One topic about the new arena deal and the Islanders possibly leaving Long Island, which has not been heavily spoken about, is how much the players and organization give back to the local communities. There is much more to the Islanders than just the on ice product, there is an organization that really cares about the local communities around the Island. We have an entire roster of NHL players, who serve not only as hockey players, but also as good citizens and role models to all the young children around the area.
If the team moved, heaven forbid, we would no longer have players participating in charity events, contributing to local charities, and participating in Islander and community events. I do not think the players and the team are given enough credit for what they do. This is something that not every county or town has the luxury of having. Who would young hockey players, athletes, or children suddenly look up to that could fill the void of an NHL player. (not to say there are not plenty of other fantastic role models around) The next closest team would be the Rangers, however, you do not see their roster coming out to Long Island and becoming part of the fabric of the community.
There are just too many pluses of having an National Sports Team in our backyard that cannot be overlooked. So many positives that the Islanders bring off the ice, that would not be existent. The players could be as indifferent as the politicians about the local community and never visit one school, one hospital, or ever give to one Long Island charity. But instead, they come out and embrace their situation, love the island, the people and feel obligated to give back within the community for their immense opportunity and fortune they have been given. Not to mention the Alumni, who have made their lives on Long Island and constantly give back to their communities and remind us all about how great this team once was.
Hopefully some feel good stories come from this post or hopefully there are some future Newsday articles that do not focus on the negatives of the finances and politics, but instead on the good the Isles bring to the community.
Here are two examples: (note there are many more)
and of course what High School team would not want to play against the Likes of Pat LaFontaine:
Just another reason to vote yes.