Now despite the New York Islanders finding a long-term home on the bottom of the NHL standings, during the early 80s, they dominated, winning four consecutive Stanley Cups before passing the torch to the NHL's next legendary dynasty, the Edmonton Oilers.
Two of the biggest stars on the Islanders at the time were Mike Bossy and Denis Potvin, and I was lucky enough to score an on-card autograph of each.
Here's a look at them:
Denis Potvin 2010-11 Dominion 21/50
Potvin was drafted number one overall in the 1973 draft and made an immediate impact, being awarded the Calder Trophy (Rookie if the Year) in 1974. With the retirement of Bobby Orr in the late '70s, Potvin, along with Larry Robinson, were seen as the best defensemen in the game. The Islanders defender kept his end of the bargain, earning the Norris Trophy (best defenseman) in 1976, 1978, and 1979. Clark Gillies stepped down as team captain after the 1978-79 season, and Potvin took over. In the 1979-80 season, Potvin led the Islanders to their first of four consecutive Stanley Cups. Potvin was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991, and became the first Islander to have his jersey (# 5) retired on February 1, 1992.
Mike Bossy 2011-12 Limited Select Signatures 82/97
Bossy is one of only five players to achieve the milestone of 50 goals in 50 games, which he did in 1980-81. He was the first to accomplish the feat since Maurice Richard in the 1944-45 season. Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Brett Hull have since joined the 50-in-50 club. In addition to his four Stanley Cups, Bossy has also collected more hardware, being awarded the Calder Trophy in 1978, the Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP) in 1982, and the Lady Byng Trophy (Sportsmanship and Gentlemanly Conduct) in 1983, 1984, and 1986). He also is tied with Gretzky for most 50+ goal seasons with 9, and most 60+ goal seasons with 5. Bossy retired in 1987 at the age of 30. He joined Potvin in the Hockey Hall of Fame class of 1991, and his number 22 was retired by the Islanders on March 3, 1992.