With 33 days until the start of the regular season for the Islanders, we’re counting down the best players to wear the #33. Ray Ferraro wore the number for one year, but we’ll see him later on in the countdown. Random trivia; former Columbus GM Scott Howson spent a year in it. And of course, Eric Cairns had a very famous moment in #33. But there’s really only one #33.
Benoit Hogue spent 15 seasons in the NHL and scored 222 goals, but by far, his three best seasons were spent on Long Island. He was originally acquired early in the 1991-92 season in the massive Pierre Turgeon-for-Pat LaFontaine trade with the Sabres that drastically altered the roster for both teams.
Hogue went right to work for the Islanders, scoring 30 goals and 75 points in 72 games in 91-92. The next year he would pot 33 goals as the Islanders made it all the way to the conference finals, and another 36 the following year, which would stand as a career high. He even did it with 65+ penalty minutes each season.
In 2011, the Islanders honored the 92-93 playoff team with a special night at the Coliseum and the team got Hogue’s thoughts on the year:
“The feeling was like every game counted, every game was a do or die,” Hogue said. “We kept winning and getting points and looking at the standings. We were just hoping we could get a lucky break to get in.”
In only three-plus years on Long Island, Hogue scored 105 goals and 229 points.
During the shortened 1994-95 season, Hogue was traded at the deadline to Toronto for the Leafs’ first round pick in 1994, Eric Fichaud. This was the third in an exodus of Islanders stars, as Maloney had previously shipped out Pierre Turgeon and Vladimir Malakhov that same year. The trade, as Hogue told the Daily News, was something he saw coming for weeks:
And then there’s this paragraph about the 1994 draft, which looks crazy in hindsight:
Neil Hawryliw (1982)
Kevin Devine (1983)
Alan Kerr (1985)
Steve Konroyd (1986-1989)
Scott Howson (1986)
Marc Bergevin (1990)
Ray Ferraro (1991)
Benoit Hogue (1992-1995)
Milan Tichy (1996)
Ken Belanger (1996-1999)
Eric Cairns (1999-2004)
Eric Boguniecki (2007)