The fact that the New York Islanders are taking their NHL talents south to Brooklyn cannot be ignored. Will the move come with raging success or failure?
As a diehard New York Islanders fan, unless you took a business trip to Mars this past year, you are well aware that this is the final season at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
It has been an intoxicating season as team has taken it upon themselves to make this final year one to remember. The team currently sits atop of the Metropolitan division and is gearing up, barring an unforeseen catastrophe, for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Island is buzzing as New York hockey is back full spectrum. Those weasels, the New York Rangers, have recently been all over the Islanders, as both teams are showcasing New York Hockey at its finest.
With the sellout crowed and the excitement that this season has brought there is a effulgent future for the Islanders, but the future is not going to be at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike. Since 1972 the Blue and Orange have been the pride of the Island. Granted, geographically speaking Brooklyn is still on the Island so maybe that can cushion the blow, but changes are already developing. The Black and White Brooklyn hockey logo was trademarked this week by the Barclays Center. Is it going to be a shoulder patch or third jersey, don’t know.
Howie Rose during the game against the Carolina Hurricanes mentioned that the current very popular third jersey that was worn for the Stadium Series looks to be out next season and the new black and white is in.
So change is coming. We all knew that.
The greatest transformation of all is the move. Thirty plus miles from its location now sits the new state of the art Barclays Center. It is surrounded by life and energy, not a giant traffic hub that looks over a beat up Marriot hotel and Nassau Community College. We all know did not have to go this way. Charles Wang attempted develop on the unused surrounding land but was knocked down consistently to where he finally threw in the towel and Brooklyn was born.
Feb 19, 2015; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) celebrates his goal with center Brock Nelson (29) during the third period against the Nashville Predators at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. New York Islanders won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Yes Brooklyn is better than Kansas city and the rumored Quebec from last season.
Although he ultimately failed in the long run, Wang needs to be treated as a hero who put a lot of his own money up in attempt to keep his favorite team in the area they belonged.
This season has been taken over with personal stories about fans personal Coliseum hockey experiences.
Ranging from conception to dramatic playoff moments, especially about the great Stanley Cup years. For myself the Coliseum was twenty minutes from my front door to the parking lot. 70 MPH on the Southern State parkway would make it there sixteen minutes. Getting off the Meadowbrook and coming over the hill you would get a great view of The Barn on your left, there would be a sea of cars hitting the entrance or little to none.
The Coliseum was a place where you could convince your parents to drop you off at six o’clock so you could catch warm-ups and pick you up afterwards at 10 pm just so you could see a game. Change is good and for the survival of this organization Brooklyn is going to change Islander fans hockey lives forever.
The all important question will be this: will Islanders faithful make the journey to Brooklyn? Answer, yes they will.
The all important question will be this: will Islanders faithful make the journey to Brooklyn? Answer, yes they will. Long Island as we know it is a commuter hub to the city. Jumping on the LIRR is really no big deal for many cause they take the train to work everyday.
Half of Long Island make the trip to Jersey for Giants and Jets games and it is no thrill ride going to Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, but we do it. A slight shift west is a walk in the park. Honestly we all know that there is nothing worse than trying to get out of the Coliseum parking lot after a sold out game. Ten minutes of fans subsequently beeping “Let’s Go Islanders,” we all begin to become restless sitting in parking lot traffic. There is also no better feeling then sharing the big win surrounded by your Islander fan brotherhood.
To move closer to the city is going to erase that small franchise stigma. Which marketing wise for the NHL and the team can be extremely lucrative. John Tavares is playing at a level that we fans have almost never seen. Not taking anything from anyone of the Islander greats but JT has a presence about him that can possibly be the face of the NHL.
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Being in Brooklyn is going to up the popularity of this team from all over the league, you then market your best player and Tavares is going to give Sidney Crosby a run for his money being the face of the NHL.
We Islander fans are used to being labeled as small market, which makes no sense. We are in New York, we are Yankees, Mets, Gianst and Jets territory, which are all far from small market. Brooklyn is going to take the team to that next level of marketing which means more coverage and national games.
We are New York sports fans, we live and die for our teams. There is going to be a culture shock for many, especially the season ticket holders and the tailgaters. The art of the tailgate is going to be a very tough task.
The Barclays is notorious for poor parking which forces you to get on that train. Some may fight as hard as they can holding a grudge and not go to games. Which’ll be hard to do cause this team is built to be this good for not one season but for a solid amount of years.
So we must say farewell great Barn, you are going to be forever missed with your green seats and scoreboard obstructions.
The seven-year signing of Nick Leddy should be an indication of the future plan Garth Snow and new ownership Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin have planned. New Yorkers know how to accept change, especially if it is in our favor.
So we must say farewell great Barn, you are going to be forever missed with your green seats and scoreboard obstructions. I will definitely miss the fact that there is not a bad seat in the house. Let us hope the boys keep this thing going well into June.
It is not goodbye just yet, we have a cup to win and a banner to open our new home with.