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43 Years Later, New York Islanders Respond to ‘Potvin Sucks’ Chant in Comical Way



New York Islanders, Denis Potvin

It all started on February 26, 1979. The New York Islanders were at Madison Square Garden to face the New York Rangers, and a play late in the second period birthed a chant that has lasted 43 years and will likely last for many more.

It was the night New York Islanders captain Denis Potvin became enemy number one in Rangers country, as he laid a big hit on Ulf Nilsson, not just knocking the player out of the game but impacting his career for the worse.

From that night until Denis Potvin hung up the skates 13 years later, every time he touched the puck against the New York Rangers, the Rangers faithful would chant, “Potvin Sucks.”

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Ulf Nilsson was never the same again, and despite the Rangers getting revenge by knocking the Islanders out of the playoffs that season, the New York Islanders quickly rose to powerhouses in the NHL.

Although Nillson will say that Potvin’s hit was legal, the Ranger crowd does not care. It’s been 34 years since Potvin has been on the ice, and that chant dominates Madison Square Garden when these two teams meet, making an appearance at least once per game when the Islanders are the hosts.

Forty-three years after the incident, the New York Islanders decided to have some fun with the “Potvin Sucks” chant. At Isles Lab, the New York Islanders team store, you can now buy socks and hats that say “Potvin Sock.”

It’s an exclusive offer, with the apparel only being sold at Isles Lab Wednesday night. Ten percent of all proceeds from the socks go to the Islanders Children’s Foundation. Also, get a chance to meet Denis Potvin.

Don’t just take my word for it. Take Denis Potvin’s.

It may have taken almost fifty years for the New York Islanders to clap back with a response to the Potvin bashing. And props to the marketing team because they knocked it out of the park.


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