1. Clark Gillies

Clark Gillies is an Islanders legend. The former Captain and four-time Stanley Cup champion power forward played 872 regular season games as an Islander, scoring 304 goals and adding 359 assists.

Gillies is remembered as much for his toughness as he is for his scoring touch. He accumulated 891 regular season penalty minutes in a remarkable career.

Gillies also played in an almost unbelievable 159 playoff games for the Islanders between 1975 and 1986. His scoring production, toughness and leadership were big reasons the Islanders made the playoffs every single year he was there. I’ll repeat that: the Islanders made the playoffs all 12 years that Clark Gillies played for them.

The man they called Jethro for his tough guy looks, Gillies cemented his place in NY sports history by tallying 97 points and earning 287 penalty minutes in those 159 playoff games. Gillies was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002. His retired number noine now hangs in the rafters in Brooklyn.

Gillies had the biggest impact of any player to wear his number in the history of New York Sports. For that reason, he is ESNY’s choice for the best number “noine” ever.

I've wanted to write about sports since the first time I read Mike Lupica of the NY Daily News rip George Steinbrenner about the Boss' treatment of Dave Winfield. The Pen truly is mightier than the sword. I still look forward to reading the sports section in the paper every morning. Writing about sports, even in a part time capacity is a dream come true.