The New York Islanders came home on Sunday and picked up a dramatic preseason win over the Flyers.
For the first time since they left Nassau County for Brooklyn in 2015 the Islanders played a game in the, newly renovated, building in which they won 4 Stanley Cups. The new edifice is a far cry from the crumbling building that many referred to as the ‘Nassau Mausoleum’. The site of the Islanders old home is now occupied by a modern, high-tech, arena known as NYCB live.
The atmosphere set by the raucous fans gave this preseason game a playoff feel in front of the sellout crowd. The Islander faithful’s enthusiasm came to a crescendo when the captain, John Taveres, scored his second goal of the game, an overtime winner.
The Islanders have found limited success in their first two seasons at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s arena. Many fans have expressed their desire for the team that bears its name to return to Long Island proper.
Islander owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin have heard their calls over the past year and heard them even louder at Sunday’s game. They are currently exploring options for a new Islander home. They are looking into the feasibility of building a new arena near the Belmont Raceway.
However, a return to their old stomping grounds is not entirely out of the question. The outlook for an Islanders return to Uniondale is small as of right now but it may gain traction depending on how the Belmont situation unfolds.
Tavares’ future is also unclear. He has deferred contract negotiations on his expiring deal until the off-season. His decision will likely be heavily influenced by the Islanders’ future plans and location.
Sunday showed that Long Island wants their team back. They are ready for a return to glory led by a group of ambitious owners, Ledecky and Malkin, and their certified superstar, Tavares.