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Bill Torrey’s top 10 moves as GM of the Islanders

Islanders president and general manager Bill Torrey introduces

Islanders president and general manager Bill Torrey introduces the coaches for the 1988 NHL All-Star Game during a press conference on Feb. 7, 1988 at the Marriott Hotel in Uniondale. Credit: Ozier Muhammad

Bill Torrey’s top 10 moves as Islanders general manager:

1. Drafting and signing Denis Potvin in 1973. With the rival World Hockey Association competing hard for talent, Torrey convinced the greatest player in junior hockey to buy into Long Island by trading for his brother, Jean. Torrey also resisted enticing trade offers from the Canadiens. Potvin became the Islanders cornerstone.

2. The Butch Goring Deal. Rarely in sports history has one trade instantly changed the fortunes and future of a franchise as the one Torrey completed with the Kings before the 1980 deadline.

3. Drafting Bryan Trottier in 1974.

4. Drafting Mike Bossy in 1977.

5. Drafting Clark Gillies in 1974.

6. Convincing Al Arbour to coach the team in 1973. The general manager emphasized the “Islanders” over the “New York” in the team title to a candidate who was wary of the city. Sold him on Cold Spring Harbor.

7. Trading Bob Lorimer and Dave Cameron to the Colorado Rockies for a 1983 No. 1 draft pick, which turned out to be Pat LaFontaine — the last of five future Hall of Famers Torrey chose in the amateur draft.

8. In the 1972 expansion draft, he took Eddie Westfall, who became the captain and a beacon, and Billy Smith, who became a four-time Stanley Cup winning goalie.

9. Acquiring J.P. Parise and Jude Drouin from the North Stars in separate deals two days apart. They were catalysts for the third-year team’s run to the 1975 Stanley Cup semifinal, putting the franchise on the map.

10. Getting a haul for Pat LaFontaine and Brent Sutter in 1991. Both stars had wanted trades, and Torrey acquired Pierre Turgeon, Uwe Krupp, Benoit Hogue, Steve Thomas and others who led a run to the 1993 Stanley Cup semifinal.

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