Deadline deal poster boy

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

Even more than a quarter of a century later, he is still the poster boy for the NHL's annual trade deadline.

In one of the most famous deadline-deals ever made, the New York Islanders acquired centre Butch Goring from the L.A. Kings for Bill Harris and Dave Lewis in 1980. And the rest really did become hockey history. Goring was credited as the missing ingredient that New York needed as he then led the Isles to the first of four consecutive Stanley Cups.

"There's not a lot of trades that work out that well when they're made that late in the season," said Goring, who was in town to participate in the annual Oldtimers' Hockey Challenge at the MTS Centre last night. "And I don't mind hearing that it was a great trade."

Goring scored seven goals and 19 points in 21 playoff games that year. The next year, the Winnipeg native scored 10 goals and 20 points in 20 NHL playoff games, winning both the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the top playoff performer that year.

"I tell everyone that the second one (Cup) was better -- and it had nothing to do with winning the Conn Smythe," said Goring, 57. "When I first joined the team that late in the season, I did not feel that comfortable with the team. But that second year, I felt like I was an Islander and it was a lot more fun.

"We won four straight Stanley Cups and obviously, when you're winning Stanley Cups, it's always a great memory. And with a team as good as the Islanders, it was so much fun to go to the rink and not have to deal with the pressures of not knowing whether or not you can win."

Goring, who was also visiting his parents here, scored 375 goals and 888 points in 1,107 NHL regular-season games and added another 38 goals and 88 points in 134 NHL playoff matches. The MJHL product also won both the Lady Byng and Billy Masterton Trophies in 1978.

And while there are other problems with the modern-day NHL, Goring likes the fact that more skill players are allowed to strut their stuff.

"The new rules have provided the quickness factor to return to the game and that has helped the skill guys to shine," said Goring, who played at 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds.

Goring also had a successful coaching career, winning two IHL championships with the Utah Grizzlies and another title in Germany.

"I'm still hoping to get back into the NHL as a coach," said Goring who is working with city-run minor hockey league programs in New York City when he is not barnstorming with such Legendary Hockey Heroes as Bryan Trottier and Dale Hawerchuk.


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