The Islanders will honor the 17 players that comprised the Islanders dynasty, along with GM Bill Torrey and Coach Al Arbour at the Core of 4 Celebration on Sunday, March 2 at 2:00 pm when the team hosts the Florida Panthers. This is one in a series of tributes to the members of the Core of 4.
|Stefan Persson |
Selected in the 14th round of the 1974 NHL Entry Draft – yes, you read that correctly – defenseman Stefan Persson was as integral a member of the Core of 4 as any Islander player.
In the days before NHL teams heavily scouted Europeans, it was often possible to unearth potential stars that no one else knew about. Such was the case with Persson, a native of Umea, Sweden, and the first player from his town to make the NHL. Persson spent two more seasons developing in Sweden before deciding it was time to come to North America. He stepped in to the Isles’ lineup as if he had played in the NHL for years, providing puckhandling and passing that belied his lack of North American experience.
As a 23-year-old rookie in 1977-78, Stefan rang up 50 assists, and NHL record for rookie defensemen. (His 56 points were a team record for first-year blueliners that still stands). He was at his most dangerous on the power play, handling the right point with Denis Potvin on the other side. He was a smooth puckhandler, smart passer, and superb tactician – a perfect complement for Potvin.
In each of Persson’s first two NHL seasons, the Isles converted on more than 31 percent of their power-play chances. In 1980-81, with Potvin and Persson orchestrating the attack from the blue line, the Isles set an NHL record with 93 power play goals while converting nearly 30 percent of their chances. No NHL team since has come close to that kind of sustained efficiency.
But Stefan was no slouch at even strength, either. He and Langevin, his longtime regular partner, offered a No. 2 pairing that most teams would have been happy to feature as their top unit. Persson’s passing and puckhandling skills were a perfect match for “Bammer’s” physical style of play and ability to clear the slot.
Persson was a key in the 1980 Cup Final against Philadelphia, where the Isles’ special teams destroyed the Flyers. Persson’s power-play goal with 3:42 left in regulation sent Game 1 into overtime, where Potvin scored the game-winner and Stefan added a pair of power-play setups to fuel a 6-2 victory in Game 3. In all, the Isles had a record 15 power-play goals. And Persson was a key to making the extra man a real advantage, finishing the Isles’ run to their first Cup with 5 goals and 15 points.
Stefan kept contributing, serving as a key member on all four Cup winners (though he had to take his 1981 victory lap after having watched the game from the press box due to a broken jaw). He was a valued Islander until his retirement after the 1985-86 season – too soon for most Islander fans. He was the perfect complementary player on one of the best, most versatile defense units the NHL has ever seen – and a joy to watch.Stefan Persson's All Time Stats
25 YEARS LATER...A DYNASTY HONORED
Sunday March 2: Allstate Core of the Four - Celebrating the 17 men who played for all four Stanley Cup-winning teams of the New York Islanders ...Purchase tickets here.
Islanders fans, coming soon is the weekend event of the season that everyone has been eagerly anticipating. On the weekend of March 1, the Islanders will honor some of the most remarkable men in NHL history as they kickoff Allstate Core of the Four weekend. As every Islanders fan knows, the Islanders were the talk of the town and the NHL during the 1980s, thanks to their incredible run of four Stanley Cups from 1980-1983. The Islanders organization is proud to celebrate the accomplishments of the 17 men who were a part of all four championship teams.FAN APPRECIATION DAY: SATURDAY MARCH 1
Saturday, March 1 is all about you, the fans. Fan Appreciation Day, when the Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers at 2 pm, will honor the greatest fans in the NHL. As a thank you, the Islanders organization will be giving away hundreds of prizes all game long. The Core of the Four Alumni will be attending our annual Fan Appreciation Day Game. Kids will also be treated to a post-game on ice puck shootout.
On the Nassau Coliseum ice there will be a presentation for the winner of Bill Guerin’s Chopper motorcycle, which is currently being auctioned off at newyorkislanders.com.
All fans in attendance will receive a team poster, courtest of Valtech. The first 10,000 fans can pick up Islanders trading cards upon entrance into the Nassau Coliseum.Click here to purchase tickets to Fan Appreciation Day on March 1, when the Islanders take on the Philadelphia Flyers.THE MAIN EVENT – ALLSTATE CORE OF THE FOUR DAY: SUNDAY, MARCH 2
The Islanders host the Florida Panthers at the Nassau Coliseum at 4 pm on Sunday, March 2, but the day's events start long before the drop of the puck.
If there was ever a time to be at the Coliseum, it would be at 2 pm for the Walk of Champions. Islanders fans will have the chance to cheer on the Core of Four as they make their way from the Marriott to the Coliseum in the ceremonial, red carpet Walk of Champions.
Fans will see the Core of the Four as they make their way into the Coliseum and on the ice, where they will be greeted by the game’s most prized possession – the Stanley Cup. This will be an event that will not be forgotten by those witnessing it. The honored guests are:Bill Torrey
Trainer Ron Waske
and equipment manager Jim Pickard
, who were with the team for all four Stanley Cups, will also be honored as part of the event. Hall of Fame broadcaster Jiggs McDonald
will serve as the Master of Cereonies.
A special ceremony for the Core of the Four members will begin at 3 pm on the Coliseum ice. All fans in attendance will receive a Sharp commemorative Core of the Four banner.
Throughout the game, the Stanley Cup will be on display at the concourse for photo ops.
Fans interested in purchasing tickets to these two special games should click here
. Act now, because these tickets are going fast.
There are two great ticket plans that guarantee you seats at these in-demand games.Click here to find out about the Perfect 10 Plan.Click here to find out about the 5 Star Plan.