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Brooks Simpson

Brooks Simpson writes, teaches, and speaks on American history and politics as a professor at Arizona State University. A native Long Islander, he has been an Islanders fan since the franchise's inception in 1972.

Simpson: Radar and the Bowtie, Egghead and Lou Loophole

High in the rafters of Nassau Coliseum hang a pair of banners honoring two Islanders legends who never donned the blue and orange: general manager Bill Torrey and coach Al Arbour. Together these two men developed one of the most remarkable dynasties in NHL history—the only US-based franchise to win ...

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Simpson: Wanted — a first line left wing

Anders Lee’s season-ending injury cost the Islanders their team captain and leader, to be sure. What it also cost them was their first-line left-wing whose net presence and ability to cash in on rebounds, deflected shots and loose pucks will be sorely missed. The choice of who fills his slot ...

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The 1980-81 Islanders: The Prelude (Part 1)

In the next several weeks, our historian Brooks Simpson will take a look back at one of the greatest squads in both franchise and hockey history on the 40th anniversary of its championship run. Today we almost take for granted the New York Islanders dynasty of the 1980s. That dynasty ...

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Simpson: The Case Against Acquiring Taylor Hall for the Isles

The Islanders’ decision to place injured captain Anders Lee on LTIR (long term injured reserve), with its cap consequences, renewed speculation that they are in the market for another player, preferably a winger with a scoring touch. The obvious name being circulated is Taylor Hall, who is toying away with ...

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Simpson: Deadline Trades Are Not the Answer in 2021 for the Islanders

Every season, as the trade deadline approaches, hockey fans speculate on who might be on the move from their team and who they might pick up. Islanders fans are not immune to this obsession, which rivals their concern over jersey design. They well remember that on March 10, 1980, some ...

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Simpson: Isles have been Shopping in the Toy Department all season

If you’ve ever played EA’s NHL series against the game’s AI, you soon learn to orient the game on a north-south axis, with your team always going from the bottom of the screen to the top. Given how the game’s controls work, that means you will be shooting (and scoring) ...

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Simpson: Opportunity and Challenge for the Islanders the next 11 games

It’s been an up-and-down season for the somewhat streaky New York Islanders. In their last five games they claimed three narrow victories over Buffalo, including surviving a mediocre showing in their last contest; they lost two games against Pittsburgh, although in one game they played well enough to secure at ...

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Simpson: What have you done for me lately?

As the 2021 NHL season continues on its unusual course, remember that the structure of this season places even more emphasis on what is known as recency bias—that of giving far more weight to recent events than to events as a whole. Sports fans are among the people most vulnerable ...

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What’s Next for Ilya Sorokin?

For years, Islanders fans have anxiously awaited the arrival of netminder Ilya Sorokin.  They pinned their hopes on a 25-year-old goalie who they rarely saw in-game action outside of YouTube clips and the occasional Twitter or blog update. No matter. The accounts of his excellent play in Russia in the ...

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Simpson: Has the time come for a change on the Island?

For Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz, the challenge is easy to explain, hard to address.  With just over a fifth of the regular season gone, the Isles are fighting for a playoff spot in the very competitive MassMutual East Division. As Lamoriello and Trotz assess a roster averaging north of ...

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