Islanders: Best Player To Wear Number 54
By Matt O'Leary
Continuing our best of series, today we will look at the best player to wear number 54 for the New York Islanders in their history.
Only three players for the New York Islanders have ever worn the number 54. The first to do so was Kip Miller in the 1997-1998 season. He played just nine games with the Islanders that year but put up four points in those games.
Fun fact about Miller, he was the only player in team history to have three different stints with the team. The first was 1994-1995, then a year in Chicago, back to the Island for 1997-1998 like we just talked about, and then again in 2001-2002.
Miller ended up playing 54 games for the Isles and putting up 29 points along the way. For what it’s worth, that’s a pace of 44 points over a full 82 game season.
The next player to wear the number is Rob Collins who played eight games in the NHL in 2005-2006. Now, three of those games came while wearing number 26 and his only two points in the league came while wearing 26.
In the five games that he wore number 54 he put up no points and played under six minutes in all but one of those games.
The last player to ever suit up for the Islanders in number 54 was Kurtis McLean. All-time name, unfortunately not much of an NHL career. In 2008-2009, McLean played four games for the Islanders.
He scored one goal, coming against Anaheim in January 2009, while averaging 10:34 of ice time in his brief stint with the New York Islanders.
Between these three guys, they’ve played a combined 18 games for the Isles in that number. There’s no way I can justify any of them being a winner for the number unfortunately but I will leave you with this, Kip Miller is definitely the most intriguing of the bunch.
He lasted 12 years in the NHL but only played in 449 games, meaning he averaged just 37 games a season. Despite playing in just 37 games a season, he finished his career with a .53 points per game pace.
In the three years he played 70 or more games in a season he eclipsed 42 points in each of those years and even had a 50 point season in Washington in 2003.