Today was 'Be an Islander' day for those 30 or so people who plunked down some cash for a chance to play on the Barclays Center ice, meet a couple Islander legends, and see some of the behind the scenes activities at the arena.
After the drive in from New Jersey (hooray for no traffic!) and a brief walk down blustery Flatbush Ave, we started to gather just inside the arena. I feel so bad for the poor security guards who had the unpleasant task of going through a couple dozen hockey bags.
After everyone got checked in, we were escorted down to the Nets practice court, where we'd be able to store our gear (and later get changed)
After we dropped our stuff, it was off to McMahons for 'eggs and kegs'. There was an open bar, so most of the guys saved themselves about $200 in Barclays beer during the pre-game.
We got back over to the arena for warmups. For those of us who bought the suite ticket option of the package, we got to enjoy this ZOMG OBSTRUCTED VIEW!!!!
All went according to plan during the game. Strome made it 4-1 just as we had to start heading downstairs for the postgame fun. While we were waiting, we got to meet this guy and get some pictures.
Trots went with our group downstairs to the area outside the dressing room where we waited a bit to see who we'd get to meet. Several players walked by. Anders Lee, Kyle Okposo, Casey Cizikas, Brock Nelson (see photo of him in the Brock photo article) and then Matt Martin finally came out to meet us and sign a crap load of stuff.
He signed my wife's shirsey, so I was cleared to return home after all the fun was over.
We got changed and out on the ice for about 15 minutes of warmups. By the way, whoever designed the benches didn't do a very good job.
That is the Isles bench. Both doors cut into the bench. Behind the other bench, the Blue team's coach...
I also got to meet our unofficial mascot...
They have about 5 or 6 rows of bleacher seats down next to Honky now, too.
We failed to achieve victory, 7-8, but it was like a typical pickup game, except we had hall of fame coaches. Trots was encouraging us to cherry pick! Managed to get a quick shot in as we headed off ice.
A shot of the ice afterwards...
The last thing arranged for us was a photo op with both coaches, and I wound up with this: