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Denis Potvin

Born:October 29, 1953Draft:1973 Islanders, 1st Overall
Hometown:Hull, QC, CANPosition:Defense
Known For:Shoots:Left
National Team:Canada

Denis Charles Potvin (born October 29, 1953) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey defenceman and team captain for the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is a four-time Stanley Cup winner as a member of the early 1980s New York Islanders. He is also a three-time James Norris Memorial Trophy winner as the NHL’s top defenseman. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991 and served as a commentator for Ottawa Senators‘ television broadcasts on Sportsnet. He is the former color commentator for the Florida Panthers. In 2017, he was named one of the “100 Greatest NHL Players” in history.

Denis Potvin
UNIONDALE, NY – 1980: Denis Potvin #5 of the New York Islanders skates with the puck during an NHL game circa 1980 at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)

Denis Potvin Statistics

Deeper Dive


  • Retired having scored 310 goals and 742 assists for 1,052 points (at the time, the NHL career leader in all those categories for defensemen) in 1,060 games, adding 1,356 penalty minutes.
  • First NHL defenseman to reach 300 goals in regular season.
  • First NHL defenseman to reach 1,000 career points.
  • First player to reach 100 playoff assists in NHL history.
  • Retired as the NHL career leader in playoff goals, assists, and points for defensemen.
  • Led the 1976 Canada Cup tournament in assists (8)
  • Led the 1976 Canada Cup tournament in points (9)
  • Led the 1976 Canada Cup tournament in penalty in minutes (16)
  • Won the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s best defenceman in 1976, 1978, and 1979.
  • His jersey #5 was retired by the Islanders on February 1, 1992, the first such honor bestowed by the franchise.
  • In 1991, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame.
  • In 1998, he was ranked number 19 on The Hockey News’ list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.
  • In 2002, he was inducted into the Nassau County Sports Hall of Fame.
  • One of only two players (Bryan Trottier being the other) to play 1,000 games in an Islanders uniform.
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