Interesting story on M vs. W

Discussion in 'New York Islanders' started by DarkHorse, Oct 4, 2013.

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  1. DarkHorse

    DarkHorse Go Banana!

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    They were talking on the show with the author of the new Dave Keon book, and the author mentioned that before the Isles acquired Butchie, they had a deal in place to acquire Keon from the Maple Leafs (he was on exile in the WHA), but Ballard wanted another first rounder.

    Imagine how different things could have been...
     
  2. scott99

    scott99 Registered User Sponsor

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    Can't be true. Keon can't be in exile in the WHA the year the Isles acquired Butchie, because the WHA's last season was 1978-79. We acquired Butchie during the 1979-80 season, March of 1980 to be precise.
     
  3. original islander

    original islander Registered User

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    You're right Scott, the deal that was being discussed was in 1976, a couple of months before the playoffs when Keon's WHA team folded.

    The rumored trade with the Maple Leafs prior to our acquiring Goring was Sittler for Gillies which Torrey eventually turned down. The rumor at least in the New York Post at the time had Bill wanting Tiger Williams who had skated with Trotts in his first year of junior at either Lethbridge or Swift Current coming back to the Island with Sittler. Ballard wanted Gillies and Harris for Sittler and Williams and Bill would only give up Gillies and Merrick.

    The other possibilities before Goring were Garry Unger during the 79 offseason and Stan Weir before the trade deadline.
     
  4. steveat

    steveat Registered User

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    Keon WAS exiled to the WHA, but he also could not play in the NHL because Ballard Toe'd his contract and wouldn't let him play and couldn't sign with another team. This was initially why Keon went to the WHA. That old rat ******* did a lot of crap in his tenure.

    "At the time Ballard took over, the Leafs' captain was Dave Keon, who had been with the team since 1960. Ballard and Keon never got along, and when Keon's contract expired in 1975, Ballard let it be known that Keon had no place on the team. However, he insisted on receiving compensation for Keon, and set the price so high that potential suitors shied away, which in effect had prevented Keon from joining another NHL team. Keon was forced to move to the WHA's Minnesota Fighting Saints. In 1980, when Keon received an offer from the soon-to-be dynasty New York Islanders, Ballard still owned Keon's NHL rights and blocked that deal, forcing Keon to finish off his career with the mediocre Hartford Whalers as the WHA was absorbed into the NHL. Keon never forgave Ballard for how he had been treated, and it was more than 20 years before he was reconciled with the Leafs."

    Read the last half. It puts it into perspective.

    As much as I hate Ballard, he was the reason why I became an Islander fan. He made me dislike the Leafs.
     
  5. MJF

    MJF No Sleep Till Elmont

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    The Garry Unger deal was rumored to be for Trottier.

    Bill Torrey was trying to shake up the team and add toughness. The Isles were perceived to be soft following the playoff losses to the Leafs in 1978 and the Rags in 1979. Good thing we didn't make that deal.
     
  6. On Edge

    On Edge Registered User

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    Remember it all very well. It really seemed like the team was on the edge of a huge makeover - "soft" was an accurate description at the time. Things do change with experience!
     
  7. MJF

    MJF No Sleep Till Elmont

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    The funny thing is that during the 1979-80 season, we lost Denis Potvin to an injury for 49 games, didn't add Ken Morrow until after the Olympics and only made one trade of significance (before the Goring deal), Mike Kasczycki for Gordie Lane. That year the Isles only won 39 games while the Flyers had that 35 game streak without a regulation loss. For me that's why the Isles first Cup was so sweet, I never saw that one coming.
     
  8. scott99

    scott99 Registered User Sponsor

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    Trading for Lane was HUGE ! He added toughness that we needed and was there for all 4 Cups. Very underrated player.
     
  9. On Edge

    On Edge Registered User

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    You are absolutely right. Lane was almost as important as Goring and Morrow though often overlooked or even forgotten. He helped the team tremendously with his fearlessness.
     
  10. Darth Milbury

    Darth Milbury Registered User

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    He was a marginal bottom pairing dman.

    The toughness came from Nystrom and Gillies.

    They didn't even need the physicality that much on defense with Potvin, bam bam, and morrow all being hitters.

    Lane was a spare part at best.
     
  11. Darth Milbury

    Darth Milbury Registered User

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    Morrow played on the first pair with Potvin


    Lane was a number five who played with a double shifted Bam Bam.

    This statement is not true, no disrespect meant.
     
  12. SLAPSHOT723

    SLAPSHOT723 QU! Bobcats!

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    Wasn't there also a deal in place for Sittler instead of Goring?
     
  13. leeroggy

    leeroggy Registered User

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    Darth, I think the answer is a little more in the middle of the two positions. Lane certainly helped with the physical confidence, although it is certainly true he did not get the minutes the rest of the defense got. I look at it as much from a team toughness standpoint too. Tonelli, Langevin and Duane Sutter also pitched in (although Duane's fighting record probably was similar to Sean Avery's!) and we still had Gary Howatt the first two years too.

    I will say that Gillies was the key factor in the 79-80 run. Unless your biggest guy is willing to protect your best players (something Gillies did not fully appreciate until the Boston series) there will always be a potential void in the team's toughness. Nystrom couldn't handle it all although he was possibly the best 'middleweight' fighter in the league (and probably Top 10 in NHL history for that role). And his mauling of Wensink was as important to that series as Gillies' double trilogy with O'Reilly.

    But even with all those battles, it took the team's toughness stepping up to push them fully over the top, and that took more than Gillies and Nystrom.
     
  14. On Edge

    On Edge Registered User

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    No disrespect taken Darth but I disagree.

    Morrow was head and shoulders above Lane as far as talent and performance. Different player and different role.

    I however, remember well that the addition of Lane on the backline - even as a depth guy - having a huge impact on the toughness of the team. The Islanders were an a very easy team to intimidate in the late 70's before their cup run. Guys like Lane are often overlooked and forgotten when it comes to the impact they made on the Islanders championships.
     
  15. original islander

    original islander Registered User

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    Yes, Bill could've done a Sittler for Gillies trade about a month before, but was concerned about team toughness and asked for Tiger Williams an ex junior linemate of Trotts to be included. Toronto wanted Harris to be added and Torrey didn't want to give up 2 of his early first round picks. Bill couldn't sell Toronto on Sittler and Williams for Gillies, Merrick and Lewis.
    I spoke to someone that worked in the sports department of the New York Post at the time and they said Bill was also concerned with Sittler's reputation as a clubhouse lawyer and was worried about Trott's reaction because Sittler was also a dominant center. There were concerns about Bryan's psyche after his meltdown in the prior 2 playoffs.
     
  16. MJF

    MJF No Sleep Till Elmont

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    Remember that Denis Potvin got injured in November and missed most of the season. Gordie Lane was acquired a few weeks later to fill a hole on the blue line. Without Potvin our defense was, Persson, Lewis, Lorimer, Jean Potvin, Mike Hordy. Lane was a useful addition at that time.
     

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