The 2012-13 NHL season commences today, with 13 games in total taking place. More importantly, the New York Islanders will have their fourth consecutive home-opener against last season's Eastern Conference Champions, the New Jersey Devils.
Unfortunately, the Isles haven't won on opening night since 2007. Last October, they gave the new Winnipeg Jets their first win in 2-0 shutout. (Photo Credit: IslesPunkFan/Flickr)
Let us go back to the 2012 NHL Draft. The Islanders fan base buzzed when news spread that you were traded to solidify a blue line that could benefit from your experience and impressive play.
A lot of fans moved to YouTube to find out more about a player that spent his whole career in the Western Conference. They didn't know much more than how cool your last name would look on an Islanders sweater. (Photo Credit: Daralee's Web World Photos)
It was hard for the fans to hide their excitement when they saw this addition that could help immediately. It was a breath of fresh air that someone added to the roster could help right away. Not in 2 years. Not in 1 year. But now. Garth Snow had done a great job in executing this trade.
That ended almost immediately when you filed a grievance with the NHL, trying to void the trade. This wasn't a great way to endear yourself to a fan base. They were willing to put that aside once the case was settled and the trade was indeed valid.
There was a sense that you did not want to be in Uniondale. You are not alone in this. You are not the first player, nor will you be the last player to claw in the doorway on the way to Long Island. But the actions of your peers do not excuse your behavior.
After a rookie season that no one expected from an Islanders top prospect, Nino Niederreiter is finally getting the development he has needed in the professional ranks of hockey. (Photo Credit: MVerminski/Flickr)
After being a 40-goal scorer in the WHL, Nino became a fourth liner that saw very limited ice time that only resulted in one goal in 55 games played in the NHL. He saw injuries and even some healthy time spent in the press-box as a scratch, and was often playing with veteran penalty killer Jay Pandolfo, and career AHL'er Tim Wallace.
It seemed as if the big power-forward was potentially turning into a big bust.
The long wait is over. The New York Islanders will finally have their new arena once the lease expires in 2015. It was announced today the team owner Charles Wang has signed a 25-year lease with Barclays Center Owner Bruce Ratner that will kick into effect for the 2015-2016 season. (Photo Credit: stayclassynet/Flickr)
Per the Isles official press release:
NEW YORK ISLANDERS TO MOVE TO BARCLAYS CENTER IN BROOKLYN
First NHL Team to Play Home Games in Brooklyn
BROOKLYN, NY (October 24, 2012) -- New York Islanders Owner Charles B. Wang, Barclays Center Majority Owner and Developer Bruce Ratner, and Onexim Sports and Entertainment announced today that the Islanders will move to Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The 25-year agreement begins for the 2015-16 season.
What once started as the brightest spot on an Islanders' team has turned into a punch line that continues to leave fans doubled over in pain. As the frequent flyer miles rack up for Rick DiPietro's stays on the injured reserve, Isles' fans can do nothing but shake their head in shame.
From a business stand point, signing a goalie to a 15 year contract was a gamble. It has never been done before. For a team widely considered as unorthodox in how they do business, this shouldn't have come as a surprise.
Financially, if Ricky stayed healthy, it could have paid off in a huge way but it hasn't. You have to sympathize with the decision making process if not simply just because it was with the team's future in mind. Hindsight is always 20/20 so it is easy to point and laugh at Isles' management for this blunder. Especially now that this Rick DiPietro contract reeks like a spoiled piece of meat.
It was reported today by Randi Marshall of Newsday that four developers have applied to become the master developers of the Nassau Coliseum area known as the Hub. (Photo Credit: Nuke812/Flickr)
"Patchogue -based Baldassano Architecture submitted an application, managing partner Alex Badalamenti confirmed Tuesday. Garden City developer Breslin Realty also submitted its qualifications, a source said. They will compete with Plainview developer Donald Monti and Syosset developer Ed Blumenfeld."
Monti has already expressed a strong desire to keep the New York Islanders in Nassau County through is developments if he is chosen, stating in a previously printed Newsday article that losing the team would be a "travesty" and that his plans "will be with the Islanders staying."
These are the type of conversations that are considered circular. After the endless banter, speculation, denial and rejection it is hard to decipher fact from fiction. There is no beginning, no end. There is no resolution nor a right or a wrong answer. There is simply the one fact that Brooklyn remains an option that should be considered by the New York Islanders.
Some people think the team could pack up their possessions on a stick wrapped in an Islander bandana, show up and paint the Islanders logo on ice and call it a home. Then there are the reasonable thinkers, those that know there is more to this that needs to be hashed out before this move is even considered.
First off, Brooklyn is trendy. When people think about the “new” Brooklyn, they automatically think of Williamsburg complete with the hipster labels. These hipster labels come with the faux vegetarians, riding bikes, drinking over priced craft beer and dressing poor but having money.
The New York Islanders are heading straight towards the expiration of their lease with Nassau Coliseum in 2015 and still have no plan set for what will happen with the Hub, as well as the future of the Long Island's only professional sports team.
Recently, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano released a statement to Newsday that he is looking for developers that are interested in developing the site. His plan would have a master developer renovate or construct a new Coliseum that could potentially keep the Islanders here.
However, Mangano's RFQ (Request for Qualification) would provide the master developer the right to share revenue with the Islanders while the team basically remained a tenant in a building that the owner had nothing to do with being built.
Can you see where this already seems like a "wait...what?" scenario?
When the puck drops in October ushering on another Islanders season, we all sit in anticipation of what may be. This hope makes us realize why we love this team all over again, every single year. For a fan base starving for winning on a consistent and familiar basis, the beginning of the season leaves us hopeful, sometimes without much reason. There have been years walking through the doors of the Old Barn realistically knowing that we were about to witness the tapping of a keg full of losing hockey. Call us delusional if you want but I prefer passionate.
In the mass of orange and blue, I reside. It has been that way since I was a young boy. I never really stood a chance really, simply because they were my first love. You'd think with first memories of a horrendous team through the mid to late nineties I would have turned and run far, far away. But I didn't. I stood by this team, just as I do now because I love them unconditionally although it hurts a lot of the time. I don't know exactly where I was hooked forever but I know I am. Maybe it was the slick hands and awesome hair of Ziggy Palffy. Or perhaps it was the hard hitting, hard nosed style of Darius Kasparaitis? Could it be the legitimate tears that filled my eyes as Michael Peca disappeared into the locker room in 2002 after that cheap shot from Darcy Tucker? It might have been the literal seismic wave that eclipsed all of Nassau County after Shawn Bates buried that penalty shot against Curtis Joseph. All of these moments and more, knit themselves into a thread that binds all of us together.