They’re not the Whalers, but we’ll take em! Connecticut could always use more hockey players.
Bloomberg reports that Barclays Center might be giving The Islanders the boot. Apparently, it’s becoming too expensive to house the team. Not to mention, their numbers dropped to being third worst in the entire NHL. They’re averaging about 13,000 fans per home game at the moment.
So, with these strapping young athletes ready to hunt for a new home, many of us hope they will fill the Whalers- shaped-hole in our hearts.
True, we still have the amazing Sound Tigers and the Hartford Wolf Pack to support our hockey fix in the AHL. Their games are always exciting and intense. But, it doesn’t stop some fans from pining for the return of the Whalers and the NHL.
So, now we might finally get our wish. Maybe.
Brooklyn’s Barclays Center projects that The Islanders wouldn’t bring in any revenue in the 2018-2019 season. That’s also when their lease is up and, it’s pretty obvious at this point that unless a miracle happens, it won’t be renewed. The center already hosts the super prestigious Nets, who can reliably attract scores of fans every game.
Kinda. They are hauling in the 4th worst numbers in the NBA right about now.
But, the Islanders have it worse.
Their 2-year tenure at Barclays has been rocky from the start with fans complaining about poor visibility and players complaining about the ice. The team is struggling to inspire the next-generation of hockey lovers. So, either Barclay’s will tear up the lease, or the team itself will say sayonara.
Nothing’s set in stone at the moment, but NHL fans around the nation can see this coming a mile away. Still, the team’s owners Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin are remaining tight-lipped about the team’s future. So, all we have to work off are NHL “insiders.” Yes, they are the pinnacle of trustworthy sources.
The biggest rumor of all is that the team has no apparent interest in staying in Long Island anymore. Plus, their old home, the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, is also owned by the same guy who owns Barclays. Chances are that if the team is evicted, they won’t be taken back by the Coliseum.
So, here’s the list of possibilities where the Islanders can start their new chapter. Apparently, the team owners are eyeing a spot in Queens right across from Citi Field.
But, the rumor that has many of us here in Connecticut excited is that it’s a strong possibility that they’ll move to the XL Center. However, NHL fans fear that move also means that the team will dissolve.
So, what do you think the Islanders will do? Will they come to Connecticut or are we being delusional?