The Rangers-Islanders rivalry is not only one of the fiercest in the NHL, but also in professional sports.
On Oct. 4, 1972, defenseman Arnie Brown became the first former Ranger to play for the Isles, and since then, more than 70 players have worn both New York sweaters in their careers.
Let’s take a look at the list of the Top-20 scorers who accumulated the most combined points while playing for the Rangers and Islanders.
20. DOUG WEIGHT – Center – 134 Combined Points
WITH RANGERS (1991-93): 23 goals, 47 assists, 70 points in 118 games.
WITH ISLANDERS (2008-11): 13 goals, 51 assists, 64 points in 107 games.
Weight has the most career points (1,033) of any player who played for both the Rangers and Isles, though he registered only 13% of those points while playing for the New York clubs. He started his career in New York after being drafted by the Blueshirts in the second round in 1990 and ended his career after a three-year stint with the Isles, two of which he served as team captain. Weight was also the head coach of the Isles for 122 games, collecting 59 victories.
19. BRAD ISBISTER – Forward – 140 Combined Points
WITH ISLANDERS (1999-2003): 67 goals, 68 assists, 135 points in 247 games.
WITH RANGERS (2006-07): 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points in 19 games.
After coming over in a trade from Phoenix, Isbister had the best year of his career in his first season with the Isles, establishing career highs in goals (22) and points (42) in 64 games. He recorded 135 of his 222 career points with the Islanders. He was traded from Carolina to the Rangers on Nov. 21, 2006.
18. ARNIE BROWN – Defenseman – 143 Combined Points
WITH RANGERS (1964-71): 33 goals, 98 assists, 131 points in 460 games.
WITH ISLANDERS (1972-73): 4 goals, 8 assists, 12 points in 48 games.
Brown has the distinction of being the first Islander to have also played for the Rangers when he was traded from Detroit just three days before the Isles’ first-ever game in their inaugural 1972-73 season. Brown was a solid defenseman for the Blueshirts and was ranked No. 93 in the 2009 book 100 Ranger Greats.
17. TOM POTI – Defenseman – 147 Combined Points
WITH RANGERS (2002-06): 25 goals, 78 assists, 103 points in 231 games.
WITH ISLANDERS (2006-07): 6 goals, 38 assists, 44 points in 78 games.
Poti was acquired by the Rangers in a deadline day trade with the Oilers for Blueshirts fan-favorite and 2002 Team USA teammate Mike York. In his first full year with the Rangers during the 2002-03 season, Poti recorded a career-high 48 points and made his only All-Star Game appearance. After his stint on Broadway, he signed a one-year deal with the Isles.
16. ROMAN HAMRLIK – Defenseman – 153 Combined Points
WITH ISLANDERS (2000-04): 43 goals, 110 assists, 153 points in 300 games.
WITH RANGERS (2013): 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points in 12 games.
Hamrlik makes this list by the skin of his teeth, as he was acquired off waivers by the Rangers very late in the 2013 season, and did not register a regular season point (although he did record an assist in two playoff games). With the Isles, Hamrlik was their defensive leader for four years, helping the club make the playoffs three straight seasons from 2002-04. Hamrlik also represented the Islanders in the 2003 All-Star Game.
15. BRYAN BERARD – Defenseman – 154 Combined Points
WITH ISLANDERS (1996-99, 2007-08): 31 goals, 100 assists, 131 points in 242 games.
WITH RANGERS (2001-02): 2 goals, 21 assists, 23 points in 82 games.
The No. 1 overall pick by Ottawa in the 1995 NHL Draft, Berard was acquired by the Isles in a trade before ever playing a game for the Senators. In the 1996-97 season, he won the Calder Trophy as the top rookie after posting 48 points. In his sophomore season, Berard continued to impress, scoring a career-high 14 goals. However, 31 games into his third season with the Islanders, he was traded to Toronto. After a serious eye injury in 2000 forced him to miss the entire 2000-01 season and threatened his career, Berard made a comeback with the Rangers. Fittingly, he came back to the Islanders to play the final year of his career.
14. VLADIMIR MALAKHOV – Defenseman – 190 Combined Points
WITH ISLANDERS (1992-95): 27 goals, 98 assists, 125 points in 166 games.
WITH RANGERS (2000-04): 12 goals, 53 assists, 65 points in 211 games.
Malakhov had a pretty similar start to his career to that of Berard. Selected in the 10th round by the Isles in the 1989 draft, Malakhov busted onto the scene in 1992 and collected 14 goals (a career high) and 52 points in 64 games during his rookie season. He built off this hot start the following season, ringing up a career-high 57 points. And like Berard, midway through his third season on the Island he was involved in a blockbuster trade, which sent him, along with Pierre Turgeon to Montreal for Kirk Muller, Mathieu Schneider and Craig Darby. He was signed as a free agent by the Rangers in 2000 and spent four years on Broadway before being traded to Philadelphia.
13. MARTIN STRAKA – Forward – 199 Combined Points
WITH ISLANDERS (1996): 2 goals, 10 assists, 12 points in 22 games.
WITH RANGERS (2005-08): 65 goals, 122 assists, 187 points in 224 games.
Straka came to the Islanders in Jan. ’96 as part of the mega deal that also brought in Bryan Berard, but he was waived less than two months later. After the canceled 2004-05 season, Straka signed as a free agent with the Rangers where he spent the final three years of his career. He was very productive with the Blueshirts, posting back-to-back 70-point seasons in his first two years on Broadway.
12. MIKE McEWEN – Defenseman – 201 Combined Points
WITH RANGERS (1976-79, 1985-86): 42 goals, 92 assists, 134 points in 242 games.
WITH ISLANDERS (1981-84): 12 goals, 55 assists, 67 points in 143 games.
Drafted in the third round in 1976 by the Rangers, McEwen was a skilled offensive defenseman. In the 1978-79 season, he scored a career-high 20 goals and helped the Blueshirts reach the Stanley Cup Final. However, nine games into his fourth year with the Blueshirts, he was traded to the Colorado Rockies as part of the deal for Barry Beck. Late in the 1980-81 season, he was traded to the Islanders, along with Jari Kaarela, for fan-favorites Glenn “Chico” Resch and Steve Tambellini, and he immediately paid dividends, helping the club win their second straight Stanley Cup. He went on to win the next two Cups with the Isles in ’82 and ’83 before being traded to the Kings early the next season.
11. MIKE YORK – Center – 203 Combined Points
WITH RANGERS (1999-02): 58 goals, 80 assists, 138 points in 230 games.
WITH ISLANDERS (2005-06): 19 goals, 46 assists, 65 points in 107 games.
A sixth-round draft pick of the Rangers in ’97, York was a finalist for the Calder Trophy in the 1999-2000 season when he notched 50 points and a career-high 26 goals. While having a career year during the 2001-02 season, he represented the Rangers and Team USA at the Olympics in Salt Lake City. But less than a month after the Games, he was traded to Edmonton for Tom Poti and Rem Murray. After the cancelled 2004-05 season, he was sent to the Isles for Michael Peca, and then left the Islanders 16 months later in a trade with the Flyers.
10. Derick Brassard – Center – 206 Combined Points
WITH RANGERS (2013-16): 69 goals, 105 assists, 174 points in 254 games.
WITH ISLANDERS (2019-20): 10 goals, 22 assists, 32 points in 66 games.
As part of the blockbuster trade that sent Marian Gaborik to Columbus, Brassard was a huge contributor in his four years with the Rangers, especially in the playoffs where he collected 44 points. In a stunning move at the time, Brass was traded to Ottawa for Mika Zibanejad in the summer of 2016. After moving around the league quite a bit for the next three seasons, the Islanders signed him to a one-year for 2019-20, and again he was a strong playoff performer and helped the Isles reach the conference finals.
9. MICHAEL GRABNER – Forward – 215 Combined Points
WITH ISLANDERS (2010-15): 90 goals, 54 assists, 144 points in 297 games.
WITH RANGERS (2016-18): 52 goals, 19 assists, 71 points in 135 games.
One of the fastest skaters in the NHL, Grabner is also a solid goal scorer. After he was claimed off waivers from Vancouver by the Isles at the start of the 2010-11 campaign, Grabner was an instant success in his first full season and bagged a career-high 34 goals in 76 games, finishing 3rd in the Calder voting. Unfortunately his goal totals went down every subsequent year with the Islanders and the team moved him to Toronto before the start of the 2015-16 season. He then signed with the Rangers following that year and the change sparked his goal scoring ways again, as Grabner produced 27 goals with the Blueshirts in 2016-17. After scoring 25 goals in just 59 games the following year, Grabner was traded to New Jersey at the deadline, joining the illusive group of players that skated for the Rangers, Islanders and Devils.
8. RYAN STROME – Center – 227 Combined Points*
WITH ISLANDERS (2013-17): 45 goals, 81 assists, 126 points in 258 games.
WITH RANGERS (2018- ): 41 goals, 60 assists, 101 points in 149 games.*
A 5th overall pick for the Islanders in 2011, Strome’s best year in Nassau was his second season up with the club in 2014-15 where he notched 50 points in 81 games. After being traded to the Oilers and spending a short stint in Edmonton, Strome made his way to Broadway via a trade that sent Ryan Spooner the other way in November 2018. In the 2019-20 season, Strome found a home centering a line with Artemi Panarin and he racked up a career high in both assists (41) and points (59). He is the only player on this list that has 100 points while playing with both clubs.
7. GREG GILBERT – Forward – 246 Combined Points
WITH ISLANDERS (1981-89): 93 goals, 138 assists, 231 points in 425 games.
WITH RANGERS (1993-94): 4 goals, 11 assists, 15 points in 76 games.
Gilbert has the distinction of being the only player in NHL history to have his name on the Stanley Cup for both the Islanders (1982 & 1983) and the Rangers (1994). On Dec. 15, 1981, Gilbert scored his first career goal in his NHL debut, but he did not play another game that season for the Isles until the playoffs. The best year of his career was with the Islanders in 1983-84 when he posted 31 goals, 35 points and 66 points, all career highs. He was traded from the Isles to Chicago in 1989 and landed on Broadway in the summer of ’93 when he signed a one-year deal with the Blueshirts.
6. SERGEI NEMCHINOV – Forward – 270 Combined Points
WITH RANGERS (1991-97): 105 goals, 120 assists, 225 points in 418 games.
WITH ISLANDERS (1997-99): 18 goals, 27 assists, 45 points in 141 games.
Taken with the Rangers’ final pick of the 1990 draft in the 12th round, Nemchinov was a solid, steady center and winger for the Blueshirts, and was one of the first Russians ever (along with teammates Alexei Kovalev and Alexander Karpovtsev) to get his name etched on to the Stanley Cup in 1994. At the ’97 trade deadline, he was traded to Vancouver, along with Brian Noonan, for Esa Tikkanen and Russ Courtnall, and in that offseason signed as a free agent with the Islanders. Like Gilbert, Nemchinov owns an interesting Cup distinction of his own as being the only player in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup for both the Rangers and Devils (2000).
5. Brian Mullen – Forward – 280 Combined Points
WITH RANGERS (1987-91): 100 goals, 148 assists, 248 points in 307 games.
WITH ISLANDERS (1992-93): 18 goals, 14 assists, 32 points in 81 games.
A product of NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, Mullen made it to the hometown Rangers in a 1987 trade with the Winnipeg Jets. He had four solid seasons on Broadway, posting 54, 64, 68 and 62 points respectively, and represented the Rangers in the 1989 All-Star Game. After the ’91 season he was sent to the Sharks for Tim Kerr. In the summer of ’92, Mullen was traded to the Islanders from San Jose, and sadly after one year with the Isles, suffered a career-ending stroke in August of ’93 at the age of 30.
4. RAY FERRARO – Center – 292 Combined Points
WITH ISLANDERS (1990-95): 116 goals, 122 assists, 238 points in 316 games.
WITH RANGERS (1995-96): 25 goals, 29 assists, 54 points in 65 games.
Ferraro was a smart and skilled center who without a doubt had one of the best mustaches of any player who played for both the Isles and Rangers. After landing with the Islanders in a 1990 trade with Hartford, he rang up a career-high 80 points (40 goals, 40 assists) in 80 games in the 1991-92 season, making his only career All-Star Game appearance. Ferraro signed as a free agent with the Rangers in 1995 but did not even play one full season with the Blueshirts as he was part of a monster seven-player trade with the LA Kings which brought Hall-of-Famer Jari Kurri to Broadway.
3. PAT FLATLEY – Forward – 510 Combined Points
WITH ISLANDERS (1983-96): 160 goals, 328 assists, 488 points in 712 games.
WITH RANGERS (1996-97): 10 goals, 12 assists, 22 points in 68 games.
Though he skated in the final 68 games of his career with the rival Rangers, Flatley is an Islander through and through. He was the defending-champion Isles’ first choice in the 1982 draft and ranks eighth on the franchise’s all-time games played list, seventh on the assists list and 11th on the points list. Nicknamed “The Chairman of the Boards,” Flatley was named the fifth captain in Islanders history early in the 1991-92 season and wore the “C” for the next five years. In January 2012, he became the 12th player to be inducted into the Islanders Hall of Fame.
2. DON MALONEY – Forward – 550 Combined Points
WITH RANGERS (1978-88): 195 goals, 307 assists, 502 points in 653 games.
WITH ISLANDERS (1989-91): 16 goals, 32 assists, 48 points in 91 games.
The Rangers’ second-round selection in the 1978 draft, Don Maloney was a key cog for the Rangers throughout the ’80s, a decade in which the Blueshirts only missed the playoffs once. He ranks 11th on the franchise’s all-time points list and represented the Rangers in the ’83 and ’84 All-Star Games. Maloney parted ways with the Rangers in a Dec. 26, 1988 trade with the Whalers. After half a season in Hartford, he signed as a free agent with the Islanders, where he spent the last two years of his career. Following his playing days, he served as the Islanders’ GM from 1992-95 and then the Rangers’ VP of Player Personnel and Assistant GM from 1996-2007.
1. PAT LaFONTAINE – Center – 628 Combined Points
WITH ISLANDERS (1983-91): 287 goals, 279 assists, 566 points in 530 games.
WITH RANGERS (1997-98): 23 goals, 39 assists, 62 points in 67 games.
LaFontaine is one of the greatest American-born players in the history of the NHL and the lone Hall-of-Famer on this list. He was selected by the Isles’ as the third overall pick in the 1983 draft and ranks fifth on the franchise’s all-time goals list and seventh on the points list. LaFontaine was named to the All-Star team in four consecutive years from 1988-91. His most memorable moment as an Islander (and he’s said it was the most memorable moment of his hockey life) came in the ’87 playoffs when he scored the series-winning goal in the fourth overtime of the first-round series against Washington. On Oct. 25, 1991 in one of the biggest trades in Isles history, LaFontaine was traded to Buffalo with Randy Hillier, Randy Wood and a pick for Pierre Turgeon, Uwe Krupp, Benoit Hogue and Dave McLlwain. After six years with the Sabres, he was traded to the Rangers in September 1997, but sadly played less than one season there as concussion problems ended his great career prematurely.