In between the valleys, they managed to get their heads above water in the early 2000's, when ownership changed hands and they made a couple of big trades, both of which would actually come back to bite them in their rears years later. First would be the trade with Ottawa Senators, which saw Zdeno Chara and the first round pick in 2001 that would become Jason Spezza go to Ottawa for disgruntled Senators star Alexei Yashin. Chara would have some success as a Senator before winning the Norris Trophy as a Boston Bruin while Spezza is currently the Senators' top center. Yashin had success early on, but the ridiculous signing of a 10 year contract by the Islanders caused Yashin's numbers to drop and the Islanders are still on the hook for that contract even though Yashin is no longer on the team. The other move involved Roberto Luongo, who was deemed expendable by the team and shipped to the Florida Panthers. There, he put great numbers despite a bad team in front of him, and before the 2005-2006 season, he was sent to Vancouver in another trade that is one of the worst ever, but that's a story for another day. The guy the Islanders kept? Rick DiPietro, who looked like a superstar before signing a 15 year deal and getting hurt...often.
Things did not look any better for the Islanders in 2002 when they introduced their third jerseys. Look at the picture and ask yourself who the creative genius was behind that. The navy blue darts that are on either side of the Islanders logo look horribly out of place and the orange rarely ever works on any jersey except for the Flyers. Not as evident, but still noteworthy is the rather skinny numbering on the jersey, which from a fair distance, would make the numbers hard to read.