Islanders to retire No. 91 for Butch Goring, No. 27 for John Tonelli

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The New York Islanders will be sending two more numbers to the rafters.

The team announced Wednesday that four-time Stanley Cup champions, John Tonelli and Robert "Butch" Goring, will have their numbers retired before games in February.

Tonelli, No. 27, spent eight seasons with the team after being drafted in 1977. He scored 544 points (206 goals and 338 assists) in his 594 career regular season games. Tonelli will go down in Islanders history as the man who set up Bobby Nystrom for the overtime winner that sparked four-straight Stanley Cups.

Goring, No. 91, was acquired in a trade from the Los Angeles Kings in 1980. He played in 322 regular season games with the Isles, scoring 195 points (87 goals and 108 assists). He also played 99 playoff games with the team, putting up 68 points. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy during their second Cup run as the most valuable player of the playoffs (10 goals, 10 assists).

Tonelli’s number will be will be retired on Friday, Feb. 21 vs. the Detroit Red Wings. Goring’s number will go up on Feb. 29 against the Boston Bruins. Both games are at the Nassau Coliseum.

Goring said on Twitter that it was one of the best days of his life and beyond expression or belief. 

The Islanders tweeted that Tonelli wants captain Anders Lee to continue wearing No. 27 regardless of the number retirement.

“I have spoken with current Islanders team captain Anders Lee and from seeing the tremendous leader he is, I told him that I would be honored if he continues to wear our number until the end of his career," Tonelli was quoted as saying.

Tonelli and Goring's numbers will have company in the rafters from some dynasty-era teammates.  Mike Bossy, Denis Potvin, Clark Gillies, Bryan Trottier, Bobby Nystrom and Billy Smith previously have had their numbers retired by the Islanders.


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