The 1995-96 Islanders season was an unmitigated disaster, and Billy Joel is partially to blame.
That was the season the Islanders decided to change their logo and introduce a new mascot -- a fisherman -- to help boost merchandise sales and reinvigorate the fanbase, but it did not quite catch on.
Per the New York Post, Nicholas Hirshon details in his new book, "We Want Fish Sticks: The Bizarre and Infamous Rebranding of the New York Islanders," that ownership wanted to capture what constituted an "Islander."
Who better to draw inspiration from than Long Island native Billy Joel?
Joel's 1990 song, "The Downeaster 'Alexa,'" detailed the plight of a local fisherman and the seafaring heritage of the island was something ownership wanted to incorporate into the team's new identity.
So Joel's song and video influenced the team's new direction and a designer developed the now-infamous logo of an older, bearded man in a rain slicker and oilskin hat holding a hockey stick similar to Gorton's fisherman of the seafood brand.
Of course, the logo did not go over well with fans, who held banners at the Coliseum which read, "Fish sticks are for dinner, not our logo."
They debuted a new fisherman mascot, who was immediately booed and on one occassion punched and kicked in the groin by a young boy.
The team managed to sell 10,000 fisherman jerseys, improving from 24th to 17th in the league, but the Islanders finished in last place in the division that season and by the 1996-97 season they were ready to abandon the fisherman.