New York Islanders: A Year In Review
August by Eric Vogel
A relative lull in the off-season, this month would be the calm before the storm. The ho-hum signings of July had been discussed to death and there was still plenty of nothing to do but wait for the season to start. It was at this very inconspicuous point that the Islanders would retain my fandom despite what was to come.
Islanders Celebrate National Dog Day – A number of Islanders took pictures celebrating National Dog Day. This transformed into several events this year promoting pet adoption on the island.
As a pet owner, I found this endearing and it was a good reminder of how involved in the community this team can be. They used to do it as a way to make up for the fact that they were terrible. Continued involvement after their back to back playoff trips (even if they’re bad again now) makes me want to root for them despite the miscues of team management.
Al Arbor Memorial – The Islanders also held a memorial for the one-year anniversary of the death of Al Arbor. Long-time Islanders fans will never forget the influence of one of the greatest coaches in any sport. Seeing that the team itself and the players are paying tribute is encouraging. Knowing that the team still has a sense of their own storied history gives me hope that someday they may replicate those results to some degree.
Involvement in the community and a firm grasp on the treasured past of this team is important. Coming off their first season at their new home and after posting their first playoff victory in quite some time, it was good to see the team not only acknowledge, but nurture its roots.