Top Shelf – Islanders Daily 8/14/13
By Michael Willhoft
As reported by multiple local news outlets, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano has made a decision on which development group will be awarded the rights to renovate the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum: the Madison Square Garden Company or Forest City Ratner Companies.
There is a press conference scheduled for today to make the announcement public.
Neither development company would be considered a “win” for the New York Islanders, the current tenant at the Coliseum. Despite years of negotiating, the team and the county could not come to an agreement on a plan to revive the dilapidated Coliseum site and keep the Isles in Uniondale.
The Islanders have called the Coliseum home since their NHL inception in 1972, and it will no doubt be a sad day for local fans when the team relocates to Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Considering the willingness of team owner Charles Wang to spend money to keep the team at the Coliseum, the political blockade is another eyesore for the county.
The NHL offseason has a way of highlighting non-essential news, especially in August when the league enters the dead zone between free agent signings in July and training camp in September.
The announcement of the Coliseum redevelopment bid isn’t necessarily essential to the NHL news cycle, but it must be reported nonetheless. Isles fans, however, may be looking the other way when the news finally breaks.
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[Bits] Nassau Coliseum Selection Expected This Morning (Lighthouse Hockey)
Sources: Mangano to Name Developer for Coliseum Wednesday (Newsday)
Predicting Which NHL Teams Will Be Biggest Risers and Fallers in 2013-14 Season (Bleacher Report)
How Does It Happen? (The Prospect Park)
Sale of Devils to Group Headed by Joshua Harris Could Be Completed In Next Two Days (Fire & Ice)
Two Minutes For Tweeting
Isles fans everywhere—and especially those close to Uniondale, NY—will agree that the redevelopment of the Coliseum site was a much-needed project…it just happened to occur after the Islanders had been forced to relocate after years of political wrangling. Whichever group wins the bid, it’ll be yet another case of too little, too late for the Isles.
Here’s a great shot of John Tavares pulling off Peter Forsberg’s famed “postage stamp” move against Ottawa Senators goalie Robin Lehner. With moves like that, it’s no wonder that goalies around the NHL tighten up when they see Tavares streaking down the ice with the puck on his stick.
Just thinking of the names Blake Comeau, Rob Schremp and Jon Sim will cause an involuntary shudder if you’re an Isles fan. But considering that the organization was playing all three of these guys on a line as recently as 2010, it goes to show how far the club has come.
It’s safe to say that excitement on the Island is building in advance of the upcoming season. I’m not surprised that people are seeing more and more Isles gear in the streets, considering the steps this team took last year. The franchise is finally headed in the right direction, and the fans are taking notice.
Nelson certainly showed he’s capable of standing up to the pressure of an NHL game, recording nearly eight minutes of ice time in Game 6 of the series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Isles front office and coaching staff are very high on Nelson, and with good reason. Expect him to have a good showing in training camp and likely earn a spot on the Opening Night roster.
As always, thanks for reading us at EyesOnIsles. Keep it right here for all of your NHL offseason coverage and up-to-the-minute Islanders news. Be sure to check the menu bar at the top of the page for ways to connect with the EyesOnIsles staff; we’re always happy to talk hockey.