For hockey fans in 2022, the Flyers and Islanders rivalry may be nothing more than two teams sharing the same division. But that wasn’t always the case. The heated rivalry between the clubs throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s was intense. Their four postseason clashes in 1975, 1980, 1985 and 1987 would lead to each team securing a Stanley Cup. As time passed and tensions relaxed, they relationship between the two thawed and the trade route was open once again, albeit in limited capacity.
(to Flyers – to Islanders)
3/5/73 – Terry Crisp for Jean Potvin and Glen Irwin
The first transaction made between the two teams less than a year after the Islanders entered the league. Crisp was an Islander for less than a full season, taken in the 1972 expansion draft from the St. Louis Blues. He played three seasons in Philly, winning two Stanley Cups, before retiring and joining Fred Shero’s coaching staff two games into the 1976-77 season.
Jean Potvin was acquired by the Islanders with the intention of drafting his brother Denis first overall in 1973, enticing him to join the Islanders instead of opting to play in the World Hockey Association, which ultimately proved successful. Glen Irwin, a 36th overall pick by the Flyers in 1971, did opt to play in the WHA, however, after refusing to join the lowly Islanders.
6/21/86 – Mike Murray for 1986 fifth round pick (Todd McLellan)
The Flyers and Islanders didn’t make a trade for 13 years. Fierce battles between the Flyers and the eventual four-time Stanley Cup champions in the early 1980’s soured tensions for years. That deal ultimately didn’t mean much, as Murray only played a single game for the Flyers and McLellan played five games for the Islanders before hanging up the skates in favor of pursuing a coaching career.
9/22/94 – Ron Hextall, 1995 sixth round pick (Dimitri Tertyshny) for Tommy Soderstrom
After just one trade in the previous 21 years, the Flyers and Islanders did business once again, this time the deal had an actual impact. The Flyers re-acquired goaltender Ron Hextall, who they dealt away two years prior in the Eric Lindros trade with the Quebec Nordiques, and a 1995 sixth round pick which they used on defenseman Dimitri Tertyshny.
The Islanders landed goalie Tommy Soderstrom, who joined an ever revolving door of Islanders goaltenders, splitting time in the crease with Jamie McLennan, Tommy Salo and Eric Fichaud over parts of the following three seasons before returning to Europe for the 1997-98 season.
Hextall played some of the best hockey of his career upon returning to Philly, with the peak of his career coming during the 1995-96 season when he posted a personal best 2.17 goals against average and .913 save percentage. He also only recorded 98 penalty minutes during his entire five year run, a steep decline from his 365 penalty minutes during his first six seasons with the Flyers.
Tertyshny played the 1998-99 season in Philly, but tragically died in a boating accident in the summer of 1999.
8/25/98 – 2000 sixth round pick (Scott Selig) (traded to MTL) for Ray Giroux
Ray Giroux was drafted 202 overall by the Flyers in 1994, but never played a game for them. He ended up playing 14 NHL games for the Islanders, and 108 games for their AHL affiliate before heading to Europe in 2001.
The Flyers flipped that 2000 sixth round pick as part of a trade package that brought Mark Recchi back to the Flyers from the Montreal Canadiens in March of 1999. Selig never played in the NHL.
2/15/00 – Gino Odjick for Mikeal Andersson, 2000 fifth round pick (Kristofer Ottoson)
Gino Odjick was one of the more intense enforcers of his day, best known for his decade-long stint with the Vancouver Canucks where he racked up 2,127 penalty minutes. He played intermittently with the Islanders from 1998 to 2000 before being acquired by the Flyers. He only played 30 games in Philadelphia late in the 1999-00 season and early in 2000-01 before being traded to the Montreal Canadiens.
Mikeal Andersson was 742 games into his NHL career by the time he was acquired by the Islanders. He finished out the 1999-00 campaign with the club, but retired from the NHL during the summer of 2000.
Kristofer Ottoson, the forward drafted with the fifth round pick, never made the jump to the
NHL, but did carve out a long career in his native Sweden.
6/25/00 – 2001 fourth round pick (Jordin Tootoo) (trade to NSH) for John Vanbiesbrouck
The Flyers’ huge gamble during the 1998 summer was investing in goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck instead of Mike Richter or Curtis Joseph. They ultimately choose wrong and the 37-year-old goalie was traded to the Islanders two seasons later. He only played 44 games with the Isles before being traded to the Devils at the 2001 trade deadline.
The 2001 fourth round pick the Flyers acquired in the deal was traded to the Nashville Predators during the entry draft when the Preds moved up 12 spots in the fourth round to select Jordin Tootoo. The Flyers acquired a 2001 fourth (Rob Zepp), 2001 fifth (Jussi Timonen) and a 2001 seventh (Thierry Douville) in that deal.
3/9/03 – Claude Lapointe for 2003 fifth round pick (Evgeni Isakov) (traded to PIT)
Claude Lapointe was a long-time fan favorite with the Islanders, but was 13 years into his NHL career at the time of the trade. He would play 56 games with the Flyers over the following season before retiring in 2004.
The Islanders traded that fifth round pick to the Penguins for forward Randy Robitaille. He played 10 games to finish out the season with the Islanders, but the organization opted to not re-sign him during the offseason. He joined the Atlanta Thrashers during the 2003 offseason.
1/22/04 – Mattias Timander for 2004 seventh round pick (Chris Campoli)
Thanks to key injuries on the blueline to Eric Desjardins and Chris Therien, the Flyers had to find some defensive help. It came in the form of Mattias Timander, who played 34 regular season games with the Flyers and 18 playoff games. His time in Philly didn’t last as he returned to Sweden during the offseason, making his time with the Flyers the last NHL games of his career.
The Islanders drafted defenseman Chris Campoli 227th overall with the 2004 seventh round pick. He would play 228 games for the Islanders over the following four seasons.
12/16/06 – Alexei Zhitnik for Freddy Meyer, 2007 third round pick (Mark Katic)
The longtime Buffalo Sabre Alexei Zhitnik had signed with the Islanders at the conclusion of the 2005 lockout and played the next season-and-a-half with the team until he was dealt to the Flyers before Christmas in 2006. Zhitnik only played 31 games for the Flyers over the following two months and was dealt away at the 2007 trade deadline in one of the better trades in Flyers’ history when they acquired defenseman Braydon Coburn.
Freddy Mayer finished the 2006-07 season with the Islanders but was lost to the Phoenix Coyotes on waivers before the start of the 2007-08 season. He played 13 games with the Coyotes organization when the Islanders reclaimed him on re-entry waivers and played three more seasons in New York.
The 2007 third round pick Mark Katic only played in 11 NHL games with the Islanders, spending a bulk of his three seasons in the organization in the AHL.
12/20/06 – Mike York for Randy Robitaille, 2008 fifth round pick (Matt Martin)
Journeyman Mike York had a breif stint with the Flyers when he was acquired from the Islanders in the middle of the 2006-07 season. He suited up for 34 games scoring nine points but was not re-signed during the offseason, instead inking a new deal with the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Islanders reacquired forward Randy Robitaille, who had played 10 games with them in 2003. The Isles used that fifth round pick on beloved depth enforcer Matt Martin, who has played 10 out of the last 12 years with the club.
6/12/13 – Mark Streit for Shane Harper, 2014 fourth round pick (Devon Toews)
After missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007, the Flyers spent the 2013 offseason making some big splashes, one of the moves being acquiring defenseman Mark Streit from the Islanders. He would essentially serve as the team’s top defenseman for much of the next three-and-a-half seasons before being dealt away at the 2017 trade deadline where he’d ultimately win the Stanley Cup with the Penguins.
Shane Harper was an undrafted AHL prospect for the Flyers from 2010 to 2013. He was not offered a contract by the New York Islanders after the trade. New York would use that fourth round pick to select defenseman Devon Toews. He played three seasons with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the AHL and two with the Islanders before being traded to Colorado in October of 2020 due to the Isles’ cap restraints.
3/4/14 – Andrew MacDonald for 2014 third round pick (Ilya Sorokin), 2015 second round pick (Brandon Carlo) (traded to BOS) and Matt Mangene
One of the more famous trades in recent Flyers’ history took place at the 2014 NHL trade deadline when they acquired defenseman Andrew MacDonald. The six-year, $30 million contract the Flyers signed him to a month after the trade wasn’t bad enough, the fact they gave up a second and a third round pick for his services stings even more.
The draft picks the traded away ultimately became Ilya Sorokin, a top young goalie in the league, and defenseman Brandon Carlo, who has been a top four staple on the Boston Bruins blueline for six seasons now. The Islanders did trade away that second round pick in the deal that landed them defenseman Johnny Boychuk.
MacDonald played out five of the six years on his contract in Philadelphia before mercifully being bought out in the summer of 2019.
6/25/16 – 2017 fourth round pick (Noel Hoefenmayer) (traded to ARZ) for 2016 fourth round pick (Otto Koivula)
On the second day of the 2016 NHL draft, the Islanders traded up for the second time in the fourth round, with their first deal being struck with Chicago to move from 110 to 95. This deal with the Flyers saw them send their 2017 fourth rounder in exchange for a 2016 fourth round pick. The Islanders drafted forward Otto Koivula with their fourth round pick. He has spent a bulk of this time in North America in the AHL, though has managed to suit up for 12 NHL games with the Islanders.
The Flyers traded that 2017 fourth round pick in a package deal to Arizona at the 2017 entry draft when they moved up nine spots in the second round to draft forward Isaac Ratcliffe 35th overall. The Coyotes received the Flyers’ 2017 second round pick (Filip Westerlund), 2017 third (Nate Scharr) and 2017 fourth (Noel Hoefenmayer) in the deal.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)