Gary Bettman delivered a killing blow to a Nassau Coliseum-New York Islanders reunion, but iterates that the Isles “have options”.
Nassau Coliseum lovers were delivered a very bleak message by the NHL commissioner in regards to the New York Islanders’ possible reunion with their former home.
According to Jim Baumbach of Newsday:
“Ultimately, whether or not the Islanders want to consider that and bring it to the league or something, you’ve had to ask them about it,” he said. “But my gut reaction is it’s not a viable option.” – Gary Bettman on the New York Islanders’ Future
While this shouldn’t come as anything surprising to Islanders fans, it drives a firm stake through the hearts of those hoping for a potential reunion down the line.
There was an idea floating around that the Islanders could play at the Coliseum during the construction of a new arena at Belmont — assuming their bid is successful — but those thoughts were shut down.
Realistically speaking, the situation stands as it always did and has since late March of this past season. Either the Islanders get approved for a new arena at Belmont Park in Elmont and play at the Barclays Center in the meantime, or they sign long-term with the Barclays Center and attempt to vie for changes to the arena from there.
While the video segment of the Brett Yormark interview on Boomer & Carton is currently made unavailable, Yormark did come out publicly to say that the Barclays Center would consider making adjustments to the arena if the Islanders decided to stay long-term, despite conflicting reports.
Also, let us not forget that since March of this year the Islanders and Barclays have been in talks to potentially extend the team’s tenure in Brooklyn.
The Islanders Options
The most interesting bit of news that emerged from the Gary Bettman comment wasn’t the Coliseum bit, but rather something the Commissioner said after.
When further asked, Bettman added this to his previous statement:
“…the Islanders have very good options and they’re in the process of evaluating what makes the most sense for the franchise and their fans.”
Take a close look and you’ll notice that he said options. As in plural.
While nearly all of the backdoor workings of the Belmont bid have been kept quiet, it’s interesting to consider what other arena options could exist for the franchise. It certainly resurrects a rumor that was thrown around saying the Islanders could wind up leasing MSG for a certain amount of time until their stadium is completed, however unlikely that is.
Here's one scenario that's a whopper: #Isles make an arena deal, hire MSG events to run the building and play at MSG while arena is built.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) January 30, 2017
I’m not saying it’s at all likely or should happen, but it’s an interesting option to stare at that’s on the table.
MetLife Stadium 2? It could happen.