Booze cruises, Poetry, Massive Wrists and Patrick Roy. It’s an insane ride into the world of the late 90’s Islanders.
Dan and Nick Giglia of invaluable referendum blog “Let There Be Lighthouse” talk about how Sergei Nemchinov was a winner who played for the Islanders at the wrong time.
The veteran forward was 34 years old when he signed as a free agent, bringing years of experience from the Soviet Union, international stage and a Stanley Cup run with the Rangers to an Islanders team that needed all the help they could get. For once, Mike Milbury opened his wallet as well as his mouth, but for Nemchinov, the chance to play near Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach was enough to sign.
Nick talks about rubbing elbows with both men and a certain Islanders prospect who had “the biggest wrists he had ever seen,” on a booze cruise around Manhattan when he was just 12. And things just get weirder from there as we venture for the first time into the thickest, darkest part of the Islanders’ Milbury era.
WEIRD BONUS MATERIAL!
- The NY Times article on the Islanders signing of Sergei Nemchinov. Milbury sounds very unhappy having to spend money on a player.
- And here’s my interview with the man himself from December, 1999:
- Here’s the goal Nick talked about. There’s a surprising amount of Nemchinov Islanders content on YouTube.
What makes a “Weird Islander?”
We’re always open to suggestions about other Weird Islanders to discuss. Remember the criteria. Candidates must fulfill one of the two of the following:
- Played one (1) season or less for the Islanders or very short stints over multiple seasons.
- Be a veteran NHLer who is not generally associated with his time on Islanders.
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- Betway, the official betting partner of the NHL. Please play responsibly.
- The Pinot Project has Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio and Rose all under $15. Available at local wine stores and UBS Arena.
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Drum sfx via Zapsplat.com.