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Award Worthy Isles

Looking back at the Islanders who have won the Jack Adams Award, Vezina, Masterton and Jennings trophies

by Cory Wright and Sasha Kandrach NYIslanders /

The New York Islanders are going to leave Las Vegas with at least one trophy this week, as the league congregates at the Mandalay Bay for the NHL Awards on Wednesday (8 p.m., NBCSN, SN).

Thomas Greiss and Robin Lehner have already locked up William Jennings Trophy, but Lehner and Barry Trotz are nominated for an additional three awards between the two of them.

Lehner is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy (best goaltender) and the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (perseverance and dedication to hockey), while Trotz is up for the Jack Adams Award (coach of the year).

At least one Islander is already engraved on the Vezina, Masterton, Jennings and Jack Adams, so in honor, is looking back on the Isles' past winners.

Video: Billy Smith was goalie on Islanders' 1980s dynasty


Billy Smith is the Islanders' lone Vezina Trophy winner, claiming the NHL title for top goalie in 1982. Smith went 32-9-4 (W-L-T), with a 2.97 goals-against average and a .898 save percentage, leading the league in wins.

Smith's .898 SV% was tied for second in the NHL, while his 2.97 GAA ranked third. 1982 also marked the first year that NHL GMs voted for the Vezina Trophy - which was previously given to the goalies on the team with the fewest goals allowed - and they bestowed on the honor on Battlin' Billy.

The Vezina was one of three individual awards on Smith's mantle, which included the William Jennings Trophy (fewest goals allowed) and Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP) in 1983.


One year after Smith's Vezina award, he and Roland Melanson teamed up to capture the first Williams Jennings Trophy in franchise history. The tandem allowed a league-low 226 goals and worked together to backstop the club to its fourth straight Stanley Cup. 

In his third season in the NHL and with the Islanders, Melanson posted a regular season record of 24-12-5 (W-L-T), a save percentage of .909 and a goals against average of 2.66. Melanson set career highs in wins, save percentage and also finished second in Vezina voting.

Smith finished the season with an 18-14-7 record, with a .906 SV%, a 2.87 GAA and one shutout. Smith finished fourth in Vezina Trophy voting, giving the Isles two of the top-four candidates. 

The 1982-83 season was the second season the Jennings Trophy was distributed. The award is presented to the goaltender(s) who have played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it based on regular-season play. 

Video: Islanders: Al Arbour: The Father of the Dynasty


Al Arbour was the first recipient in Islanders franchise history of the Jack Adams Award. Arbour received the award after leading the Islanders to a league-leading record of 51-15-14 (116 points). The Isles lost 4-2 in the semifinals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to crosstown rivals the New York Rangers, but the season ultimately primed the Islanders for their four consecutive Stanley Cup wins from 1980-83. 

Arbour's 1979 Jack Adams was his only coach of the year award, but the Isles bench boss is one of the game's all-time greats. Arbour is fifth all-time with 782 wins and was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996.


Two Islanders have previously won the Masterton Trophy, given annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey. 

The Isles most recent recipient, Mark Fitzpatrick, won the Bill Masterton Trophy during the 1991-92 season. Fitzpatrick overcame the potentially life-threatening disease Eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS) which sidelined him for nearly the entire 1990-91 season. Fitzpatrick overcame the disease and returned to the ice during February of 1992. He posted an 11-13-5 record after returning. 

Ed Westfall was the first player in Islanders franchise history to receive the Bill Masterton Trophy. Westfall won the award during the 1976-77 season for being a good leader, helping guide the Islanders to a fourth-place finish in the league five years after their expansion season. At 36-years-old, Westfall was recognized for his perseverance and dedication during his 16th season in the NHL. 

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