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Islanders honor 1992-93 team

Patrick Division Champions welcomed back by fans

Saturday, 10.29.2011 / 11:45 PM / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Islanders honor 1992-93 team
Many memories were made during the Islanders unforgettable 1992-93 season, but as the fans and players returned to Nassau Coliseum on Saturday night for a pregame ceremony honoring the Patrick Division Champions, it was clear fans and members of the team were excited to share their memories.

“They played so well that year,” said Bryan Flynn of Queens, now 35. “(Pierre) Turgeon had 58 goals. They went so far in the playoffs and made sure the Penguins didn’t become a dynasty. It was very important for all of us because we were underdogs. They just played with so much heart and fury that we thought they were going to go all the way. Hooked ever since then, it was easy.”

That year, the Islanders were never expected to make the playoffs, nevermind come out of the first round against the Washington Capitals victorious. Then the Islanders really flipped the world on it's head when they defeated the reigning two-time Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of the Patrick Division Finals with an overtime goal from David Volek.

“When you leave the game you don’t really run into the fans anymore,” said the Captain of the Islanders 1992-93 team, Patrick Flatley. “It’s really flattering to be back and to have this many people come out and give their best wishes to us and let us know that we had an impact on their lives 18 years ago.”

Pierre Turgeon returns to the ice as the New York Islanders celebrate their 1992-1993 team prior to the game against the San Jose Sharks at Nassau Coliseum on October 29, 2011 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
For some fans, that series is still their favorite memory of the Islanders. For others, it was the first time they saw Darius Kasparaitis check a player into the boards, were mesmerized by the play of Pierre Turgeon, met the players out in the community and shook their hand, or were given a stick over the glass.

Kasparaitis was surprised he made such an impact on so many Islanders fans.

“Some guys told me the reason they became Islander fans was because of me and the way I play,” Kasparaitis said. “You don’t realize when you retire how much of a difference you made in some peoples’ lives. We take it for granted as players when we play, but sometimes when you don’t have this anymore and you see people appreciate the things you’ve done, playing for the Islanders, it makes me feel very grateful.”

Michael Mazzocco of Rockville Center, now 37, was inspired by Turgeon and tried to style his play after his hockey hero. He even wore a Turgeon jersey during all his street and deck hockey games, retiring that jersey about the same time the Islanders won the Patrick Division title in 1993.

Saturday, Mazzocco pulled the jersey out of the closet for the first time in nearly 20 years and got his hockey heroes autograph.

“I’ve had this jersey for a while,” Mazzocco said. “You can see it has the wear on it and everything. When I heard that they were going to be here. I had to come and see if I could get them to sign it for me. Turgeon was the player I always tried to emulate and copy. That’s why I had his name and number on the back.”

Brian Burton of East Hills, now 31, was just 13-years-old when he watched Volek score that OT goal in Pittsburgh. A few games before, he was lucky enough to receive Turgeon’s stick and the entire team signed it, with the exception of No. 77. Saturday night, Burton met his childhood idol and got that autograph to bring the memory back to life nearly 18 years later.

“Meeting Turgeon was amazing,” Burton said. “We took an amazing photo which I will cherish. It’s just so great that they brought all these guys back because it really still is the one of the biggest things this team has done, even though it was 18-years-ago.”

Hopefully having this team back will rub off on the kids in the locker room. Hopefully it’ll get the fans excited again. Certainly, selfishly for me, I get to meet my hero and have him add his signature to the stick everyone else had signed. It’s absolutely incredible experience, so thank you, thank you Islanders. - Brian Burton
He continued, “Hopefully having this team back will rub off on the kids in the locker room. Hopefully it’ll get the fans excited again. Certainly, selfishly for me, I get to meet my hero and have him add his signature to the stick everyone else had signed. It’s absolutely incredible experience, so thank you, thank you Islanders.”

Robin Marx of Williston Park wore a jersey that she embroidered. Over a period of two-to-three years in the early ‘90s, Marx got the entire team’s autographs, and in an effort to keep that memory alive, she hand-stitched over each players autograph in orange and blue thread, a process which took about 45 minutes per player signature.

Turgeon and Flatley were both really impressed with Marx’s work.

Flatley said, “There was all kind of cool stuff that people brought to show us and have us sign, but one woman had embroidered autographs on her jersey. It took 45 minutes per autograph to do that on her own, so that’s a pretty loyal fan.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYI 63 41 20 2 202 174 84
3 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 61 30 22 9 161 160 69
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 62 25 27 10 139 164 60
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 60 23 30 7 137 159 53
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 63 29 35 4 64
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 63 14 26 21 40
B. Nelson 63 17 19 6 36
F. Nielsen 63 11 25 12 36
A. Lee 57 20 12 12 32
J. Bailey 51 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 53 7 22 15 29
N. Leddy 63 8 17 14 25
T. Hamonic 53 4 20 16 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 0 .911 2.46
C. Johnson 8 7 1 .890 2.95

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