The following is a collection of unedited feedback we received from Islander Country following Wednesday's announcement. We weren't able to include everyone who wrote in but thank you to all who submitted your story.

***

Today is a day filled with mixed emotions.  While our loyal fan base will always remember that Nassau Coliseum was our home for over 40 years, we all know that the building has come to serve as a microcosm of Nassau County's political, provincial, and short-sighted agenda.  Beginning in the 2015-16 season, players, fans, and management will no longer be ridiculed that their arena should be called the "Mausoleum."  There will be no more cloud of uncertainty as to "Where will we play?", no more Coliseum invasions by jilted Quebec Nordiques' fans, and no more concerns that our future is in the hands of NIFA, Kate Murray, Wayne Wink, and others.  I will not miss the facilities at the Coliseum, nor should anyone.  I will, however, miss the convenience of the short car ride to Uniondale and back, the car horns honking the "Let's Go Islanders!" chant, and the passion and roar of the crowd during those fleeting moments of success over the past 20 years.  This is a new start.  It is a new opportunity.  Today, we continue to keep the Drive for Five Alive.  Here's to the future success of the Islanders.  Your resilient fans are behind you.
- Jacob R.
I have mixed opinions. On one point ill miss the 5 minute commute to a game. On the other hand I'm happy the arena situation is done with and I can go back to enjoying the Islanders knowing they will be staying in New York. There is no excuse for not bringing in free agents and spending above the floor. We have the building blocks to be succesful again and now the arena will not be an excuse anymore.

- Brett C.

As a Suffolk County resident, it will undoubtedly be a touch less convenient to attend games. Instead of a 35-40 minute car ride, it's an hour plus investment via the LIRR. But you know where it would have bee a lot more inconvenient to get to games? Quebec. Or Seattle. Or Kansas City.

I've seen some members of the media presenting this as a Nassau vs. Brooklyn thing. Sophisticated fans know that's a false choice. It was never between Nassau and Brooklyn. It was always Brooklyn or bust, and bust was an out-of-state relocation.
So to know that I will be able to raise my kids on New York Islanders hockey for at least the next 28 years? That's priceless to me. And the knowledge that this franchise will now benefit from the full exposure of the New York City market, play in a state-of-the-art facility, and become infinitely more attractive to impending free agents? Well, that's all the better.
I truly believe this will be a day we'll all remember as we watch JT hoist the Cup over his head on a float going down Atlantic Avenue.
- Brian E.
I could not be happier with this move. As an Islanders fan who has since moved from NY, it will be great to be able to get back to Brooklyn to see the Islanders in a state of the art building and I have no doubt that the residents of Brooklyn will embrace this team. I could not be happier for my father, who was lucky enough to have experienced the dynasty years. I cannot imagine what he would have done if the Islanders have left New York. Is this situation perfect? No, but it is far better than our current situation and infinately better then KC, Quebec etc…Thank you Charles Wang and GO ISLANDERS!
- Jonathan M.
Huge fan of the blog since the Botta days.  Love what you're doing over there.  I'm 24... been watching the Isles since I was 2.  I live in Suffolk.  It's a sad day that they are moving for sure, but for the first time in a long time, they finally have some clarity and direction with the future base of the franchise, and that excites me the most.  No more having to hear rumors of them leaving the area and going to Canada, or KC or Seattle.  Now they have a sticking point and a sales pitch.  They move to a great arena, and bring a whole new sector of fanbase into the equation, and they become a hugely attractive place to play for players around the league.  I think the positives of the move for the future stability of the organization out-way the negatives.  Thanks for letting me give my input, and Go Isles!
- James H.
I don't know how to feel. As a 19 year old, I have no memories from the 80s or 90s but of the 2000s. The Coliseum was old and decrepit but loud and beautiful. I could sit in 315 or 112 and enjoy the same high quality views, sometimes 315 was better for the experience. But the writing was on the wall and it's better Brooklyn than anywhere else so credit goes to Wang. I will miss the Old Barn as much as anyone but I look forward to a fresh start in the best arena in the city. 
PS Memo to Markowitz- "The Stanley Cup is not in New York. It's on Long Island"-Billy Smith
- Christian A.
I have mixed emotions about the move but at the end of the day it is really exciting. I currently live in Nassau but will be moving to Western Suffolk so the commute will not be ideal, but you can't commute at all to Kansas City, Seattle or Quebec. I think the players and us fans deserve better and now we are going to get it. While not in our backyards anymore they will still be the New York Islanders and I will continue to cheer for this team until the day I die.
- Daniel L.

As a resident of Nassau County, I am upset about the hole this will blow in the Nassau County's tax revenue. I wonder what fees County Executive Mangano will raise (if he is still in office) so he can continue to say that he did not raise property taxes?

As an Islanders fan, I am sad that they are leaving their historical home. I have had half or full season tickets for the last 5 years. There is no way I will continue to do that when they are in Brooklyn. It will be a weekend plan at best starting in 2015-2016. Though, it will be nice to go to a building that is not as old as I am.

- Brian from Massapequa
As a former resident of Nassau County who grew up 15 minutes from the Coliseum during the glory years I admit there there is a part of me that is sorry to see the Isles leave.  For my generation they helped to forge an identity for Long Island when they won the cups.  However given the franchise's trajectory and the inept/corrupt political scene on Long Island (and Hempstead in particular), the move to Brooklyn is the best thing that could happen to the Isles.  The team moves into first class facilities, the potential fanbase goes up astronomically, and they become a magnet for free agents with their solid core of young talent.  I no longer live in the area so I won't comment on getting to the arena, but it's always more exciting to watch a game with people actually in the seats.  
Thanks to Charles Wang for putting up with the mess he bought into, and for keeping the team in the area.  Now its time to build a team that contends for the cup on an annual basis, and makes the Rag$ look like the pathetic franchise that they truly are.
- Tim from St. Paul, MN
I'm thrilled! As a longtime season ticketholder who has been schlepping from Brooklyn on the LIRR for years, This is great pwrsonally. But more importantly, it's a great move for the team.  It keeps the team on Long Island - remember that Brooklyn and Queens are part of Long Island.
- Faye from Brooklyn

As a lifelong fan who grew up in Bethpage off of Hemp. Tpke, played travel hockey and even got to play a few HS games at the Coliseum and who currently lives in Manhattan I could not be happier about this move.

It is sad that it is now official that Nassau will never be home to the Isles again but we knew that the dream was dead when the referendum failed. This is the only way the Isles would stay in the area and hey we still get to say we're on Long Island.

Living and working in Manhattan I only got to 3-5 games a year, now I plan on buying season tickets so this is nothing but the best outcome for me personally.Big Picture this is will make the Isles relevant again, with the cache that comes from playing in Brooklyn, the prospects of young talented Isles team in a sparkling new arena, I mean the sky is the limit to how far this will take them in terms of new fans an being recognized as a true NY team.

I am sad the coliseum will be torn down and Kate Murray will look to build a Target and maybe the Source II and the loss this will all have on the local economy, but Nassau has no one else to blame than themselves.

Wang is no angel but I thank him for keeping the NY ISLANDERS alive and well!!

- Mike C.
Had season tix personally over a decade, old man had them before me since the mid '70's.  Ecstatic the team is staying in NY, hate losing the island/suburb identity.  Hate becoming the big money corporate sports entity even though we all know its the only way the team survives.  Hate even more that I must give up my tix, moreso for my kids who have become big fans over the last 5 or so years.  I hate that when I was 12 I was celebrating a cup win on Hempstead tpke., and my son at 12 will be watching as the old barn is falling apart, knowing that there are only 3 yrs left til "our" team becomes less personal.  What was a 4 1/2 hour night coming from suffolk just turned into a 7 hour night, and we all know prices are going up, let alone the train costs.  Good for team, crappy for those of us who have stuck with it for so long will no longer be able to attend.
- J.C.

As a former season ticket holder (from New Jersey) and Islander fan since 1975, this is a great move.  But I'm being selfish.  The presence of mass transit makes this a great buy, especially during the week and most especially if you work in Manhattan. 

Let me take this opportunity to address how and why (in my opinion) the Islanders' attendance has eroded over the last 25 years. It's not just the mediocre or bad teams. It's the move from 8:00pm weeknight starts to 7:00.  Commentators forget how many Islanders' fans work in "the city" and must contend with the LIE going eastbound at rush hour.  I remember seeing fans routinely arrive at weeknight games during the second period!  Prior management played to its "fan base" and I guess that works...if you work in Jericho and live in Merrick. Many other longtime fans felt the inconvenience, and guess what? Over the years, they stayed away. They've had no shortage of reasons.

The move to Brooklyn will immediately make the Islanders "major league" in the eyes of the overall metropolitan area media, in the exact same way the Nets' move to Brooklyn and even the Devils' move to Newark changed how they were perceived almost from the date their moves were announced.  The Islanders are not covered by any of the big three city dailies, and in a move reminiscent of minor-league teams, rely on a college radio station for their game broadcasts. They will get more fans, more advertisers, more sponsors, and they will sign up quickly in advance of the actual move.  It's a win-win for the franchise, the NHL and for fans living west of the Queens/Nassau border.

On the other hand, Suffolk County fans will essentially lose their team.  This is a 30-to-45-minute move west, even in the best of circumstances.  For them, this will be almost as bad as the Jets moving from Shea Stadium to Giants Stadium.

Now, if we can only get a real coach...

- Eric D.
It's a bittersweet feeling; 20% bitter, 80% sweet. The Islanders I know are Long Island's team. They play, not necessarily at the Coliseum, but in the heart of Long Island. As a fan since 1992, when I was 7-years-old, their woes have helped ingrain the Islanders, in my mind, as our little secret. Hockey fans, as a whole, are a bit of a secret society in the States. The Islanders, due in part to their storied history, their arena, their woes, and their geography gave Long Islanders an underdog status the face of bigger, more popular destinations and teams in the area. It's an underdog status that helps build an identity, and our identity as Long Islanders included the New York Islanders. It remains to be seen how much of that will be lost. Still it is bitter to hear Mayor Bloomberg speak of a celebration down the Canyon of Heroes and not Hempstead Turnpike. It's bitter to hear Marty Markowitz speak of the Islanders as if they are Brooklyn's own  as if it were an expansion team. Brooklyn may be only twenty or so miles away geographically, but our New York Islanders are now lightyears closer to the heartbeat of the world. Our secret... it's out.
 
Yet it's sweet, so sweet, to hear of talk of a celebration in New York at all. And it's wonderful to hear about how the impact of more fans, more corporate sponsorships and above all, certainty will positively impact this franchise. It is sweet to know that positive impact will be effected close to its original home. It's easy for people to get bogged down in fantasy, such as plight to keep the team in Nassau County or relocate to a barren Suffolk. As Islander fans, as Long Islanders, reality has become all too real a spectre in the last 10 years, a negative reality.  This new reality, one of a propsperous and certain future for our beloved team, and for it to remain ours, is the best news we could have hoped for.
- Josh J.
Good for Wang and the organization, the Nassau County is a mismanaged entity and has zero business sense. Glad I left that hole 13 years ago. Great people, disgusting politicians. Hope the taxpayers enjoy their Molly Hatchett and Zebra concerts.
- Tom
 

I have some conflicting feelings about the Islanders move to Brooklyn.

On the one hand, I'm thrilled/relieved that the team has finally extricated itself from "The Old Barn", an arena everyone loathed and the owner couldn't make any money from.  Charles Wang has (presumably) moved himself into a situation where he can actually turn a profit from hockey operation, a propsect that should encourage him to invest more money into his team.  That's the Islanders fans' hope: with a new home, Charles Wang opens his wallet once again and lets Garth Snow sign some premier free agents.  From a competitive standpoint, the Islanders' future appears brighter than it's been in years (maybe even decades).

At the same time, though, I must confess to being dejected over the fact that Long Island is losing its only professional sports team.  I grew up on Long Island.  I have spent nearly all of my 43 years living on Long Island.  I plan on dying on Long Island.  The fact that the Islanders' address will soon have a New York City zip code depresses me.  So much more so because I won't be able to remain a full season ticket holder.  I live east of Port Jefferson.  Getting to the Nassau Coliseum was enough of a hike as it is.  To get to Brooklyn from where I live, I need to spend two hours on the Long Island Rail Road.  That makes remaining a full season ticket holder is out of the question for me.  I'll have to look into buying a weekend game package.  It's not the same thing as being a full season ticket holder though.  Other subscribers will know what I'm talking about when I say it's a point of pride to have tickets to an ENTIRE season worth of games.  (And let's not forget that Islanders season tickets are VERY affordable.  I fear how expensive they might become in Brooklyn.)

But in the end, I have to understand that Jay Jacobs and Kate Murray made it impossible for the Islanders to remain in Nassau County, and I am comforted by the fact that Charles Wang kept the team in the vicinity.  He didn't move them to Seattle or Quebec City or Hamilton.  He kept them within a two hour train ride from my house.  I'll manage it.  The commute will be tolerable for a winning team.

Let's Go Islanders!

- Keith D.
I'm thrilled!  Nassau County, and Hempstead in particular no longer deserve a major league franchise. They have tried to drive the Islanders away and now they have succeeded. Kate Murray can enjoy her weed-filled lot in Uniondale while I watch the Isles on TV Like so many other things in Nassau County, I grew up there, but I left for better living and opportunities in Nevada.

I think I'm a Nets fan now!  (I'm in the Kings DMA).

- John K.
I've been an Islander fan all my life, and am ecstatic to learn that my nightmares of this team moving to Kansas City or Quebec City will never be realized. At the same time, I'll be leaving for college next year, and am not effected by the team moving from a few minute drive to a marginally more expensive and lengthy time-wise train ride. I'm sadden that younger friends and family of mine won't be able to as easily take advantage of student seating that was more than affordable to me and several friends for more than half of home games. What troubles me is the ever fleeting reasons to remain in Nassau County. Aside from my family residing here and my favorite team playing only a few minutes away, there is little reason for me to return to the Town of Hempstead. Why should I stay here when I could live in Brooklyn or even Manhattan and have quicker access to the city and just as fast (if not faster) transportation to the Barclay's Center? I'm more than sure my parents will move out of their overly-priced neighborhood with the Islanders gone once I venture off into life. I also worry for local businesses around the Uniondale area, and how much they will suffer without generating revenue that surrounds the team. A small part of me does feel satisfied that this should lead to a slight decrease in tax revenue for the town; a last little "FU" to Kate Murray as Charles and Garth hop onto the LIRR and get as far away from her and Mangano as possible. 
- Ethan T.
For me, today can only be described as bittersweet.

Bitter because the Isles will no longer truly be Long Island's team; bitter because it illustrates in stark relief the truly dysfunctional nature of Nassau politics; bitter because in just a few more years, the old barn where I saw my first hockey game, fell in love with the team, and got to know like the back of my hand, will see hockey no more; bitter because all of the memories made there can never truly be relocated to a new arena...

But, it is also very sweet.  Sweet because we know our beloved team will stay (somewhat) local; sweet because we will finally have a new arena; sweet because now our owner and general manager have no excuses when it comes to signing free agents (other than a general unwillingness to spend); and sweet because the years full of "what ifs?" and "what will happen?" are finally over.

But when all is said and done, all I--all anyone--should really say is this:  LET'S GO ISLANDERS!

- Chris M.

Tags: Arena News, Islanders

 (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

After six games in which the Islanders have collected five of a possible 12 points, partially due to a struggling power play which has now reached 0-for-20, Newsday's Arthur Staple reported today after practice that Ryan Pulock will indeed make his season debut tomorrow night against the rival New York Rangers in Manhattan.

The 23-year old defenseman from Dauphin, Manitoba has played only 16 career games over two seasons despite being one of the most highly regarded prospects in the organization, due to injury and defensive deficiencies that reared their ugly head in Bridgeport under Brent Thompson and stuck around for training camp.

Tags: John Tavares, Ryan Pulock, Thomas Hickey, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) drives the puck up ice against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. (Andrew Villa-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) drives the puck up ice against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. (Andrew Villa-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders have opened the season at 2-3-1 (five points) and sit in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division, largely due to an offense that has struggled. 

Through the first six games, the Islanders have scored just 15 goals and sit at 24th in the league with 2.50 goals per game. Head coach Doug Weight told Newsday's Arthur Staple that the top line will need to get things going. 

"Chances have been few and far between, but they've gotten their share," Weight said. "When they go in they'll go in. I think it was a rolling puck. I don't think he's fighting anything."

Tags: John Tavares
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New York Islanders center John Tavares (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Like every story, there are at least two sides to the drama surrounding John Tavares and his future with the New York Islanders. Let's start with the dark side.

Beyond only certain corners of the New York metropolitan area, the real, hard truth is that it's difficult to find anyone who believes Tavares will sign another long-term contract with the Islanders.

If you were to run into any NHL power broker, influencer, or insider who is unaffiliated with the Islanders and bought them a few shots of Jameson, they might tell you any or all of the following...

Tags: John Tavares, Chris Botta
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Adam Pelech brings the puck around the net pursued by Alex Iafallo. (AP)
Adam Pelech brings the puck around the net pursued by Alex Iafallo. (AP)

First Period 

Second Period 

Third Period 

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Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

As Islanders Scratchpad returns for another season, the New York Islanders are five games into the 2017-18 campaign and sit with 50 percent of possible points (2-2-1). The team will wrap up their west coast swing on Sunday night in Los Angeles. 

 

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New York Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier (72) reacts with teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at the Bell Centre. (Eric Bolte)
New York Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier (72) reacts with teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at the Bell Centre. (Eric Bolte)

LW Anthony Beauvillier was a late scratch from the Islanders' lineup on Saturday night against the Sharks. 16-year veteran LW Jason Chimera will take his place.

Tags: Anthony Beauvillier
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 (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders (1-3-0) continue their annual swing through California after falling 3-2 to Anaheim on Wednesday.

"We have to get some pucks in and find a way because these are games that I feel like we should win," coach Doug Weight told the Islanders' official website.

Tags: San Jose Sharks
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New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) guards his net during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) guards his net during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)

Thomas Greiss will get the start in net and Jordan Eberle told reporters that he is ready to play Saturday night against the Sharks. 

Tags: Jordan Eberle, Thomas Greiss
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 (James Guillory)
(James Guillory)

From Scott Gordon to Jack Capuano and now Doug Weight, the legacy continues.

On the MSG postgame show Wednesday night -- almost always the "Happy Recap," win or lose -- Weight talked about how the Islanders "did some great things." Moments after, in speaking with the press, Weight pointed out, "We did a lot of good things on the power play."

The Islanders lost in Anaheim, 3-2. They have won one of their first four games. After going 0-5 last night, Weight's team is now 0-15 on the power play this season...

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Johnny Boychuk, Ryan Pulock, Chris Botta
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New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak can't stop a goal by Anaheim Ducks' Rickard Rakell during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) (AP )
New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak can't stop a goal by Anaheim Ducks' Rickard Rakell during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) (AP )

Brock Nelson scored his first two goals of the season, but the Islanders fell to the Ducks in Anaheim, 3-2, at the Honda Center. >> Read more

Tags: Brock Nelson
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 (Christopher Hanewinckel (USA Today))
(Christopher Hanewinckel (USA Today))

Jaroslav Halak will be in goal tonight for the Islanders against the Ducks in Anaheim.

The Isles will use the same skaters as their last game, with Cal Clutterbuck (hip) still not ready to return.

Head coach Doug Weight strongly considered putting Ryan Pulock in the game, but said he's "very happy" with Scott Mayfield's game, according to Art Staple of Newsday.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Jaroslav Halak, Ryan Pulock
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 (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

With the question lingering about where the Islanders will play in the near future, Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky said the organization is putting all of its efforts to build an arena at Belmont Park. 

On Tuesday, Ledecky spoke to reporters and said the Islanders plan to play next season at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but beyond that, ownership hopes that the team can get their desired arena in Elmont. 

"We are locked and loaded on Belmont," Ledecky said, according to Newsday. "We have blinders on for Belmont. We are not looking at other places or other opportunities. We want to make Belmont a reality. ... The best home and the only home for the New York Islanders moving forward should be the Belmont arena." 

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New York Islanders right wing Josh Ho-Sang controls the puck against New York Rangers left wing Andrew Desjardins during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders right wing Josh Ho-Sang controls the puck against New York Rangers left wing Andrew Desjardins during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

"I believe they are learning. We have a nice five and a half hour plane trip ahead of us and I got about 15 minutes with each of them that will probably end up being 30. They're good kids, good players and have earned their spots. This is big boy hockey and that's a great defensive core over there (St.Louis). They'll figure those things out. They got better as the game went, but had some guys who played pretty well and demanded more ice time. I feel like I can rely on them, put them out in almost any situation. Barzie (Mathew Barzal) has been good, Josh (Ho-Sang) is fine."

Those comments made by Islanders head coach Doug Weight after yesterday's 3-2 come-from-behind shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn tell you something about how he might manage his rookies as the 2017-18 season moves along.

Tags: Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, Andy Graziano
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 (Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE)
(Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE)

Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment CEO, Brett Yormark, doesn't believe the Islanders stay at the Barclays Center makes any economic sense. 

Yormark recently spoke with Sports Business Daily's John Lombardo about his company, and how the Barclays Center has evolved since its inception five years ago. Everything has gone smoothly for the new arena except for the Islanders, who have not produced the numbers Yormark expected. 

"The economics just don't work," Yormark said. "It's a Long Island team trying to create a fan base in Brooklyn, and to date it has ben met with very modest success andnot at the numbers we have hoped."

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Picture ARod going on Fox in the middle of this Yankees playoff series, and saying he hears that Joe Girardi will be fired no matter what. Or Ron Duguay going on MSG Network early in this Rangers season, and declaring that Rick Nash will be traded before Christmas.

This just doesn't happen. Usually, former athletes straddle the line in their broadcast jobs when talking about their old teams.

But this is Islanders Country, where…oh, for once, can everybody just leave this franchise alone?

Tags: Josh Ho-Sang, Ryan Pulock, Chris Botta
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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

Anders Lee tied the game up at two with a minute left, but the Blues earned the win in the shootout, 3-2, at the Barclays Center >> Read more

Tags: Anders Lee
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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

The Islanders will carry the same lineup as last game against the Sabres with G Thomas Greiss starting over Jaroslav Halak in net against the Blues at 1 p.m. 

Greiss allowed five goals in the season opener against the Blue Jackets before head coach Doug Weight pulled him with Halak taking over. He gets a shot to redeem himself today. 

Tags: Thomas Greiss
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 (Nicole Sweet)
(Nicole Sweet)

Two teams hoping Saturday night victories were a sign of things to come will square off Monday afternoon when the New York Islanders host the St. Louis Blues in a Columbus Day matinee at Barclays Center.

The Islanders scored three second-period goals in a span of 1:47 in a 6-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres in Saturday's home opener.

The host Blues, who also played their home opener Saturday, scored the game's first three goals in a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars.

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Oct 7, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) scores against Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner (40) in the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Oct 7, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) scores against Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner (40) in the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

John Tavares scored the game's first two goals to help set the pace for the Islanders in a 6-3 win over the Sabres on Saturday night at the Barclays Center.  >> Read more

Tags: John Tavares
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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) shoots past Buffalo Sabres defenseman Justin Falk (41) during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) shoots past Buffalo Sabres defenseman Justin Falk (41) during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Islanders begin their third, most pivotal and possibly even final season of playing home games at Barclays Center on Saturday night. They hope Friday night wasn't a harbinger of things to come.

A pair of teams looking to bounce back from season-opening losses will meet when the Islanders host the Buffalo Sabres.

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 (John Geliebter)
(John Geliebter)

The Islanders also are hoping to make a run at the playoffs this season. They're led by captain John Taveras, who is in the final year of his contract, and they added Jordan Eberle in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers to provide more offense.

"I think we're a little more talented than we've been," Islanders coach Doug Weight said.

The Islanders' top defensive pairing is Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy.

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 (Eric Hartline)
(Eric Hartline)

C Josh Ho-Sang will be a healthy scratch (with Jason Chimera in) on Friday night when the Islanders open their season agains tthe Blue Jackets in Columbus at 7 p.m.

Thomas Greiss will start in net over Jaroslav Halak.

On defense, Scott Mayfield is in with Ryan Pulock out.

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Pulock, Thomas Greiss
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 (John Geliebter)
(John Geliebter)

The players are no longer getting coffee in the locker room and whispering to each other, "Cappy still here?"

A third goalie isn't being stashed on the roster, and limiting the reps of the excellent No. 1 and 1As, because of the long-shot notion he's the next Patrick Roy.

As a result, and because of the simple fact that they have the player personnel to get it done in a conference that is not steeped in quality, the Islanders will qualify for the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs...

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Anthony Beauvillier, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Jordan Eberle, Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, Nick Leddy, Thomas Greiss, Chris Botta
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 (Paul Sancya/AP)
(Paul Sancya/AP)

Former Islander Mike Bossy thinks the team willl deal pending free agent and captain John Tavares if the team isn't in the mix around Christmas.

"If the Islanders are no longer in the run-up to Christmas," Bossy said, according to 91.9 Sports, "it's sure that Tavares is gone!" 

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter : Bossy, who no longer works in the Islanders organization, doing only spot-duty on behalf of Barclays Center, has pulled no punches over the course of the past year when discussing Tavares' potential departure from the only team he has ever known...

 

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New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) and Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19) battle for a loose puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) and Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19) battle for a loose puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports)

Islanders head coach Doug Weight not only has high hopes for Nick Leddy this year, but he also believes the defenseman can become one of the elite players in the entire league. 

Leddy, who finished last season with 46 points (11 goals, 35 assists), is entering his fourth season with the Islanders and eighth in the league. Weight believes he can only get better this year. 

"He should be in the conversation for those [All-Star] teams and Norris Trophies," Weight told Newsday's Arthur Staple. "He can skate, he can shoot, he's a savvy player as well. Maybe he doesn't have the deception of a [Brent] Burns or a [Erik] Karlsson, but there's probably three people in the world that do so I wouldn't hold that against him. He's right there in that upper echelon of D and he's going to be big for us this year for sure."

Tags: Nick Leddy
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Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) (Brad Penner)
Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) (Brad Penner)

The Islanders open up their 2017-18 season on Friday night in Columbus. How will the season shake out? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss…


Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Alright, Andy. We're on the precipice of a new season, and everyone is curious how this campaign will go for the Islanders. Is it me, or are the outlooks that are rolling in for this team all over the map?

Tags: Anthony Beauvillier, Jaroslav Halak, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Jordan Eberle, Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Pulock, Thomas Greiss, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Islanders Point Blank founder and former SNY contributor Chris Botta will be back with us this season, posting multiple columns each week.


When we last left off about five years ago, the New York Islanders were a franchise without a long-term home -- a team entering each season merely yearning to grab one of the final playoff berths in the Eastern Conference.

While many faces - including the latest batch of intriguing young players - have changed, in the big picture, not a lot else has.

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New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg celebrates his goal during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center. (John Geliebter/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg celebrates his goal during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center. (John Geliebter/USA TODAY Sports)

Anthony Beauvillier scored twice in New York's preseason finale as the Islanders beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 on Sunday at Wells Fargo Center. >> Box score


First period:

  • 2:21 PHI Michael Raffl; Assists: Scott Laughton, Taylor Leier
  • 13:10 NYI Dennis Seidenberg; Assists: Cal Clutterbuck, Stephen Gionta

Second period:

  • 2:22 NYI Anders Lee (power play); Assists: Devon Toews, Joshua Ho-Sang
  • 3:07 NYI Anthony Beauvillier; Assists: Casey Cizikas, Adam Pelech

Third period

  • 0:32 NYI Beauviller (power play); Assists: Mathew Barzal, Ryan Pulock
  • 6:32 PHI Wayne Simmonds (power play); Assists: Shayne Gostisbehere, Jakub Voracek
  • 19:36 NYI Steve Bernier (ENG)
Tags: Anders Lee, Anthony Beauvillier, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Josh Ho-Sang, Philadelphia Flyers, Stephen Gionta
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New York Islanders forward Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates his second period goal with teammates forward Anders Lee (27) and forward Josh Bailey (12) against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory)
New York Islanders forward Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates his second period goal with teammates forward Anders Lee (27) and forward Josh Bailey (12) against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory)

Anders Lee had two points, Mathew Barzal had three points and Jordan Eberle added the go-ahead goal in the second period to lead the Islanders to a 3-1 win over Sabres on Friday evening at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo. >> Read more

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 (Eric Hartline)
(Eric Hartline)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

After years of veterans seemingly playing without fear of repercussions -- even over younger players who might have been out-performing their elder counterparts -- the Islanders find themselves entering the 2017-18 season under new leadership and counting on an infusion of young talent more than ever.

Doug Weight, speaking to the media on Wednesday after practice, said Mathew Barzal has done enough to make the team coming out of training camp. Weight is also happy with Ryan Pulock's preseason, even though he did add the caveat, "there's a pretty darn good battle going on back there for starting jobs" (via Brian Compton, NHL.com on Twitter).

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Islanders have submitted "a comprehensive proposal to create a world-class sports and entertainment destination" at Belmont Park, NY, reports Jim Baumbach of Newsday. Bidders had until today to submit a proposal.

The Islanders can opt out of the remaining 23 years on their lease with Barclays Center in January. Barclays Center is reportedly unhappy with the Islanders as tenants, and the team has been seeking other options.

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV TwitterWhat was the worst kept secret in the NHL and all across New York and its surrounding suburbs became reality today.

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 (James Guillory)
(James Guillory)

The Islanders are just 10 days away from Opening Night, and the roster is beginning to take shape. What will the 23-man squad look like? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss...


Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

Welcome back to another season of Shooting from Point Blank Range, my man. We had lots of fun with this last year, so let's kick this season off by taking a look at the 'almost' final 23-man roster, which needs to be finalized by 5:00 p.m. on October 3. With some cuts already made, and Bridgeport camp underway, you can make some strong assertions of who will make the team and who won't. Any thoughts on how it's shaping up?

Tags: Anthony Beauvillier, Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Calvin De Haan, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Pulock, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

Islanders RW Josh Ho-Sang supports the NFL and NBA players who took action following President Trump's comments about kneeling during the national anthem. 

Being a Canadian, Ho-Sang can't relate to the athletes personally. But he does support their protest because they are standing up for what they believe in. 

"I think what the NFL players are doing is amazing. It's good that they're all sticking together," Ho-Sang told Newsday's Arthur Staple. "I mean, I'm Canadian, so I don't have too much input on the matter itself. It will affect me living in the States, but the biggest thing is it's unfortunate that the message may have gotten lost a little. Now it's becoming a battle between the NFL and the president and originally [the protests] started because of police brutality and the mistreatment of different races."

Tags: Josh Ho-Sang
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

If training camp ended right now, Mat Barzal would break the team with the big club.

After the Islanders' 3-0 preseason victory over the Devils on Monday night, head coach Doug Weight was asked, based on what he's seen so far, if Barzal would make the team. 

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts: I think we all wanted to see more of what Barzal could do when he got his look with the Isles early last year. But he seemed tentative in the mere two games he cracked the lineup, and with the team struggling, Jack Capuano didn't exhibit much patience before Barzal was ultimately sent back to Juniors.

Tags: Mathew Barzal
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New York Islanders left wing Brock Nelson (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders left wing Brock Nelson (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)

Brock Nelson and Mathew Barzal recorded first period goals for the Islanders and they held serve the rest of the way to topple the Devils in a split squad game, 3-0. >> Read more

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

As the regular draws closer, the Islanders announced they have slimmed their training camp roster to 31 players. 

Michael Dal Colle was among the players cut from pro camp, as he was assigned to the AHL squad. The fifth overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft tallied 41 points (15 goals, 26 assists) in 75 games with the Sound Tigers last year. He has yet to play in a regular-season NHL game. 

The team sent 11 others to the AHL, placed four players on waivers and cut six players on professional tryout contracts. 

Below is a full breakdown of the moves:

Tags: Michael dal Colle
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Islanders prospect Kieffer Bellows has agreed to a three-year, entry-level deal, the team announced Friday.

The 19-year-old, who is the son of former NHL All-Star Brian Bellows, was the Isles' first-round selection (19th overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

He had seven goals and seven assists in 34 games last year during his freshman season at Boston University.

Bellows also scored two goals on eight shots in the gold medal game of the World Junior Championships against Canada this past January, which the Americans won in a shootout, 5-4.

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Doug Weight
Doug Weight

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

The Islanders are preparing to open their first full season under head coach Doug Weight in 2017-18, looking to return to the playoffs after coming within a point of making a third straight appearance last year.

What we have seen out of Weight during his 40-game run in 2016-17 and so far this summer has been a drastic change from his predecessor, Jack Capuano.

Practices are harder and more up-tempo with a clear focus on physicality and cardiovascular work. He doesn't seem shy about giving his young players responsibility and an avenue to succeed. He has brought a relaxed, casual yet business like feel to the dressing room, with the ability to reach and communicate with his players on a more personal level...

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 (Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports)
(Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports)

In split squad games against the Flyers, the Islanders earned a 3-2 win at home while dropping an overtime decision of the same score on the road. >> Read more


Islanders-Flyers Game 1 (PPL Center)

First Period: 

  • 2:24 NYI: Matthew Barzal (Power Play); Assists: Joshua Ho-Sang, Ryan Pulock
Tags: Philadelphia Flyers
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 (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Barclays Center has been criticized for having poor ice by certain players since the Islanders became tenants two years ago, but captain John Tavares, is trying not to analyze it too much. 

"I don't try to think about it a whole lot, I think the more you worry about it the more kind of gets in your head,'' Tavares told Newsday on Tuesday afternoon. "It's obvious we're not playing in a traditional rink that was built for hockey. "They've done a lot of work just to make it playable for us over the last couple of years, just trying to make the conditions as best as possible with what you can do." 

Tags: John Tavares
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 (Eric Hartline)
(Eric Hartline)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Corey Pronman is the NHL prospects writer at The Athletic. I recently had a chance to sit down with him and get his impressions on the Islanders' system, including some of the players who are soon expected to graduate to the big club. Here's what he had to say on some of the team's top youngsters...

Tags: Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, Michael dal Colle, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield skates by New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield skates by New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Islanders lost to the New York Rangers 1-0 on Neal Pionk's overtime goal on Monday at Madison Square Garden. >> Read more

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New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano: SNY.TV: 

The New York Islanders missed the Stanley Cup playoffs last season by one point, in large part due to starting the season 6-10-4. The points that teams bank earlier in the season come home to roost when the hockey season hits games Nos. 50, 60, 70 and beyond.

Although the Islanders recorded 58 points over their final 45 games last year, their slow start cost them. Whether the fault belongs to the players, former head coach Jack Capuano, the special teams or another factor, the result -- a spring and summer spent watching other teams battle for perhaps the most prestigious trophy in sports -- is done.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Ryan Pulock, Thomas Hickey, Travis Hamonic
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts: There's this moment when you get off the Meadowbrook Parkway and merge onto Charles Lindbergh Boulevard that you catch your first glimpse of the Nassau Coliseum on the horizon. At this point in my life, I have seen it so many times that it had become old hat. But on Sunday, as it appeared in the distance, the modern new steel slats created such a stark contrast against a bright September sky that it caught me off guard.

I hadn't been to the Nassau Coliseum since Game 6 of the first round of the 2015 playoffs, when I left it in my rearview mirror, tears in my eyes, after the Islanders' 3-1 win over the Washington Capitals. I hadn't even seen it since. So when the gussied up exterior initially shocked my system, I wasn't sure what to expect.

But as I'd learn throughout the day, this was the same Old Barn I left 27 months earlier. No amount of steel or paint could change that...

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Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) plays the puck against Philadelphia Flyers right wing Philippe Myers (61) during the second period of a preseason game at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) plays the puck against Philadelphia Flyers right wing Philippe Myers (61) during the second period of a preseason game at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Recap

John Tavares scored the Islanders' first and final goal of the game to lead the Islanders to a 3-2 overtime win over the Philadelphia Flyers in the first preseason game of the season. >> Read more 

Tags: John Tavares
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 (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
(Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

The summer is over. Fall has arrived and with it, the return of the NHL. Training camps around the league will all be open for business soon, with the first on-ice sessions slated to begin Friday morning.

For the Islanders, it seems every year lately has been 'make or break,' for a variety of reasons. This year, however, the term might never be more accurate as the team looks to re-sign their franchise captain, finally bring some closure to a long, drawn out arena drama and return to the playoffs. The results of those three factors, each under their own cloud of uncertainty, could also decide the future fate of long-tenured general manager Garth Snow, who seems to be running out of time to turn this team into a true contender.

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Anthony Beauvillier, Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Calvin De Haan, Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, Jason Chimera, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle, Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, Michael dal Colle, Nick Leddy, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Pulock, Ryan Strome, Shane Prince, Stephen Gionta, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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