Holy crap! That was my initial thought when I hewrd the news on Wednesday. It certainly wasn’t the belated birthday present I would have wanted from the New York Islanders.
OK, so the rumors have been floating around for a while now, particularly after the preseason games in Brooklyn had been announced last year. Like Gary, not so long ago, I had someone say something to me to the effect that Brooklyn wasn’t exactly a great location to place a hockey team, but I might want to get used to that being the new home for the Isles. This guy is typically a chop buster, so I laughed off his comment. Little did I know.I am seriously disappointed. I will not try to sugar coat my feelings. I was really hopping that Nassau County would wake up and make things right, or, hope against hope, my beloved Suffolk County would be intelligent enough to make a pitch to the Islanders. I knew Brooklyn was a possibility, but I really thought that, like Kansas, this was just “scare talk” that the Isles were deliberately sending out to shake up the Nassau County politicians.
I’m going to be perfectly blunt here. I blame Nassau County for this. The abject stupidity of certain town stupidvis …. um … supervisors and the brainless union leaders who led a scare campaign to get voters to deny the referendum that could have kept the team in Nassau. Well, you fools gambled and lost. So goes jobs and tax revenue to Brooklyn. Brilliant, heh? Frankly, I can’t blame ownership at all for doing Something to, at least, keep the team in New York.
I am aware of several fans who are simply upset and demoralized. Intellectually, it is clear that the team will be staying in New York and this might now give incentives to free agents to sign here with a new arena and so forth. However, there are more than a few fans who feel like the team did move to Kansas. Those of us out here in Suffolk County simply cannot travel to Brooklyn to see games. I know that this basically will make it impossible for myself to do so.
I wish I could say that I am personally excited about this. I think it’s just shock right now compounded by the reality of the lockout. It might not have been so stunning if the boys were playing and I was occupied with the season. I know this move won’t come for a few years, so, without a doubt, there is time to digest and internalize this situation.
For those who are claiming that the Islander should change their logo or the team colors, take a flying leap off the Brooklyn Bridge. I’m sure you can find it. The Islanders are the orange and blue and not the black and white. The crest IS the New York Islanders. At least, let us keep some semblance of tradition….
I guess, the positive side to this is the Islanders are not going west or north of the boarder. I am very thankful of this fact, so let me be clear about that. Also, well, there will be a “new” arena and security for 25 years. This team needs to stay on its course and keep building. I just hope that even the 13000 seats can be filled by Islander fans every night.