I loved Nassau Coliseum when the Islanders played there. I defended it to anyone, anywhere, conceding the tight concourses and the B.S. amenities and all that while emphasizing it was still the best NHL arena I’d been to for watching hockey. The sightlines and distance of ever arena built since 1993 made me concerned about what the Islanders would end up with. (Little did I know...although similarly I never gave a damn about the scoreboard in Brooklyn or anywhere else.)
So I think it’s cool the Islanders get to play some more there; we all thought it was done and gone for good. I’m glad players are excited. It’s fantastic there will be tailgating once again.
But I am a little concerned just how much players and coach Barry Trotz are talking it up, how much their tying the identity and culture to the venue, which even in its resurrection will still be only a temporary and part-time(?) home. As with facial hair and numbers, a venue only matters so much. The quality of play inside the 200 x 85 rink is where the team will truly be defined.
The isles open their preseason schedule at the Coliseum this afternoon. (Here’s the expected Flyers roster.) They’ll be back for 20 games later this season.
- Matt Martin, Thomas Hickey, they’re excited. Trotz says “that’s where the identity of the Islanders really is.” Also, in Newsday: Trotz says Manhasset native Ryan Hitchcock’s chance for an emotional home display doesn’t factor into whether he plays today. [Newsday]
- No but really, they’re all excited about the Coliseum. [Isles | Islanders Insight]
- Robin Lehner wants to make this arrangement more than a one-and-done year with the Islanders, and Lou Lamoriello is happy to give him that chance. [Newsday | Isles video]
- As hinted over the summer and confirmed now, Jacques Lemaire is the latest Devils connection to join the Islanders. They’re everywhere. [LHH]
- Our man Noel has a close eye on Bridgeport, and Question 14 of our 20 in 20 series deals with what we can expect there: Much more than what we’re used to. [LHH]
- Joshua Ho-Sang was at the practice rink but didn’t skate due to a “personal day,” which...well we’ll see what that nomenclature reflects in the new regime. [Newsday]
- Anders Lee on Day 1 with Barry Trotz: “We all knew this was going to be tough. We wouldn’t want it any other way.” [Newsday]
- I cannot emphasize enough how much and how quickly I don’t give an F about this player anymore, but: “Tavares defends effort with the Islanders” is a thing that will get a headline, so... [NHL]
Some other stuff you may have seen late Friday or Saturday:
- More on Trotz’s first day, hard practice, foundation, culture, structure, etc. [Newsday | Isles]
- You may know the story, but it’s a classic and Maven knows it well: How Bill Torrey resisted Sam Pollack’s efforts to acquire the first-overall pick that was Denis Potvin. [Isles]
- When even 1991-era naked Islanders waltzing through the room can’t kill your first date. [Newsday]
- Sounds like that is it for Henrik Zetterberg. [NHL | WIIM]
- The Erik Karlsson trade — specifically limiting themselves to the West or raising the price for Eastern bidders — is a lesson in opportunity cost. [The Cap Space]
- Also a lesson: The amazing one-year rise and fall of the Senators, from Karlsson-fueled Cup semifinalist to epic disaster. [NBC Sports]
- Friedman’s 31 Thoughts are back, and thoughtful. [Sportsnet]