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UBS Arena should add statues to honor Islanders history

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Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The Dynasty

You can't talk about possible Islander statues and leave out the possibility of immortalizing the names in the rafters. Each of Potvin, Gillies, Trottier, Bossy, Bob Nystrom, and Smith are all deserving of the honor.

Gillies was named the second team captain in franchise history, succeeding former Islander captain Ed Westfall in the first five years of their existence. Gillies played 14 years in the NHL, 12 of those seasons with the Islanders. The two-time All-Star scored 304 goals and 663 points in 12 seasons with the Islanders. He was a vital part of the Islanders' run of four Stanley Cups and 19 consecutive playoff series wins scoring 32 goals and 66 points in 87 games.

Potvin was honored as the franchise's third captain in history, assuming the role from Gillies after two seasons as captain. Potvin remained captain through 1987 and was handed the Stanley Cup first in all four of the Islanders' championship wins.

Potvin spent his entire 15-year career with the Islanders, winning the Calder Trophy as the NHL's best rookie in 1974, and moving on to become a seven-time All-Star. In 1,060 games, the left-shot defenseman scored 310 goals and 1,052 points. He also had 91 points in 98 games in the playoffs from 1980-1984.

Trottier was drafted in the second round of the 1974 NHL Draft. He made his rookie debut in the 1975-76 season and won the Calder Trophy after a 32-goal, 95-point season. The Val Marie, Saskatchewan won no shortage of accolades with the Islanders in addition to the Stanley Cups becoming a four-time All-Star, Hart, Art Ross, King Clancy, and Conn Smythe trophy winner over multiple seasons. In 15 seasons with the Islanders, Trottier scored 500 goals and 1353 points in 1,123 games.

Bossy is largely regarded as the greatest goal scorer of all time. Yet another Islander to claim the Calder Trophy, Bossy also claimed the Lady Byng three times and the Conn Smythe in 1982. The eight-time All-Star dominated the goal-scoring department in his 10-year career all with the Islanders, scoring 573 goals and 1126 points in 752 games. In nine out of his 10 seasons, Bossy scored more than 50 goals including five seasons where he score 60 or more. On January 24, 1981, Bossy accomplished scoring 50 goals in 50 games and ended the season with 68 total goals.

Nystrom will forever be remembered for scoring the overtime game-winning goal in 1980 clinching the Islanders' first-ever Stanley Cup.

"Tonelli to Nystrom, he scores! Bob Nystrom scores the goal! The Islanders win the Stanley Cup!"

Jim Robson

There's not much more you need in order to be deemed a legend than that. Nystrom played all 14 seasons of his career with the Islanders skating in 900 games.

Smith might not have even been the best goaltender on the team in the first few seasons of Islanders cup runs working in tandem with Glenn "Chico" Resch, however, he rose to the occasion in the playoffs. The net became Smith's in the postseason and won 69 games across 93 playoff games in five postseasons.

Smith captured the Vezina Trophy in 1981-82 taking over starting goaltender duties with Resch now in the Colorado Rockies net. Smith was also named an All-Star that season. The following season, Smith claimed the William M. Jennings Trophy and claimed the Conn Smythe.

The legendary six are already forever immortalized, but that doesn't mean some sort of statue can't be crafted in their honor. The Islanders have a long, decorated history, and any of the previously mentioned names would be an excellent candidate to greet fans outside of UBS Arena for eternity. In the Islanders' 50th year, a statue to commemorate the Islanders' legacy feels appropriate.

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