Saturday, April 11th, 2015 was a sad day. This marked the last regular season home-game the New York Islanders played at Nassau Coliseum (a 5-4 shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets). The Islanders made the playoffs that season, so the last official game at Nassau Coliseum was on Saturday, April 25th, 2015 (a 3-1 win in Game 6 against the Washington Capitals). The Islanders called the Coliseum home since 1972, their first game being played on October 7th, 1972 (a 3-2 loss to the Atlanta Flames). The Islanders put themselves on the map in the 1980’s winning 4 consecutive Stanley Cup Championships (1980-1983). They represented Long Island for 43 seasons, being the only major sports team to call Long Island home. Following the 2015 season, the Islanders packed their bags, sat in 3 and a half hours of traffic (to go 28 miles), and relocated to Brooklyn (where they now call Barclays Center home). Well Islanders fans, they might be returning home!
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman revealed on Friday that the Islanders are preparing a bid for a new arena at Belmont Park’s racetrack site. This makes me very happy. Since the Islanders moved to Brooklyn I haven’t attended a game. It wasn’t out of protest, rather it is highly inconvenient to travel to Brooklyn from Long Island. If you’ve ever travelled in or around Long Island or New York City during rush hour traffic you know what I’m talking about. And I live smack dab in the middle of Nassau County. I can only imagine the anger and amount of broken TV remotes there were from Islanders fans who reside in Suffolk County. The Islanders returning to Long Island would be great for the community, the economy, but most of all the mental state of Islanders fans. On the logistical side of things, Barclays Center and the Islanders are staring down a January 2018 deadline to renegotiate the terms of their 25-year lease. It’ll be a step in the right direction if the Islanders are able to opt-out of their commitment at Barclays Center. For now, we wait optimistically.
In other New York hockey news, the New York Rangers advanced to the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after defeating the Montreal Canadiens in 6 games. I’d say congratulations, but naaaaa.
Are you excited about the possibility of the Islanders returning to Long Island? Tell me how you feel in the comment section below.
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