Maybe it wasn't special in its first year of existence like these Vegas Golden Knights, but greatness came soon enough.
Torrey joined the Islanders in their very first year in 1972 as the expansion team's general manager and alternate governor, a post he would hold for 20 years. Despite having wonky ownership, then a meddling owner, Charlie Finley, Torrey helped the Seals to improve quickly. A native of Montreal, Quebec, Torrey was the general manager for the New York Islanders from 1972 to 1992.
"Bill was a giant of our game", Tallon said. He knew you had to draft and develop to build a sustained victor. It continued into the entry draft, when more Hall of Famers were chosen in Denis Potvin, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy and Clark Gillies - later adding Pat LaFontaine after trading up to the No. 3 pick in 1983. All of them own Hockey Hall of Fame jackets. After four more losses in the postseason, Torrey likely made his best personnel move - and one of the best trades in National Hockey League history - on March 10, 1980, when he sent popular veterans Billy Harris and Dave Lewis to the Kings in exchange for two-way center Butch Goring.
"We have no doubt that Bill's passing also is being mourned by the countless executives, coaches and players whom he inspired, guided and personally developed", Bettman said, "and the millions of fans who were thrilled by the teams he built". They won six Patrick Division championships.
Torrey also served in the roles of vice president, president and chairman of the board during his time with the Isles.
That's when Torrey found the missing piece and in the process made the days around the trade deadline meaningful. Torrey was the only front office member to spend the first 25 years with the Panthers. He tried to get Darryl Sittler away from Toronto, but Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard got in the way.
Mr. Torrey - or Bow Tie Bill, as he was known for his favorite neckwear - represented a modern-era approach to hockey management in the eyes of John Ziegler, the NHL president in the Islanders' heyday. Along with coach Al Arbour, his teams won 4 straight Stanley Cups and succeeded in winning 19 straight playoff series.
Your browser does not support the audio element. The last five years, Montgomery has coached the University of Denver, where he won the 2017 NCAA Frozen Four Championship.
A handful of teams, Pittsburgh and Detroit in the 90s and the current Penguins, have won two in a row, but not even the 80s Oilers could string three together, though four in five years and five in seven years was pretty impressive. This allowed the Islanders form a team that set league records that might never be broken. "At one time, most general managers were ex-jocks".
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