As reported by The New York Post on Tuesday, the Islanders are facing another endless challenge - and this, for the upcoming seasons, as the team revealed they could play a home schedule split between Barclays in Brooklyn and the Coliseum in Uniondale with approximately 50 games reserved for Long Island over the next three seasons.
Larry Brooks of The Post did not waste time to call out the Isles on this chaotic idea, and made a very good point. Are they not thinking this could be even more chaotic for the return and long-term contract extension of captain John Tavares?
Brooks does not hold back and explains it perfectly in his recent article. Here is an excerpt on the messy situation and the many questions fans, rival teams and Tavares will be asking themselves:
"Which opponents where? Rangers in Brooklyn or Uniondale? Split homestands or alternate months? What about the playoffs, if there are playoffs? Will split-season subscriptions be offered? Isn’t it more likely than not that Long Island residents will pack the Coliseum and abandon Barclays? What will the impact be on the league’s hockey-related revenue that establishes the salary cap?
And, most critically, because every Islanders issue is distilled through only one prism: How will this affect John Tavares’ decision as he weighs his options coming up on July 1 unrestricted free agency?
Is this honestly what No. 91 is going to sign up for: three seasons in the prime of his extraordinary hockey life commuting between home rinks, with neither one a first-class major league home?
And again: Doesn’t ownership need to know of Tavares’ intentions before the Feb. 26 trade deadline, so management can plot its course accordingly?"
What a mess! And not only for fans and where they will go see their favorite team in action, but also which players will they see in action if this mess continues... Tavares could find the logistics of this relocation a total distraction and choose to be traded before the deadline or worse for the Isles, walk out on free agency in July...
"Worst-case scenario: It is a fiasco.
Best-case scenario: It is a logistical nightmare.
Again, I understand. This is the only route available for the Islanders to get from here to there. This is the price they are paying for Belmont Park.
One can only hope that it does not come at the cost of John Tavares."
Well said, Brooks. What do you say Isles fans?