New York Islanders could return to the renovated Nassau Coliseum: report

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The New York Islanders could make a triumphant (and temporary) return to Nassau Coliseum while they wait for their new digs at Belmont Park to be constructed.

Newsday reported Tuesday that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman toured the former Isles arena, which was renovated in last spring. Bettman was on hand to look over the improvements made to the facility, which was built in 1972.

The Isles called Nassau County home from the Coliseum’s inauguration until the end of the 2014-15 season when they moved to Brooklyn and the Barclays Center.

The marriage between the team, the facility, and the area hasn’t gone well, with the team complaining of the poor ice surface, the marketing of the team and the atmosphere for its fans.

They will play there through next season, but the Islanders and Barclays can choose to opt out of their 25-year agreement this month, with both sides having a Jan. 30 deadlines to deliver an opt-out notice, which Newsday called “a formality at this point.”

The news comes on the heels of the Islanders making a winning bid for a new arena to be built in Belmont Park late in December and they are now set to return just five years after announcing plans to leave.

Last week, Newsday reported that the NHL was open to allowing the Islanders to return to their old stomping grounds while they await their new arena’s arrival.

“I wouldn’t rule it out as a possibility,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in the story.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck