For more than 100 years, the United States has been celebrating some of the hardest workers with a holiday on Labor Day in September. In recognition of the workers in the Labor Unions, newyorkislanders.com has profiled the top five hardest working Islanders in team history.
5. Brendan Witt: There is not a player in today's NHL that is willing to sacrifice his body like Brendan Witt. Without the glamour of goals and assists to his name, Witt uses his body like a human shield to not only steer away on-rushing forwards, but also blistering slap shots. His tattoo-filled body sustains tireless poundings from rock-solid pieces of rubber, yet after each shift, he's ready to go back for some more. One of the Islanders' leaders on and off the ice, Witt has garnered the respect from teammates wherever he's been.
4. Ray Ferraro: Surely never the biggest guy on the ice, Ray Ferraro would be the first guy in front of the net, taking the beating to keep the opposing goaltender off balance. Ferraro will be most remembered for his heroic and gritty play during the Islanders' magical 1993 playoff run to the Conference Finals. In 18 playoff games, the scrappy center produced a team-leading 13 goals and seven assists.
3. Steve Webb: A pocket full of energy, Steve Webb was never known for his goal scoring punch, but the opposition sure knew when he was on the ice. His punch came in the form of pure physical power that only a man of stature could produce––5-10, 205 lbs. While Webb was putting fear into the eyes of his opponents, the Coliseum crowd couldn't get enough of their young star. The Peterborough, Ontario, native spent parts of eight seasons with the Islanders.
2. Butch Goring: Some say that if Butch Goring hadn't been traded to the Islanders towards the end of the 1979-80 season, they would have never won the Stanley Cup, let alone four consecutive Cups. Hailed the "final piece of the puzzle" by Bill Torrey, Goring was notorious for skating like a runaway train, hitting not only opponents, but even bumping into referees and teammates. He was one of the best forecheckers in the game. His beat-up skates and old helmet only added to Goring's colorful character.
1. Bobby Nystrom: Anyone dubbed Mr. Islander has to be one of the hardest working men to have played the sport of hockey. An Islander for life, having been drafted by the team in its inaugural season in the third round and still a key figure behind the scenes, Nystrom was beloved by Long Islanders for his constant hustle and work ethic. A man of many talents, Nystrom produced seven 20-goal seasons, but also wasn't afraid to drop the mitts to defend himself and his teammates. His tenaciousness and excellence throughout his entire playing career earned him a spot in the Coliseum rafters. Click here
to watch Bobby Nystrom's historical Stanley Cup-clinching goal during 1980 Stanley Cup Finals against Philadelphia.