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New York Islander Fan Central | 4/16/2008 08:51:00 AM |

The Isles in their exit interviews on ITV have been doing something called Looking Back-Looking Forward.

NYI Fan Central has decided to go way back, to the beginning which for me is around 1999 when I started Islanders-Sound Tigers on yahoogroups. The old logo is faded, the old mailing list sits dormant but the quality from the members and the topics are still outstanding.

I have been blogging here since last July and have had only a few words about Islanders-Sound Tigers that I stated back in 1999 and owned up through the end of the 2006 season when I decided to close the list. I kept the list active for myself and folks to view the archives and realized today I have been perhaps a little too conservative in not sharing some of the articles and postings with everyone.

That changes today.

Even if it breaks from this season self-imposed rule on copyrighted material because the links to the articles are old and out of date from those publications.

Islanders-Sound Tiger mailing list features becomes a regular item here now at NYI Fan Central as I include some great old articles, some old commentary from myself and even a few laughs at a lot of things I got wrong over the years.

I think the readers of this blog will enjoy it a lot.

I could begin anywhere but why not start with a good one at a time hockey got some attention in New York.
From Islanders-Sound Tigers 5/22/2001
NY Daily News
Friday, May 22, 1981

It's Sweeter The Second Time
By Mike Lupica

There are so few moments in sports that are clean and right, moments
burned into memory because the best players have won, and they have
brought grace to their game, and have heard the cheers of their own
at the time when victory is finally theirs. And so it was on a
Thursday night at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, when a fine old
silver treasure called the Stanley Cup was held high by an injured
captain named Denis Potvin, while a song called "We Are The
Champions" came pounding over the sound system in a marvelous way.

Maybe it is that old Cup that always brings such dignity and
emotion to the occasion. More likely, it was the current owners of
the Cup, a group of champions called the New York Islanders, a hockey
team the likes of which we have so rarely seen.

There is nothing at all wrong in Hempstead on Long Island, where a
truly great hockey team plays its games, and where that team won a
second consecutive Stanley Cup by defeating the Minnesota North Stars
5-1 Thursday night. You had to be in the building. You had to feel
the music and hear the cheers. You only had to see Denis Potvin's
face in that first instant when he thrust the Cup into the air, and
sent the cheers out into the spring evening, spreading in all
directions over Long Island.

Bob Nystrom skated joyfully along the boards, slapping high-fives to
any hands he could reach. Bryan Trottier found Stefan Persson, the
injured defenseman, and embraced him. The Islanders, always a team,
always together, began to move around the ice with the Cup, passing
it from one to another, quickly and effortlessly. The symbolism, of
course, was perfect.

Each man had shared in the triumph, "the big guns to the guys in the
trenches" as Nystrom would say later. They win and lose together.
This is a proud Army. Maybe they will begin to disperse someday soon.
But they will always have 1980 and they will always have 1981. No one
can take these two years away from them.

When the celebration moved onto the ice and into the lockerroom,
Trottier and Butch Goring were left on the ice. They embraced once
more. Then the ice was left to Goring, an NHL lifer who has never
cheated for a minute in his life, who has played every minute of a
tough career with splendid effort, and who now had won the Conn
Smythe Award as MVP of the finals.

They needed Goring for an interview at the other end of the ice. And
here was Butch Goring, skating down the middle of the ice, pumping
his arms up and down like some sort of hockey "Rocky," inspiring
another chorus of thunderous cheers.

A few minutes later, Bill Torrey was standing outside the Islander
lockerrom, champagne already staining his blue shirt below the bow
tie. It is Torrey who has been the architect of this team, who has
built this championship team brick by brick, who is 10 years, with a
short bankroll, has made the Islanders into perhaps the most
successful expansion team in the history of sports.

Someone asked Bill Torrey if the second championship was sweeter than
the first.

"Your're damn right it is," said Torrey.

Damn right. It was a damn right night on Long Island. The Stanley Cup
is where it belongs, again. The Islanders are champions, again. They
managed to make professional hockey into something fine. Raise a
glass for Torrey and Goring, for Bossy and Trottier and Potvin. And
for Al Arbour. Raise a glass to all of them.