Where Are They Now? Brad Isbister

For the past few months John Madonia has written the ‘Where Are They Now?’ pieces for The Checking Line: Isles Edition.  Not only did he write them but he also was able to give Islanders fan an in-depth look into what some of their favorite former Islanders are doing now.  We would like to thank John for his contribution to the website and I will try my hardest to replicate the great work John did.

Where Are They Now?

The first player that will be looked at in the new revamped ‘Where Are They Now’ is Brad Isbister. For those who don’t remember Isbister was apart of the Islanders team that finished 5th in the Eastern Conference and lost in seven games to the Maple Leafs in the first round of the 2001-2002 playoffs. (Photo Credit:bestsportsphotos.com)

Isbister was drafted in the 3rd round (67th overall) of the 1995 NHL draft by the Winnipeg Jets; this was the same draft the Islanders selected Wade Redden then moved him in a package to the Ottawa Senators for the 1st overall pick in 1995 Bryan Berard.

After being drafted he returned to the Portland Winter Hawks for two more seasons before going pro.  After spending 16 games in the AHL between the 1996-1997 and 1997-1998 season, Isbister made the jump and played the rest of the season with Phoenix Coyotes.

After his second season (1999) in the NHL, both with the Coyotes, the Islanders traded for the big power forward with tremendous upside. He was traded to the Islanders along with a 3rd round pick for Robert Reichel, a 3rd and 4th round pick. He would go on to play three and a half seasons with the Islanders, having his best in his first with the Islanders. He started to touch upon his potential, tallying 22 goals, 20 assists for a total of 42 points.

Isbister’s best moment with the Islanders was in the 2001-2002 playoff series against the Maple Leafs in game 3. After the final whistle of the game, Gary Robert went after the Mariusz Czerkawski and Isbister immediately went right after Roberts tossing him aside. He then challenged former Islanders Bryan McCabe. 

 

 

At the 2002-2003 trade deadline, Isbister’s career with the Islanders ended when he was traded along with Raffi Torres to the Edmonton Oilers for Janne Niinimaa. He then played another season with the Oilers before going over to Austria during the lockout and played sparingly within the Bruins and Rangers organizations until 2006-2007.

For the 2007-2008 season, Isbister signed to play in Vancouver.  He played 55 games during the season, missing some time due to injury.  That was the last the NHL would see of the once big power forward with tremendous talent. He eventually signed on with Ottawa for the 2008-2009 season but then chose to sign with EV Zug of the Swiss Nationalliga A when he was assigned to their AHL affiliate after training camp.(Photo Credit: John Bollwitt/ Flickr)

In September of 2009 Isbister retired as an active player and joined the staff of the University of Calgary men’s hockey team. He stayed there for three seasons ending in 2010-2011.

This is where the tale of Brad Isbister ends.  It was a tale that had some highs and some lows (especially when he played with the Rangers) but Isbister is one of those guys you talk about when you remember back to the early 2000 Islanders. When you speak of Shawn Bates, Dave Scatchard, and Claude Lapointe, Isbister is right in the middle of that conversation. (Photo Credit: www.ucalgary.ca)

My take:

Brad Isbister was more than just another player on the Islanders to my family.  My sister, Lisa, who is just as big as a hockey fan as I am, was the biggest Brad Isbister fan ever. I remember the day he was traded to the Oilers. My sister and I were coming home from school and as we turned on the TV we saw on the bottom line of ESPN: New York Islanders trade Brad Isbister and Raffi Torres to the Edmonton Oilers for Janne Niinimaa.

Crushed was the only feeling that went through the Paguaga household for the rest of that day.

I am not going to lie, it was sad to see Isbister go. But at the same time, he was an underachieving player that might have needed a change of scenery to jump start his career. It’s too bad that his career peaked in the 1999-2000 season.

Thanks for the memories Brad.

-Pete Paguaga
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