The New York Islanders have, unfortunately, lost a lot of great players over the years, via free agency or trades. Here are ten players who, at one point, graced the ice at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for the Islanders, but have moved on to different teams.
(This list will not include Alexei Yashin.)
Fedotenko, who played for the Islanders during the 2006-2007 season, is now employed by the cross-town rival New York Rangers.
He has a goal and four assists through 15 games. If the Islanders were to somehow make the playoffs, they would miss him, as Fedotenko was a force for the Penguins in 2009, scoring seven goals and dishing out seven assists during their Stanley Cup run.
Sopel is now on the Atlanta Thrashers, where is he is paired up with star defensemen Johnny Oduya.
Sopel played for the Islanders in the 2005-2006 season. This year he has a lone assist, but has managed to stay even in plus/minus as opposed to when he played for the Islanders and was a minus-nine.
Bergenheim spent the first five seasons of his career on the Island, where he racked up 40 goals.
He is now on the Tampa Bay Lightning, and has three goals and three assists. Bergenheim was a great grinder and a gritty player the Isles could really use right now to produce goals.
Blake is one of the best stories in the NHL, and he was also one of the best players on the Islanders when he played for them.
Blake was an Islander from 2001- 2007, and had 40 goals in his final season. Blake's production has slowed down of late, but he still has three goals and three assists for the Anaheim Ducks.
A true example of perseverance, the Islanders really lack a emotional leader like Blake, who would have been a great compliment to Doug Weight.
Osgood was, at one point, one of the top goalies in the league.
Still a great No. 2 goalie for the Detroit Red Wings, I think most Islander fans would rather him and Roloson rotating instead of Rick DiPietro. Osgood is only 2-2 on the season, but has been around the league for so long he could teach the younger Islanders a lot about what it takes to succeed.
Erskine is probably happy to be gone from the Islanders, as now he plays for arguably the best team in the league—the Washington Capitals. But the Islanders would love to have him back, even though he has always been a middle of the pack player.
He must be doing something right, as the defense for the Caps may not be the best in the league, but they win games. Erskine played for the Islanders in 2005-2006.
We go from Caps player to Caps player, as the Islanders definitely miss this defenseman.
Poti played on the Islanders from 2006-2007 in a season that he recorded 38 assists. Poti has been banged up this year, playing in only four games, but a healthy Poti is a great threat on the offensive end.
Hamrlik is a solid defensive player, sitting four points away from 600 in his career.
He played for the Islanders from 2000-2004 and has been in the NHL since 1992. An almost injury-free player, Hamrlik is the type you love to have day in and day out. He was a key contributor in shutting down Alex Ovechkin in Montreal's magical playoff run last year.
It is almost not fair to put Smyth on this list, as the Islanders traded for him mid-season and he only played 18 games for the Isles. But Smyth is one of the top players in the NHL, and the Islanders would love to have a scorer like him on the team.
The Islanders have struggled to score of late, and Smyth would have easily helped fix that problem. Now on the Kings, he has four goals and five assists on the season so far.
Chara would have been big for the Islanders. But in all honesty, he is one of the best defenders in the NHL and has a rocket of a slap-shot.
Chara is a player you can build a franchise around, and it would have been cool to see him play with former No. 1 pick John Tavares.
Luongo may not be having his best season, but you know the Islanders kick themselves every day for trading him.
Luongo is one of the best goalies in the NHL. He has appeared in three All-Star games and could have a few more in his future. If the Islanders still had Luongo, they never would have signed Rick DiPietro to a franchise-killing 15-year contract.
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