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[Bits] My darling, I write to you with greetings from the front

Proper tributes to a retired Islander...and a new station

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UBS Arena Construction
It’s way farther along than this, to be honest.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It’s a slow time in the NHL, where the ownership and union don’t know for sure when, or even if, a 2020-21 season will begin.

Personally it has not been a slow time for me, but I’ll leave the hellscape of internal communications and website launches while homeschooling kindergarteners for a later TEDx Talk. And I’ll be honest: I don’t even know when I’ll share a dinner table with all of my family again, so it’s hard for me to project when the NHL will be able to host money-making games. I’ve seen the crowdless Premier League, and it is...I’d rather be reading.

Islanders News and Elsewhere

  • Around the NHL: Owners want a season but will not rule out nuclear options if they can’t generate in-game revenue. “The preference of both owners and players, is to open the ‘20-’21 season in all 31 buildings around the league. ... moving forward, though, the big question is with [COVID] numbers skyrocketing around North America, will they be able to pull this off with local and regional health authorities?” [TSN]
  • I know this was the last thing we posted but seriously, Dan and Mike wonderfully captured the impact Johnny Boychuk had on the franchise, and — just as important, frankly — on our collective fan memories. Give it a listen. (Bonus aside: The moment almost 29 minutes in when Mike channels All of Us and breaks stride to sigh once again about Game 7 vs. the Capitals.) [Islanders Anxiety]
  • Prospect Report: Oliver Wahlstrom returns from injury, and we closely follow the updates on William Dufour. [Isles]
  • This (yester)day in Islanders history: When they returned to Nassau Coliseum, again, in 2018. [Isles]
  • ICYMI: Arthur Staple followed up the Islanders’ Worst Trades list with their Best Ones. Of course “the missing piece” headlines the rundown. (Aside: I completely forgot Trent Hunter was not homegrown, though I remember creating him as a mammoth power forward on EA Sports NHL 2001.” [Athletic]

2020 has been such a bizarre year that mere transportation news such as this sounds like a time capsule:

  • “Elmont station will serve the Belmont Park Redevelopment Project, including Belmont Park and the New York Islanders new arena, along with a number of New York City-bound commuters. The new station will be ADA-compliant and include amenities such as free WiFi, digital screens, elevators, canopies, charging stations and more.” [MTA]
  • While everything is up in the air, what of the outstanding “if things were normal” questions like free agents Mathew Barzal and Travis Hamonic? [Sportsnet]
  • The Leafs GM says the players need to “sacrifice” more to do better than the first-round sadness that is their recent trademark. [NHL]
  • My favorite quote from Stanley Cup runner-up Charlie McAvoy in this story is that Torey Krug will make the St. Louis Blues, the team that beat McAvoy for the Cup, will “make the Blues a very good hockey team.” [NHL]