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This Day in Isles History: Feb. 21

The Islanders send John Tonelli's No. 27 to the rafters

by New York Islanders @NYIslanders /

Feb. 21, 2020 - John Tonelli's No. 27 is retired. 

Tonelli, who was drafted by the Islanders in the second round (33rd overall) in the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft, won four Stanley Cups and was named a two-time All Star during his eight seasons on Long Island. 

Through 594 games with the Isles, Tonelli totaled 544 points (206, 338A). While Tonelli's No. 27 was sent to the rafters, the alumni granted permission for Anders Lee to continue wearing the number for the remainder of his career with the Isles. 

Video: TDIIH: Feb 21 Tonelli Jersey Retirement

From the ceremony

Serenaded by "JT" chants, a grateful Tonelli delivered an emotional 17-minute speech recounting his hockey career with his wife, two sons and mother joining him at center ice. The current Islanders, all outfitted in white Tonelli jerseys, sat on the bench, while a who's who of Isles alumni, including five of the six previously-retired numbers, joined him. Islanders owners Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky were also on hand, presenting Tonelli with an all-expenses paid golf vacation, a contribution to a charity of his choice, a plaque, a collage and framed jersey. 

"Tonight is about giving thanks to my extended family, each and every one of you here and all of you at home," Tonelli said. " Tonight is about my teammates, some who are standing here with me tonight. You guys are amongst the greatest players who have ever played in the NHL. I feel incredibly honored to have skated alongside each of you and to be a part of the success that we achieved as a team."

The Islanders won for Tonelli on his night, as Jordan Eberle scored a hat trick in a 4-1 win over Detroit.

Video: DET@NYI: Eberle records hat trick in 4-1 victory

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