A Happy Memorial Day to you all. Some Islanders news for your day off or in-between hot dogs.
Belmont Back On (Soon)
The construction on the Islanders Belmont Park arena can resume as early as Wednesday after Gov. Cuomo announced the first phase of re-opening of businesses in New York. Work on the 17,000-seat arena was stopped on March 27th due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The governor also announced that sports facilities can re-open as part of Phase 1. [Newsday | NHL.com | TSN]
- Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of a monumental day in Long Island sports history. Hope you were able to catch some of the games on MSG. I did, and watching the Islanders struggle at times, even knowing they would eventually win, was both eye-opening and enjoyable. I had never seen Games 1, 3 and 4 and watching them adds much more context to the Game 6 we’re already pretty familiar with.
- Take the time to read this fantastic oral history of Game 6 by Cory Wright at the Islanders site. Key players on both teams talk about what they were thinking in the moments leading up to the Islanders’ first Cup.
- Brooksie on the birth of the dynasty and the many threads the 1980 Stanley Cup tied up.
- Bob Nystrom answers Islanders fan questions about that incredible game and goal.
- About that picture. Newsday photog David Prokress was in the right spot at the right time to capture history. [Newsday]
- And because everything is done via Zoom these days, here’s an official Zoom reunion many of the 1979-80 Islanders. Lorne Henning looks like he’s going to break out into a chorus of “Teach Your Children Well.” [Full version here at the Islanders site]
“I’ve never heard a crowd cheer like that. I had chills running down my back. They really really motivated us.”— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) May 25, 2020
Bobby Nystrom and his #Isles teammates relive the excitement of becoming Stanley Cup champions in the final segment of our zoom reunion! pic.twitter.com/huy7kIGKL5
- Breaking news from this morning: The NHL and NHLPA have issued a memo about beginning Phase 2, which includes opening practice facilities and training in small groups. The target date is “Early June” and safety protocols like wearing masks and who is and isn’t permitted in the buildings are outlined in the memo. [TSN/Pierre Lebrun | You can read the Phased Return to Sports Protocol memo in full at NHL.com, or read a more consumable version from our friends at PPP. | RMNB finds a lot of flaws in the league’s plan.]
- NEW! Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk says that just because the players agreed to the NHL’s 24-team playoff plan doesn’t mean that hockey is close to coming back. There’s still a lot of things that will need to be worked out first. [The Athletic]
“We voted strictly on the format,” Dubnyk said. “In other words, ‘If we are to come back, this is how it’s going to be played.’ But we have not even touched on logistics or cities or travel or testing or how the economics will work or what this quarantine bubble (the players are) supposed to live in will be like or any of that stuff yet.
“Nothing else has been voted on … yet.”
Again, yet is the operative word.
Dubnyk made clear that another vote will “absolutely” be necessary by the players once all these details are negotiated between the NHL and NHLPA.
“All of these things, and there’s so many variables, need to be talked about and we’ve got to start getting a grasp on it now so that it doesn’t just hit us in the face all of a sudden. This stuff hasn’t been discussed with the players. Everything’s just been so hypothetical. So that’s what I’m hoping is going to come out of this now because we don’t want a situation where it seems like, ‘OK, everybody’s ready to go, let’s get back and play,’ and then all of a sudden guys are like, ‘Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. I’m not OK with that.’ And then it goes from like super-positive to super-negative. So that’s why we’ve got to talk about everything, and then have a vote once and for all.”
- Newsday’s Top 10 Islanders goals of all time. Take a guess what No. 1 is.
- Linesman Pat Dapuzzo overcame a devastating injury to move into another phase of a long hockey career. Another very good long read by Kristina Rutherford of Sportsnet.
- Down Goes Brown writes a bit of speculative fiction from January, 1980 that’s perfect for this weekend. [The Athletic]
Via Russian Machine, a video of all Stanley Cup-winning goals since 1933 (or at least, all of the ones they have video for).