Role Reversals: New York Islanders and Long Island Rangers? MSG is on the Clock

Home of the Rangers?

The New York Islanders struggled to find a permanent home for over a decade. With over four decades of hockey played in the Nassau Coliseum, Long Island’s hockey team would be no more if they couldn’t find a new, state-of-the-art stadium to accommodate them. Of course, the Islanders finally cleared up the murky air about the future in October 2012, as they announced an agreement that would see them move to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center at the end of the 2014-15 season.

After years of worrying, and after the endless taunts of “Kansas City” by their rival New York Rangers’ fans, Isles supporters were assured by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman that they “don’t have to worry about the future of this team.”

In what may be an ironic twist, the New York Rangers may not be able to say the same.

On Wednesday, the New York City Council voted to limit Madison Square Garden’s permit at the current spot above Penn Station to 10 years. MSG, home of the Rangers since 1968, will move to another location after the 47-1 City Council vote limiting the arena’s permit.

Despite the arena being in the midst of a three-year renovation costing nearly $1 billion, the New York Rangers, like the Islanders before them, are in need of a new home. Of course, I don’t actually see the Rangers moving out of New York, but could Long Island be an option? The stars may be in the process of aligning.

The Islanders are leaving Nassau County for greener pastures in Brooklyn. Nassau County didn’t want them, and over a decade later, remains in the midst of selecting a final plan for the development of the Hub area; however, Plainview developer Donald Monti — selected by Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano as the master developer of the soon to be vacant Hub area — on Monday endorsed the Madison Square Garden Company’s bid to overhaul the Coliseum. Combine this with the difficulty to find another place in the city that can hold a sports’ team, and, if MSG wins the bid to overhaul the Coliseum, the Rangers may not have a choice.

So, if the Rangers move to Long Island, what does that make the Brooklyn-bound “Fish Sticks?” Well, Rangers’ fans,  I will enlighten you. Over time, whether you like it or not, that move would make the much-ridiculed “Fish Sticks” the big fish in New York.

While the Rangers have been the better hockey team over the past decade, the Islanders are in the midst of a “changing of the guard” around these parts. John Tavares is New York’s most dynamic hockey player, the Islanders appear to be building a team for the long-haul, and, hey, maybe Henrik Lundqvist decides to jump ship in order to continue playing hockey under the bright lights of the city.  City-based fans will – and believe me, they will – hop on the bandwagon of the closest team to them, and if that team is the Islanders, than so be it.

If this becomes a messy situation however Rangers’ fans, understand that I feel your pain – us Isles’ fans struggled to come to terms with our arena issues for quite some time. However, please also understand that there are only a select few of you that will receive any type of sympathy.  If this swap happens prepare yourselves for a role reversal. The Rangers’ days as “big brother” would be no more, as the Islanders would reign supreme in New York.


Tags: Barclays Center Madison Square Garden New York Islanders New York Rangers

  • Jason Zimmermann

    Fluff piece!

    • Chris Triantafilis

      On point. Thanks for reading, though! Highly doubt this actually happens, but hey.

      • Jason Zimmermann

        Nothing personal. I don’t care if Walt Whitman or Charles Dickens wrote a piece like this, from a personal standpoint, I don’t love pieces based on speculation. I’m guilty of writing them, myself, and I hate each and every one of them.

    • Pseudo Hipster

      “Barclays is a bust due to it not being built for hockey, the
      re-renovated Coliseum becomes a bust and Nassau ends up in bankruptcy a
      la Detroit, and the Isles move to Hamilton in a newly re renovated Copps
      Coliseum after breaking their lease on the Barclays Center.

      Being forced to sell the Rangers and Knicks the Dolans decide to update their
      internet services to fiber and the tri state area rejoices.”

      Fluff…..I wish happened.

      • Jason Zimmermann

        That was a good read. Good humor. Well done!

  • Andy Graziano

    In late July into early August, there are no fluff pieces with news in the NHL at a standstill. This was Chris’ perspective on the issue and a great chance to needle Rangers fans while he was at it. Nicely done CT!

    • Pseudo Hipster

      Explain to me how this was a good job at needling considering in 10 years the Dolans are probably going to get a state of the art stadium paid for by NYC built for BOTH hockey and basketball? : 3

      • Andy Graziano

        Explain to me how it wasn’t? We got plenty of feedback from ‘angry’ Rangers fans, which is exactly what we expected and welcome. It started a discussion and debate. Mission accomplished.

        • Pseudo Hipster

          “Explain to me how it wasn’t?”

          Simple. When the team you root for is barely relevant you have no right to needle anybody.

          Its akin to the one idiot on the Buffalo Bills trying to smack talk the Patriots in the off season after years of being decimated every time they play. Lame.

          • Andy Graziano

            Ha – barely relevant…needling does not require relevance, rather two passionate fanbases…I forgot the Rangers were winning ALL THOSE CUPS when singing their idiotic chants in the rafters of MSG and ranting about our lack of a fanbase. lol

          • Pseudo Hipster

            Good point. <3 As long as the Sound Tigers stay in Bridgeport and Hamilton gets a franchise one day I'm content.

          • Chris Triantafilis

            Potvin’s Cups, right? The only thing the Rangers have been relevant for over the past 15 years is choking when it counts.

          • Pseudo Hipster

            <3 Its funny because you assume I'm a Rangers fan. At any rate this has actually been a fun back and forth argument so good luck winning a Stanley Cup.

          • Chris Triantafilis

            Haha. Mind if I ask you who you’ll be rooting for this season? Now assuming you’re from Canada.

          • Pseudo Hipster

            The Sound Tigers as I’m in the tri state area and its cheaper/easier for me to get out to Bridgeport.

            The only reason I’m pro Hamilton NHL franchise is because it seems like a nice town that used to have a franchise and I don’t understand why Florida has 2.

          • Chris Triantafilis


            I wouldn’t mind a franchise in Hamilton. If Phoenix ever moves, it would make sense to shop them off to there. The whole thing concerning Florida is still a little bit odd, although from personal experience from spending A LOT of time time in Tampa, the Lightning have a very, very solid fan-base. Games are often sold-out over there. Their organization has done a tremendous job in building a very young core of fans. Night and day from what you see at the Coliseum.

          • Chet Campbell

            Now you get to wear the dirty shoe.

  • newyorkislanderfancentral

    You always just throw stuff together for page-views with no pretense of information. The New York Islanders permanently own NHL territorial rights to Long Island, they paid for them and control them even playing home games at Barclay’s center which means Dolan can win the Coliseum bid, install an AHL team there but can NEVER put an NHL team in that facility.

    The Dolan’s do own NBA territorial rights on Long Island for the Knicks but the Rangers are never allowed to do anything but practice there or play an exhibition game as the home team just as the Islanders cannot move into NYC from Barclay’s.

    Territorial rights agreements stand. Only way what you are claiming can happen is if the New York Islanders move out of New York entirely which the Dolan’s want to happen very much to save television contract money and use that to pay for their Coliseum renovation.

    This is New York, claiming hockey is a big fish for any team is comical. A-Rod walking his dog generates more attention than the Stanley Cup.

    • Chris Triantafilis

      Other examples without “pretense”? Just curious.

    • Andy Graziano

      Plenty of sites out there give you the vanilla ‘safe’ take on things if that is what you choose to read. We like to think outside the box and give our actual opinion on the important topics of the day. Otherwise, this would be as plain and boring as ESPN’s coverage of the NHL.

      What is easily forgotten is that 90% of writing, or at least interesting writing, is opinion based. That is what makes people want to read it. You can go anywhere and get the ‘facts’ on this situation but people want to know what the writer ‘thinks’ about it.

      And any opportunity to stick it to Rangers fans, even if it is a fantasy and 99% not likely to happen, is always an opportunity worth taking.

      And tell me one website, blogging related or mainstream, that is not interested in pageviews? If you are not, what is the point?

      • newyorkislanderfancentral

        Interesting writing is always fact based hopefully with direct quotes from those involved. What you advocate is self promotion based on entertainment.

        The point is getting it right and never worrying about how many see it. Anyone in it for pageviews and attention is nothing but a waste of time.

        It’s about the New York Islanders, not what you can get for yourself. Next time I write anything for a pageview will be an all-time first.

        • Andy Graziano

          It is entertainment – there are too many serious sites out there to get fact based Isles news. Newsday with the reputable and outstanding Art Staple, the official site, etc…people come here for something different and at times, fan based. We have a great mixture of factual, opinion based and pure entertainment driven posts. We dont beg people to read….they do or they dont. Their choice.

          • newyorkislanderfancentral

            The New York Islanders one full time professional media outlet is owned by another NHL team, the current beatwriter one of many long-time former Ranger beat writers (Logan, Herrmann, Jeansonne, Zipay, Best) who only shows his passion when he’s assigned as an extra to discuss the Rangers is never shy to remind everyone who’s their selective choice for number one hockey team in New York.

            The disparity between pay-walled blog entries do not lie at Msg-owned Newsday either.

            Staple’s lazy, he does the bare minimum, he did not know (or care) Visnovsky filed for a hearing for a full month last summer.

            There are no serious professional media sites out there at all. Professional being the word there which means no amateur fan bloggers.

          • Andy Graziano

            Again you are missing my entire point. It really does not matter what you think of the piece. I guarantee you are in the minority when it comes to your opinion of it. And I am basing that off comments we received on it and not the analytic numbers.

            If anyone (you included) cares to read Eyes, we welcome you with open arms. If you have opinionated logical comments to add, great.

            On the flip side, if you or anyone else thinks we publish ‘fluff’ or don’t approve with the way we go about our business it is also your option to read someone else or concentrate on being ‘professional’ on your own blog.

            I am extremely proud to work with my current staff and do not give them many, if any, restrictions on what they choose to write. I value their opinions and give them the creative freedom to get them out there. Our loyal readership also appreciates our mix of not only subject matter but tone. In today’s world, whether it be in daily life or writing on a site like this, why be so serious all the time? Life is just too damn short.

          • Rich Diaz

            newyorkislanderfancentral AND TO THE REST OF YOU: I don’t understand why you read us, if you attack us for being superficial, as not to be taken seriously. (And trust me, we here at EYES will continue doing what we do, in the exact manner we’ve always done it: with respect for the reader and the team.) No one here has an agenda and/or opinion that isn’t pro-Isles and pro-hockey. No one here ever writes anything that isn’t honest to them. I thank you for you spending the time to read us, and for all your opinions. But these ad hominem attacks are ridiculous. I respect everyone I read and if I disagree I just move on. There’s lots of room in the world for opinion. And nothing Chris has written is beyond the realm of possibility. And as Senior Editor I stand behind it. Nay, I stand by it.

            You can quote your sources to me all you want, but we have our sources too, and they’re legitimate. We don’t feel the need to quote sources, because most if not all of the info is just a click away. We’re not writing term papers. And I personally have cited my sources in the few articles I’ve written here.

            If you think you know more, by all means, enjoy the knowledge and share it kindly. Don’t be a Wizard of Oz with what you know, my man. Please. Share and be kind.

            When you attack someone in this style, guys like Arthur Staple for example, calling him lazy, etc. you lose me right then and there. Staple is doing his job. And I’ve never read anything that was too outlandish. EVERYONE CAN SAY WHAT THEY WANT. OBVIOUSLY. THAT’S YOUR RIGHT. But the freedom to express oneself also comes in the form of silence and respect. Nothing we’ve said here is so inflammatory as to reduce us to something sniveling, etc.

            If you think you can do better, by all means do it. And if I think it’s worth reading I will applaud you. If not, I will ignore you. I mean that. I follow some of the commentators here on Twitter and I respect thoughts and concerns. And when I haven’t I’ve never attacked in this manner. NO ONE HERE IS SELF PROMOTING ANYTHING! We don’t get paid and we don’t care to be ‘famous’ or whatever else.

            Enough already. We all love the Isles. That’s it. Done.

            Go ahead and rant and call people out via the Internet. That’s fine. We will keep doing our very best to provide information to hockey fans who are kind enough to read us.

            Again, we appreciate the attention and will always strive for excellence.

            Take care.

          • TimG


    • Ashley March

      Throwing stuff together for page views apparently keeps YOU reading though. So we must be doing something right.

      • newyorkislanderfancentral

        Actually all you are doing is proving you cannot do anything right. This is a fan blog, it does not publish, have editors or a staff, however if you wish to claim such a fictional professional approach it mandates the information be factual, of the highest quality and not there for entertainment. I will not be visiting again.

        • Rich Diaz

          I am sorry to hear that. If you ever change your mind, we’ll be hear.

        • Andy Graziano

          Lets just review quickly…..

          Are we a fan blog : yes

          Do we publish : by publish, if you mean over 50k page views a month? Then yes

          Have editors : yes

          Have staff : yes

          Write facts : yes

          Write fiction : yes

          Have fun : yes

          Anything else you need to know? So sorry to have lost your readership – based on your previous comments all over the Discus network, I am not going to lose any sleep over it. Do you know that Josh Barely goon on twitter? the tone seems eerily similar.

  • Charles Wang

    This is one of the most insanely idiotic articles I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone is now dumber for having read this. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    • Andy Graziano

      Your first sentence in my opinion is off the mark, but huge ups for the Billy Madison quote. Actually made me laugh out loud. haha

      • Chris Triantafilis

        Best moment in the movie, by the way.

    • Chris Triantafilis

      Personally, I feel the Billy Madison joke is 10 years overplayed. Who did you get to read you the article, Charles?

    • Centerman

      You’re the fool. While this is unlikely and is 7-8 years from having to revisit the idea. There are a few NYC
      Politicians that want MSG out of there. Not very realistic but if this lady especially gets her way and a few backers. Say by to that location. The Jacob Javitts Center is on its way out In the next 5-6 years. The timeline works for Dolan. If he feels its over then bye Penn Station. The spot on the West Side Highway is perfect. Access by car would have plenty of parking area and they’re in the process of extending the 7 train right there. Dolan would have a major rush hour train stop directly under his new Madison Square Garden. It used to be in Madison Square! This isn’t the 1st or last time MSG would move. It also is much less crowded. In fact they voted 47-1 to limit the lease to 10 years. The city don’t know if they will even have the money to remodel Penn Starion. Sounds like a waste of money to me. In any event. You aren’t too bright. Doubting this. There’s a lot of smart people reporting this for 48 hrs now. Where have you been. Under a rock. Or MSG.

  • TimG

    I guess this is possible after all the facts & reality left reporting (new reality based show The News) – so I guess anyone or anything can leave these days.

  • Clybourn

    Build them a new stadium on Staten Island.

  • Chet Campbell

    Sweet Karma ranger fans, can’t wait to hear the “Kansas City Rangers” chants at the Coliseum this season lol

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