Welcome to Last Word on Hockey’s One Hit Wonder series. Each day, we will take a look at a new team’s three biggest one-hit wonders. These are players that had one great season or playoff run but never did anything like that again. Join us every day for a new team! Today we take a look at the New York Islanders One-Hit Wonders.
The New York Islanders Top Three One-Hit Wonders
First up on the New York Islanders one-hit-wonder list is Matt Moulson. Moulson grew up playing minor hockey in the Mississauga area. After his midget career, Moulson signed with the Guelph Dominator Junior B club of the Midwestern Ontario Junior B League for the 2000-01 and 2001-02 season. After that, he spent four years, Moulson played college hockey at Cornell University. He put up solid numbers for Cornell and was drafted 263rd overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
After his time was done with Cornell, Moulson signed his entry-level contract with the Los Angeles Kings as a free agent. He was assigned to the Kings AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs to start the season. There Moulson put up 57 points in 77 games. The following season he made his debut for the Kings. Though he played a majority of the 2007-08 season with the Monarchs putting up 56 points in 57 games. Moulson saw one more game with the Kings as again, Moulson played most of the time in the AHL during the 2008-09 season.
As a free agent, Moulson signed a one-year contract with the Islanders. During the 2009-10 season, Moulson put up 30 goals and was awarded a new one-year contract in arbitration. He continued to produce for the Islanders as he was put on a line with John Tavares.
However, Moulson’s best season with the Islanders came during the 2011-12 season. There Moulson became the first player in Ziggy Palffy to record three straight 30-goal seasons. Not only that but Moulson set careers high in goals (36), assists (33), and points (69). It was also the third consecutive season, Moulson played in all 82 games. He was nominated for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. It appeared that Moulson was going to be a part of the Islanders for a long time.
After The Season
During the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, Moulson put up 44 points in 47 games. He was on pace to smash his previous records. However, that was the closest Moulson would ever come again to be a point producer in the league. At the beginning of the 2013-14 season, Moulson was traded to the Buffalo Sabres for Thomas Vanek. During that season’s trade deadline Moulson was traded to the Minnesota Wild.
Moulson returned to Buffalo in 2014 signing a five-year contract. However, under head coach Dan Bylsma, Moulson saw a career-low in points with 21 points. There were rumours Moulson was going to be bought out. He did rebound with 32 points in the 2016-17 season. However, it was not enough for the Sabres as he was placed on waivers. Since Buffalo did not want to clear a roster spot he was loaned to the Ontario Reign. As of July 1st, 2019, Moulson is still in the AHL playing with the Hershey Bears.
Brent Sutter was drafted by the Islanders 17th overall in the first round of the 1980 NHL Entry Draft. Sutter grew up playing hockey in Red Deer, Alberta before playing with the Lethbridge Broncos of the Western Hockey League. During the 1980-81 season with Lethbridge, Sutter put up 108 points (54 goals and 54 assists) in 68 games. In 1981-82 season, Sutter split time between the Islanders and Broncos. In 34 games with the Broncos Sutter put up 80 points. With the big club, Sutter scored 43 points in 43 games. Sutter was fortunate in his early career with the Islanders going to three Stanley Cup Finals and winning two Stanley Cups. However, his best season as a professional came in 1984-85.
In the 1984-85 season, the Islanders had just come off going to their fifth straight Stanley Cup final. Sutter had been averaging around 40 or so points per season until he exploded that season. That season Sutter set a career-highs in all three statistical categories. Sutter recorded 102 points (40 goals and 62 assists). He did all of this in just 72 games with the Islanders. That was very impressive, but he had shown that scoring ability in junior hockey. But for Sutter that was the best statistical year of his playing career. He was second on the team in points behind Mike Bossy, who recorded 117 points. However, the Islanders bowed out in the then Patrick Divisional Final against the Philadelphia Flyers.
After The Season
Again Sutter is not your typical New York Islanders one-hit wonders type player. When it comes to his overall playing career. He had a solid playing career playing in 1111 regular season games racking up 829 points (363 goals and 466 assists). Plus he added 74 points (30 goals and 44 assists) in 144 playoff games.
Sutter spent six more seasons with the Islanders. He still had good statistical numbers but they were way down from the 1984-85 season. During that time he averaged 60 points per season with the Islanders. He averaged around 25 goals per season along with averaging about 33 assists. During the 1986-87 season, Sutter took over as captain of the Islanders. In 1991, the Islanders traded Sutter to the Chicago Blackhawks, where he played seven more seasons in the NHL. Sutter made one more trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1992 with the Blackhawks. Towards the end of his playing career, Sutter was not the same player. But for one season in 1984-85, Sutter was a threat every time he touched the puck.
Travis Green was drafted 23rd overall by the Islanders in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. Green started out playing junior hockey in the Western Hockey League with the Spokane Chiefs. Midway through the 1989-90 season, he was traded to the Medicine Hat Tigers, where he finished out his junior career. During his time with the Chiefs, he recorded 302 points (137 goals and 165 assists). He added another 39 points (15 goals and 24 assists) with the Tigers. After his junior career was over Green spent time in the AHL with the Capital District Islanders for two full seasons and 20 games of a third season. He averaged 55 points and 20 goals in the AHL before being getting called up to the Islanders.
Green made an impact with the Islanders in the 1993-94 season, but his best season statistically was the 1995-96 season. While the Islanders were not one of the best teams in the league, Green was the second on the team in scoring with 70 points (25 goals and 45 assists) behind Palffy. Green was able to put up these numbers playing in only 69 games for the Islanders. Things were only supposed to go up for Green and Islanders especially when a player has a season like Green did in 1995-96.
After The Season
However, the following saw Green’s number plummet. He never reached that point total again. The Islanders traded Green to the Anaheim Ducks in the 1997-98 season. He played two seasons there before signing the then Phoenix Coyotes in the 1999-2000 season. After putting up decent numbers, Green signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Green signed with his final team in the 2003-04 signing with the Boston Bruins. After the final year of his contract with bought out by the Bruins, Green went back to the Ducks. He played seven games there before being claimed by the Maple Leafs in January of 2007.
After his playing career was over, Green entered the coaching world. After making his way up through the junior and American Hockey League ranks, Green became the current head of the Vancouver Canucks in April of 2017.
That does for the New York Islanders One Hit Wonders, stay tuned for the next team in our lineup.
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