It is known as the Easter Epic. Easter weekend, 1987, the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals engage in a classic game 7 playoff showdown that was spectacularly extended through 4 overtime periods.
Kelly Hrudey of the Islanders and Bob Mason of the Capitals were both spectacular in net, extending the game well into the wee hours of the next day. That's when Pat Lafontaine mercifully scores the series winning goal, 6 hours and 18 minutes after the game started
It ranks high among the all time great moments in New York Islanders history. Or does it?
Mike Sielski of the Wall Street Journal had an interesting story last week about how Islanders owner Charles Wang has turned a personal grudge against Lafontaine into the erasing of #16's legacy, both in terms of his defining moment and his status as one of the Islanders' all time great players. Sielski finds it odd that Lafontaine and the famous Easter goal have almost no place in the Islanders 40th anniversary plans, including a recently created video.
LaFontaine, arguably the Islanders' best and most popular player in the late 1980s and early 1990s, remains one of their most significant figures. Yet the video is one of several instances when the Islanders seem intent to pretend he doesn't exist—they've left him out of their Hall of Fame and once neglected to mention his presence at a charity bike ride. It's one of the rare instances in sports history where a professional team has taken pains to whitewash a player from its history.You can read the full story here.
It really is amazing how low the Islanders have sunk over the years, both on and off the ice. Sad, really. They have some promising youngsters (they better after all the repeated failings all these seasons) but they lack depth and a stable environment to develop them. Besides, they probably will not get too far with ownership and management like this. Who in there right mind would want to sign as a UFA on Long Island? If they treat Pat Lafontaine this way, how will they treat you?
Then again, if you are a back up goalie you might just be named as the next general manager.