shooting percentage with 34 goals before being traded to Los Angeles. The Isles sent Parrish and Brent Sopel to L.A. for Denis Grebeshkov and Jeff Tambellini.
Parrish finished his five years with the Islanders with 214 points (118 goals, 96 assists) in 345 games played. He’d go on to play with L.A., Minnesota, Dallas, Tampa Bay, and Buffalo before calling it a career.
Now, you can find him on the NHL Network as an analyst. While he’s not on the air you can find him working with Northland Spirits, which he co-founded.