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New York Islanders History:
The New York Islanders are a professional ice hockey team based in Uniondale, New York. They play in the National Hockey League and are actually one of two teams from New York.
The New York Islanders and their cross-town rivals, the New York Rangers, are both members of the NHL's Atlantic Division, guaranteeing plenty of regular season meetings. This is unique among New York City's major league sports teams; Major League Baseball's New York Yankees and New York Mets are in different leagues, as are the National Football League's New York Jets and New York Giants, giving them little opportunity to play each other.
In the 2005-2006 season, the New York Islanders were unable to reach expectations. They finished with 36 wins and 40 losses and only had 78 points by the end of the season. They finished fourth overall in the Atlantic Division behind New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, and the New York Rangers.
During the NHL season, on March 4, 2006, the Islander organization honored the 25th anniversary of the 1980 Stanley Cup championship team prior to a scheduled game with the Philadelphia Flyers (their opponent in the 1980 finals). Activities included bringing back most of the players as well as GM Bill Torrey and coach Al Arbour for a "Walk of Champions" leading into the building, accompanied by the Stanley Cup, and tributes to the team once inside. Former broadcaster Jiggs McDonald hosted the on-ice ceremony.
On May 31, 2006, the Islanders announced the addition of Bryan Trottier to the front office as Executive Director of Player Development. The following week, on June 7, the Islanders announced the hiring of Neil Smith as GM and Ted Nolan as head coach. They also announced that Pat LaFontaine would return to the Islanders as Senior Advisor to the Owner. In a surprising move, however, the team fired Smith a little more than a month later and replaced him with the team's backup goalie, Garth Snow. According to owner Charles Wang, Smith was fired because of a "difference in philosophy." Wang had intended for LaFontaine, Nolan, Smith, Trottier and Wang himself to form a committee similar to a corporate board of directors, while Smith was uncomfortable working without the degree of control that NHL managers usually have. Later the same day, LaFontaine resigned his Senior Advisor post. Reports indicated that LaFontaine decided the fit wasn't right after Wang's ignored his advice to wait a few days before making a final decision about Smith.
Prior to Smith's firing, the Islanders made several free agent acquisitions, including defensemen Brendan Witt and Tom Poti and forwards Mike Sillinger and Chris Simon.
The New York Islanders have also added defensemen Sean Hill and Rick Berry in the offseason along with goalie, Wade Dubielewicz.
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