Just joined Lighthouse Hockey, so this is my first post. I've been lurking for the past 24 hours as my membership became active, and the consensus seems to be that this move was the best possible alternative, but a lot of LI-based Islanders fans are going to have a tougher go of it following the team now that it will be in Brooklyn.
On the flip-side, of course, are the people like me who grew up with no connection to Long Island or the Islanders, but now have this team that will be arriving in our world, and I doubt I'm the only one who will be coming on board.
Growing up, I didn't follow the NHL. My father raised me from an early age to be a baseball (Mets) and football (Giants) fan, but no hockey. At school in Rockland County, NY, a big bandwagon appeared for the Rangers in 1994, and a smaller one for the Devils in 1995, but the Islanders might as well have been located on Mars. I didn't jump either bandwagon, and didn't care about hockey until...
...college. Cornell University is hockey-crazed, and I began going to games, and learning the game (basic stuff, like what offsides and icing are, and how line-changes can happen without a stop in the action). Cornell's team also became very good along the way, and came agonizingly close to a national championship the year after I graduated. That 2002-2003 Cornell squad also had a freshman 3rd-liner with a knack for scoring named Matt Moulson, incidentally.
But my Cornell fandom didn't translate into an NHL fandom, and 10 years later living in Brooklyn, I think I've found my team. They will play 6 blocks from my place. I literally walk past the main entrance of the Barclays center every morning going to work. The more I thought about them moving to the Barclays Center, the more excited I became. I like hockey, and there seemed to be an obvious choice for hockey fandom staring me in the face. No driving needed to get there. Heck, no trains needed either. Just a 10 minute WALK. How could I not take advantage of this opportunity, especially since I like watching hockey, and watched the Rangers, Flyers, and Devils in last season's playoffs even though I had no rooting interest in any of them (just friends who do)?
So where should I begin my fandom studies? Assuming the lockout ever ends, I'll borrow the girlfriend's car and drive out to the Coliseum to see a game or two, but any other recommendations for getting into the culture of being an Islanders fan?