New York Islanders history: Five players that fans forgot about

The New York Islanders are on the upswing, but there are five players from darker times that fans likely forgot about.

Kyle McKenna

While the New York Islanders haven’t advanced past the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 1992-93, there have still been plenty of notable names that donned a blue and orange sweater.

In addition to notable skaters that spent time on the Island, here are five familiar names to the hockey community that you likely forgot played for the Islanders.

Martin Biron

Former NHL goaltender Martin Biron spent almost two decades between the pipes while dressing for the likes of the Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers, and New York Rangers. The 1995 draft pick spent parts of nine seasons with Buffalo and is forever remembered as a Sabre and the netminder that was Dominik Hasek’s predecessor.

Most fans likely forgot that Biron was an Islander in addition to the three other teams mentioned above. The Lac-St-Charles, Quebec native spent one season with New York in 2009-10, but it was a forgettable campaign for Biron and the Isles.

New York finished in last place for the Atlantic Division and the now-broadcaster for the Sabres finished with a 9-14-4 record and posted a save-percentage below the .900 mark. Biron wasn’t far removed from a 30-win campaign with the Flyers in 2007-08, but it was evident his career was on the decline when he joined the Isles.

Bryan McCabe

There’s no doubt that Bryan McCabe is a notable name when it boils down to former NHL players. While the 1993 second-round draft pick finished his career on Broadway in 2010-11 with the Rangers after just one season, the blueliner experienced success with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2000-01 until the end of the 2007-08 campaign.

Many Islander fans forget that the dynamic defenseman was actually drafted by New York and he skated in parts of three seasons with the team. The St. Catharines, Ontario native’s NHL career began with the Islanders in 1996-96 and he was later traded to the Vancouver Canucks during the 1997-98 campaign. The transaction also witnessed a Todd Bertuzzi for Trevor Linden swap.

McCabe’s most productive season with the Isles was in 1996-97 when he recorded eight goals and chipped in 20 helpers for a total of 28 points in 82 games played.

Viktor Kozlov

(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

It seemed that forward Viktor Kozlov never reached his full expectations in the NHL after the Russian native was selected sixth overall at the 1993 draft.

The longtime Florida Panther only recorded more than 50 points in a season on three occasions while lacing up the skates in the NHL from 1994-95 until the end of the 2008-09 season. While Kozlov is most remembered for his shootout skills with the New Jersey Devils in the Metropolitan area, one of the Russian’s 50-point campaigns was posted during his tenure with the Islanders.

Kozlov skated in one season with the blue and orange (2006-07) and earned a career-high 25 goals. Considering the towering forward only netted 12 goals the season prior with New Jersey, Kozlov was a pleasant surprise for New York but his brief tenure inks his name on this list.

The former San Jose Sharks draft pick signed with the Washington Capitals in 2007-08 and skated for one more season with the Caps and Alex Ovechkin before retiring from the NHL.

Alexei Zhitnik

Another Russian native and notable NHL skater who spent a brief tenure on the Island.

Defenseman Alexei Zhitnik joined the Islanders after spending parts of 10 seasons with the Buffalo Sabres from 1994-95 until 2003-04.

Zhitnik signed with the Isles after the 2004-05 NHL lockout and his first season with New York wasn’t a bad showing by any means. The then-33-year-old recorded 29 points in 59 games played while chipping in 24 assists.

The 1991 fourth-round draft pick finished second on the team in points that season for defensemen.

The longtime Sabre was traded in December of 2006 to the Philadelphia Flyers, leaving him as one of the most forgettable Islanders to lace up the skates.

Chris Terreri

One of the Devils’ most notable goaltenders of all-time shockingly finished his NHL career with the Islanders.

Longtime Devil Chris Terreri was traded at the 2000-01 NHL trade deadline to the Islanders in exchange for John Vanbiesbrouck. The transaction by then-New Jersey general manager, Lou Lamoriello, was surprising considering Terreri’s history with the team and his relationship with the great Martin Brodeur.

The two-time Stanley Cup champion is ranked second for-most wins by a Devils goaltender, but his final eight appearances were forgettable nods between the pipes and with the Islanders.

Terreri posted two wins with New York and ironically enough is now goaltender/player development coach with the Isles.

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