As discussed earlier this week around here, the New York Islanders turned the first day of 2013-14 training camp into a promotional event to plant the seeds for excitement about their move to Brooklyn two seasons from now: Not only via skating at the new arena -- where they'll have a preseason game Sept. 21 -- but also literally via the Long Island Rail Road, their suggested route for so many L.I.-based fans to cognitively embrace this pending move.
The players took the train, walked through the station, all accompanied by invited media for photo ops. Jerseys on, they went up the escalator and into the arena entrance en masse, like an invasion. The team flashed what the four Stanley Cup banners will look like once they're in Brooklyn permanently.
It was a day of practice, sure, but it was mostly a photo op bonanza, captured in this gallery on the team's official site.
The organization -- with Bruce Ratner taking a trumpeter's role -- answered burning questions about the present and future:
While YES the longest Q&A with Yormark was about the #isles colors, Orange & Blue stay, but 'BROOKLYN' will end up somewhere.— Dee Karl (@7thWoman) September 12, 2013
They said seating for hockey would be around 15,800 (but some with obstructed view) -- bigger than original estimates, and strikingly close to the capacity of Nassau Coliseum.
This was a day to woo media -- still conduits for buzz even in our distributed media age -- so lunch and specialties were served:
Mockups of a future Isles locker room were shown:
Campus pic.twitter.com/BT1JlD9fXA— Rich Dias-Rodrigues© (@RDNHL) September 12, 2013
Flirtations with playing in Brooklyn sooner -- on a here and there basis while "honoring the lease" -- continued.
Lines?! Lines! LINES!!1
Freak out; FREAK OUT!...26-91-96(Bouchard), 12-51-21, 40-16(Regin)-15(Cutterbuck), 17-53-13. #Isles— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) September 12, 2013
The two skating sessions were generally broken into existing NHLers in one group and prospects in the other. Early indication of LINES were read. Jack Capuano said it's training camp, and jobs can be won.
Capuano on opptys for prospects: "Just because the groups are the way they are today, their play will dictate our decision-making." #Isles— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) September 12, 2013
... and that brings us back to the real purpose of this time of year. Yes, it's buzz for the upcoming season and, in the Isles' case, an upcoming move. But ultimately it's about preparing the squad for battle this season, identifying who that squad is and where the rest of the backup pieces fit.
Tomorrow: Back to Nassau for regular camp. Brooklyn can wait.
More from Lighthouse Hockey:
- New York Islanders 2013-14 Training Camp Roster, Schedule
- Charles Wang on the New York Islanders 'Core' Cultural Philosophy
- How the Metro Can Hurt: The Rangers and their new non-Torts coach
- NHL 2013-14 Previews: Daniel Alfredsson's Real Estate Agent on the Atlantic Division
- [Bits] Streit on move; Nilsson on health; Logo grows in Brooklyn; Kadri signs