NY Islanders legend Ed Westfall to have Long Island arena named after him on Saturday

Florida Panthers v New York Islanders
Florida Panthers v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Ed Westfall was the first captain in New York Islanders history and scored the franchise's first-ever goal - and then he went on to do a lot more than that. Although he retired in 1979 and wasn't part of the Islanders dynasty, he is credited with helping shape a young, supremely talented core and teaching them how to become professionals, leaders, and winners.

Following his decorated hockey career, he became a colorful and lovable TV analyst alongside Jiggs McDonald, teaching a new generation of Islanders fans about the game of hockey in the 1980s and 90s. In 2011, the team recognized him and inducted him into their Hall-of-Fame. There are those who have long felt he deserves even more recognition and have argued for his No. 18 to be retired.

While that doesn't appear to be in the cards, another honor is being bestowed upon Westfall this month with the Grand Opening of the Ed Westfall Arena at Peconic Ice Rinks on Nov. 25. The year-round facility is located at 5789 Middle Country Rd. in Wading River.

The arena is a byproduct of the work done by Troy and Caryn Albert, who started the Peconic Hockey Foundation in 2015, with its focus on education, scholarships, and fundraising to offset the costs associated with hockey. The Foundational recently honored Westfall with its Lifetime Achievement award.

“Our foundation has been working tirelessly since its inception to promote and grow the sport of hockey on Long Island,” said board member Greg Maurer in the Long Island Press. “With the support of individuals like Troy Albert from Sebonack [Golf Club] and the dedication of our community, we’ve successfully realized our dream of building a state-of-the-art facility.

While hockey is a focus, the arena plans to serve the community with public skating, figure skating, and other activities. They couldn't have picked a better man's name to be associated with it.