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The New York Islanders & New York Rangers Came Together To Create NHL Fantasy Hockey?

10 Of The Best Games In Islanders-Rangers History – CBS New York
NHL Fantasy Hockey

The New York Islanders & New York Rangers created NHL Fantasy Hockey? Not exactly. But stick with us as we first outline some key facts. Like other Fantasy sports games, fantasy hockey had humble beginnings that can be tracked back to the 1908’s. 

In the early 80’s, the NY Islanders and hall of fame coach Al Arbour were dominating the league. The team compiled 4 straight Stanley Cups and were vying for a 5th. However, in 83-84 they were stopped in cup finals by the Edmonton Oilers. After 22 years of coaching, Arbour had accumulated 781 wins and was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996.   

The New York Rangers, after 54 LONG years, took home LORD STANLEY in 94.  (Since the author of this article is a NYR fan, he wanted to point out that during the 94 playoff run, the NYR kicked the living shit out of the NYI. They swept those communist bastards in 4 games by winning of a margin of about 5 goals per game. Fans had to listen to that racist chant of “1940” for the better part of 10 years. So kicking these morons right in the nuts was a sweet chapter in the 94 season.) A core cog in this championship wheel was Neil Smith, who served as NYR GM from 1989-2000. 

Neil Smith Is The Gateway To Fantasy Hockey

The fact that Neil Smith was actually drafted 204th overall in 1974 by the New York Islanders is a lesser known fact. He would spend several years in the Islanders farm system before moving into the team’s scouting department. As a result, Smith began building a career as an NHL executive. He has even cited individuals such as Bill Torrey and Al Arbour as mentors.  In the early 80’s, he and Jay Arbour (Son of Al Arbour) formed a unique bond. Which is now the bond that leads us into the origins of fantasy hockey!    

One of the first known NHL Fantasy Hockey Leagues was formed in 1981 between Neil Smith and Jay Arbour.  Amongst others, the league included Howie Rose and Sam Rosen.  Howie Rose had done play-by-play for the Islanders from 1995-2016 but also had the famous radio call of “Matteau, Matteau, Matteau.”

Sam Rosen has been the New York Rangers Play-by-Play Broadcaster since 1982. Sure, there are other early day document leagues such as the Handsworth Alumni Hockey Pool. But still being able to tie the history of Fantasy Hockey back to two rival organizations is fairly cool! 

StatementGames – Offering A Different Form NHL Fantasy Hockey Today

Today, fans of the NHL can engage with the sport in a variety of ways.  Office pools are prevalent and from a fantasy hockey perspective, traditional Daily, Head-to-Head, Rotisserie, etc. games exist. In addition to these games, StatementGames has introduced a new form of Fantasy Hockey. The 1-minute overview video found on our Home Page will give you a better understanding of how our game is played. For more details on our story and how we tie into the history of fantasy sports, be sure to check out our Fantasy Football overview & A New Start On Fantasy Sports & Entertainment.

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