Countdown: 33, Benoit Hogue

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.

hogueBenoit 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:

“It’s just a great thing because the fans are still talking about that year,” said former Islanders forward Benoit Hogue, who played for the Islanders in that unforgettable season. “We advanced pretty far in the playoffs that year. To be honored for that is a great thing. It’s great for the players to get together and share that moment with the fans.”

“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:

“I’ve got 25 hours to go [until the deadline passes],” Hogue said at about 2 p.m. yesterday, as he was dressing after practice. “If I’m going to stay around I can finally buy some food for the refrigerator. I’m sick of eating cereal.” Hogue did not make it. At around 8 p.m. last night, the Islanders announced they had dealt him to the Toronto Maple Leafs

And then there’s this paragraph about the 1994 draft, which looks crazy in hindsight:

Fichaud, 19, was the Leafs’ No. 1 pick, 16th overall, last summer, and like every other young French-Canadian goalie, is likened to Patrick Roy and Felix Potvin. In this case, the 5-11, 165-pound Montreal native is considered a clone of Potvin, the Leaf goalie who burst onto the scene in 1992 and quickly established himself as one of the best in the game. The Leafs went for Fichaud after the Islanders stole Brett Lindros from them, trading up to the ninth pick and grabbing Lindros ahead of the Leafs at No. 10. A disgusted Cliff Fletcher, the Toronto GM traded the 10th pick away and took Fichaud at 16, the first goalie in the draft.



33
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)