In the New York Islanders‘ inaugural season at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, there has been no shortage of storylines. Undoubtedly, the move from Long Island to one of the illustrious five Burroughs was sure to bring the Isles more publicity, however it has come for all the wrong reasons. The Islanders organization along with the Barclays Center have been slandered all season long due to the unpopular move that leaves the die-hard fan base with a sour taste in their mouth.
In the Isles’ short-lived tenure in their new home, issues with the stadium have been well documented. The outrage from fans over the new Brooklyn inspired black and white third jerseys was just the beginning of more things to come. The animosity from fans continued when the Islanders unveiled a new goal horn in a preseason game, which was immediately switched back to the old one following massive outrage from the die-hards. Fans have nitpicked everything the organization has changed from the removal of the ice-girls and the beloved mascot Sparky the Dragon.
Let us not forget most recently when news broke that the organist at Barclays Center was told not to play “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands,” which Islanders fans sing over proudly with the lyrics “If you know the Rangers suck clap your hands”. Not even 24 hours after that happening, Brett Yormark (Barclays Center CEO) tweeted (then deleted) that there was no truth to it and that the tune would be played during the game the following afternoon. Although it’s only speculation, I’m sure the infamous #IslesTwitter had a big say in the song not being banned.
On top of all of this, I don’t think I’ve even mentioned the fact that a portion of the seats in the arena have obstructed views that make spectating a game almost unbearable. To make matters worse, Brett Yormark was also quoted as telling fans to stop complaining and watch the game on their phones. Probably not the greatest thing to tell a fan base that already can’t stand its new home.
But now, on top of all of this, news has surfaced that the Islanders and the Barclays Center are exploring a mutual opt-out as both sides are “unhappy”. While I’m sure there is certainly some truth to the fact that both sides are unhappy with how the season has played out so far, it is absolutely ludicrous to think that the Islanders will be looking for a new home anytime soon. Although the Barclays Center might not be an ideal situation, fans must come to grip with the fact that this is the home of the New York Islanders moving forward.
Clearly the fans are unhappy and actual “news sources” are blowing smoke because they have nothing better to talk about. At this point I’d rather hear more imaginary stories about a supposed goalie controversy or ridiculous trade rumors that have 0% chance of occurring, than another few weeks of hearing about the riddling marriage between the Islanders and Brooklyn.
There are so many other things to look forward to with this team that it truly is sad what the media considers news worthy. Maybe instead of focusing on all of the negatives that have already been more than well documented, we can focus on the trade deadline and the Islanders postseason push. How about the matchup that is looking more likely each day as the Islanders and Rangers have a legitimate shot to meet each other in the first round of the playoffs. Or maybe we can even get excited about a potential NHL debut from the Islanders coveted defensive prospect Ryan Pulock. But instead, we’ll probably just discover more news about why the Islanders and their new stadium are a joke, and that is the sad truth.