Here Come The Islanders

According to the New York Post, the Islanders will announce this afternoon that they are moving to Brooklyn.  This makes a lot of sense for the team and for the league.

It’s hard to believe now, but 30 years ago the Islanders were the toast of New York.  They won the Stanley Cup four years in a row and names like Bossy, Trottier and Potvin were a big deal.  My first hockey game was a Rangers-Islander tilt at the Garden.  The Islanders took a 4-0 lead and the Rangers came back and tied the game. Reijo Ruotsalainen won the game for the Rangers in OT.  There were fights on the ice and fights in the stands.  After the game I saw a bunch of fans burn a Billy Smith sweater and stick on Seventh Avenue.  In three hours, I had become a passionate hockey fan.

But, the franchise fell on hard times.  The wins disappeared and the Nassau Coliseum isn’t a place most people want to visit even in good times.  Now, the Islanders are headed to Brooklyn and New York rivalries just got even better.

The move makes sense on so many levels.  The Barclays Center needs a second tenant to fill dates.  The Islanders need to move out of their dilapidated home.  By moving to Brooklyn, they only move 30 miles and with a LIRR spur underneath the Barclays Center their fans can follow.

If we have hockey in 2015, the Rangers-Islanders rivalry will be fiercer than ever.  I can’t wait.

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