A hard-working right-winger who could score and check, Pat Flatley spent over 13 years in the NHL during the 1980s and '90s. He was proficient at driving to the net, winning battles along the boards and in the corners and setting a good example on and off the ice.
The Toronto native played two years at the University of Wisconsin and was chosen 21st overall by the New York Islanders in 1982. Flatley helped the Badgers win the NCAA crown in 1983 and was named to the WCHA first all-star team, the NCAA West first-all-American team and the NCAA championship tournament all-star team.
The industrious winger scored four goals in seven games while helping Canada win the bronze medal at the 1983 World Junior Championships. Later that year he won bronze with the senior team at the World Championships.
Since the Islanders were so deep at forward, it was decided that Flatley would benefit from a year with the Canadian national team. He scored 31 goals in 57 games during the 1983-84 season then excelled for his country when they finished fourth at the Sarajevo Olympics. His most significant contribution was scoring twice in a 4-3 win over Czechoslovakia, which clinched the bronze medal for the Canadians. Following the Olympics, Flatley scored nine points in 16 games for the New York Islanders then scored nine times in 21 games as the team's drive for five straight Stanley Cups fell short in the finals against the Edmonton Oilers.
Beginning in 1984-85, Flatley played twelve straight years with the Islanders. He worked on the power play and killed penalties and emerged as a team leader as he gained NHL experience. Although he was not an explosive scorer, the tenacious forward enjoyed a career night in front of his family when he put four pucks into the Toronto net at Maple Leaf Gardens during a 5-4 Islanders win on November 11, 1985. Flatley hit the 20-goal mark twice and recorded a personal- high of 60 points in 1992-93. That same year his leadership was vital to the team's upset of the Pittsburgh Penguins on the way to reaching the Stanley Cup semi-finals. Flatley signed with the cross-town Rangers in 1996 and played a checking there for one season before retiring.