On this edition of the Schwartz on Sports Podcast, New York Islanders youngsters Devon Toews and Michael Dal Colle drop by at Rookie Practice.
For New York Islanders fans, this is certainly a nostalgic week.
As the team gets ready to open up training camp this week, the Islanders are going to return to their former home the Nassau Coliseum for a preseason game at their former home this Sunday against the Philadelphia Flyers. Three years after playing at “The Barn” for the final time, the Isles will skate onto the Coliseum ice in front of what could be a rare preseason full house.
But just a few days before one of the most highly anticipated preseason games in team history, many Islanders prospects took to the Coliseum ice on Tuesday for a rookie camp practice. I have to admit it was a little weird walking into the building and seeing the Islanders logo on the ice, the new scoreboard, and the ribbon boards that are still in the arena from the pre-renovation era.
After practice, I caught up with two of the Islanders top prospects, defenseman Devon Toews and left wing Michael Dal Colle who are both looking forward to Sunday’s game at the Coliseum.
“It’s going to be awesome,” said Toews, a fourth round pick of the Islanders in 2014. “I remember my first development camp here was at Nassau (Coliseum). The rookie game was here and it was an awesome crowd to be in front of.”
“It’s very exciting,” said Dal Colle, the fifth overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. “They (the Islanders) won a lot in this building with a passionate fan base. Obviously, it’s going to be special.”
This Sunday is going to bring back a lot of great memories for Islanders fans. It’s not likely that they will return to the Nassau Coliseum for the long term, but if they opt-out of their deal, as they are expected to do, with the Barclays Center and they win the rights to build a new arena next to Belmont Park, perhaps “The Barn” could be a temporary home for a couple seasons while the new arena is built.