New York Islanders Say Farewell to Ice Girls

By J.A. Dominicis

According to Sports Illustrated, the New York Islanders will be leaving more than just Long Island behind as they move into Barclays Centre for the upcoming season.

To the surprise of many, the Islanders will be scrapping the Ice Girls, a staple for games at the Nassau Coliseum since 2001. Instead, the team will use a co-ed ice crew for the 2015-16 season.

The debate over whether NHL teams should use ice girls has been a significant issue over the past couple seasons. Many believe that Ice Girls work in unsafe and frigid working conditions due to the fact that they usually wear little clothing. The practice is also considered controversial because many think it is sexist and drives away younger (children) fans. The San Jose Sharks, who implemeneted Ice Girls last year, saw repercussions from fans and the media.

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However, there are definitely signs that show that Ice Girls attract some fans and provide entertainment while the play is stopped. Recently, the Philadelphia Flyers removed their Ice Girls and started using a regular ice crew before the start of the 2014-15 season. After being praised by some for trying to set a good example for the rest of the league, an all-male ice crew was heavily booed while they were on the ice during the preseason opener. The Flyers ultimately returned to using Ice Girls again.

The Barclays Centre, which has a lot of visuals and state-of-the-art infastructure already, may have been a reason why the team decided to stop using Ice Girls. However, the Ice Girls will be one of only a few customs the team will leave behind in their transition to Brooklyn. They will still have their Stanley Cup and retired number banners hanging as well as their legendary organ.

The Islanders, who were actually the first team in the NHL to use Ice Girls, hope that fans will accept their new co-ed ice crew and not bash them like the Flyers fans did.

What do you think? Should all teams get rid of Ice Girls?