Islanders To Retire Numbers Of 4-Time Stanley Cup Champs Tonelli, Goring

Both Will Be Honored In February

Ryan Chatelain
December 18, 2019 - 3:57 pm

The Islanders announced Wednesday they are retiring the numbers of John Tonelli and Robert "Butch" Goring, both of whom were part of their Stanley Cup four-peat in the 1980s.

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Tonelli's No. 27 will be retired before the Islanders' Feb. 21 game against the Red Wings at Nassau Coliseum. Goring's  No. 91 will be retired prior to the Feb. 29 game against the Bruins, also at Nassau Coliseum.

A winger, Tonelli spent eight seasons with the Islanders, registering 206 goals and 338 assists (544 points) in 594 games. He was an All-Star in the 1981-82 and 1984-85 seasons. 

One of the biggest highlights of Tonelli's career was when he set up Bob Nystrom's overtime goal that clinched the Isles' first Stanley Cup championship in 1980. He also played for the Flames, Kings, Blackhawks and Nordiques during his 14-year NHL career.

From left, Islanders greats Butch Goring and John Tonelli
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"The accomplishments we achieved as a team throughout my years as a New York Islander will always be the greatest memories I have from playing the game," Tonelli told "To have my number retired alongside several of my former teammates is incredibly humbling and something that my family and I will cherish forever."

Goring was acquired in a March 1980 trade with the Los Angeles Kings and spent six seasons with the Islanders. The center skated in 332 games with the team and had 87 goals and 108 assists (195 points). In 1981, Goring won the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the most valuable player in the playoffs, after he produced 10 goals and 10 assists in 18 postseason games.

"I'm extremely honored to have my number retired by the New York Islanders," Goring, who also played for Boston, told "I came to the Long Island community back in the '80s, and since then I have made it my home. Some of the greatest accomplishments of my career happened with this fanbase and I can't wait to share this night with them as well."

Tonelli and Goring will join Denis Potvin (No. 5), Clark Gillies (No. 9), Bryan Trottier (No. 19), Mike Bossy (No. 22), Nystrom (No. 23) and Billy Smith (No. 31) as Islanders players who have had their numbers retired.