This is a very Lou Lamoriello move to make. As Arthur Staple pointed out in a recent piece on The Athletic (subscription required), Lou had the Devils AHL affiliate’s name match with the big club. And after a bunch of speculating, the New York Islanders AHL affiliate will follow suit.
Today, the New York Islanders officially announced that the Bridgeport Sound Tigers will be officially named the Bridgeport Islanders.
Not only will they change their name, but the colors will change too. Slightly.
New York Islanders change AHL affiliate name
We’ve all known a change was coming for some time now. Ever since the 2020-21 AHL season ended, the then Sound Tigers released cryptic messages on social media with distorted pictures and members of staff talking about ‘glitches’.
What followed over the next few days was a marketing campaign to draw attention to the upcoming reboot. Now it’s official.
The team will stay in Bridgeport, they will be called the Islanders and they will have a new logo. A logo that pays homage to the Isles through the name, colors, and the tape on the stick.
The Bridgeport Islanders will see their colors change from a darker blue and orange to one that matches the parent club’s color scheme.
I’ve already seen a lot of fuss over the fact that Bridgeport or even Connecticut for that fact is not on an Island. Which is true, but this is the Islanders AHL affiliate, and that’s the reason for the name change as Bridgeport GM Chris Lamoriello put it:
"“Having the Islanders name associated with Bridgeport, creates a stronger tie between the NHL team and the top development team”"
Some fans will be unmoved by the news. All they care about is that the team is good and that prospects develop into NHL’ers. And it’s impossible to disagree with that. Will a name change help? Probably not directly. But if it helps prospects feel directly attached to the parent club this is a win.