The New York Islanders are proud to announce that four-time Stanley Cup Champions, John Tonelli and Robert "Butch" Goring, each will have their number retired by the organization.
Tonelli, who spent eight seasons with the Islanders, will have his number 27 retired prior to the Islanders game on Friday, Feb. 21 against the Detroit Red Wings. Goring, who spent six seasons with the Islanders, will have his number 91 retired prior to the Islanders game on Saturday, Feb. 29 against the Boston Bruins.
Tonelli was selected in the second round (33rd overall) by the Islanders in the 1977 NHL Entry Draft. The following season, he made his NHL debut with the club. Tonelli would go on to play in 594 career regular season games, scoring 544 points (206 goals and 338 assists). In the playoffs, Tonelli is known as the man who set-up Bob Nystrom's overtime Stanley Cup winning goal in 1980, clinching the first of four straight Stanley Cup Championships for the Islanders.
Video: Tonelli & Goring Conference Call
"The accomplishments we achieved as a team throughout my years as a New York Islander will always be the greatest memories I have from playing the game," Tonelli said. "To have my number retired alongside several of my former teammates is incredibly humbling and something that my family and I will cherish forever. I have spoken with current Islanders team captain Anders Lee and from seeing the tremendous leader he is, I told him that I would be honored if he continues to wear our number until the end of his career."
In March of 1980, Goring was acquired in a trade from the Los Angeles Kings. He would go on to play 332 regular season games with the Islanders, scoring 195 points (87 goals and 108 assists). The Winnipeg, Manitoba native would also play 99 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Islanders, scoring 68 points (28 goals and 40 assists). During the Islanders second Stanley Cup Championship, Goring won the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the player deemed most valuable throughout the playoffs. He would score 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points in 18 games. That same season, Goring would represent the Islanders at the 1980 All-Star Game.
"I'm extremely honored to have my number retired by the New York Islanders," Goring said. "I came to the Long Island community back in the 80s and since then I have made it my home. Some of the greatest accomplishments of my career happened with this fanbase and I can't wait to share this night with them as well."
Both Tonelli and Goring will join Denis Potvin, Clark Gillies, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy, Bob Nystrom and Billy Smith as the only Islanders players to have their numbers retired.