Haha I thought it might spark some interesting conversation, but wow what a bomb of a thread by me!
Have to admit that this information shocked me. I became an Islander fan after the Rangers had lost in the 1971-1972 finals to the Bruins so I can give you some real time reaction. The first real mention of the Islanders that I remember was speculation in the NY Post or Daily News that the Isles were trying to sign a popular former player to coach the team and everyone thought that it was Andy Bathgate who was at the time the best player in Rangers history but he denied it within a week. When Phil Goyette signed all of my friends thought that it was Goyette all along because he was also a popular ex Ranger. It is fascinating to finally know that it was actually Gordie.
I can tell you that Billy Harris was a very coachable player and would have had a much different career under an offensive style coach. Harris has only one better goal scoring year under Al then in had in his rookie year under Goyette because Al changed Billy's game. Billy's real potential was shown in year 1 and he would probably have been a star with Gordie coaching him from the start.