With the suspension of the NHL season, GM Lou Lamoriello indicated that the New York Islanders had likely played their last game at the Barclays Center.
The Barclays Center served a purpose for the New York Islanders. After a stay at the Nassau Coliseum was no longer tenable, former owner Charles Wang needed to find a place for his team to play. There was no question that the Isles should remain in New York. Preferably on Long Island.
The best option for them was to play in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center. While Brooklyn is still geographically on the Island, it’s also not on the Island. So while away from the Island wouldn’t sit well with fans, it would have to do. And maybe, just maybe, the Islanders could convert some of the Rangers fan base.
Except that’s not what happened. Like at all.
Not Our Home
Before a puck was even dropped on the Isles first game at the Barclays trouble was brewing between Islanders fans and the Barclays Center. During a press tour of the building before the first game, we were all introduced to the west side of the arena. Where a number of seats would have obstructed views of the ice.
Then came the missing banners. The off-centered scoreboard. The substandard PVC ice-making system. And whatever that goal horn was. Not to mention that if you walked around the concourse on a non-game day you’d have no idea that the New York Islanders played there 41 times a season.
This was not our home.
And within two years the relationship was on rocky grounds. The Barclays Center wanted us out and we wanted nothing more than to leave.
On March 12, the NHL suspended the 2019-20 season. At the time, the Islanders had two more games to play at the Barclays Center before they would make the full-time switch to the Nassau Coliseum before heading to Belmont.
The Islanders were scheduled to play the Calgary Flames on March 17 and then the final game at the Barc on March 22 against the Carolina Hurricanes. And that was going to be it. March 22 was going to be the last time at the Barclays. Brooklyn would have received a proper send-off and then none of us would ever look back.
But now we get to just walk away from the whole thing like Barclays would have wanted us to years ago.
There’s no reason to head back to the Barclays Center. It served a purpose and now with that purpose being served, it’s old news.
Perhaps that’s cold, but Brett Yormark made no attempt to involve Brooklyn aside from designing that Black third jersey (which I, for the record, like). And he made no attempt to welcome the Islanders community to the Barclays. Aside from telling the unfortunate few that bought seats with obstructed views to watch the game on their phones. Nice.
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Now, assuming what Lou Lamoriello says is true, we get to walk away like it never happened. It’s the exact send off the Barclays deserves.