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1989-90 Billy Smith New York Islanders Game Issued Jersey The Terrence Murphy Collection Joe Murphy Letter
Lot #43

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1989-90 Billy Smith New York Islanders Game Issued Jersey  The Terrence Murphy Collection  Joe Murphy Letter
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1989-90 Billy Smith New York Islanders Game Issued Jersey The Terrence Murphy Collection Joe Murphy Letter
Lot #43

This fresh to the hobby example comes directly from the personal collection of longtime New York Islanders employee Terrence Murphy. Terry worked for the New York Islanders from 1983 through 1992, beginning as their stick boy until being promoted to Assistant Equipment Manager in 1988. A letter of provenance signed by Mr. Murphy’s son will accompany your purchase. These exciting items are being offered to the hobby for the first time exclusively at GAMEWORNAUCTIONS.NET.

This road blue air-knit jersey by CCM was prepared for use by Billy Smith for the 1989-90 NHL season. The Los Angeles Kings selected Smith in the 5th round of the 1970 NHL Amateur Draft. This Perth, ONT native made his NHL debut in 1971-72 with the Kings where he played in five games as a rookie. The following season Smith became an original member of the expansion New York Islanders where he went on to carve out a Hall of Fame career. “Battlin’ Billy” spent the next 17 seasons tending goal on Long Island, racking up numerous accolades and creating plenty of mischief along the way. Smith became the 8th man in NHL history to record 300 Wins. Billy was an NHL All Star who earned 1st Team NHL All Star honors, won a Vezina Trophy and the William M. Jennings Trophy.

Most impressive however was Billy’s playoff acumen. It was a decision by his Hall of Fame coach, Al Arbour, to cease rotating his netminders early into the 1980 playoffs that jump started one of the greatest runs in sports history. Arbour named Smith as the team’s number one and Billy responded by carrying the Islanders to five straight Stanley Cup Finals. The Islanders won a record 19 consecutive playoff series and earned dynasty status by capturing four Stanley Cups in a row beginning in 1980. Smith earned the 1983 Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP and led the NHL in playoff victories for five consecutive seasons. He retired as the NHL’s winningest playoff goalie with 88 victories, a total that still today places him 4th on the all-time list. The Battlin’ Billy nickname was well deserved as he was eager to stand up for his teammates, dropped the gloves aplenty and let the opposition know that their ankles were fair game when he was standing between the pipes. This fierce competitor is still looked upon by many as the greatest money goaltender in NHL history.

The 1988-89 campaign turned out to be Battlin’ Billy’s last NHL season. This expansive size 56 Goalie cut sweater never made it into game action and was likely prepared for Smith prior to him announcing his official retirement in the summer of 1989 prior to camp. On the crest is a beautiful black sharpie signature in Smith’s own hand. A nice keepsake that comes directly from the personal collection of Terrence Murphy.