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Islanders will play all home games at Nassau Coliseum in 2020-21

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(UPDATE: The news was made official before Saturday’s Islanders game against the Bruins. According to the AP, “New York State invested $6 million to upgrade to the building’s infrastructure to ease concerns from the NHL. … The Nassau Coliseum will be brought up to the NHL’s minimum standards for its venues, with improvements going toward the facilities ice plant, broadcast infrastructure and renovating the team locker rooms.”)

March 22 will be the final Islanders’ game at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, according to Newsday.

Randi Marshall reports that New York governor Andrew Cuomo will announce on Saturday that the Islanders will play any home playoff games this season and all of their 2020-21 home schedule at Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders are currently building a new arena by Belmont Park race track which is expected to be ready in time for the 2021-22 NHL season. The franchise played all of its home games at the Coliseum from 1972-2015 before moving to Brooklyn full-time in 2015. That lasted until 2018 when they split home games at both arenas, with Nassau Coliseum playing host to their Round 1 matchup against the Penguins and Barclays for their second round series against the Hurricanes.

While Barclays Center helped keep the Islanders in New York, it has not been the easiest arena to travel to for fans. The ability to get there via mass transit was a positive that the Coliseum doesn’t have. Yet when the Islanders returned back to Long Island last season, there was plenty nostalgia over the building that was home for the franchise’s glory days.

In September the Islanders broke ground on the new 19,000-seat arena by Belmont Park which is less than 10 miles from Nassau Coliseum.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Islanders playoff home games: first round at Nassau, rest in Brooklyn

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The New York Islanders’ feel-good (/feel-bad-about-your-predictions) story presented a new wrinkle on Friday.

The Islanders answered a “What if?” question few uttered heading into 2018-19: where are the Isles going to play their home games for the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs? Assuming, of course, that they complete this run and clinch a spot.

As you likely know, the Islanders have played some of their home games at Long Island’s classic, creaky Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, while playing the rest at the shiny, not-especially-hockey-friendly Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Considering the Islanders’ comfortable placement as a playoff team (and frontrunner to win the Metropolitan Division), that decision was needed. Cynics probably expected the answer to be “all Brooklyn,” but that’s not how it is ending up. Instead, the team announced that if the Isles make the playoffs as expected:

  • All first-round home games would take place at Nassau Coliseum.
  • Any home games from the second round and on will be at Barclays Center.

That’s … odd, but kind of cool, right? Sort of like this Islanders run to begin with.

The actual statement is fascinating, particularly the phrase “reflecting that the Nassau Coliseum does not qualify as an NHL major league facility.” That’s only slightly better than asking a crush out to dinner on Valentine’s Day, having them accept, and then hearing them say “Who needs a romantic Valentine’s Day, when you can have dinner with such a nice friend!”

Following consultation with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, the New York Islanders and BSE Global have announced that should the Islanders qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, any first round home playoff games will take place at NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Should the team qualify for further rounds of the playoffs, any home Islanders games will take place at Barclays Center, reflecting that the Nassau Coliseum does not qualify as an NHL major league facility.

This agreement has been approved by the NHL, with the understanding that the scheduling of games will be in accordance with usual League practices.

Maybe that dig stings a bit, but … hey, more playoff games at Nassau. Who would have thought this would have happened just a few years ago? This Islanders team really is beating all of the odds.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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

Here’s the full NHL 2015 preseason schedule, starting Sept. 20

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In just under one month, the 2015 preseason will begin.

The league detailed its 15-day, 104-game slate in this press release.

Before PHT shares the full schedule, here are a few fun facts.

  • The New York Islanders will really get started in Brooklyn.
  • There will be neutral site games in North Saanich, B.C. (Canada’ Kraft Hockeyville game), Johnstown, Pa. (the first U.S. Kraft Hockeyville match) along with ones in Quebec City, Allentown, Pa., Bakersfield, Calif., Halifax, N.S., Las Vegas, Nev., Providence R.I., St. John’s, Nfld. and Saskatoon, Sask.

OK, with that out of the way, here’s your full preseason schedule. (In case you’re wondering, the regular season begins on Oct. 7.)

2015 NHL PRESEASON SCHEDULE (all times Eastern)

SUNDAY, SEPT. 20
Boston vs. New Jersey, at Providence, R.I. (Dunkin’ Donuts Center), 7 p.m.
Florida at Nashville (split-squad doubleheader), 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

MONDAY, SEPT. 21
New Jersey at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Carolina at Washington, 7 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Philadelphia (split squad) at NY Islanders (split squad), 7 p.m.
Philadelphia (split squad) vs. NY Islanders (split squad), at Allentown, Pa. (PPL Center), 7 p.m.
Ottawa (split squad) at Toronto (split squad), 7:30 p.m.
Toronto (split squad) at Ottawa (split squad), 7:30 p.m.
Buffalo at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Calgary (split squad) at Edmonton (split squad), 9 p.m.
Edmonton (split squad) at Calgary (split squad), 9 p.m.
Arizona vs. Los Angeles, at Bakersfield, Calif. (Rabobank Arena), 10 p.m.
San Jose vs. Vancouver, at Victoria, B.C. (The Q Centre), 10:30 p.m.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 22
Washington at Boston, 7 p.m.
NY Rangers at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Carolina at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
St. Louis (split squad) at Columbus (split squad), 7 p.m.
Toronto at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
Nashville at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Dallas at Florida, 7:30 p.m.
Columbus (split squad) at St. Louis (split squad), 8 p.m.
Minnesota at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.
Detroit at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Anaheim at Colorado, 9 p.m.
San Jose at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Arizona at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 23
Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
New Jersey at NY Islanders, 7 p.m.
Chicago at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Nashville, 8 p.m.
Winnipeg at Edmonton, 9 p.m.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 24
NY Rangers at Boston, 7 p.m.
Minnesota at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Washington at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Dallas at St. Louis, 8 p.m.
Calgary at Colorado, 9 p.m.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 25
NY Islanders (split squad) at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
NY Islanders (split squad) at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Buffalo at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
Florida at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Chicago at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
Edmonton at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.
Vancouver at Calgary, 9 p.m.
Los Angeles at Anaheim, 10 p.m.
Arizona at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 26
Columbus at Pittsburgh, 4 p.m.
Carolina vs. NY Islanders, at Halifax, N.S. (Scotiabank Centre), 5 p.m.
Edmonton vs. Minnesota, at Saskatoon, Sask. (SaskTel Centre), 6 p.m.
Boston at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Buffalo at Ottawa, 7 p.m.
NY Rangers at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Montreal at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Dallas, 8 p.m.
St. Louis at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Anaheim at San Jose, 9 p.m.
Calgary at Vancouver, 10 p.m.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 27
Carolina vs. Ottawa, at St. John’s, Nfld. (Mile One Centre), 3:30 p.m.
Winnipeg at Minnesota, 6 p.m.
Florida at Dallas, 8 p.m.
Los Angeles at Colorado, 8 p.m.

MONDAY, SEPT. 28
Detroit at Boston, 7 p.m.
Philadelphia at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Washington at NY Islanders, 7 p.m.
Montreal vs. Pittsburgh, at Quebec City, Que. (Videotron Centre), 7 p.m.
Arizona at Vancouver, 10 p.m.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 29
Pittsburgh vs. Tampa Bay, at Johnstown, Pa. (Cambria County War Memorial Arena), 7 p.m.
Toronto at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Columbus at Nashville, 8 p.m.
Ottawa at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.
St. Louis at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Colorado at Calgary, 9 p.m.
Arizona at Edmonton, 9 p.m.
Anaheim at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.
Vancouver at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 30
Boston at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Washington at Carolina, 7 p.m.
New Jersey at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Detroit at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

THURSDAY, OCT. 1
Ottawa at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
Dallas at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Buffalo at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Chicago at St. Louis, 8 p.m.
Calgary at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.
Vancouver at Edmonton, 9 p.m.
Colorado at Anaheim, 10 p.m.

FRIDAY, OCT. 2
Boston at Washington, 7 p.m.
Philadelphia at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Columbus at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Carolina, 7 p.m.
Toronto at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
San Jose at Arizona, 10 p.m.

SATURDAY, OCT. 3
Montreal at Ottawa, 7 p.m.
Detroit at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Florida, 7 p.m.
Nashville at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Dallas at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Winnipeg at Calgary, 9 p.m.
San Jose at Anaheim, 9 p.m.
Edmonton at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Colorado vs. Los Angeles, at Las Vegas, Nev. (MGM Grand Garden Arena), 10 p.m.

SUNDAY, OCT. 4
NY Islanders at Washington, 5 p.m.

 

Islanders’ Brooklyn debut gets mixed reviews

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Last night saw Barclays Center in Brooklyn get its first shot at hosting hockey as the Islanders faced the New Jersey Devils. While the Islanders came away as 3-0 losers, it was the arena being judged the hardest and the reviews are mixed as Allan Kreda of The New York Times reports.

Coaches and players seemed to love Barclays Center. Isles coach Jack Capuano praised the atmosphere. Travis Hamonic also had a rave review.

“It’s an unbelievably cool place,” he said. “It makes you look forward to being here. I thought the rink was great.”

As for the fans, the people who will have to pay hundreds of dollars for tickets, there were some complaints.

“You get the creature comforts of a new arena, but I was unimpressed with the spectator area,” 23-year-old Megan Leach said. “There were a lot of terrible sight lines.”

When the New York Islanders announced they would be moving to Brooklyn in 2015, fans were curious how a building constructed without hockey in mind, Barclays Center, would work out. Now they have an idea what needs to be worked out before the team is there full-time.

Related: Video: Devils’ Jacob Josefson scores first goal in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center