Can The Islanders Go *Really* Retro?

[Editor's note from Dom: Web and I were talking about when to post this long-held jersey dream of his. Obviously The Ilya Rejection is the hot topic of the day, but for something a little different -- and for those who couldn't care less about the Ilya problem -- here is a fun topic to chew...]

If you were a football fan last season, you got to see some pretty old uniforms get the mothballs dusted off them and put onto the field. Now that Islanders are back to their more traditional look for their uniforms, they have an opening for a third jersey.

Instead of trying something new, the Islanders should look to the past. I've mentioned them a few times before, but the New York Americans would make a great third jersey or a jersey that comes out once or twice a year against the Rangers. The NHL appears to still own the rights to the uniforms, name and logo, as they have appeared in the NHL video games. Although the Islanders have no tie to the Americans, who last played in the 1940s, the spiritual ties are there.

Owned by Bill Dwyer, the Americans were the first team to play in NYC and MSG. Although they struggled in their first season, they were a success at the box office. This led MSG management to renege on a promise to Dwyer not to bring in a second team. Not only that, but the Americans' lease was written in such a way that Dwyer had to support MSG's attempt to form a new team: the Rangers...

Dwyer was a bootlegger, and the end of Prohibition meant he was struggling to make ends meet. Eventually the NHL took ownership of the team and Coach Red Dutton took over the day-to-day running of the team. Canada's entry into World War II and the Americans' financial struggles led Dutton to suspend the team and become President of the NHL.

While Dutton had every intention of bringing back the Americans after the war, MSG stopped the attempt by Dutton by claiming they wanted a second team. At the time Dutton had already set up a site and financial backers in Brooklyn for the team. Dutton infamously stormed out of the meeting, claiming that the Rangers wouldn't win another championship during his lifetime.

Red Dutton passed in 1987, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

 

Pros: Three Reasons to Wear the Jerseys

  1. The Islanders 3rd jerseys and attempts to "update" their jersey have been disliked by the fanbase. You really can't go wrong with a retro at this point, and the Americans just have a great classic look to them.
  2. If the league owns the rights to the jersey and logo, they might as well use them.
  3. How great would the Americans jersey go with Rick DiPietro's USA-themed helmets?

Cons: Three Reasons Not to Wear the Jerseys

  1. There is no tie between the Americans and Islanders. Not only that but there was 30 years between the Americans folding and the Islanders creation.
  2. Let's just give up on the idea of the Islanders having a 3rd jersey we don't hate.
  3. Having a 3rd jersey just for one or two games with the Rangers sounds silly.
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