The 2015-16 season was one of change for the Isles.
The biggest, of course, was the move from Long Island to Brooklyn — one that wasn’t exactly smooth. The Barclays Center had its challenges: bad ice, travel issues and logistical problems when it came to game day operations.
But in the end, the Isles fought through and put together a pretty solid campaign. They finished with 45 wins and 100 points, and won a playoff round for the first time since 1993.
Then, more changes came.
Kyle Okposo, taken seventh overall by the Isles in 2006, departed in free agency after nine seasons with the club. Same story with veteran center Frans Nielsen, who left after 10 seasons to join the Red Wings.
Fan favorite and heavy-hitting fourth liner Matt Martin also departed, and caught on with Toronto.
And those exits weren’t the only changes. GM Garth Snow was active in free agency, making a huge splash by signing former Winnipeg captain Andrew Ladd to a lucrative seven-year, $38.5 million deal. Snow also inked veteran winger Jason Chimera, formerly of the Capitals, and brought back a familiar face in P.A. Parenteau, the former running mate of captain John Tavares.
There was a change in ownership, too.
On July 1, Jon Ledecky officially took over the reigns from Charles Wang, and one of his first promises was to make the Isles a “world-class destination.”
Unsurprisingly, Ledecky pointed to making some changes at Barclays. He said he wanted to make the arena feel less generic, and more like the Isles’ home, and vowed to make the transportation “flawless” from Long Island, where many of the players live.
In late July, though, the whole situation got flipped on its head. A Bloomberg report claimed the Isles were pondering leaving Brooklyn, and were in talks with the New York Mets to build a hockey arena in Queens, next to Citi Field.
Which means the Isles might not be done with changes. They might just be getting started.