NY Islanders statistician Eric Hornick set to publish 1,000th edition of "The Skinny"

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders - Game Six
Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders - Game Six / Steven Ryan/GettyImages

The 1,000-game milestone is among the most celebrated individual accomplishments in the National Hockey League. 391 players have skated in at least 1,000 NHL games, with Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson set to become the next later tonight. Earlier this season, former New York Islanders Nick Leddy, Jordan Eberle, and Kyle Okposo reached the mark, as did veteran forward Cal Clutterbuck on Nov. 22nd.

When Josh Bailey reached 1,000 games on Oct. 28, 2022, at Carolina, he joined Denis Potvin (1,060) and Bryan Trottier (1,123) as the only players to reach that milestone, all with the Islanders. In Bailey's 1,000th, he scored the game-winning goal, becoming the 12th player in NHL history to do so.

We know stats like that because of one man, Islanders' statistician Eric Hornick. He's supported the team's telecasts for over 40 years and, in 2003, started writing his "The Skinny" blog after each and every Islanders game. It would be a collection of all the notes he passed to broadcasters and whiteboard messages he held up during the game, plus a whole lot more numbers and nuggets.

When Hornick puts the finishing touches on "The Skinny" later tonight it will be his 1,000th consecutive edition, with the first coming out on Oct. 8, 2003.

Hornick was still in high school when he started leaving notes for Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Jiggs McDonald at the games he would attend at the Nassau Coliseum. The Hall-of-Fame broadcaster took an instant liking to the persistent teenager and, in the summer before Hornick's senior year, sent him a letter informing him that Al Arbour's son, the previous season's statistician, was leaving to work for the Colorado Rockies and wanted him to interview for the job.

Hornick was only 17 years old, so the hiring was put on hold until Jan. 21, 1982, two days after his 18th birthday, which was coincidentally and poetically the start of the Islander's record-breaking 15-game winning streak. After the Islanders won the Stanley Cup in Vancouver, Hornick had a credential for the staging area for the parade but was pulled into it by defenseman Jean Potvin. He rode in a Stanley Cup parade before he graduated high school and over 40 years later, he's still an integral part of Islanders telecasts and recognized as the very best in the business at what he does.

Hornick always posts his blog on social media at 7:11 a.m. to honor Bobby Nystrom's Stanley Cup-winning overtime goal on May 24, 1980. As Hornick posted this morning, win or lose, there's always "The Skinny," but let's hope the 1000th edition recaps an Isles win over Tampa Bay.