Got Back With the Alumni
Previous Islanders ownership did not have the best relationship with the alumni. Players that had once proudly put on the New York Islanders jersey weren’t welcomed by ownership.
A few years ago when I got the chance to speak with Islanders legend Denis Potvin I asked him about the impact this new ownership group has had on the alumni. He gave me an honest answer:
"If I was living in Long Island I’d be at every even as well. When you talk about New York Islanders alumni you’re talking about 45 years of players who played. I’m thrilled to see guys like Mike Horty, Richie Hansen, and Darius Kasparaitis, guys who played at various times. This summer Ledeceky organized a three-day golf tournament in Eastern Long Island. That event was unbelievable. It was really touching and something we’ve been missing for years and years when the organization turned their backs on us."
How Islanders ownership could turn their back on a group that gave them four Stanley Cups is incredible. Even if they didn’t win any cups, the fact that they put on your jersey proudly should be enough.
I can’t imagine the confusion and even heartache when a franchise turns their backs on its alumni. The past is as important as the future. The past defines what we are and what the franchise is.
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The fact that John Ledecky and Scott Malkin so quickly identified that as a gap, and then quickly addressed it is a huge win for them, the alumni, and the fan base.