Countdown: 21, Brent Sutter

sutterAt 21 on our countdown is the best player in a hockey playing family. Six Sutters made the NHL during the 70s and 80s, all brothers, and two of the best ended up playing many years for the Islanders. Brent and Duane Sutter both spent a good portion of the 80s on Long Island, with Brent racking up 829 points in 1,111 NHL games over his career. Of those, the vast majority came with the Islanders, putting him atop most of the Islanders all-time lists.

Brent Sutter was drafted by the Islanders in the first round in 1980 and joined the team for three games that year. In the two following seasons, he would contribute to two Islanders Stanley Cups by scoring 21 goals each season. He lit things up in his rookie year, scoring 21 goals in only 43 games, while it would take him almost twice as many games to do the same the following year. 1984-85 was a career year for Sutter, as he hit a high water mark of 42 goals and 102 points.

The Islanders would struggle throughout the rest of the 80s, but Sutter had solid contributions year in and year out. For 10 straight seasons, he notched at least 21 goals and 40 points. Those numbers leave him tied for fifth on the Islanders all-time goal scoring list with the counterpart of this generation of Islanders, Pat LaFontaine. Sutter is also fifth on the team’s point scoring list and eighth in games played.

In the end, like LaFontaine, his relationship with the team would sour and he requested a trade during the 1991-92 season. Both players had grown tired of owner John Pickett and, in LaFontaine’s case, there was a nasty contract negotiation that exasperated the situation. Sutter was traded to the Blackhawks with Brad Lauer for Adam Creighton and Steve Thomas.

czerkawskiHonorable Mention: Mariusz Czerkawski, the Polish Prince, who sits in 15th on the Islanders all-time goal scoring list. In six years with the club and 470 games, Czerkawksi compiled 145 goals and 295 points.

He was originally acquired in the summer of 1997 from Edmonton for Dan LaCouture. In his third season on Long Island, 1999-00, Czerkawski scored a career high 35 goals and 70 points, representing the Islanders in the all-star game that season. He would follow that up with another 30 goals the following year. In the summer of 2002, the Canadiens signed him as a free agent to a one-year deal, but after a year away the Islanders would re-sign him for a second go-around. He scored another 25 goals in the season before the lockout.

Dave Pulkkinen (1973)
Arnie Brown (1973)
Ron Smith (1973)
Andre St. Laurent (1974-1978)
Mike Kaszycki (1978-1980)
Butch Goring (1980)
Brent Sutter (1981-1992)
Dan Plante (1996)
Robert Reichel (1997-1999)
Nick Vachon (1997)
Mariusz Czerkawski (2000-2004)
Trent Hunter (2003)
Robert Nilsson (2006)
Deron Quint (2007)
Kyle Okposo (2008-2013)