It’s a couple days in between Islanders games which, if you’re familiar with the PR patterns, means there was a chance to make off-ice news.
The Islanders did that — more specifically their ownership did that — by offering media a tour of all the upgrades to their practice facility that put it, by most estimations, easily in the top five of the NHL.
But as with the media luncheon three weeks ago that produced previously unspoken bold statements about their Belmont bid, yesterday’s tour was also about doubling down on their intent for creating a new, hockey-specific (finally), true home for the Isles at Belmont.
I have no idea whether this kind of talk will influence Those Who Decide on the RFP bid. I have no idea whether the rather implicit thread tying Best Athlete In New York John Tavares’ potential free agency departure with arena certainty will influence those people either. But it’s all worth a shot. The practice facility shows they know how to deliver.
- So anyway, about that fancy practice facility with fancy chefs and masseuses and so on (and Belmont: “We are focused as a laser”) [Newsday | Post | NHL | Sports Daily | Soundin’ Off] Here’s a Newsday virtual tour and such, here are Isles photos.
- Jon Ledecky also took the occasion to offer support for Bridgeport amid the land/venue dispute there. [CT Post]
- Speaking of which, Kevin Weekes talked Brooklyn, Belmont, John Tavares, Josh Ho-Sang, Jaroslav Halak and a whole lot more in this interview with Leboff. [LHH]
- Amid the arena talk, and on the fifth anniversary of the Brooklyn announcement, a reminder that Charles Wang, through all his faults, saved the Isles and kept the Isles when no one else would. [IPB]
- What is the Karjala Cup tournament, you ask? It’s an international tourney that will welcome a few key Isles prospects. [LHH]
- A year after being banished to the AHL, Jaroslav Halak is off to the exact start the Islanders needed. [Post]
- Meanwhile, here’s a look at the week in Bridgeport and its 13 point collectors. [BST]
- The Isles discuss their Halloween favorites. Some are sacrilege. [Isles video]
- A long list of NHLers who’ve seen their 5-on-5 ice time decrease includes Andrew Ladd (sure), Nikolay Kulemin (of course) and John Tavares (hmm.) [TSN]
- The ECHL Railers started a homestand on a spooked note. [Railers]
- Last night’s scores: Ack, the Smurfs beat Vegas too, and the Coyotes are back to their losing ways.
- Five Questions with Ken Daneyko, who’s always good for some lines. [NHL]
- Aaron Ekblad says the Panthers defense needs to make it look mean, essentially. [SB Nation]
- A painful (so: enjoyable) look at the Penguins’ goaltending woes this year, which aren’t quite Islanders circa 2009-10 but we’ll take it. [PensBurgh]
- The Canucks are surging and surprising under Travis Green. [Puck Daddy]
- Bastion of taste Deadspin decides Halloween is a good occasion to bring up when Clint Malarchuk almost died on the ice thanks to a skate cut. It was against the Blues, I watched it, it was horrific. And he suffered some significant PTSD afterward. But sure, Halloween.
Not Only But Also: About Yesterday
Just offering our heartfelt thoughts to anyone victimized or traumatized by yesterday’s terror truck attack in lower Manhattan. There’s nothing really more for us to say — and if you were affected by it and are still visiting this site today you’re probably doing so to get away from that trauma — ...but please just know we value your humanity. Being a “stick to sports/hockey” site doesn’t preclude that.