What’s been speculated for months has now been confirmed by Gary Bettman himself. Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin are “committed to New York,” but not Brooklyn.
“They’re committed to the franchise, they’re committed to New York and the great fan base that has followed the Islanders. There are some issues about playing in Barclays, it may be fundamental to the ice system, and that’s not something that can be fixed in the short term. I think as is prudent, Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky are reviewing the situation and looking very seriously at what their options are.”
This has been a hot topic amongst Islanders’ fans since the end of the 2015-2016 season, and arguably way before that.
In fact, ESNY published the initial announcement of it in December of 2016.
However, the announcement by the Commissioner himself all but guarantees the suspicions held by fans.
The question now is, where do the Islanders go from here?
There have even been rumblings of a political movement to get the Islanders to move back to the Coliseum.
My how times have changed.
The NVMC Movement
In 2012, a deal was signed that would move the Islanders to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and the move jarred fans to their very foundation, in complete disbelief of uprooting them from their backyard.
For few, it provided a simpler commute in which the sightlines were more of a minor detraction as opposed to never being able to see a game.
For most, it meant a cancellation of their season ticket subscription.
Although this sounds fantastic on paper, facts are damning.
The new Coliseum is built to hold nearly 3,000 fewer seats than are allowable by the NHL. Whether a workaround for this is possible remains to be known.
For now, we can just confirm that Brooklyn seems to not be the answer in the long term.