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Islanders News: Never mind the hedges, here’s the tailgaters

The Islanders get great arena news, but there are always complaints. Also: We fish for trade targets.

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New York Islanders Granted Development In Belmont
“So then I say, ‘Oh yes, sure, the area will be flooded with 70,000 Islanders fans every night. Seventy. Thousand. Islanders fans. It’ll be Belmont Stakes every day bwahaha!”
Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

Governor Cuomo, Empire State Development, various (non-governor) politicians the Islanders owners and arena developers all enjoyed unveiling the official announcement that a completely new Long Island Rail Road station will be built at Belmont Park, enabling true east-west rail access and addressing traffic concerns.

Empire State Development also had a hearing with public comments about the arena proposal, and some of the comments were frankly hilarious. Honking. Hedges not hight enough to hide the scourge and sin of community tailgating (which, as you’ll see below, is said to not be allowed). Concerns about Belmont Stakes traffic every day. (That annual event, woven into the location, draws 60,000 to 90,000 people at one time. The Islanders arena would draw at most 19,000.)

You can see some of those below, but first...

Islanders News

  • Before the Belmont fun, Carey checked in with an examination of five choice trade targets to upgrade the Islanders at left wing. [LHH]
  • So the governor’s office and the developers and everyone who has a hand in the thing confirmed unleashed their announcement to coincide with the Final Economic Impact Statement: LHH thread | Full announcement and analysis report links | Newsday | Real Deal]
  • And here’s the Final Economic Impact Statement approved by Empire State Development. Bring on the (further) public comments.
  • UPDATE: Here’s a podcast with Randi Marshall of Newsday discussing the events. [Isles Seat podcast]
  • A little more from first-round pick Simon Holmstrom. [Isles]
  • Five 2019 playoff teams that could miss the 2020 playoff teams. (Only five?) [NBC Sports]

And now some hearing highlights, via this great thread from Newsday’s Randi Marshall (FP refers to Floral Park, which is adjacent to the planned station. Not all from Floral Park opposed, but they represented the bulk of vocal opponents):

After all these years, that’s what it took to get you fed up with the Isles?

OMG! It’s going to be a giant horse race every day!

Tailgating: Not allowed?

There was some scuttlebutt about tailgating not being allowed, however. See this thread.

We’ll see how that’s handled.

No doubt this will be fun until the arena finally opens.


  • Looking at every team’s offseason performance so far. [NBC Sports]
  • Not a lot new here, but here are factors the Golden Knights are weighing in trading or else clearing more cap room to sign KHL MVP Nikita Gusev. It sounds like George McPhee is more vocal about this as away to increase trade offers or pressure the player. [Athletic]
  • The Sharks re-signed RFA Kevin Labanc to a ridiculously affordable one-year deal. But it sets him up to command a big raise through arbitration (or long-term deal) next summer. [Fear the Fin]
  • The Oilers are still shopping, but not finding a lot of fits and zero interest in a trade for Milan Lucic. [Oilers Nation]
  • Seattle is proud of its growing youth hockey influence, and the expansion franchise heads want a USHL team and maybe a share of the USNTDP in town. [Seattle Times]
  • Are the Kings switching to a more patient mode and not passing up skill for “sure-thing” character? [Fourth Period]
  • Another arbitration filing resolved early: Zach Sanford re-signs for two years with the Blues. [STL Game Time]
  • New coach DJ Smith believes Senators fans will “fall in love” with their latest former-Leaf blueliner. [TSN]
  • How will Marcus Johansson improve the Sabres? [Die By The Blade]
  • Another one of the Rigas (former Sabres owners) is getting out of prison early. [WIVB News 4 Buffalo]
  • Happy news in the league’s service dog training partnership. Ranger has found a home. [Blue Path Service Dogs]
  • Four forwards on the power play has become more of a norm (jeez, I remember when people ranted about that in game thread after game thread). Will five-forward units be next? [TSN]