Brent Sopel made perhaps his biggest impact as an NHLer — and won his only Stanley Cup, for that matter — as a Blackhawk. However, before bringing the Cup to Chicago’s Pride Parade and becoming one of the first players in recent years to make a stand for gay rights… he was an Islander.
Sopel arrived on the Island in 2005 as part of a trade involving a conditional Isles draft pick in the 2006 Draft (which I believe the Canucks then traded to Anaheim in the second round). The 6’2″ defenseman posted 27 points (2 G, 25 A) in 57 games with the club before being traded with Mark Parrish to Los Angeles for Denis Grebeshkov and Jeff Tambellini. I remember watching Sopel during this 2005-06 season (my first as an Islanders fan) and not being terribly impressed with him; he seemed slow and uninspired, and was hurt often.