Tag: Islanders woes

New York Islanders Management Wait for New Arena Voter Referendum Results

Report: Islanders increasingly likely to leave Long Island in future


The Phoenix Coyotes perpetually dominate relocation rumors, but don’t sleep on the New York Islanders, either.

CBS’ Brian Stubits passes along word from B.D. Gallof that the Islanders’ chances of sticking around the Long Island area after their lease expires keep dwindling.

In other words, barring a miracle, Nassau is done as an Islanders option come 2015. That wreckage and loss, when the Isles cease to be a county taxpayer, will be left piled on many a politician’s feet that no amount of partisan rhetoric will be able to quell. In fact, despite that lark of a referendum, there were severe questions asked of the public vote and the viability of Nassau County to offer anything even before it was held.

Sharing the New Jersey-turned-Brooklyn Nets’ venue seems like a logical move – it saves the moving trucks some gas, makes it possible for locals to still follow the team to an extent – but it would be far from the only option for the franchise if Nassau County loses the team as the signs seem to point to.

A lot can change by 2015, but most reports indicate that the Islanders’ time in Long Island is drawing close to an end.

Gary Bettman says NHL will try to keep Islanders from moving

Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks - Game One

The negative results from Monday’s failed referendum to build a new arena for the New York Islanders was depressing in more ways than one. It wasn’t enough that the referendum reached a “No” verdict by an estimated 14 percent margin; the extra insult was the perceived malaise of indifference.

An estimated 100,000 voters cast their ballots, which is about one third of the typical turnout for November elections in that area, according to The Associated Press. There’s talk that the referendum was designed to take advantage of low voter turnouts, but it still didn’t work, which underscores the team’s dismal situation that much more.

However you slice it, the only question that really matters now is “what’s next?” While his support was a bit vague, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said that the league will do its best to keep the Islanders from relocating once their arena deal expires in 2015.

Bettman said in a statement Tuesday that the league would work with the Islanders “to explore whatever options still may be available in light of what obviously is not a positive development. Our goal is for the team to remain on Long Island and we still hope that objective can be realized.”

There have been all kinds of ideas thrown around, from owner Charles Wang taking even more money out of his pocket to get the arena built, to funding through other private venues and the much-feared idea of relocating the team. However fans might feel about Wang, if his claims that he already lost $240 million running the team are accurate, it’s reasonable to expect him to have a breaking point. It might just be a matter of time before these setbacks force him to find some other way  to stay in Long Island, make a smaller move to somewhere close like Queens or Brooklyn or maybe even make a more dramatic move to Kansas City, Quebec or some other locale that wants an NHL team.

As Joe points out in his in-depth look at the bigger picture options, this isn’t the end of the road just yet. It’s just unclear if there’s a Lighthouse at the end of the tunnel anymore.

Islanders ask for $4 million in repairs to Nassau Coliseum as they await vote for new arena

New York Islanders Draft Party

It almost seems a bit unfair to beat up on the New York Islanders front office, roster and even their aging (to put it kindly) arena. Call it kicking a dead horse if you want, but it’s more than a bit sad to see a one-time dynasty in such dire straits.

That’s exactly how you would describe their long-time building known as the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, though. Chris Botta reports that the Islanders organization has reportedly requested $4 million in repairs from Nassau County, which owns the crumbling arena.

Botta points out that the timing of the request might be described as awkward because the team and region await voting on a public referendum that will approve or reject a $350 million plan for a new Coliseum on August 1. That being said, the $4 million request might be more reasonable when you consider the discouraging problems that are plaguing the facility, which Botta describes below.

The majority of seats in the 100 level of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and the mechanism that enables the sections to slide in and out based on the event, are a disaster. Hundreds of seats are damaged, broken beyond repair and unsafe.

The roof of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which has been patched up with temporary sealants and tape since before Ziggy Palffy came to play, has a whole new batch of leaks. As a result, seating areas and aisles continue to be dangerous.

The refrigeration system that creates the playing surface for New York Islanders hockey games at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is barely functional, and can break down on any given day. According to a league source, the Coliseum ice was rated by NHL players the last two seasons among the three worst – despite the Islanders recently spending more than $500,000 in repairs. Not good for player safety.

Botta notes that officials can vote on the $4 million request on Monday or “put it off for another day,” which might eventually force Islanders owner Charles Wang to pay for the repairs himself (which he has reportedly done before). Hopefully the Islanders and people in that area can look back at these times and laugh because these are some very dark times for a once-proud franchise.

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)

Could the Islanders break the NHL record of 17 consecutive losses?

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It doesn’t take an expert or an impressively observant person to notice that things are bad for the New York Islanders right now. It would be bad enough that they’re on an 11-game losing streak, but they’ve also taken public relations hits after firing Scott Gordon and revoking beat writer Chris Botta’s press credentials.

They’re also missing two key pieces on a talent-poor roster thanks to the long-term injuries of Mark Streit and Kyle Okposo. (Let’s not ignore the fact that oft-injured big investment Rick DiPietro isn’t “all there” either.)

Yup, things are bad in Long Island.

In fact, the situation is so bleak that some people are wondering if the team might sink to historically low levels. Justin Terranova of the New York Post wonders if the Islanders – again, currently on an 11 game skid – could tie or even surpass the all-time record for consecutive losses (17 games).

It’s a situation that will only get more painful and difficult if the Islanders stamp themselves as the NHL’s longest loser. The record for most consecutive losses is 17 — shared by the 1974-75 Capitals and the 1992-93 Sharks. Those Capitals were an expansion squad, and the Sharks were in the second year of existence.

With that question in mind, I thought I’d take a look at the team’s next seven games. Which games seem the most “winnable” for the woeful Islanders? Let’s take a look.

Note: All records are taken from before Friday, November 20th’s contests.

Saturday, Nov. 20: Home against Florida (8-9-0)

The Panthers are a .500 team through and through, with a near-even overall record and a 5-5 mark in their last 10. Verdict: Moderately winnable.

Sunday, Nov. 21: On the road against Atlanta (7-9-3)

The Thrashers have been struggling a bit, having lost three in a row going into a tough one against the Capitals. Still, they’re in a big home stand and the Islanders won’t even get 24 hours between back-to-back games this weekend. Verdict: Tough situation, but winnable match-up.

Wednesday, Nov. 24: At home against Columbus (10-6-0)

The Blue Jackets are 5-1 on the road, but on the bright side, the Islanders will be well-rested. Verdict: Cozy situation, but very tough match-up.

Friday, Nov. 26: At home against New Jersey (5-12-2)

This very well might be the Blooper Bowl to determine the worst team in the NHL. The odd start time (1:00 pm ET) and local rivalry make it a coin toss. Martin Brodeur’s injury situation could make it the closest thing to an easy win for the Isles. Verdict: Very winnable.

Thursday, Dec. 2: At home against NY Rangers (10-8-1)

The Islanders receive a week off before having a back-to-back, home-and-home duo of games against the Rangers. Back-to-backs increase the chances of them only playing against Henrik Lundqvist once. Verdict: Tough match-up, but big break could help.

Friday, Dec. 3: On the road against NY Rangers (10-8-1) **Would tie the record if they continue to lose**

Again, one of these games could be against a Lundqvist-free Rangers squad. Verdict: Tough match-up, but back-to-backs might mean no Lundqvist.

Sunday, Dec. 5: At home against Philadelphia (12-6-2) **Would break record if they continue to lose**

If the Islanders bring a 17-game losing streak into this one, it will be difficult for the Isles to avoid humiliation. Verdict: Very difficult.


After looking at the Islanders’ schedule, I don’t think that they will lose 17 games in a row (or worse). With some big breaks in between games and five of those contests at home, they have every reason to win at least once. Honestly, they might even go above .500 during that stretch.

Then again, you never know in the NHL.