Kevin Colley

Number: 62
Born: New Haven, CT, 1/4/1979
Position: Center

 

      Kevin Colley originally signed with the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers in July 2003 and then signed his first NHL contract with the New York Islanders in 2004. Colley spent three years with the Oshawa Generals from 1996-99 which culminated in a 101 point season in 1998-99. From 1999 to 2003 he spent most of his time in the ECHL with sparse visits to the AHL. His best season came in 2002-03 when he recorded 71 points in 50 games with the ECHL's Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies. In 2004-05 with Bridgeport, Colley provided some gritty play and was 11-13-24 with 212 penalty minutes in 59 games before a neck injury ended his season in mid-March. The 5'11'' 185-pounder went on to total 28 goals, 37 assists and 65 points while racking up 394 penalty minutes in 158 games with the Sound Tigers from 2003-05. 

     Colley re-signed with the Islanders during the summer of 2005 and wore #62 in camp at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. His scrappy style impressed the Islanders coaching staff. He returned to Bridgeport to start the 2005-06 season. Colley made his NHL debut on October 27, 2005 at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers. He was returned to Bridgeport following the game, but was recalled a little over a month later as the Islanders embarked on a four game West Coast trip, December 3, 2005. 

     The 26 year old Colley quickly became a fan favorite because of his reckless style that was almost reminiscent of wrecking ball Steve Webb. He was also not afraid to drop the gloves as he went toe to toe with Carolina's Danny Richmond and Vancouver's Kevin Bieksa. But his style of play would catch up to him as tragedy would strike during a game vs. the Washington Capitals on January 31, 2006. It was in that game that Colley attempted to throw a hit on Jamie Heward, a former Islanders defenseman. Colley was inadvertently pitch-forked head first into the glass and he crumpled to the ice with an apparent neck injury. Surprisingly to all in attendance, Colley left the ice under his own power. The next day, it was announced that Colley had broken his neck. He broke the fifth cervical vertebrae in his neck but there was no paralysis. The surgery, which took place on February 2, 2006, repaired and stabilized his spine.

     On February 24, 2006 it was reported that Kevin Colley was a surprise visit to the Islanders practice at Iceworks. Afterwards he announced to reporters that his hockey career was over. He told reporters that he feels "blessed he is able to walk." Colley remarked that he was remaining positive and was looking towards the future.

     General Manager Mike Milbury released this statement regarding Colley: "It's always difficult when the career of someone as special as Kevin Colley comes to a premature end. When you consider that Kevin gave everything he had every time he stepped on the ice, it's especially sad. There's no other word for it. The good news is that Kevin is going to lead a healthy and productive life. In the very near future we will have a thorough discussion with Kevin about his life after hockey."

     In April of 2006 the Islanders recognized Colley for his leadership, hustle and dedication by awarding him with the Bob Nystrom Trophy. He was presented the award on fan appreciation night at the Nassau Coliseum by Nystrom and former Nystrom Trophy winner Steve Webb on April 15, 2006.

     Kevin is the son of Tom Colley, who played one game for the Minnesota North Stars during the 1974-75 season. 

     Colley's Most Memorable Hit: December 6, 2005 in St. Louis. Blues star Keith Tkachuk had just returned from an injury he had been out of the lineup with for a while. On his first shift of the game Tkachuk rounded his defending net, reached the face off circle and with his head down was hit by a freight train named Colley. Tkachuk got up looking around like he didn't know what just hit him. Colley said the second time he got called back that he never wanted to go back to Bridgeport. He accomplished that, but not in the way he wanted.

     

Milestones: 

  • NHL debut Oct. 27, 2005 at NY Rangers

Season  Club                League  GP   G   A  Pts  PIM
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2005-06 New York Islanders  NHL     16   0   0    0   52
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                            Total   16   0   0    0   52





1998-2006 Tom Mascioli
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