In the current issue of The Hockey News, Islanders defenseman Brendan Witt is named the winner of the John Ferguson Award for toughest player in the NHL.
Witt is cited for playing "against all the top lines as one of the Islanders' shut-down guys - just ask Leafs captain Mats Sundin how much fun he had battling Witt all season - and regularly puts his body on the line for his team...Witt can play it rough and tough - and he can flat-out play, too."
In a chart compiled by the magazine, Witt is first in the NHL in combined hits, blocked shots and penalty minutes. His 569 ranks him ahead of runnerups Sean Hill of the Islanders, Anton Volchenkov of Ottawa and Long Island born and raised dman man Mike Komisarek of the Montreal Canadiens.
Elsewhere in the magazine, The Hockey News editors give Wade Dubielewicz and Richard Park a Plus for their play in the finale in New Jersey and give themselves a Minus for not including the Islanders in their playoff preview. In addition, there is a column from Adam Proteau titled, "Isles' Fan Base Needs to Grow: Long Islanders missing out on great story filled with castoffs and second chances."