New York Islanders’ legends Clark Gillies, Bobby Nystrom, and Chris Peters sat with Chris Peters for a discussion on the secrets behind their Stanley Cup-winning dynasty.
It is a long, difficult road that leads to the Stanley Cup. To build a roster that is competitive for the Stanley Cup, it takes many years. The 2020 Tampa Bay Lightning champion learned that sometimes it takes hardships in the seasons to finally hoist the oldest trophy in team sports.
In the NHL betting, the Lightning are at 6.50 odds to win Stanley Cup 2021. They were defeated in the postseason’s first round in 2013 by the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Lightning heard about this all through the year. The Lightning’s success was because they didn’t restructure their roster. The front office waited and added key players to their depth throughout the year.
It can take years to build cores like the Lightning. The NHL’s salary cap can make it difficult to maintain cores, as teams are constantly squeezed when paying their top players. The Stanley Cup-winning teams can have a huge advantage in roster consistency.
Bobby Nystrom, Clark Gillies, and their teammates know how to win the Stanley Cup. They were longtime friends and teammates who played together in the New York Islanders team that won four Stanley Cups consecutively between 1980 and 1985. The longtime teammates and friends also have a lot of experience with the struggle a team goes through to win a Stanley Cup, as well as the joy that comes with finally bringing home the Stanley Cup with the group they’ve fought with.
Before they won their first championship in 1980, the Islanders were anchored by a group of players who had played with them for many years. Nystrom and Gillies were Islanders for more than five years when the dynasty started. Bryan Trottier and Denis Potvin were also there at least for four years. Mike Bossy was the leading scorer for this team. He played there for at least three years.
They had an excellent foundation to build on before starting what was later known as one of the NHL’s greatest dynasties. All of their numbers were retired, plus Butch Goring’s who was acquired by the team in 1979/80. Bill Torrey and Al Arbour’s coach also hang banners on the roof.
Nystrom, Gillies, and the Edmonton Oilers, who came after them, sat with Betway Insider, virtually, to talk about what it’s like to be part of a dynasty. We will likely never again see a dynasty like that.
At what point did you realize that your team was capable of winning Stanley Cup?
Bobby Nystrom: When we won the Stanley Cup, it became obvious [laughs]. We had teams that were very good in 1979 and 1978. In particular, in ’79, when we won the Presidents’ Trophy, we believed we would be right on track. The playoffs were so different from what we thought.
When we acquired [Miracle on Ice defenceman] Kenny Morrow [and] [trade acquisition] Butch Goring I believe that this solidified our squad. Then, I believed we had a chance.
Clark Gillies (to Bob): I completely agree, we learned a lot. Losing those two seasons against Toronto and Rangers was necessary. Losing helped us to realize what needed to be done to make the necessary effort to win.
In ’78, ’79, and 1980 we lacked physicality. In 1980, when we faced the Bruins again in the second-round matchup, this was the moment that our team awoke. The Bruins was picked by everyone to intimidate and outmuscle the Ducks. In 1980, I believe we made it clear that we were not going to be bullied. This gave us the confidence to defeat the Flyers and, I believe from then onwards, everyone respected us in NHL public betting.
How important was Bill Torrey’s commitment to maintaining your team together in your Stanley Cup victory?
BN: I was sure that they would change many people in the team when we lost to the Rangers in 1979. Bill Torrey, Al Arbour, and their patience in picking up Butch and Kenny made all the difference. The guys got along nicely. You know, we went out at night together. It was a great group.
Did you think it was important to be friends with each other and like them personally?
Clark will beat you to a pulp. This is how he won over the boys. This is how we met. He would beat up any teammate who was trying to pick on him.
I believe we’re all good friends. Al Arbour said if we didn’t support each other. You’ll recall Bobby saying this when he came into the locker room: “It doesn’t matter if we go out to dinner or lunch. Or if we ever meet off the ice.” Come through the dressing room, and you’d better be ready to break down a wall to help each other. ”
We liked one another, even though some guys were friends with others and sometimes we would get together in large groups. For a very long time, we were like brothers rather than teammates. I thought I knew every detail from second to second. I knew exactly what Bob would do and he also knew precisely what I’d do. It was like we knew each other very well. We were all working towards the same goals and developed great chemistry. It was like a feeling. We knew our habits, and we had a good understanding of each other.