Richard Zednik

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Posted by bender 05/01/2009 @ 20:14

Tags : richard zednik, hockey players, hockey, sports

News headlines
Florida Panthers: Zednik doesn't win Masterton - Sun-Sentinel Florida Panthers blog
Those of you who are also watching the NHL Awards live on Versus right now already know, but Panthers winger Richard Zednik (well at least for another two weeks before his contract with the Panthers officially expires and he moves on to the KHL in...
Trophy time: Who is expected to walk away with hardware? - USA Today
Masterton Trophy (dedication and perseverance): Chris Chelios (Detroit), Steve Sullivan (Nashville) and Richard Zednik (Florida): The PHWA has been trying to make this award less about injuries and illness and more about the dedication and perseverance...
NHL Awards Show takes Center Stage in Las Vegas - The Queensberry Rules
However, I have to go with Richard Zednik. If not for the tremendous job done by the training staff in Buffalo, Zednik's life could have been in serious jeopardy, never mind his hockey career. Fighting back from a scary situation such as that takes a...
Florida Panthers' 'healthy budget' excites acting GM - MiamiHerald.com
Sexton also said Richard Zednik -- who signed a two-year deal with a Russian team during the offseason -- could opt out of that deal and return to the NHL. Sexton said Zednik's agent indicated Zednik will not opt out and is excited about playing in...
Steve Sullivan up for Masterton Trophy Thursday - Examiner.com
In late April, the NHL announced the three finalists as Sullivan, Chris Chelios, and Richard Zednik. length attained by few in hockey history. His 1640 games played rank only men to have played in 25 NHL seasons. At 47, he's the oldest player in the...
Former Habs prospect finds niche in ball hockey; Canada goes for ... - The Canadian Press
The Czech roster that year included NHL players Pavol Demitra, Josef Stumpel and Richard Zednik, he said. The 47-year-old analyst with the Ontario Securities Commission has coached Canada to the last four world titles and says this world championship...
Florida Panthers: Should Panthers pursue Koivu? - Sun-Sentinel Florida Panthers blog
Boynton and winger Richard Zednik combined made Koivu's salary last season. It would be a bonus for Koivu to join the Panthers as he's Finnish and the Panthers open next season with two games in Helsinki. Would you like to see the Panthers pursue Koivu...
Ovechkin repeats as MVP - WBOC TV 16
Sullivan thanked his teammates, coaches and fans for sticking with him after he sustained a back injury in February 2007. Sullivan topped Detroit's Chris Chelios and Florida's Richard Zednik in voting for the award. You must be logged in to rate this...
NHL News: Sergei Fedorov leaving for KHL - Blueshirt Banter
by jrs1940 on May 26, 2009 12:30 PM EDT in News 6 comments More photos » by Keith Srakocic - AP Fedorov is following in the footsteps of Jaromir Jagr, who left for the KHL last year, and former Florida Panther Richard Zednik, who signed a 2 year deal a...
Panthers' offseason of shock and awe continues with Martin departure - Examiner.com
The National Hockey League club had its foundation shaken several times over the past several weeks by news of Richard Zednik's relocation to Russia, Bill Lindsay's relocation to the television booth and now Martin's relocation to Canada....

Richard Zedník

Richard Zednik.jpg

Richard Zedník (born January 6, 1976) is a Slovak professional hockey player who plays right wing for the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League.

He was drafted in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals, in the tenth round, two-hundred forty-ninth overall, after playing junior hockey for the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League.

Zedník scored 35 goals in his rookie year with the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League during the 1994–95 season. In his second year with the major junior team, he scored 44 goals which earned him Second Team All-Star honours.

On October 31, 2000, a local Washington, DC radio station DC101 had a promotion in which they offered fans a free ticket and Zedník jersey if they dyed their hair blond as Zedník had in the offseason. Over two hundred people showed up as "Zed Heads" and Zedník scored his first career hat trick against the Detroit Red Wings.

On April 26, 2002, during a playoff game in Montreal against the Boston Bruins, Zedník was elbowed in the face by Bruin defender Kyle McLaren. Zedník, who had scored both goals for Montreal in the 5–2 loss, suffered a fractured cheekbone, broken nose, and a concussion. The injuries forced Zedník to miss the remainder of the playoffs.

On April 30, 2009, it was officially announced that Zedník was going to play for the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team in the russian Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

Zedník was traded by the Washington Capitals on March 13, 2001, along with Jan Bulis and a first round draft pick (Alexander Perezhogin), to Montreal in exchange for Trevor Linden, Dainius Zubrus, and a second round draft pick (later traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning).

After playing the next 3 years in Montreal, Zedník was traded back to the Capitals on July 12, 2006, for a third round draft-pick.

On February 26, 2007, Zedník was traded by Washington to the New York Islanders for a 2nd round draft pick.

While being an unrestricted free agent, Zedník signed a 2-year contract with the Florida Panthers on July 1, 2007.

On February 10, 2008, in a game between the Florida Panthers and the Buffalo Sabres, teammate Olli Jokinen, while tripping over the leg of Sabres forward Clarke MacArthur, cut Zedník's external carotid artery with his right skate blade. Zedník immediately skated to the Florida bench, leaving a trail of blood on the ice. He was immediately attended to by Florida trainer Dave Zenobi (along with all medical personnel in the arena) who took him to the locker room for treatment until emergency medical personnel arrived at HSBC Arena. Zedník underwent surgery that night starting at 9:00, his status being published as stable after leaving the arena. The game was delayed for more than 20 minutes as the zamboni was needed to help clean the blood from the ice. Zenobi and assistant general manager Randy Sexton remained with Zedník; the Panthers arranged for his wife Jessica Welch to be flown in from their South Florida home to be with him in Buffalo. NHL Vice President Colin Campbell, who was in attendance to see his son Gregory play for the Panthers, made the decision to finish the game after it was confirmed that Zedník was stable and after conversing with officials. The announcement over the public address speakers at HSBC Arena that Zedník was in stable condition and en-route to a Buffalo hospital sparked a standing ovation for Zedník and all the medical staff involved.

On February 11, ESPN and Rogers Sportsnet reported that Zedník was "stable and talking" in the Intensive Care Unit of Buffalo General Hospital, following emergency surgery to repair his carotid artery, which was slashed in the incident. Zedník lost five units of blood, but according to doctors, his life was not in jeopardy. It should be noted that the artery was not severed and doctors note that if the artery had been severed, it would have recessed into the neck, requiring more extensive surgery to repair.

On February 12, the CBC reported that Zedník was upgraded to good condition and could be discharged from the hospital as early as the weekend, though doctors stressed that he would most likely be sidelined for the remainder of the 2007–08 NHL season. This prognosis proved accurate, as Zedník was released on February 16 but missed the rest of the season.

The incident was similar to an accident in Buffalo on March 22, 1989, when Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk had his jugular vein accidentally severed by an opponent's skate blade.

After watching video of the incident, Zedník said that "once is enough". Although neck guards are not mandatory in the NHL, he intends to wear one when he plays again.

Zedník received a lot of support for his injury by fans and fellow hockey players alike. The Panthers' website received more than 20,000 get-well messages. Zedník also took a call from the president of his native Slovakia, Ivan Gašparovič.

He returned to Florida to play in the 2008–09 season. In his first game back since the injury he picked up two assists.

Zedník is married to French Canadian actress Jessica Welch. They have a daughter named Ella born on December 6, 2003.

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Neck guard

A neck guard is a piece of protective equipment worn by ice hockey players around the neck area. The guard is to prevent injury to the neck by pucks, hockey sticks and skate blades. This piece is critical to goalies, who are more likely at risk to be injured in this area.

Goalie Clint Malarchuk, during a game in 1989, suffered a severe injury when two players collided in front of his goal and one player's skate caught on his neck, slicing open his jugular vein. He most likely would have died were immediate medical help not available. Ever since then, NHL regulations have required goalies to wear neck guards.

On February 10, 2008, Florida Panthers forward Richard Zedník was behind the play and skating into the right corner of the Buffalo Sabres' zone, when teammate Olli Jokinen lost his balance after being checked by Clarke MacArthur. Jokinen fell head-first to the ice, and his right leg flew up and struck Zedník directly on the side of the neck hitting Zedník's carotid artery. Clutching his neck, Zedník raced to the Florida bench, leaving a long trail of blood. When he arrived, he nearly fell into the arms of a team trainer.

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2007–08 NHL season

The Stanley Cup

The 2007–08 NHL season was the 90th season of the National Hockey League. It began on September 29, 2007, with the regular season ending April 6, 2008. The Stanley Cup playoffs ended on June 4, with the Detroit Red Wings taking the championship .The 56th NHL All-Star Game was held in Atlanta, Georgia as the Atlanta Thrashers hosted the event at Philips Arena on January 27, 2008. The hosting by Atlanta was rescheduled from 2005, when a lockout cancelled the entire 2004–05 season.

The season featured the debut of Reebok's new Rbk Edge hockey jerseys. This was the first league-wide uniform innovation in the history of any major North American professional sports league. Seven teams (Boston, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Washington, Ottawa, San Jose and Columbus) unveiled new logos prior to the season's beginning.

On March 1, 2007, the NHL announced the regular season would open on September 29, 2007, with the first of back-to-back games in London at The O2. They were the first NHL regular season games ever played in Europe. Both games featured the defending Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks, and the Los Angeles Kings (who are owned by Anschutz Entertainment Group, the same company that owns The O2).

The official average attendance per game was 17,625 per game. However, if the two games played at the O2 Arena are counted, the number is 17,309 per game.

On September 17, 2007, the NHL announced the first outdoor game in over four years would be played between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Buffalo Sabres at Buffalo's Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills football team, on January 1, 2008. The event—known as the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic—was the first time an NHL regular-season game had been played outdoors in the United States, and it set an NHL attendance record of 71,217 people. The only previous outdoor NHL game was the Heritage Classic played between the Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers at Commonwealth Stadium on November 22, 2003.

During board of governors meetings held on September 18, 2007 in Chicago, cities including Las Vegas, Kansas City, Houston, Milwaukee, Quebec City, Seattle, and Winnipeg were discussed as possible expansion destinations. The NHL also discussed the current "unbalanced" schedule and voted on a new schedule format at a board meeting in November, so that all teams will play each other at least once and reduce intradivisional play in the 2008–09 season, in essence returning to the scheduling structure that existed in 2003–04, and would have existed in 2004–05. The sale of the Lightning and Predators teams were not completed for board approval.

A number of minor rule changes were introduced for the start of the 2007-08 season. Penalty shots can now be awarded when a player with the puck is hauled down from the centre line on in rather than from the opposition's blue-line as previously was the case. Also, the interference rule was altered to allow for a major penalty and a game misconduct when an injury results. Another change affected faceoff placement: All faceoffs must be conducted at one of the nine dots painted on the rink.

The New Jersey Devils began playing in their new arena, the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. However, since the arena was not ready by the beginning of the season, they began their season with a nine-game road trip.

Inter-conference division play had the Northeast visit the Pacific, the Pacific visit the Atlantic, the Atlantic visit the Northwest, the Northwest visit the Southeast, the Southeast visit the Central, and the Central visit the Northeast.

Mike Cammalleri of the Los Angeles Kings scored the first goal of the season against the Anaheim Ducks on September 29 in the opening game played in London, England.

Richard Zednik of the Florida Panthers was severely injured after having his external carotid artery in his neck accidentally cut by the skate of teammate Olli Jokinen in a game against the Buffalo Sabres on February 10. Zednik is expected to fully recover from the injury.

The Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators matched up for the first time since the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals on March 3, 2008 at Anaheim.

The Washington Capitals improved from 14th place in the previous season to third place in 2007-08 and winners of the Southeast Division.

The San Jose Sharks went the entire month of March without a regulation loss and were the media's favorite to win the cup going into the play-offs.

The Detroit Red Wings won the Presidents' Trophy for finishing the regular season with the most points (115).

GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, OTL = Overtime/Shootout Losses, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points.

After the 2007–08 NHL regular season, the standard of 16 teams qualified for the playoffs.

In each round, the highest remaining seed in each conference is matched against the lowest remaining seed. The higher-seeded team is awarded home ice advantage, which gives them a maximum possible four games on their home ice, with the other team getting a maximum possible three. In the Stanley Cup Finals, home ice is determined based on regular season points; thus, the Detroit Red Wings will have home ice advantage. Each best-of-seven series follows a 2–2–1–1–1 format. This means that the higher-seeded team will have Games 1 and 2, plus 5 and 7 if necessary, played on their home ice, while the lower-seeded team will be at home for the other games. The format ensures that the team with home ice advantage will always have home ice for the "extra" game if there are an odd number of games in a series.

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New York Islanders

New York Islanders

The New York Islanders are a professional ice hockey team based in Uniondale, New York. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Islanders began play in 1972 and rapidly developed a dominant team that won four consecutive Stanley Cup championships in the early 1980s. They play their home games at the 16,234 capacity Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island.

With the impending start of the World Hockey Association (WHA) in the fall of 1972, the upstart league had plans to place its New York team in the brand-new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Nassau County. However, Nassau County officials did not consider the WHA a major league and wanted nothing to do with the upstart New York Raiders. The only legal way to keep the Raiders out of the Coliseum was to get an NHL team to play there, so William Shea, who had helped bring the New York Mets to the area a decade earlier, was pressed into service once again. Shea found a receptive ear in NHL president Clarence Campbell, though the New York Rangers did not want the additional competition in the New York area. So, despite having expanded to 14 teams just two years before, the NHL hastily awarded a Long Island-based franchise to clothing manufacturer Roy Boe, owner of the American Basketball Association's New York Nets. A second expansion franchise was awarded to Atlanta (the Flames) at the same time to balance the schedule.

The new team was widely expected to take the Long Island Ducks name used by an Eastern Hockey League franchise; the more geographically expansive "New York Islanders" came largely as a surprise. The fledgling Islanders, who were soon nicknamed the Isles by the local newspapers, had an extra burden to pay in the form of a $4 million territorial fee to the nearby New York Rangers. The arrival of the Islanders effectively doomed the Raiders; they were forced to play in Madison Square Garden under onerous lease terms and were forced out of town in the middle of their second season.

While the Islanders secured veteran forward Ed Westfall from the Boston Bruins in the 1972 NHL Expansion Draft, junior league star Billy Harris in the 1972 NHL Amateur Draft, and a few other respectable players, several other draftees jumped to the WHA. Unlike most other expansion teams' general managers, Islanders GM Bill Torrey did not make many trades for veteran players in the early years. Rather than pursue a "win now" strategy of getting a few veterans to boost attendance (a tactic which proved disastrous for many teams in the long run), Torrey was committed to building through the draft.

In the team's first season, young players such as goaltender Billy Smith (the team's second pick in the expansion draft) and forwards Bob Nystrom and Lorne Henning were given chances to prove themselves in the NHL. However, this young and inexperienced expansion team posted a record of 12–60–6, one of the worst in NHL history.

The team who finished last in 1972–73 received the right to pick first in the 1973 amateur draft and select junior superstar defenseman Denis Potvin, who had been touted "as the next Bobby Orr" when he was 13. Despite several trade offers from Montreal Canadiens GM Sam Pollock, Torrey refused to part with the pick. That same summer, Torrey made perhaps the most critical move in the history of the franchise when he convinced former St. Louis Blues coach Al Arbour to come to Long Island. Even with Potvin, who won the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL Rookie Of The Year, the team still finished last in the East in its second year. Under Arbour, the team showed signs of respectability. Although the team did not make the playoffs, they allowed 100 fewer goals than the previous season, and their 56 points represented a healthy 26-point improvement from the previous season. It turned out to be the team's last losing season for 15 years.

In 1975, the Islanders made one of the biggest turnarounds in NHL history. Led by Potvin, forwards Harris, Nystrom, Clark Gillies, and goaltenders Smith and Glenn "Chico" Resch, the Islanders earned 88 points — 32 more than the previous season, and two more than their first two seasons combined — and earned their first playoff berth. They stunned the rival New York Rangers in a best-of-3 first-round series. The Islanders won the series in the third game as J. P. Parise scored just 11 seconds into the extra session.

In the next round, an even bigger surprise occurred. Down three games to none in the best-of-seven series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Islanders rallied to win the next four and take the series. Only two other major North American professional sports teams have accomplished this feat, the 1941–42 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 2004 Boston Red Sox. In the third round of the playoffs, the Islanders nearly did it again, rallying from another 3–0 deficit to force a seventh game against the defending Stanley Cup champion Philadelphia Flyers before the Flyers took the decisive seventh game at home and went on to win the Stanley Cup.

The Islanders continued their stunning climb up the NHL standings in 1975–76, earning 101 points, the fifth-best record in the league. It was the first 100-point season in Islanders history, in only their fourth year of existence. Few teams in any sport have come so far so fast. Rookie center Bryan Trottier, who scored 95 points and won the Calder Trophy, was blossoming into a superstar. It would be the first of four consecutive 100-point seasons, including the first two division titles in franchise history.

However, regular-season success was not rewarded in the playoffs. In 1976 and 1977, the Islanders were knocked out in the semifinals by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens were 24–3 in the playoffs in those two years — all three losses to the Islanders.

In the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft, Torrey had the 15th pick and had to make a tough decision between right winger Mike Bossy and another forward. Bossy was known as a scorer who wasn't physical, while the other forward could check but wasn't very good offensively. Coach Arbour persuaded Torrey to pick Bossy, figuring it was easier to teach a scorer how to check. In the upcoming 1977-78 season, Bossy became the third Isle to win the Calder Trophy, having scored 53 goals that season, at the time the most scored by a rookie. The team was upset in the quarterfinal round in overtime of game 7 by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In 1978–79, the team finished with the best record in the NHL. Bryan Trottier was voted the league MVP and captured the scoring title, while sophomore Bossy scored 69 goals, which also led the league. Despite their regular season dominance, the Islanders exited the playoffs with a loss to the hated New York Rangers in the semifinals. Hockey professionals and journalists generally regarded the Rangers as an inferior team, which led them to question whether the Islanders were capable of winning big games in the playoffs when they really counted.

Off the ice, the Islanders were on shaky ground. Boe was losing money on both the Islanders and the Nets even as the Islanders quickly surged to NHL prominence and the Nets became an ABA power. The Islanders were still far behind on the $10 million they had paid in startup costs, and the expenses associated with moving the Nets to the NBA threw Boe's finances into a tailspin. Eventually, Boe was forced to sell both his teams. He readily found a buyer for the Nets, but had less luck finding one for the Islanders. Torrey orchestrated a sale to one of the team's limited partners, John Pickett, who made Torrey team president. Soon after buying the Islanders, Pickett signed a very lucrative cable contract with the fledgling Sportschannel network. SportsChannel's owner, Charles Dolan, thought the up-and-coming team would be a perfect centerpiece for his new network. Dolan gave Pickett a long-term guaranteed contract intended to not only keep the team on Long Island, but give area governments an incentive to renew his cable contracts. The Islanders have been on the network, now known as MSG+, for over a quarter-century.

After the Isles' regular season dominance and playoff disappointment in 1979, Arbour decided that he would no longer concern himself too greatly with his team's finish in the regular season. Instead, he focused his team's energy on how they would perform in the playoffs. In 1980, the Islanders dropped below the 100-point mark for the first time in five years, earning only 91 points. However, they finally broke through and won the Stanley Cup.

Before the playoffs, Torrey made the difficult decision to trade longtime and popular veterans Billy Harris and defenseman Dave Lewis to the Los Angeles Kings for second line center Butch Goring. Goring's is often called the "final piece of the puzzle": a strong two-way player, his presence on the second line ensured that opponents would no longer be able to focus their defensive efforts on the Isles' first line of Bossy, Trottier and Clark Gillies. Contributions from new teammates, such as wingers Duane Sutter and Anders Kallur and stay-at-home defensemen Gord Lane and Ken Morrow (the latter fresh off a gold medal win at the 1980 Olympics), also figured prominently in the Islanders' playoff success.

In the semifinals, the Isles faced the Buffalo Sabres, who had finished second overall in the NHL standings. The Isles won the first two games in Buffalo, including a 3–2 victory in Game 2 on Bob Nystrom's goal in double overtime. They went on to win the series in six games and reach the finals for the first time in franchise history, where they would face the NHL's regular season champions, the Philadelphia Flyers, who had gone undefeated for 35 straight games (25–0–10) during the regular season. In Game 1 in Philadelphia, the Isles won 4–3 on Denis Potvin's power-play goal in overtime. Leading the series 3–2, they went home to Long Island for Game 6. In that game, Bob Nystrom continued his overtime heroics, scoring at 7:11 of the extra frame, on assists by John Tonelli and Lorne Henning, to bring Long Island its first Stanley Cup. It was the Isles' sixth overtime victory of the playoffs. Bryan Trottier won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs. Torrey's strategy of building through the draft turned out very well; nearly all of the major contributors on the 1980 champions were home-grown Islanders or had spent most of their NHL careers in the Islanders organization.

The Islanders dominated the next two seasons. Bossy scored 50 goals in 50 games in 1981 and the Islanders lost only three playoff games en route to defeating the Minnesota North Stars in five games to win the Stanley Cup. Butch Goring won the Conn Smythe Trophy. During their semifinal sweep of the Rangers, Islander fans began taunting the Rangers with a chant of "1940! 1940!" – referring to the Rangers' last Stanley Cup win in 1939–40. Fans in other NHL cities soon picked up the chant.

In 1981–82 the Islanders won a then-record 15 straight games en route to a franchise-record 118 points, while Mike Bossy set a scoring record for right wingers with 147 points in an 80 game schedule. The Islanders won the regular-season title, yet once in the playoffs, they were pushed to the maximum five games by the Pittsburgh Penguins and to six games by the Rangers. However, they finally hit their stride in the conference finals, sweeping the upstart Quebec Nordiques and won the Stanley Cup over the Cinderella story Vancouver Canucks in a four-game sweep. In this series, which was the first ever coast-to-coast Stanley Cup Final, Bossy, upended by a check from Tiger Williams and falling parallel to the ice, managed to hook the puck with his stick and score. Bossy netted the Stanley Cup-winning goal and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy.

The next year, although the Islanders had won three straight Stanley Cups, more attention was being paid to the upstart Edmonton Oilers, whose young superstar Wayne Gretzky had just shattered existing scoring records. The 1982–83 season was thus a battle to decide which was the best team in the NHL. The Oilers had a better regular season, but the Islanders swept them in the Stanley Cup finals to win their fourth straight championship. Billy Smith was named the Most Valuable Player of the Playoffs after shutting down the Oilers' vaunted scoring machine. Gretzky failed to score a goal during the series. The Sutter brothers, Duane and Brent, unexpectedly led all players with 7 and 5 points, respectively, while Bossy again scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal. At this point, the Islanders had won one more Cup in 11 years than the Rangers had won in 57.

The Isles finished the 1983–84 regular season tied atop the Prince of Wales Conference while successfully defending their Patrick Division title. They won a hard fought series, nicknamed the "Battle of New York", over the Rangers in the opening round of the playoffs. It was the fourth consecutive season that the Isles had beaten the Rangers in the postseason. The Isles then defeated the Washington Capitals and Montreal Canadiens in six games each to set up a finals rematch with the Oilers. This time, the Oilers dethroned the Islanders to win the first of what would be five Cups in seven years. For the 1984 postseason, the NHL changed the schedule for the finals, from 2–2–1–1-1 to 2–3–2. Under this format, the Islanders earned home ice advantage in the series despite finishing lower than the Oilers in the regular season, but they had to play three straight games in Edmonton, where the Oilers managed to lock up the series. Bossy said afterward that the team believed that if they could win a single away game, they would have been able to take games six and seven at home to win a fifth Stanley Cup.

Out of their two home games, the Islanders had lost game one 1–0 in what was a goaltending duel between Billy Smith and Grant Fuhr, though they roared back with a 6–1 win in game two. In Edmonton, the Oilers' offensive juggernaut buried the Islanders by scores of 7–2, 7–2 and 5–2. Bossy, who had scored 17 goals in each of the past three playoffs only scored 8 in the first three rounds of the 1984 playoffs and was silenced during the final series. Though the Islanders' bid for a record-tying fifth championship was ended, Game Five was noted for rookie Pat LaFontaine's emergence, as he scored two third period goals in 38 seconds to cut the Oilers' lead to 4–2.

During their run of four Stanley Cup championships and a fifth finals appearance, the Islanders won 19 straight playoff series, the longest streak in the history of professional sports (one more than the Boston Celtics' 1959–67). Unlike the 1976–79 Montreal Canadiens, who needed to win three series in the 1976 and 1977 playoffs under the playoff format in place at that time, the Islanders had to win four series in each of their Stanley Cup seasons.

The Isles generally remained competitive for the rest of the decade, even as some of the stars from the Cup teams departed. As the decade wore on, Pickett began to keep the money from the team's cable deal rather than reinvest it in the team as he had done in years past. Although it did not become clear immediately, the lack of funds limited Torrey's ability to replace all of the departing talent.

In the 1984–85 NHL season, the Isles slipped to third in the Patrick Division and could do no better in the 1985–86 and 1986–87 seasons. They were now facing stiff competition from their division rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals. The Flyers had eliminated the Islanders in the Patrick Division Finals in 1985 and 1987 (the Flyers went on to the Stanley Cup finals both years). These losses were sandwiched around a 1986 first-round sweep by the Capitals – the team's first exit without winning a playoff round since 1978.

In 1986, Nystrom retired and Clark Gillies was picked up on waivers by the Buffalo Sabres. Arbour retired as coach following 1985–86 and was replaced by longtime junior hockey coach Terry Simpson. Young players such as Pat LaFontaine, Patrick Flatley and Brent Sutter, who had been viewed as the future of the team, began coming into their own as players.

During the first round of the 1987 playoffs against the Capitals, the Isles had fallen behind in the series three games to one. In previous years, the Capitals would have won the series, but 1987 marked the first season that the opening round of the playoffs was a best-of-7 series, not a best-of-5 series. The Isles evened the series, which set the stage for one of the most famous games in NHL history: the "Easter Epic". Kelly Hrudey stopped 73 shots on goal while Pat LaFontaine scored at 8:47 of the fourth overtime--and at 1:56 am on Easter Sunday morning. The win came even though the Islanders had been outshot 75–52. The Islanders were beaten in seven games by the Flyers in the second round of the playoffs. Chronic back pain forced Mike Bossy to retire after the 1986–87 season.

The next year, in 1988, the Islanders captured another division title, but were upset in the first round of the playoffs by the upstart New Jersey Devils. After the playoffs, Potvin retired, holding records for most career goals (310), assists (742) and points (1052) by a defenseman (he has since been passed in these categories by Ray Bourque and Paul Coffey).

Around this time, the Islanders' run of good luck in the draft began to run out. Of their four top draft picks from 1987 to 1990, the Islanders lost one to a freak knee injury and two others never panned out.

A year after winning the division, the Islanders got off to a slow start in the 1988–89 season, winning only seven of their first 27 games. Torrey fired Simpson and brought Arbour back. Unfortunately, Arbour could not turn things around, and the Islanders finished with 61 points, tied with the Quebec Nordiques for the worst record in the league. It was the Isles' first losing season and the first time they had missed the playoffs since their second year of existence. Goalie Billy Smith, the last remaining original Islander, retired after the season to become the team's goaltending coach.

Not long after the end of the 1988–89 debacle, Pickett moved to Florida and turned over day-to-day operations over to a committee of four Long Island entrepreneurs – Ralph Palleschi, Bob Rosenthal, Stephen Walsh, and Paul Greenwood. In return, they each bought a 2.5 interest in the team.

In 1989–90, the Islanders rebounded to get back in the playoffs, but they lost to the Rangers in five games. The team bought out the remaining years of Bryan Trottier's contract; as of 2007–08 he is still the franchise leader in games played. He signed on as a free agent for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the off-season.

The next year, the team finished well out of the playoffs after winning only 25 games.

LaFontaine, the Islanders' remaining superstar, was frustrated with the team's lack of success and the progress of his contract negotiations, and held out rather than report to camp before 1991–92. In response to the holdout, Torrey engineered a rebuilding project with two blockbuster trades on October 25, 1991. He dealt LaFontaine, Randy Wood and Randy Hillier (along with future considerations) to the Buffalo Sabres in return for Pierre Turgeon, Benoit Hogue, Uwe Krupp and Dave McLlwain. He also sent longtime captain Brent Sutter and Brad Lauer to the Chicago Blackhawks for Steve Thomas and Adam Creighton. With these additions and a talented core of players such as Derek King, Ray Ferraro and Patrick Flatley, along with incoming Soviet-bloc players Vladimir Malakhov and Darius Kasparaitis, the Islanders had a new foundation in the early '90s. However, the management committee was not nearly as patient as Boe and Pickett had been, and forced Torrey to resign after the Islanders missed the playoffs again that season. Assistant GM Don Maloney was hired in Torrey's place, while Torrey quickly resurfaced with the expansion Florida Panthers.

In Maloney's first year, 1992–93, the Islanders rebounded to make the playoffs, in the process surpassing the 80-point mark for the first time in six years. The LaFontaine-Turgeon trade proved successful for both the Islanders and Sabres, as both players hit career highs in points and Turgeon won the Lady Byng Trophy.

Ray Ferraro emerged as a playoff hero, scoring a pair of overtime winners in the first round series against the Capitals. Instead of celebrating after winning the decisive sixth game at Nassau Coliseum, however, the Islanders were both irate and despondent. Turgeon, the team's star center and leading scorer, suffered a shoulder separation when Dale Hunter checked him from behind as he celebrated a series-clinching goal. Turgeon was believed to be out for the entire second round, if not longer. He returned only for spot powerplay duty in the last game of the second round. Hunter received a then-record 21-game suspension.

The Islanders' next opponent, the Pittsburgh Penguins, were twice-defending Stanley Cup champions and full of stars such as Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Ron Francis. The Penguins had roared through the regular season with 119 points, and were overwhelmingly favored to win a third straight championship. Jim Smith of Newsday, Long Island's hometown newspaper, predicted that with Turgeon on the sidelines, the Penguins would sweep the Islanders out of the playoffs. However, on the strength of outstanding goaltending from Glenn Healy and contributions from all four lines, the Islanders achieved a huge upset when David Volek scored at 5:16 of overtime of the deciding seventh game.

Turgeon returned to the Islanders' top line for the Wales Conference Finals against the Montreal Canadiens, though he was not in peak form as he had not fully recovered. The Islanders bowed out of the playoffs after a hard-fought five games, two of which went to overtime. After beating the Isles, the Canadiens went on to win the Cup.

Maloney had avoided making many personnel changes his first year, but a contract dispute with Healy led him to sign Ron Hextall, who had his best years with the rival Philadelphia Flyers. Fans grew more skeptical when, after a series of deals, Healy ended up as the backup on the Rangers. Although on paper Hextall appeared to be an upgrade, his play was inconsistent and he never endeared himself to Islanders fans.

The Islanders barely squeezed past the expansion Florida Panthers into the 1994 playoffs before being swept in a lopsided opening series by the first-place Rangers, who went on to win the Cup. Arbour retired for good as coach and was succeeded by longtime assistant Lorne Henning. Hextall, fairly or not, drew most of the criticism for the failed playoff campaign and was shipped back to Philadelphia for Tommy Soderstrom in the off-season.

In the lockout-shortened 1994–95 season, the Islanders not only failed to qualify for the playoffs, they finished ahead of only the third-year Ottawa Senators.

By the end of the 1994–95 season, it became clear that Maloney had mismanaged the team. Since taking over in 1992, the only noticeable attempt he made to upgrade the roster was letting Healy go in favor of Hextall. Near the end of the failed 1995 campaign, Maloney decided that the core of players he had left alone for three seasons should be totally revamped, and he undertook a rebuilding project. He traded Turgeon and Malakhov to Montreal for Kirk Muller and Mathieu Schneider, and Hogue was sent to Toronto for young goaltender Eric Fichaud. Additionally, Maloney allowed the team's leading scorer, Ferraro, to depart as a unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the season. Fans' displeasure at Maloney for trading the popular Turgeon was magnified when Muller balked at joining a rebuilding team. He only played 45 games for the Islanders before being sent to the Maple Leafs.

Before the 1995–96 season, Maloney fired Henning and named Mike Milbury head coach. The same year, the Isles' attempt at updating their look resulted in the unveiling of a logo depicting a fisherman holding a hockey stick. The logo was a marketing disaster; the reaction among the fan base was so negative that management announced it would revert back to the original logo as soon as league rules allowed them to do so. The traditional logo returned as part of 1996-97's third jersey, and then became the main jersey the following year. From time to time, Rangers fans have mocked the Isles with chants of "we want fishsticks," a reference to the way the logo resembled the Gorton's fisherman. The year was a failure on the ice as well, as the Islanders finished in last place with a record of 22–50–10. During the season, team management fired Maloney, whom fans blamed for the team's downfall, and gave Milbury total control of hockey operations as both coach and general manager.

In the middle of the 1996–97 season, Milbury resigned as coach and elevated assistant Rick Bowness to the head coaching position. However, after another losing season and little improvement, Milbury took over as coach in the middle of the 1997–98 season. The team improved to fourth place in the Atlantic Division but still failed to make the playoffs. He stepped down as coach yet again in the middle of the 1998–99 season but retained his job as GM.

During their lean years, chaos within the Islanders' ownership and front office mirrored their substandard performance on the ice. Pickett sold the team to Dallas businessman John Spano in 1996. However, three months after the 1997 closing, Spano still hadn't paid Pickett the first installment on the cable deal. An investigation by Newsday revealed that Spano had deliberately misled the NHL and the Islanders about his net worth, and also had two lawsuits pending against him. When it became clear that Spano was a fraud and that he lacked the assets to purchase the team, ownership reverted to Pickett. Federal prosecutors turned up evidence that Spano had forged many of the documents used to vouch for his wealth and to promise payment to Pickett. He was sentenced to five years eleven months in prison for bank and wire fraud. The NHL was embarrassed when reports surfaced that it spent less than $1,000 (depending on the source, the league spent either $525 or $750) to check Spano's background, and subsequently stiffened the process for vetting future owners.

Pickett finally found a buyer, a group led by Howard Milstein and Phoenix Coyotes co-owner Steven Gluckstern. Even that deal almost fell through when Spectacor Management Group, which managed the Coliseum for Nassau County, tried to force Pickett to certify that the Coliseum was safe. However, Pickett refused, since the Coliseum had fallen into disrepair in recent seasons. SMG backed down under pressure from the Islanders, the NHL and Nassau County officials.

Initially the team made numerous trades and increased their payroll in an effort to assemble a better team. In one transaction, youngsters Todd Bertuzzi and Bryan McCabe were traded for veteran Trevor Linden. However, as the Islanders continued to fall short of the playoffs, the new ownership group eventually decided to run the team on an austere budget in an attempt to make a profit. They also complained about the condition of the Nassau Coliseum and made noises about moving the team elsewhere. Under Milstein and Gluckstern, the team traded or released many popular players to avoid paying their salaries, including star scorer Zigmund Palffy, team captain Linden, former rookie of the year Bryan Berard, and rugged defenseman Rich Pilon. Attendance, which had been in a steady decline over the past few years, fell off even further to under 12,000 per game. At the same time, Milstein bid hundreds of millions of dollars in unsuccessful attempts to purchase the National Football League's Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns.

In 2000, Milstein and Gluckstern sold the team to Computer Associates executives Charles Wang and Sanjay Kumar.

With stable ownership finally in place, Milbury was allowed to spend money and invest in free agents. His first attempt proved unpopular with fans, as he traded away future stars Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen to the Florida Panthers for Oleg Kvasha and Mark Parrish. Milbury then further surprised the hockey world when he took Rick DiPietro with the first selection in the entry draft, ahead of the consensus picks Dany Heatley and Marian Gaborik. Reporters and fans were alternately confused and enraged by the moves, which Milbury acknowledged, saying, "As dangerous as this may be, we think Mad Mike maybe has something going for him." The "Mad Mike" nickname has remained with Milbury ever since. Milbury said that his moves were intended to improve the team immediately, and in that respect they failed completely. The Islanders finished with the worst record in the NHL and the second-worst season in franchise history; the team's .317 winning percentage that year was only ahead of only 1972–73's .192. The team's uninspired play led Milbury to fire Isles legend Butch Goring as head coach before the end of the year. Many fans were upset that Goring and not Milbury took the fall for the lost season, and they were again upset when Milbury hired newcomer Peter Laviolette to coach the team, passing on Ted Nolan.

The team also made three key personnel acquisitions prior to the 2001–02 season. They acquired Alexei Yashin from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for the Isles' the second overall pick in the entry draft, which the Senators used to select Jason Spezza, forward Bill Muckalt and defenseman Zdeno Chara. The following day, Islanders prospects Tim Connolly and Taylor Pyatt were traded to the Buffalo Sabres for Michael Peca, who became the team's captain. By virtue of finishing last the year before, the Isles were also able to claim goaltender Chris Osgood with the first pick in the waiver draft, adding a former championship goaltender without giving up any players in exchange. Thanks in large part to strong play by Peca, Yashin and Osgood, the new-look Islanders opened the season on a tear, going 11–1-1–1 en route to finishing with 96 points, their best point total in 18 years, and just one point short of their first division title in 14 years. The 44-point leap was the best turnaround in franchise history, surpassing the 1974–75 unit's 32-point jump. Had they won the Atlantic Division title, they would have had home-ice advantage in the first round. Instead, they were seeded fifth, and faced the fourth-seeded Toronto Maple Leafs. The Islanders lost to the Leafs in a very physical first round series in which no road team won a game. Game 4 featured a Shawn Bates penalty shot goal with a 2:30 to play that gave the Islanders the lead and ultimately the game. In Game 5, Gary Roberts charged Islander defenseman Kenny Jonsson and Darcy Tucker submarined Peca with a questionable check that tore the Islander captain's anterior cruciate ligament. Neither Jonsson nor Peca returned in the series.

Despite the promise shown in the Toronto series, the Islanders had a slow start to the 2002–03 NHL season. They rebounded to make the playoffs but lost a five game series in the first round to the top-seeded Ottawa Senators. Milbury, known to make moves that riled the fanbase, fired Laviolette after the season, citing end season interviews with the players in which they expressed a lack of confidence in the coach. He was replaced with Steve Stirling, who had previously been coaching the team's top minor league affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In 2004, the Islanders again lost in the first round of the playoffs, this time to the eventual champion Tampa Bay Lightning. Despite the fact that the Lightning finished first in the conference and the Islanders qualified for the playoffs as the 8th and final seed, a few journalists had picked the Islanders to win based on their strong regular season performance against Tampa Bay.

Following the 2004–05 NHL lockout, which eliminated the 2004–05 season, the Islanders made several player moves to increase offense for 2005–06. Peca was traded to Edmonton for center Mike York, freeing up room under the NHL's new salary cap. The same day, the team signed winger Miroslav Satan to play alongside Yashin. Milbury also remade the defensive corps, replacing departed free agents Adrian Aucoin and Roman Hamrlik and Jonsson, who left the NHL to play in his native Sweden, with Alexei Zhitnik, Brad Lukowich and Brent Sopel. In the aftermath, Yashin was named the team's new captain. The team played inconsistent hockey, leading to Stirling's replacement midway through the season.

On the day he fired Stirling, Milbury also announced that he would step down as general manager once a successor was found and become senior vice president of all of Charles Wang's sports properties (Kumar had sold his interest to Wang in 2004). Milbury later resigned this post in May 2007. He said that he missed making day-to-day hockey decisions and would be open to a hockey operations job for a different team.

The offseason was characterized by a degree of tumult. Wang hired Ted Nolan as coach and Neil Smith as GM, but he fired Smith after a little over a month and replaced him with backup goaltender Garth Snow, who retired to accept the position. The Islanders also made several free agent acquisitions, including defensemen Brendan Witt and Tom Poti and forwards Mike Sillinger and Chris Simon and signed goaltender Rick DiPietro to a 15-year, 67.5 million dollar contract, among the longest in professional sports history.

Eyeing home ice advantage in the playoffs, the Isles traded for Ryan Smyth at the deadline but went on to suffer some setbacks because of injuries to DiPietro and a distracting stick swinging incident that resulted in Simon's suspension for the rest of the season. The team eventually qualified for the playoffs by capping off a late season winning steak with a shootout victory over the Devils. The Isles lost their first round matchup with the Buffalo Sabres, the NHL's best team during the regular season, in five games.

The team announced that they would buy out captain Alexei Yashin's contract in June 2007. Smyth, Viktor Kozlov, Jason Blake, Tom Poti and Richard Zednik also left in July 2007 via free agency. Days later, the Islanders signed Bill Guerin, who assumed the captaincy, to a two-year contract. Also in the offseason, free agents Mike Comrie, Andy Sutton and Jon Sim joined the team. The Isles remained in the playoff hunt through the trade deadline, but a rash of injuries saw them plummet to the fifth worst record in league by the end of the season. The injuries led to increased opportunities for young players, including Sean Bergenheim, Blake Comeau and Kyle Okposo, who had a productive 9 game stint with the Islanders to end the season.

At the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, the Islanders made two trades to move down from the fifth to the ninth overall pick, with which they selected center Josh Bailey. They also added free agents Mark Streit and Doug Weight. The team fired head coach Ted Nolan later that summer and replaced him with Scott Gordon.

Garth Snow had a productive trade deadline, trading Mike Comrie and Chris Campoli to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Dean McAmmond and the San Jose Sharks 1st round draft pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft (previously acquired in the Andrej Meszaros trade). Also traded was captain Bill Guerin to the Pittsburgh Penguins, in exchange for a conditional 5th round pick, which can become a 3rd round pick if the Penguins make it to the semi-finals.

On April 14, 2009, the New York Islanders won the right to draft 1st overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is currently the third-oldest arena in active use by an NHL team (after Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena and Madison Square Garden), and has the smallest capacity of all arenas in the NHL. It is generally considered to be obsolete. Nassau County asked for and received proposals from different development groups regarding how to renovate and build up the coliseum and surrounding area. Islanders owner Charles Wang proposed a plan to develop the area surrounding the arena; his plan originally included a renovation of the Coliseum, a 60-story tower designed to look like a lighthouse, housing, athletic facilities, a new minor league baseball stadium, restaurants, and a new hotel, at a projected overall cost of approximately $200 million. On August 14, 2007, Charles Wang and the Lighthouse Development Group, partnered with Rexcorp, created a new plan downsizing the entire project. The Coliseum design has changed considerably, and the 60 story "Lighthouse" is no longer part of the plan. Instead, there are two 31-story buildings connected with a footbridge at the top.

In February 2009, Wang, frustrated by the delays in obtaining approval from Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead for the "Lighthouse Project", said that he would be forced to relocate the team, which can move when their lease ends in 2015 if the project falls through. Kansas City, Missouri has been mentioned as a possible candidate for relocation, as the Islanders are scheduled to play a preseason game at Kansas City's Sprint Center in September, 2009. There is also a growing movement to have the Islanders play adjacent to Citi Field in the Willets Point section of Queens should the team decide to leave Nassau County. Wang has said that he "never spoke" to representatives from the Willets Point redevelopment project, but he has also said that he would consider moving the team to Queens if the Town of Hempstead does not approve the project by October 2009.

The Islanders debuted in 1972 with traditional-style jerseys: either white with orange and royal blue stripes near the waistline and on the sleeves or royal blue with white and orange stripes. The design remained largely the same, save for minor tweaks, through the 1994–95 season.

Prior to the 1995–96 season, team executives decided to change the jersey. The fisherman logo replaced the "NY" circular design, and the new uniforms incorporated navy blue and a brighter orange and introduced teal and grey shades as well. The team was seeking increased merchandise revenues, with the outward justification of connecting the team more overtly to Long Island. The jersey included a lighthouse shoulder patch, a nod to the Montauk Lighthouse, and featured uneven stripes resembling an ocean wave near the waistline, on the sleeves, and across the shoulders. All of the numbering and lettering on the jerseys also followed the wave pattern. Late in the season, the team decided to do away with the fisherman logo, but league rules forbade them from switching jersey designs for the 1996–97 season on only a few months' notice. Instead, the Islanders debuted their first third jersey, which was identical to the jerseys then worn by the team except that it used the circular "NY" crest in place of the fisherman. The team wore this jersey in approximately fifteen games during the 1996–97 season and adopted it permanently for 1997–98.

Prior to the 1998–99 season, the team's new ownership reverted to the initial traditional design but kept the navy blue and bright orange from the "wave" era jersey. They added a shoulder patch of four bars, alternating in color, to represent the Islanders' four straight Stanley Cup championships. The new design also changed the borders around the numbers and "C" and "A" letters: instead of leaving no space between the orange border and the white or blue numbers, the jersey featured a raised outline. A third jersey was introduced in 2003. It was orange and had navy blue stripes, outlined in white, going vertically on the sleeves and then cutting horizontally on the bottom of the sleeve. The navy blue stripes came out of the sleeve diagonally and jabbed out to a point into the bottom of the jersey. The team wore these jerseys through the 2006–07 season.

For the 2007–08 season, the Islanders redesigned their uniforms as all NHL teams changed over to the Rbk Edge system. The new Islanders jersey features uniform numbers on the right chest above the logo. The name plates are in two colored format: white on orange on the home navy blue jersey and navy blue on orange on the road white jersey. On the upper arms, between the elbow and shoulders, the jersey has an additional orange stripe, where prior jerseys had no stripe. The new jerseys have a thin stripe tracing around the shoulders, and they feature "retro" laces at the neck.

The Islanders' current third jersey is a royal blue throwback design resembling the jersey that the team wore in the 1970s, except with white instead of orange lettering. Reports state the team is considering adopting the popular third jersey as their primary uniform in future seasons.

Records as of February 18, 2008.

Updated April 30, 2009.

All of the above are members of the team's Hall of Fame. Individual plaques and a banner honors this accomplishment as well.

These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.

Most games are shown locally on MSG Plus and MSG PLUS 2.

Evening games are usually carried on 94.3 WMJC and 90.3 FM in Brooklyn. All afternoon games are on WHLI 1100 AM.

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Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals

The Washington Capitals are a professional ice hockey team based in Washington, D.C. They are members of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). They play in the Verizon Center in Washington's Chinatown neighborhood.

Along with the Kansas City Scouts, the Capitals joined the National Hockey League as an expansion team for the 1974–75 season. The team was owned by Abe Pollin, owner of the NBA's Washington Bullets. Pollin had built the Capital Centre in suburban Landover, Maryland, to house both the Bullets (who formerly played in Baltimore) and the Capitals. His first act as owner was to hire Hall of Famer Milt Schmidt as general manager.

With a combined 30 teams between the NHL and the rival World Hockey Association, the Capitals had few players with professional experience and were at a disadvantage against the long-standing teams that were stocked with more experienced players. Like the other three teams who joined the league during the WHA era—the Scouts, Atlanta Flames and New York Islanders—the Capitals did not factor the arrival of the WHA into their plans.

The Capitals' inaugural season was dreadful, even by expansion standards. They finished 8–67–5, far and away the worst record in the league. Their 21 points were half that of their expansion brethren, the Scouts. The eight wins are the fewest for an NHL team playing at least 70 games, and the .131 winning percentage is still the worst in NHL history. They also set records for most road losses (39 out of 40), most consecutive road losses (37) (both still NHL records) and most consecutive losses (17), a mark tied by the 1992–93 San Jose Sharks. Coach Jim Anderson said, "I'd rather find out my wife was cheating on me than keep losing like this. At least I could tell my wife to cut it out." Schmidt himself had to take over the coaching reins late in the season.

In 1975–76, Washington went 25 straight games without a win and allowed 394 goals en route to another horrendous record: 11–59–10 (32 points). During the middle of the season, Max McNab was hired as GM, and Tom McVie was hired as head coach to replace Schmidt. For the rest of the 1970s and early 1980s, the Capitals alternated between dreadful seasons and finishing only a few points out of the playoffs. In 1980 and 1981, for instance, they were in playoff contention until the last day of the season. The one bright spot during these years of futility was that many of McNab's draft picks (e.g. Rick Green, Ryan Walter, Mike Gartner, Bengt Gustafsson, Gaetan Duchesne, Bobby Carpenter) would impact the team for years to come, whether as important members of the roster or crucial pieces to major trades. By the summer of 1982, there was serious talk of the team moving out of the U.S. capital, and a "Save the Caps" campaign was underway. Then two significant events took place to solve the problem.

First, the team hired David Poile as General Manager. Second, as his first move, Poile pulled off one of the biggest trades in franchise history on September 9, 1982, when he dealt longtime regulars Ryan Walter and Rick Green to the Montreal Canadiens for Rod Langway, Brian Engblom, Doug Jarvis, and Craig Laughlin. This move turned the franchise around, as Langway's solid defense helped the team to dramatically reduce its goals-against, and the explosive goal-scoring of Dennis Maruk, Mike Gartner, and Bobby Carpenter fueled the offensive attack. Another significant move was the drafting of defenseman Scott Stevens during the 1982 NHL Entry Draft (the pick was made by interim-GM Roger Crozier, prior to Poile's hiring). The result was a 29-point jump, a third-place finish in the powerful Patrick Division, and the team's first playoff appearance in 1983. Although they were eliminated by the three-time-defending Stanley Cup Champion New York Islanders (three games to one), the Caps' dramatic turnaround ended any talk of the club leaving Washington.

The Capitals would make the playoffs for each of the next 14 years in a row. They became known for starting slow before catching fire in January and February. However, regular-season success did not carry into the playoffs. Despite a continuous march of stars like Gartner, Carpenter, Langway, Gustafsson, Mike Ridley, Dave Christian, Dino Ciccarelli, Larry Murphy, and Kevin Hatcher, Washington was knocked out in either the first or second round eight years in a row. In 1985–86, for instance, the Caps finished with 107 points and won 50 games for the first time in franchise history, good enough for the third-best record in the league. However, they were bounced out of the playoffs in the second round by the New York Rangers.

The next season brought even more heartbreak, with a loss to the Islanders in the Patrick Division Semifinal. This series was capped off by the classic Easter Epic game, which ended at 1:56 am on Easter Sunday 1987. The Capitals had thoroughly dominated most of the game, outshooting the Islanders 75–52, but lost in overtime when goaltender Bob Mason was beaten on a Pat LaFontaine shot from the blue line. For the 1989 playoff push, Gartner and defenseman Larry Murphy were traded to the Minnesota North Stars in exchange for Ciccarelli and defenseman Bob Rouse, however the goaltending once again faltered and they were eliminated in the first round by the Philadelphia Flyers. The Capitals finally made the Wales Conference Finals in 1990, but went down in a four-game sweep at the hands of the first-place Boston Bruins.

By the mid-1990s, the Stanley Cup seemed to elude the Capitals. Despite having rising stars in right-winger Peter Bondra, defenseman Sergei Gonchar, and center/left-wing Joe Juneau, the team's core players were mostly aging.

The Capitals were favorites during the 1993 playoff series with the New York Islanders but they were upset in six games. That series was most remembered when center Dale Hunter checked the Isles' Pierre Turgeon from behind in Game 6 after Turgeon scored the series-clinching goal. Turgeon fell awkwardly onto the ice and suffered a separated shoulder that caused him to miss the Isles' second round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, though he played in Game 7 of that series. Hunter's post-goal check earned him a suspension for the first 21 games of the next season – at the time the longest suspension for an on-ice incident in NHL history. From 1991 to 1994, the Capitals had their season ended three times by the eventual Stanley Cup champions. In 1991 and 1992, they were eliminated by the Pittsburgh Penguins, and by the New York Rangers in 1994. Prior to the start of the 1995–96 season, the team abandoned its original logo and color scheme in favor of a blue, black and bronze palette with an American bald eagle with five stars as its logo. The scheme was viewed as being decidingly "unpopular" with fans.

Then in 1998, Peter Bondra's 52 goals led the team, veterans Hunter, Juneau and Adam Oates returned to old form, and Olaf Kolzig had a solid .920 save percentage as the Caps got past the Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, and Buffalo Sabres (the latter on a dramatic overtime win in game six on a goal by Joe Juneau) en route to the team's first (and to date, only) Stanley Cup finals appearance. The Capitals won six overtime games, three in each of their series against the Bruins and Sabres. However, the team was no match for the defending champs, the Detroit Red Wings, who won in a four-game sweep.

That same season, Oates, Phil Housley, and Dale Hunter all scored their 1,000th career point, the only time in NHL history that one team had 3 different players reach that same milestone in a single season.

In 1999, the Capitals missed the playoffs due to numerous injuries, one of the highest in the league that season. After that season, Pollin sold the Capitals to a group headed by AOL executive Ted Leonsis.

The Capitals went on to win back-to-back Southeast Division titles in 2000 and 2001, yet both years lost in the first round to the Pittsburgh Penguins. After the 2000–01 season, Adam Oates demanded a trade but management refused and stripped him of his team captaincy.

In the summer of 2001, the Capitals landed five-time Art Ross Trophy winner Jaromir Jagr, one of the best players in the NHL in the 1990s, by trading three young prospects to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jagr was signed to the largest contract ever in NHL history - $77 million over 7 years at an average salary of $11 million per year (over $134,000 per game), with an option for an eighth year. However, Jagr did not live up to expectations, as the Capitals failed to defend their division title and missed the playoffs in 2002 despite a winning record. Still, the 2001–2002 season marked the highest attendance in franchise history, drawing in 710,990 fans and 17,341 per game .

In the summer of 2002, the Caps made even more roster changes, including the signing the highly regarded Robert Lang as a free agent, a linemate of Jagr's from Pittsburgh. The Capitals were back in the playoffs 2003, but disappointed fans again by losing in six games to the Tampa Bay Lightning after starting off with a two-game lead in the best-of-seven first-round series. The series is well-remembered for the three-overtime Game 6 at the then-MCI Center, the longest game in the building's history, which was eventually decided by a power play goal as a result of Jason Doig skating on the ice too early and warranting a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty.

In the 2003–2004 season, the Caps unloaded a lot of their high-priced talent — not just a cost-cutting spree, but also an acknowledgment that their attempt to build a contender with high-priced veteran talent had failed. Jagr had failed to finish among the league's top scorers or make the postseason All-Star Team during his time with the Capitals. They tried to trade Jagr, but as only one year was left on the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement before it expired, few teams were willing to risk $11 million on an underperforming player. In 2004, Jagr was finally sent to the New York Rangers for Anson Carter and an agreement that Washington would pay approximately four million dollars per year of Jagr's salary, with Jagr himself agreeing to defer (with interest) $1 million per year for the remainder of his contract to allow the trade to go ahead. This was quickly followed by Bondra going to the Ottawa Senators. Not long after, Robert Lang was sent to Detroit and Gonchar to the Bruins. The Robert Lang trade marked the first time in the history of the National Hockey League that the league's leading scorer was traded in the middle of the season. The Capitals ended the year 23–46–10–6, tied for the second worst record, along with the Chicago Blackhawks.

In the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, the Capitals won the Draft Lottery, and selected Alexander Ovechkin first overall. During the NHL labor dispute of 2004–05, which cost the NHL its entire season, Ovechkin stayed in Russia, playing for Moscow Dynamo. Several other Capitals played part or all of the lost season in Europe, including Olaf Kolzig, Brendan Witt, and Jeff Halpern. The Capitals' 2005 off-season consisted of making D.C.-area native Halpern the team's captain, signing Andrew Cassels, Ben Clymer, Mathieu Biron and Jamie Heward, and acquiring Chris Clark and Jeff Friesen via trade.

The Capitals finished the 2005–06 NHL season in the cellar of the Southeastern Division again, with a 29–41–12 campaign, having 12 more points than the 2003–04 Season, good for 27th out of the 30 NHL teams. Yet the team played close in every game, playing in 42 one-goal games, although losing 2/3 of those games. Ovechkin's rookie season exceeded the hype, as he led all 2005–06 NHL rookies in goals, points, power-play goals and shots. He finished third overall in the NHL in scoring and tied for third in goals; and his 425 shots not only led the league, but also set an NHL rookie record and was the fourth-highest total in NHL history. Ovechkin's rookie point total was the second-best in Washington Capitals history, and his goal total was tied for third in franchise history. Ovechkin won the Calder Memorial Trophy, beating out Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby and Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf. Many longtime Capitals had career years, with Dainius Zubrus netting 57 points, Halpern having a career-best 33 assists, Matt Pettinger putting in a career-best 20-goal, 38-point effort and seven others on the relatively young team topping 20 points for the first time. Two notable landmarks were also hit by Capitals, as the team's longest tenured Capital, Olaf Kolzig, won his 250th game in goal and Andrew Cassels became the 204th player to play 1,000 games, although he did not finish out his season with the team. A notable first was that Washington area native Jeff Halpern was named captain of the hometown Capitals. At the 2006 trade deadline, March 8, Witt was traded to Nashville.

In the 2006 offseason, Halpern left the Capitals to join the Dallas Stars; Chris Clark became the Capitals' new captain. Richard Zednik returned to the Capitals in 2006–07 after a disappointing 16-goal, 14-assist season in 2005–06 with Montreal, but was later dealt at the trade deadline to the New York Islanders after a disappointing and injury plagued season; the Caps also signed former Philadelphia Flyers enforcer Donald Brashear.

Yet the Capitals finished with the same point total (70) in 2006–2007 as they did the year before, although they won one less game. Alexander Ovechkin was the Capitals' lone representative in the All-Star game. The year was also notable for the breakout of Alexander Semin, who notched 38 goals in only his second NHL season.

The Capitals unveiled new uniforms on June 22, 2007 which coincided with the NHL Entry Draft and the new league-wide adaptation of the Reebok-designed uniform system for 2007–08. The change marks a return to the red, white, and blue color scheme originally used from 1974 to 1995. The new primary logo is reminiscent of the original Capitals' logo, complete with a hockey stick formed by the letter "t"; it also includes a new feature the original logo didn't have: 3 stars representing Maryland, Virginia, and DC. More simply, the stars are an obvious reference to the flag of DC, which is in turn based on the shield of George Washington's family coat of arms.

The Capitals finally signed Swedish phenom Nicklas Backstrom, the fourth overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, to three-year entry-level contract. They also signed 19 year old Simeon Varlamov to a three-year entry-level contract. They then went on to fill needs at defense, by signing puck moving defenseman Tom Poti, right wing, by signing Viktor Kozlov, and center, by signing playmaker Michael Nylander. Because of these signings there was much more hope for the 07–08 season and players were looking towards the playoffs.

After starting the season 6–14–1, the Capitals fired coach Glen Hanlon and replaced him with Hershey Bears coach Bruce Boudreau on Thanksgiving Day, 2007. On January 10, 2008, the Capitals signed Ovechkin to a league-record $124 million contract extension; at 13 years, it also had the second-longest term of any contract in the NHL, after New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro's 15-year contract. Despite the Capitals' young defense and injuries to key players such as Michael Nylander and Brian Pothier, Boudreau engineered a remarkable turnaround. Aided by key moves at the trade deadline (Matt Cooke, Sergei Fedorov and Cristobal Huet), Ovechkin's league-leading 65 goals, and Mike Green's NHL defenseman leading 18 goals, the Capitals won the Southeast Division title for the first time since the 2000–01 NHL season, edging out the Carolina Hurricanes for the division title on the final game of the season. Their remarkable end of season run included winning 11 of the final 12 regular season games. The Capitals became the first team in NHL history to make the playoffs after being ranked 14th or lower in the standings at the season's midpoint.. The Capitals drew the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round, and managed to force a Game 7 after being down 3-1 in the series. They ultimately lost to the Flyers 3–2 in OT. After the season concluded, Boudreau's efforts were rewarded with a long term contract.

The accolades for the team continued to roll in after the end of the season. Alex Ovechkin won the Art Ross Trophy, the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy, the Hart Trophy and the Lester B. Pearson Award. Ovechkin became the first player in NHL history to win all four awards. He also was the first player to win an MVP award in any major sport in the Washington, DC area since Joe Theismann won the NFL MVP in 1983. Moreover, he was named an NHL First Team All-Star and became the first player since 1953 to be named as such in each of his first three years in the NHL. Nicklas Backstrom was a finalist for the Calder Trophy, but ended up second to Chicago's Patrick Kane; however, Backstrom was still selected to the All-Star Rookie Team. Bruce Boudreau won the Jack Adams Award for NHL best coach. Ovechkin and Mike Green were named to the Sporting News All-Star Team, with Ovechkin being the Sporting News Player of the Year.

Updated April 29, 2009.

Statistics include regular season and playoffs.

These are the top-ten regular season point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.

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Source : Wikipedia