Fish Sticks: The Fall and Rise of the New York Islanders

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Sports Publishing LLC, Apr 1, 2003 - Sports & Recreation - 240 pages
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Once upon a time, the New York Islanders were the embodiment of greatness: four-time Stanley Cup champions and a model franchise in the National Hockey League during the early '80s. The dynasty quickly crumbled, however, and the team found itself in a seemingly never-ending freefall. One embarrassing episode after another befell the once-mighty Islanders: Kirk Muller balked at being traded to the team; the team's classic logo was replaced with one that was vehemently ridiculed, earning the team the nickname "Fish Sticks"; a slick con artist managed to buy the team with nothing more than his charm; the team failed to make the playoffs seven seasons in a row as miserly owners purged players salaries; Hall of Fame great Bryan Trottier feuded with the team and blocked the retirement of his jersey; embattled general manager "Mad Mike" Milbury couldn't do anything to get himself fired. Yet, having finally hit bottom after enduring countless trials and near-unbelievable tribulations, the team has begun its climb to the top. New owner Charles Wang has brought not only a desire to return the Islanders to their place of pride, but also the money to do it. The team experienced a remarkable resurgence during the 2001-02 season. Ticket sales have skyrocketed since that breakthrough success, with the team expecting to fight its way back into the playoffs for a second straight season.
 

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Contents

A Season on the Brink
1
Humiliation Disintegration and Don Maloney
5
Fish Sticks and the Great Kirk Muller
15
Enter Mad Mike
23
The Right Man for the Job
35
And Get This With No Money Down
49
The Last Islander
63
Milstones Meet the Milstones
71
Deserted Isle
111
A Wang and a Prayer
123
Butch Whacked
135
Hey 19
147
Back in Business
157
911 169 17 WhiteKnuckle to the End
175
Playoffs
187
How Soon Is Now?
205

A Coliseum in Ruins
79
CheapSkates
99

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About the author (2003)

Alan Hahn has covered the New York Islanders for Newsday in New York for five seasons. He coauthored Fish Sticks: The Fall and Rise of the New York Islanders (Sports Publishing, 2002). In 2000 he won Newsday's Publisher Award in Sportswriting for his coverage of the team. He also won two Press Club of Long Island awards for his work. Hahn grew up on Long Island right along with the Islanders franchise and experienced the Stanley Cup dynasty as a young fan. He played hockey and basketball throughout his childhood and eventually took basketball to the NCAA level at Long Island University-C.W. Post. He now resides in Brentwood, New York, with his wife and two children.

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