Robert “Butch” Goring was a relentless hockey player of endless hard work ethic. Goring was not a particularly gifted scorer, but like most forwards who made it through 16 NHL seasons, he got his share. His 1,107 NHL games netted him 375 goals and 888 points.
And for all his aggressive attributes, Goring recorded only 102 penalty minutes in his NHL career. With the Los Angeles Kings in 1978, he became the only player ever to win the Lady Byng and Masterton Trophies in the same year.
Many say to this day that Goring was the “straw that stirred the New York Islanders’ drink” when he was acquired from the Kings for Bill Harris and Dave Lewis in the spring of 1980. That trade is still held up as a model for clubs looking to swing a last-minute deal for their run at the Stanley Cup.
The Islander dynasty started that year and by the time it ended, Goring had four cup rings. He was also named the Conn Smythe winner in 1981. In those glory years, Goring certainly proved he could do it all, scoring 28 goals and 68 points in 99 playoff games with the Islanders, totals that include power-play and shorthanded goals as well as five playoff game-winners.
Goring grew up playing hockey at Winnipeg-area community clubs - Glenwood, Glenlea and Winakwa. His dad, Bob, still recalls the day he got that strange looking Snaps helmet in 1961. The thing was so comfortable, Goring never took it off until he retired in 1985. Before being drafted by the Kings in 1969, Goring spent his 16-year-old year with the junior Winnipeg Rangers, the following season with Canada’s national team and his draft year with the Junior Jets and the Dauphin Kings. His pro career included a Calder title with the AHL’s Springfield Kings in 1971. Goring coached the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders (NHL), the AHL’s Capital District Islanders in Troy, N.Y. and the IHL’s Las Vegas Thunder and Utah Grizzlies.
b. October 22, 1949