NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daley told Newsday on Thursday that "we have been given no indication by the Islanders, or by anyone else, that the move to Brooklyn is or will be temporary." The comment to Long Island's only daily newspaper comes a day after Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano publicly expressed hope the Islanders would return to the a renovated Nassau Coliseum in a few years.
The county executive announced during his State of the County Address plans to build the Islanders new offices and a practice rink Cantiague Park in Hicksville using private funding. That along with a revamped Coliseum is part of a plan by the county to try and draw the Islanders back east to the suburbs.
County executive Mangano hopes the practice facility "cement the Islanders in Nassau and provide hope, that we will witness the Islanders full-time return when they see the magnificent new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.”
Bruce Ratner, the developer and owner of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, will be renovating the Nassau Coliseum and surrounding property once the Islanders leave after the season. Barclays Center will seat 15,795 people, but there remains concerns over obstructed view seating at on end of the ice.
A renovated Nassau Coliseum will sit a maximum of 13,000 people, well below NHL requirements.
Rather said in 2013 -- during a press conference to announce the renovation of the antiquated Nassau Coliseum -- that a return to Long Island would not likely be in the cards for the Islanders.
"At the end of the day this place will be beautiful and it’s going to be great for concerts," he said. "But for a professional sports team to play here all the time you have issues with suits and boxes, and whole bunch of other things."