The Islanders believe Jeff Hackett, who had taken over the backup job from 38-year-old Billy Smith, is a major-league goalie. Now they think they've added an outstanding prospect who can grow with them back into contention.
In McBean, they also picked up what the organization most lacks, a good young defenseman with puck-moving skills.
The Kings, who weren't playing McBean much, obviously are in the mood to try to make a run for the Stanley Cup right now.
"Everyone knows our situation," said Rogie Vachon, the Kings' general manager. "We have to take advantage of the Wayne (Gretzky) trade and win now. It's not like we traded for a goalie who only has one year left, either."
Hrudey, 28, used to playing for a winner, obviously was having trouble maintaining his enthusiasm through this miserable Islander season.
"Hockeywise it's fantastic for me," he said. "(The Kings) are in a position it would have taken me three years (of Islander rebuilding) to get into. I did it in a day."
Torrey said the trade might have grown out of a conversation he had with Gretzky at the All-Star Game. Gretzky, who in addition to his regular center position, plays right ear to Kings owner Bruce McNall, asked the Islander GM what it would take to get Hrudey to Los Angeles.
What it apparently took was the Kings finally giving in to Torrey's insistence on McBean.
The Flyers' victory over the Rangers put them 11 points ahead of the fifth- place Devils, who have one game in hand. The Flyers, who had to scratch Derrick Smith at least one more game because of his slight shoulder separation, are seven back of Washington and the Rangers, six behind Pittsburgh. Flyers improved their divisional record to 16-11-1 and are now 2-3-1 for the season against the Rangers . . . The NHL will be at the United Nations headquarters today to announce that Washington and Calgary will visit the Soviet Union for a series of exhibition games in September . . . Brian Propp's goal was his 800th NHL point.