Islanders Dennis Potwin: Unseen Greatness

As we speak’s NHL Followers Do not Notice How Skillful a Defender Is Dennis Potwin when he performed. Inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 1991, the Vanier, Ontario native was the highest general choose within the 1973 NHL Draft. Potwin would play 15 seasons within the league – all for the New York Islanders.

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When the subject of “greatest savior” is raised, Potwin usually unfairly singles out the odd one out. As an alternative the standard suspects are introduced in: Bobby Oro, Niklas Lidstrom, Paul Coffey, Doug Harveyand maybe Ray Bourke, The Islanders Nice is mostly an afterthought, and this can be because of the truth that greater than 30 years have handed since his final NHL sport. As we speak’s followers can select from extra acquainted up to date names like Duncan KeethoDrew Doughty or zadeno variable To be in such a dialog subsequent to Potvin.

Dennis Potwin New York Islanders
Dennis Potwin of the New York Islanders skated in opposition to the Montreal Canadiens on the Montreal Discussion board in Montreal, Quebec, Canada within the Nineteen Eighties. (Picture by Dennis Brodeur/NHLI through Getty Photographs)

Though a better have a look at his profession exhibits that Potwin was the modern for high-scoring defenseman. As nice as the opposite aforementioned gamers proved, it was the cornerstone of the Islanders who grew to become a feat of a number of vital firsts.

THW takes a have a look at a few of the particular issues that made up Dennis Potwin’s distinctive profession.

A Calder-Successful Rookie Marketing campaign

Their rookie NHL season of 1973–74 was the Islanders’ second season as a franchise. Potvin helped the group make a major bounce for the second time, as he noticed a 26-point enchancment within the standings. The Islanders didn’t make the playoffs (19-41-18) However he earned seven extra wins and 12 extra ties than he had achieved in his inaugural season.

With as many 31 targets within the season, Dennis Potvin nonetheless holds the single-season #Isles group document for targets scored by a defending group. 31 days | #IsItOctoberYet

A lot of the advance of the islanders throughout that season could be attributed to Potwin. Not solely did he lead your complete group in scoring (17-37-54 in 77 video games), however his 37 assists have been additionally the group’s highest. Potwin wasn’t the one goal-scorer. He collected 175 penalty minutes, second on the group behind Gary Howett’s 204 minutes. Potwin’s PIMs in your complete NHL have been additionally the seventh highest that season.

Such a strong debut efficiency earned him a Calder Trophy recipient named because the league’s Rookie of the Yr. It marked the primary time {that a} defender had received the trophy since Orr introduced it residence within the 1966–67 season.

Potwin Hits His Stride

It will not take lengthy for Potwin to kick it into excessive gear. He would go on to attain 20 or extra targets for seven consecutive seasons, excluding an harm within the 1979–80 season. Potwin set a profession excessive in 1975–76 with 31 tallies After which repeated this feat in 1978-79.,

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The mid-Nineteen Seventies was the very best a part of his profession, and the place he actually labored his magic for the islands. Potwin received his first Norris Trophy because the NHL’s greatest defenseman in 1975–76 with 31 targets, 67 assists, and 98 factors. This marked the primary time in 9 seasons the prize was not captured by Orr.

Potwin’s second Norris was received on the finish of 1977–78 when he once more scored 30 targets (30–64–94). Other than Orr, there is no such thing as a protector Pierre Pilot Repeated with the trophy in 1963-64.

However he was not completed but.

Dennis Potwin
UNIONDALE, NY – 1980: Dennis Potwin #5 of the New York Islanders skates with the puck throughout an NHL sport circa 1980 on the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Picture by B. Bennett/Getty Photographs)

Potwin had his greatest offensive season in 1978–79. Along with his 31 targets, he would obtain career-best assists with 70 in 73 video games. By a complete of 101 factors on the common season, Potwin grew to become solely the second defender in NHL historical past to achieve the 100-point mark. He too Compiled an enormous plus-71 for plus/minusWhich was additionally the very best whole of his profession.

Again-to-back Norris victories have been additionally earned by somebody aside from Orr for the primary time because the pilot. It could be the third and closing Norris received by Potwin in his profession.

The Stanley Cup Successful Years

Though 1979–80 would see him disfigured by accidents, it might even be the time in Potwin’s profession the place laborious work and willpower lastly paid off. After dropping 4 of the final 5 seasons within the Stanley Cup semi-finals, the Islanders would ultimately win all of it.

Amidst the harm, he took over the position of the captain of the group. Potwin would play in all 21 playoff video games for New York. After knocking out the Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabers within the first spherical, Potwin and The Islanders would defeat the Philadelphia Flyers within the Cup Finals in six video games, First and sixth sport being received by New York in additional time.

It was the primary of the primary Stanley Cup title. 4 straight for the islanders, Potwin performed 78 postseason video games to assist earn these championships. In that point, he scored 27 targets, 58 assists and 85 factors to be higher than a points-per-game participant.

The Islanders almost accomplished a “drive for 5” as they might attain their fifth consecutive Stanley Cup closing in 1983–84, solely to be stopped in 5 video games by the upstart Edmonton Oilers. Potwin is the one participant in NHL historical past to have captained the identical group to 5 straight Stanley Cup finals.

Many firsts and lots of achievements

Dennis Potwin
Two of hockey’s all-time greats in a struggle – Dennis Potwin of the New York Islanders and Buffalo Cebres Gilbert Perrault.

Along with the cup rings, Norris trophies, and Calder, Potwin left the sport as one among its most achieved gamers. A have a look at his resume from his enjoying profession is slightly awe-inspiring.

Potwin grew to become the primary defenseman in NHL historical past to attain 1,000 factors in his profession. He reached the stage when he scored his sixth objective in a 6-6 draw for the Islanders. In opposition to the Buffalo Sabers on April 4, 1987, In Potvin’s closing NHL season, he grew to become the primary defenseman to achieve 300 targets when He scored 8-5 on January 14, 1988. I did this Quebec Nordic shelling.

On the time he retired after the 1987–88 season, Potwin had recorded 310 targets, 742 assists and 1,052 factors in 1,060 video games, all beneath just one point-per-game participant. On the time, these totals have been the best ever by Blueliner.

Potwin was named to the primary All-Star group 5 instances and to the second group twice. Equally, the Islanders retired their number-5 jersey on February 1, 1992. it was First participant in franchise historical past To have such an honor it might be honest to imagine that no Islanders defenseman will ever match Dennis Potwin, and few have been ever higher league-wide.

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