Saturday, August 29, 2009
Born on this date in 1969, Pierre Turgeon played 19 NHL seasons, including three and a half with the New York Islanders from 1991 to 1995 before being traded to the Montreal Canadiens.
Turgeon was involved in some notable trades during his career, the first of which brought him to Long Island when, along with Benoit Houge, Uwe Krupp and Dave McLlwain, Turgeon was traded by his original club, the Buffalo Sabres, for Pat LaFontaine, Randy Wood and Randy Hiller plus future considerations.
He was a fan favorite on Long Island and would lead the Islanders in scoring, by margins of 7, 45 and 19 points, during his three full seasons with the club and finish tied for second the year he was traded away, despite playing in only 34 games, such was the state of the lowly Islanders in 1994-95.
His best season with the Islanders was the 1992-93 season when he would net 58 goals and add 74 assists for a 132 points, placing 5th overall in the league in what would prove to be his highest scoring season as a pro.
Turgeon would also add 13 more points in 11 playoff games in 1993, but would suffer a separated shoulder after being checked from behind well after scoring a goal by Dale Hunter, who would be suspended a record 21 games for the cheap shot.
When Islanders General Manager Don Maloney traded Turgeon to the Canadiens in 1994-95, concerned that Turgeon would never be the same player after the Dale Hunter incident, it turned into a nightmare for the Islanders on several levels. Montreal Canadiens captain Kirk Muller was the main player the Islanders received in return for Turgeon, and Muller was clearly at a point in his career where he wanted to compete for another Stanley Cup, and not lead the downtrodden Islanders back to respectability.
In the end, Muller would play just 27 games for the Islanders before being traded once more when first year coach Mike Milbury thought Muller had become too much of a distraction. Maloney would eventually be fired for being unable to get Muller on board with life on Long Island.
The fans would never forgive Maloney for trading Turgeon, even after Maloney and Muller were both out of Long Island within nine months of the trade. It was during this time period that the Islanders new owners also chose to ditch their traditional jerseys and the logo they wore while winning four consecutive Stanley Cups in favor of the new "Fish Sticks" jerseys, which the fans immediately adopted as the symbol for all that was wrong with the club at the time.
Today's featured jersey is a 1991-92 New York Islanders Pierre Turgeon jersey. It features the NHL 75th Anniversary patch worn by all the teams to celebrate the founding of the league in 1917. It also has the New York Islanders 20th anniversary patch on the left shoulder, which commemorates not only the anniversary of the club, but it's four Stanley Cup championships as well, making for a very nice two patch jersey, something we here at Third String Goalie highly approve of.
Here is Turgeon scoring his 50th goal during the 1992-93 season. The video is pretty bad, but at least the audio manages to not make up for it...
This next clip is the notorious hit on Turgeon by Dale Hunter that separated Turgeon's shoulder in the 1992 playoffs and earned Hunter the longest suspension ever at the time.