3 scheduling solutions for the NY Islanders to play their rivals more often

Fans love the intense environment that comes with playing their rivals on home ice.

2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - New York Rangers v New York Islanders
2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - New York Rangers v New York Islanders / Al Bello/GettyImages
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Play each Atlantic Division team 3 times

Under this scheduling format, the number of times the Islanders would play each of the 8 Atlantic Division teams would remain at 3 each, totaling 24 games. The attendance on home ice against each opponent is always a near sell-out, with competition for the 2 Eastern Conference wild card spots. There is also regional appeal for fanbases that are close, such as the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres. Fans are willing to travel with their teams, with Upstate New York and Massachusetts being much more convenient.

Furthermore, there are many relocated New Yorkers in South Florida who always attend when the Islanders visit their arenas. New Yorkers also travel to warmer climates during the winter months, with the Islanders playing between two and four games in Florida as an extra appeal. In total, 24 times against the Atlantic Division plus 42 against the Metropolitan and 16 against the Western Conference results in a normal 82-game NHL schedule. In creating a more intense environment, especially as the team enters playoff season, the Islanders should really be playing their rivals more often than the NHL schedules them to.