There was Bob Nystrom, standing by the floor-to-ceiling window of a Brooklyn restaurant underneath the Brooklyn Bridge with a view of the lower Manhattan skyline.
The legendary winger was one of scores of former Islanders who attended the reunion dinner put together by the team’s ownership at The River Cafe on Friday night.
After a moment, Nystrom needed just five words to describe what the night meant to him and the franchise’s alumni.
“This is just so fabulous,” he said.
The dinner was the official kickoff of the Islanders’ alumni weekend as part of the franchise’s season-long 50th anniversary celebrations.
“You have to thank the ownership, Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin, because they made a major effort the last few years to bring us all together,” Denis Potvin said.
According to Jay Beberman, the director of communications for the Islanders, almost 70 players attended the dinner.
Among those in attendance were Ed Westfall, Bryan Trottier, Butch Goring, Stefan Persson and Anders Kallur —both of whom traveled from Sweden — and Mark Streit, who flew in from Switzerland.
Along with the dinner, the alumni will be at UBS Arena to catch the current Islanders as they take on Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina on Saturday night. Some will participate in a charity game and meet-and-greet with their Rangers counterparts at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow on Sunday afternoon.
As one might reasonably suspect, the alumni keep tabs on their descendants. Entering Saturday night’s game against the Hurricanes, the Islanders have earned 51 points with a 23-19-5 record. But they are below the Eastern Conference playoff cut line — Pittsburgh would be the second wild-card team in the East and the Islanders would be the first team out if the playoffs started today — and have lost eight of the 10 games they have played this month (2-5-3).
After facing the Hurricanes, the Islanders will finish the month with games at Toronto (Monday) and Ottawa (Wednesday) before returning home for Detroit (Friday) and Vegas (Saturday).
After the game against the Golden Knights, the Islanders will be off for eight days for the All-Star break and a CBA-mandated bye week.
All of the alumni spoke about how grateful they are to Malkin, Ledecky and general manager Lou Lamoriello for making them feel welcome. They just as quickly added that they do not want to offer unsolicited advice to Lamoriello, coach Lane Lambert and the players.
“I obviously pull for the guys,” Trottier said. “We get a chance to cheer them on . . . We’re probably all full of ideas and creative ideas, that’s for sure, but they got a pretty good hold on everything.”