This morning, Islanders Point Blank posted information from a "source close to the organization" that the Islanders would be shuttering their long-standing Ice Girls squad in favor of a co-ed ice maintenance team at Barclays Center.
Obviously, this will shatter several disparate worlds across the hockey landscape, specifically that of the four or five dedicated fans who only attended Islanders games to see local college girls in an ever-changing array of halter tops, skirts and yoga pants shoveling ice with sponsor-branded hardware every game. Also, lovers of NHL goalies being caught in the act of ogling said college girls will have to look elsewhere for their schadenfreude.
The rest of us will need to make do with both men and women working together (!) to clean ice shavings from around boards and goal creases in gender-neutral clothing.
The Islanders were the first NHL team to utilize Ice Girls, all the way back around the turn of the millennium. Other teams followed suit because why just have people shovel ice when you can have a bunch of hungry, underpaid girls freezing their asses off shoveling ice in clothes better suited for a strip club? I mean, duh. Anything else is just unthinkable.
In recent news, the San Jose Sharks' decision to outfit their female crew members in tighter outfits last year drew a lot of criticism before they had second thoughts. The Flyers decided to ax their Ice Girls for a co-ed team, the fans revolted after two preseason (!!) games and the team relented, throwing their scantily-clad ladies back to the lions.
I second Brian from IPB's idea that should the Islanders follow through with this (again: anonymous source warning), the current members of the Ice Girls team should be part of the first Barclays Center crew. Some of the ladies have been with the team for years and have done tons of charity work beyond their on-ice duties.
The Ice Girls' time may have come, but that should mean an evolution, not unemployment.
Source: most of the ice girls will remain on as part of the new co-ed team in Brooklyn. #isles— Kevin Schultz (@Schultz88) August 27, 2015
[FRIENDLY PREEMPTIVE ADVICE: Please keep the discussion of this topic on an adult level. If you have an argument for keeping the Ice Girls as is, please make it somewhat more reasoned than "Don't Take Teh Bewbs Away!"]