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Isles: Hard-Working Flatley Gets Just Reward

By Stan Fischler
January 14, 2012

It’s always rewarding -- both spiritually and realistically -- when a player is recognized for heart-and-soul performances as well as genuine, all-round solid play.

Thus, it hardly was surprising that Islanders fans toasted Patrick (Chairman of the Boards) Flatley with the enthusiasm normally reserved for Hall of Famers such as Bryan Trottier, Denis Potvin, Mike Bossy and Bill Smith.
 
“We were excited to get Patrick on our club,” said Trottier. “He was a hard-working player who everyone admired.”
 
Like honorees Ken Morrow and Ed Westfall before him, Flatley took center stage as he was inducted into the Islanders Hall of Fame. Apart from the testimonials, a banner adorned with Flatley’s name was lifted to the Coliseum ceiling.
 
Some of the dynastic players before Patrick, as well as Flatley teammates, joined in delivering meaningful kudos including legendary coach Al Arbour.
 
“Patrick was a terrific leader,” explained Arbour. “As captain, he held the team together very well and everyone looked up to Flats.”
 
Flatley is remembered for many significant moments, not the least of which was a bodycheck hurled against behemoth Rangers defenseman Barry Beck in the 1984 playoffs.
 
The clean hit not only sidelined the threatening Ranger, but inspired Flatley’s teammates to a playoff series victory.
 
“That’s my most memorable moment of Flats,” said Hall of Famer Clark Gillies. “Patrick was a great teammate and was a big part of the Islanders' organization.”
 
Beloved for his rich sense of humor, Patrick regularly co-starred with goalie Glenn Healy on a SportsChannel network feature, “The Heals and Flats Show,” which many viewers believed was better than some of the sitcoms of that era.
 
Flatley led the Islanders out to the ice before the game and then joined his family and ex-Islander Mick Vukota at center stage for the ceremony.
 
“He was a great example on and off the ice,” explained Vukota. “I always had tremendous respect for Patrick as a hockey player and as a person.”
 
Flatley received a standing ovation from the enthusiastic crowd and allowed that he was substantially moved by the attention.
 
“I’m flattered and humbled,” concluded Flatley. “It’s a great honor to be inducted into the Islanders Hall of Fame and I’m fortunate to have played for a fantastic organization.”
 
Asked what advice he would give to the contemporary Islanders, the fifth captain in the club's history wasted no time with the answer:
 
“First of all, they should appreciate what they have and if they think that they have worked hard, they should know that they still have more to give!”
 
Flatley’s 370 games serving as team captain are more than any other Islanders forward in team history. He set an Islanders rookie record in the 1984 Stanley Cup Playoffs for goals (nine) and points (15) and was the key component of the 1993 Wales Conference Finals team.

And that’s why the banner was raised in his honor.
 
MORE:

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