The Nassau Coliseum may not be getting any younger, but the Islanders locker room area became much more eye-catching thanks to Charles Wang and the Islanders organization.
With the founding of the Islanders Hall of Fame last season, which includes Bill Torrey, Al Arbour, Denis Potvin, Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier, Billy Smith, Bobby Nystrom, Clark Gillies and Bob Bourne, Friday marked the official unveiling of the Hall of Fame plaques. The event was part of the Allstate Core of the Four weekend that concludes Sunday with the final Allstate Core of the Four celebration when the Islanders host the Florida Panthers at 2 pm.
Legendary Islanders play-by-play man Jiggs McDonald served as Master of Ceremonies for the exclusive event for sponsors and members of the Islanders Business Club, which also featured the Stanley Cup.
"The Islanders celebration this weekend will be a lifetime memory that will most certainly not be the end of celebrations," stated McDonald. "Under the leadership of Charles Wang, the New York Islanders understand and respect this franchise's extraordinary tradition. Until the Lighthouse Project is completed, these beautiful tributes to our Islanders legends will take their rightful place along the entrance to the Islanders locker room."
Following introductions of the five Hall of Famers in attendance – Arbour, Bossy, Trottier, Nystrom and Bourne – it was time to move to the hallway for the unveiling. With Charles serving as the unveiler, the five distinct members watched as their bronze plaques were revealed to the media and sponsors attending the special event.
"A link between a professional sports team and its tradition is important," said Wang. "Nowhere is it more important than on Long Island. We had the privilege of watching one of the greatest dynasties in the history of the National Hockey League. We're proud that these men continue to have a close relationship with our organization."
Even the current Islanders couldn't help but stop and notice the new décor lining their locker room area.
"We're going to notice those plaques every time we walk down this hallway," said Bill Guerin. "Those are the players you aspire to be like and we'll be reminded of that each day we come to the rink. That’s the way it should be."
With ever-present smiles on their faces, the five Hall of Fame members were delighted to share stories with the media and sponsors. It was the second event of what is building up to be an incredible Allstate Core of the Four weekend.
"Every time someone says it's been 25 years. I'm just shocked by it," said Nystrom, standing by his new bronze plaque. "It's a great memory now, and I certainly appreciate what the Islanders have done here. I'm very honored by it."
Said Trottier: “The credit goes to Charles Wang, (Senior VP) Chris Dey and Garth Snow for strengthening the bond between the franchise and our players. This has been another spectacular day, and it’s only going to get even better this weekend.” FAN APPRECIATION DAY
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. Several of 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 was auctioned off at newyorkislanders.com.
All fans in attendance will receive a team poster, courtesy of Valtech. SUNDAY: WALK OF CHAMPIONS!
Join the "Core of the Four" Islanders legends at 2:00 pm on Sunday for the spectacular procession from the Marriott to the Nassau Coliseum
Two years ago when the Islanders celebrated the 1980 Stanley Cup Championship team, no one could have anticipated the spectacular that occurred as the players made their way from the Marriott Hotel to the Nassau Coliseum. For anyone involved, it was an event that will never be forgotten.
"We had no idea what to anticipate when we had the Walk of Champions for the last celebration, but it turned out to be one of the highlights from the entire event," said Bryan Trottier. "I've always said that we have the greatest fans in the world, so to have the opportunity to walk among them is a privilege for all of us."
The Islanders have organized another Walk of Champions for this weekend's Allstate Core of the Four weekend. On Sunday, March 2 at 2 pm, the Core of the Four members will precede from the Marriott to the Nassau Coliseum as thousands of fans cheer on their Dynasty legends.
"The Islanders have put in a lot of hard work to make this event as monumental as possible for everyone," said Mike Bossy. "The whole group is looking forward to hearing and seeing the fans on Sunday. It's going to be special."
Playing anchor of the event will be captain Denis Potvin, who will have the honor of carrying the Stanley Cup into the Nassau Coliseum.
Fans will want to get to this event early because the Coliseum plaza will fill up quickly, as it did two years ago.
A 3:00 pm on-ice ceremony celebrating the Core of the Four will precede the Islanders-Florida Panthers game.