The New York Islanders are paying tribute to former general manager William A. Torrey this Saturday night by way of two jersey patches. The patch matches the same design used as their patch honouring former team owner Charles B. Wang – black initials on a white patch. The Torrey patch is being worn on each shoulder, the Wang patch remains on the front of the jersey as it has since his death on October 21, 2018.
As far as I can tell, the two “WAT” patches for Torrey will only be worn for tonight’s game.
Bill Torrey, the “architect” of the New York Islanders, died this past May at the age of 83. Torrey was the general manager that built and led the Islanders to their four consecutive Stanley Cup Championships from 1980 through 1983; the Islanders wound up in the Final again in 1984 before their attempt at a fifth straight cup was stopped by a youngster named Wayne Gretzky and his Edmonton Oilers.
Before his time with the Islanders, Torrey was the general manager of the Oakland Seals for three seasons from 1969 through 1971. He joined the Islanders as general manager – their first employee in 1972 and remained with the organization until 1992. Torrey then left to become the first president and general manager of the Florida Panthers, serving there from their inaugural 1993 season, helping them to a Stanley Cup Final berth in 1996, until his retirement from hockey in 2001.
As part of the tribute to Torrey, the Islanders had his family drop the ceremonial first puck, all fans in attendance at the game received a banner featuring one of Torrey’s famous bowties, and the team named a practice rink in his honour — the Bill Torrey Rink at the Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow, N.Y.