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1982-83 Quotes

Here's what was said about the 1982-83 season by the Islanders, their opponents and observers. Select the person's name to see the quotes:


Denis Potvin, Islander defenseman and captain:

"We're the best that ever skated, and if anyone doesn't believe it they're just kidding themselves."

See Potvin's quotes from 1980-81

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Duane Sutter, Islander forward:

"We heard from a lot of different sources that Edmonton was unbeatable. Maybe because of that we prepared ourselves better mentally for this series than we had for any series since winning our first Cup."

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John Tonelli, Islander forward:

"It's a great feeling that will become greater with the years. I will be sitting on my couch, and other teams will be playing for the Stanley Cup, and I will smile. Then I will remember this night. And if I'm watching with someone, I'll just say, "I played for the New York Islanders."

On Bill Smith: "I've probably got an unfair point of view, but from what I've seen...I think he's the all-time greatest."

See Tonelli's quotes from 1979-80

See Tonelli's quotes from 1980-81

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Clark Gillies, Islander forward:

Before meeting the heavily favored Edmonton Oilers for the Stanley Cup: "We want to beat them more than anything. You know why? Because they think they're the greatest thing since sliced bread."

After helping to silence the critics and the Oilers by earning his fourth straight Stanley Cup ring: "What we've done in four years might never be done again."

See Gillies's quotes from 1979-80

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Butch Goring, Islander forward:

"We don't go our and tell everybody how great we are. We just go out and show everybody."

"I think the Edmonton Oilers will win the Stanley Cup one year. There's no doubt in my mind. And not too long away, either."

See Goring's quotes from 1980-81

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Al Arbour, Islander coach:

"There is no team with greater character in any sport than this team."

"We had our ups and downs. We had injuries. We didnít play well. We lost confidence. But I never lost faith in these guys. I love them too much."

See Arbour's quotes from 1981-82

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Bob Bourne, Islander forward:

On the Edmonton Oilers: "They think they're so hot. They're damn cocky. The thing that really bugs me is, they don't respect us. They're not the Stanley Cup champions. We are."

"We're scared of losing. That's why we win. We know what it's like to lose and we hate it. We enjoy being champions too much."

"No matter what Mr. Arbour and Mr. Torrey say, this team can turn it on and off when we want to."

See Bourne's quotes from 1979-80

See Bourne's quotes from 1980-81

See Bourne's quotes from 1981-82

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Bill Smith, Islander goalie:

Upon hearing that Oiler Glenn Anderson, who ignited a furor by going down after being whacked with Smitty's goal stick, was going to play the next playoff game: "I thought his funeral was today."

On his Oscar-worthy performance late in game four of the finals, when he went down like a ton of bricks after being grazed by an opposing player: "When I hit Gretzky he rolled around and cried like he was dying, so that's what I did. I threw myself and squirmed. I want to tell people in Canada and all over the world that two people can play that game."

On winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP: "I couldn't show this (the MVP trophy) around some parts of Canada. I'd be shot."

See Smith's quotes from 1979-80

See Smith's quotes from 1980-81

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Bill Torrey, Islander general manager:

"A lot of people figured this was the year we could be had, and it's got to bother some of them that this year we probably had a better playoff than any of the others."

On the legendary Montreal Canadiens teams of the late 1950s and late 1970s: "Right now, we'd love to play those teams for a lot of money."

See Torrey's quotes from 1979-80

See Torrey's quotes from 1980-81

Read more about Torrey

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Gordie Howe, hockey legend:

"The Islanders match up with the best team in any era of the game."

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Kevin Lowe, Oiler defenseman:

"They dominated us completely. They were always ahead, and it's virtually impossible to try to play catch-up with them."

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Dave Hunter, Oiler forward:

"I have more respect for the Islander defensemen now than I did. They clear out in front of the net better than anybody. And whatever Billy Smith sees, he stops. But I really thought this was our year."

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Glen Sather, Oiler coach and general manager:

During the finals: "The slashing and chippy play isn't what's distracting us. Smith is. I'll say this: He's one whale of a goaltender."

After walking past the Islander dressing room following the Oilers' ouster from the Stanley Cup finals: "They all had ice packs on. None of our guys were beat up like that. We just didn't know how hard we had to go to win. To be a Stanley Cup champion."

"I guess, or at least hope, that we're going to be around for a while. But I hope that's the last we see of the Islanders."

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