1972–73 New York Islanders season

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1972–73 New York Islanders
Division 8th East
1972–73 record 12–60–6
Goals for 170
Goals against 347
Team information
General Manager Bill Torrey
Coach Earl Ingarfield
Phil Goyette
Captain Ed Westfall
Alternate captains Germain Gagnon
Brian Spencer
Team leaders
Goals Billy Harris (28)
Assists Ed Westfall (31)
Points Billy Harris (50)
Penalties in minutes Gerry Hart (158)
Wins Billy Smith (7)
Goals against average Billy Smith (4.16)

The 1972–73 New York Islanders season was the first season in the franchise's history. At the beginning of 1972, Gordie Howe was offered the job as first head coach of the New York Islanders, but turned it down.[1] The Islanders were coached by Phil Goyette (6–38–4) and Earl Ingarfield (6–22–2). Overall, the team finished in last place with an appalling 12–60–6 record, unable to qualify for the playoffs.

Offseason[edit]

NHL Draft[edit]

Round Pick Player Nationality College/junior/club team
1 1. Billy Harris  Canada Toronto Marlboros (OHA)

[2]

NHL Expansion Draft[edit]

# Player Drafted From Drafted By
2. Gerry Desjardins (G) Chicago Black Hawks New York Islanders
4. Billy Smith (G) Los Angeles Kings New York Islanders
5. Bart Crashley (D) Montreal Canadiens New York Islanders
7. Dave Hudson (C) Chicago Black Hawks New York Islanders
9. Ed Westfall (RW) Boston Bruins New York Islanders
11. Gary Peters (C) Boston Bruins New York Islanders
13. Larry Hornung (D) St. Louis Blues New York Islanders
15. Bryan Lefley (D) New York Rangers New York Islanders
17. Brian Spencer (LW) Toronto Maple Leafs New York Islanders
19. Terry Crisp (C) St. Louis Blues New York Islanders
21. Ted Hampson (C) Minnesota North Stars New York Islanders
23. Gerry Hart (D) Detroit Red Wings New York Islanders
25. John Schella (D) Vancouver Canucks New York Islanders
27. Bill Mikkelson (D) Los Angeles Kings New York Islanders
29. Craig Cameron (RW) Minnesota North Stars New York Islanders
31. Tom Miller (C) Toronto Maple Leafs New York Islanders
33. Brian Marchinko (C) Buffalo Sabres New York Islanders
35. Ted Taylor (LW) Vancouver Canucks New York Islanders
37. Norm Ferguson (RW) California Golden Seals New York Islanders
39. Jim Mair (D) Philadelphia Flyers New York Islanders
41. Ken Murray (D) Buffalo Sabres New York Islanders

Regular season[edit]

The New York Islanders's first logo

With the impending start of the World Hockey Association in the fall of 1972, the upstart league had plans to place its New York team in the brand-new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Nassau County. However, Nassau County officials did not consider the WHA a professional league and wanted nothing to do with the upstart New York Raiders. The only legal way to keep the Raiders out of the Coliseum was to get an NHL team to play there, so William Shea, who had helped bring the New York Mets to the area a decade earlier, was pressed into service once again. Shea found a receptive ear in league president Clarence Campbell, who did not want the additional competition in the New York area. So, despite having expanded to 14 teams just two years before, the NHL hastily awarded a Long Island-based franchise to clothing manufacturer Roy Boe, owner of the American Basketball Association's New York Nets. A second expansion franchise was awarded to Atlanta (the Flames) at the same time to balance the schedule. The new team was widely expected to take the Long Island Ducks name used by an Eastern Hockey League franchise; the more geographically expansive "New York Islanders" came largely as a surprise.

The fledgling Islanders, who were soon nicknamed the Isles by the local newspapers, had an extra burden to pay in the form of a $4 million territorial fee to the nearby New York Rangers. True to their name, the New York Islanders officially represent New York (city and state), with their nickname and logo denoting their current arena location and fan heartbed; but their support has also naturally come from the boroughs, upstate, Connecticut, and elsewhere in the metro area. This geographical backdrop set the stage for one of the NHL's fiercest and most celebrated regional rivalries.

While the Islanders secured veteran forward Ed Westfall from the Boston Bruins in the 1972 NHL Expansion Draft, junior league star Billy Harris in the 1972 NHL Amateur Draft, and a few other respectable players, several other draftees jumped to the WHA. Unlike most other expansion teams' general managers, Islanders' GM Bill Torrey didn't make many trades for veteran players in the early years. Rather than pursue a "win now" strategy of getting a few veterans to boost attendance (a tactic which proved disastrous for many teams in the long run), Torrey was committed to building through the draft.

In the team's first season, young players such as goaltender Billy Smith (the team's second pick in the expansion draft) and forwards Bob Nystrom and Lorne Henning were given chances to prove themselves in the NHL. However, this young and inexperienced expansion team posted a record of 12–60–6, one of the worst in NHL history. The lone highlight of the season came on January 18, when the lowly Islanders upset the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins on the road 9–7.

Phil Goyette was fired midway through the season, and replaced with Earl Ingarfield.[3]

Final standings[edit]

East Division[4]
GP W L T GF GA DIFF Pts
1 Montreal Canadiens 78 52 10 16 329 184 +145 120
2 Boston Bruins 78 51 22 5 330 235 +95 107
3 New York Rangers 78 47 23 8 297 208 +89 102
4 Buffalo Sabres 78 37 27 14 257 219 +38 88
5 Detroit Red Wings 78 37 29 12 265 243 +22 86
6 Toronto Maple Leafs 78 27 41 10 247 279 −32 64
7 Vancouver Canucks 78 22 47 9 233 339 −106 53
8 New York Islanders 78 12 60 6 170 347 −177 30


Schedule and results[edit]

No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 L October 7, 1972 2–3 Atlanta Flames (1972–73) 0–1–0
2 W October 12, 1972 3–2 Los Angeles Kings (1972–73) 1–1–0
3 L October 14, 1972 4–7 Boston Bruins (1972–73) 1–2–0
4 L October 17, 1972 0–5 Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73) 1–3–0
5 L October 21, 1972 1–2 New York Rangers (1972–73) 1–4–0
6 L October 24, 1972 3–4 Montreal Canadiens (1972–73) 1–5–0
7 T October 28, 1972 4–4 Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73) 1–5–1
8 L October 29, 1972 1–9 @ Boston Bruins (1972–73) 1–6–1
9 W November 1, 1972 6–2 @ California Golden Seals (1972–73) 2–6–1
10 L November 3, 1972 2–7 @ Vancouver Canucks (1972–73) 2–7–1
11 L November 4, 1972 2–9 @ Los Angeles Kings (1972–73) 2–8–1
12 L November 8, 1972 1–6 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73) 2–9–1
13 L November 11, 1972 0–3 @ Minnesota North Stars (1972–73) 2–10–1
14 L November 14, 1972 2–7 Montreal Canadiens (1972–73) 2–11–1
15 L November 16, 1972 0–4 @ Atlanta Flames (1972–73) 2–12–1
16 L November 18, 1972 3–7 Boston Bruins (1972–73) 2–13–1
17 W November 21, 1972 4–2 California Golden Seals (1972–73) 3–13–1
18 L November 22, 1972 3–5 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73) 3–14–1
19 T November 25, 1972 2–2 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73) 3–14–2
20 L November 26, 1972 2–9 @ Buffalo Sabres (1972–73) 3–15–2
21 L November 28, 1972 2–7 Buffalo Sabres (1972–73) 3–16–2
22 L December 2, 1972 1–4 Detroit Red Wings (1972–73) 3–17–2
23 L December 3, 1972 1–5 @ Boston Bruins (1972–73) 3–18–2
24 L December 5, 1972 1–6 Los Angeles Kings (1972–73) 3–19–2
25 L December 9, 1972 1–4 New York Rangers (1972–73) 3–20–2
26 L December 10, 1972 1–4 @ New York Rangers (1972–73) 3–21–2
27 T December 12, 1972 4–4 St. Louis Blues (1972–73) 3–21–3
28 L December 13, 1972 1–9 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73) 3–22–3
29 L December 16, 1972 1–2 Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73) 3–23–3
30 L December 17, 1972 0–4 @ Atlanta Flames (1972–73) 3–24–3
31 L December 20, 1972 2–4 @ Montreal Canadiens (1972–73) 3–25–3
32 T December 21, 1972 4–4 Vancouver Canucks (1972–73) 3–25–4
33 W December 23, 1972 4–2 Minnesota North Stars (1972–73) 4–25–4
34 L December 27, 1972 1–4 @ Los Angeles Kings (1972–73) 4–26–4
35 L December 29, 1972 2–5 @ California Golden Seals (1972–73) 4–27–4
36 L December 30, 1972 2–5 @ Vancouver Canucks (1972–73) 4–28–4
37 L January 2, 1973 1–6 Atlanta Flames (1972–73) 4–29–4
38 L January 3, 1973 1–4 @ Buffalo Sabres (1972–73) 4–30–4
39 L January 6, 1973 0–4 Detroit Red Wings (1972–73) 4–31–4
40 L January 7, 1973 0–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1972–73) 4–32–4
41 L January 9, 1973 2–3 Los Angeles Kings (1972–73) 4–33–4
42 L January 10, 1973 2–4 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73) 4–34–4
43 L January 13, 1973 1–8 @ Minnesota North Stars (1972–73) 4–35–4
44 L January 14, 1973 1–2 St. Louis Blues (1972–73) 4–36–4
45 L January 16, 1973 0–1 Minnesota North Stars (1972–73) 4–37–4
46 W January 18, 1973 9–7 @ Boston Bruins (1972–73) 5–37–4
47 L January 20, 1973 1–5 @ St. Louis Blues (1972–73) 5–38–4
48 W January 23, 1973 8–1 California Golden Seals (1972–73) 6–38–4
49 L January 24, 1973 1–6 @ Montreal Canadiens (1972–73) 6–39–4
50 L January 26, 1973 1–5 @ Vancouver Canucks (1972–73) 6–40–4
51 L January 31, 1973 3–5 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73) 6–41–4
52 L February 1, 1973 3–5 Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73) 6–42–4
53 T February 3, 1973 1–1 Buffalo Sabres (1972–73) 6–42–5
54 L February 4, 1973 1–5 @ Buffalo Sabres (1972–73) 6–43–5
55 W February 6, 1973 4–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73) 7–43–5
56 L February 7, 1973 0–6 @ New York Rangers (1972–73) 7–44–5
57 L February 10, 1973 0–6 New York Rangers (1972–73) 7–45–5
58 L February 13, 1973 2–8 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73) 7–46–5
59 L February 14, 1973 2–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73) 7–47–5
60 L February 17, 1973 2–6 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73) 7–48–5
61 L February 18, 1973 2–3 @ New York Rangers (1972–73) 7–49–5
62 L February 20, 1973 0–4 Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73) 7–50–5
63 L February 22, 1973 1–2 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73) 7–51–5
64 W February 24, 1973 4–2 Detroit Red Wings (1972–73) 8–51–5
65 L February 27, 1973 3–5 Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73) 8–52–5
66 W March 3, 1973 9–3 Vancouver Canucks (1972–73) 9–52–5
67 L March 4, 1973 1–5 @ Detroit Red Wings (1972–73) 9–53–5
68 L March 6, 1973 2–3 Montreal Canadiens (1972–73) 9–54–5
69 L March 8, 1973 1–4 Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73) 9–55–5
70 L March 10, 1973 4–5 @ St. Louis Blues (1972–73) 9–56–5
71 L March 11, 1973 1–2 @ Minnesota North Stars (1972–73) 9–57–5
72 L March 13, 1973 0–3 Boston Bruins (1972–73) 9–58–5
73 W March 17, 1973 6–4 St. Louis Blues (1972–73) 10–58–5
74 W March 20, 1973 6–3 California Golden Seals (1972–73) 11–58–5
75 W March 24, 1973 3–2 Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73) 12–58–5
76 L March 27, 1973 2–3 Buffalo Sabres (1972–73) 12–59–5
77 L March 31, 1973 2–10 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73) 12–60–5
78 T April 1, 1973 4–4 @ Atlanta Flames (1972–73) 12–60–6

Player statistics[edit]

Forwards[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes

Player GP G A Pts PIM
Billy Harris 78 28 22 50 35
Ed Westfall 67 15 31 46 25
Germain Gagnon 63 12 29 41 31
Brian Spencer 78 14 24 38 90
Craig Cameron 72 19 14 33 27
Dave Hudson 69 12 19 31 17
Tom Miller 69 13 17 30 21
Lorne Henning 63 7 19 26 14
Terry Crisp 54 4 16 20 6
Don Blackburn 56 7 10 17 20
Bob Cook 33 8 6 14 14
Ralph Stewart 31 4 10 14 4
Brian Lavender 43 6 6 12 47
Brian Marchinko 36 2 6 8 0

[5]

Defencemen[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes

Player GP G A Pts PIM
Jim Mair 49 2 11 13 41
Arnie Brown 48 4 8 12 27
Gerry Hart 47 1 11 12 158
Bill Mikkelson 72 1 10 11 45
Bryan Lefley 63 3 7 10 56
Neil Nicholson 30 3 1 4 23

[5]

Goaltending[edit]

Note: GP= Games played; MIN = Minutes; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts; GA = Goals against; GAA = Goals against average

Player GP MIN W L T SO GA GAA
Gerry Desjardins 37 2498 5 35 3 0 195 4.68
Gerry Gray 1 60 0 1 0 0 5 5.00
Billy Smith 37 2122 7 24 3 0 147 4.16

[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jim Proudfoot (column), Toronto Star, January 8, 1972, p. 41
  2. ^ National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2006, p.162, Dan Diamond & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-920445-98-5
  3. ^ http://nyti.ms/1BF5Bzm
  4. ^ "1972–1973 Division Standings Standings - NHL.com - Standings". National Hockey League. 
  5. ^ a b c http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/NYI/1973.html