Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bye, Don't Let The Door Hit You ...

By now you've heard the news: come 2015 the Islanders will be moving to Brooklyn. While it does not bring the sheer joy that folding the franchise or moving it to Quebec or Kansas City would, it is still quite the delight.

This weird feeling I have now - happiness, I believe it is called - is making it hard to compose all my thoughts into one cohesive post so I will just go with my Late Hits-style bullet points:

*First off, if anyone gets on the demolition crew for the Mausoleum, let me know. I will pay top dollar to be the one to press the button to implode that dump.

*They are replacing one vile fanbase with another, as the Jersey Shore wannabe's that wandered the Coliseum concourse will be replaced by Brooklyn hipsters. That is actually great news for the Isles, as hipsters do things ironically, like adoring such awfulness as PBR and UCB. So they should come in droves for at least the opener, before they realize that irony is one thing and idiocy is another. But if Wang decided to bring back the Fisherman sweater? He may have a top seller!

*The stink - and not just the one of failure - may remain the same. The Coliseum had many problems with its piping and many parts of Brooklyn already smell like sewage. Tasty.

*In all seriousness, this could hurt the Rangers a little bit. If the Isles keep prices low to attempt to actually fill the 14,500 seat Barclays Center, it would draw many of the disillusioned hockey fans that have been ostracized by Dolan and company. Bringing in those Blue Bloods - and not just for games against the Rangers - would help a franchise that averaged 13,200 announced fans last season and just 10k two years ago. (In fact, not including last season, the Isles had the lowest attendance in the NHL since the lockout - lower than the Devils, Thrashers and the Coyotes.) I, for one, will be attending more than my usual half-dozen Islander games a year now that the train goes right to the building ...

*But those cheaper prices will be key - the Devils play in a nice new building that is easy to get to but they still barely pull in warm bodies. Then again, they are the Devils and no one wants to go to New Jersey if they don't have to so perhaps that is not the best comparison.

*Sure the Isles have a legitimate superstar and a legion of high draft picks in the pipeline but the odds of Charles Wang and his sycophant staff figuring out how to develop those kids into winners is about the same as me replacing Del Zaster on the Blueshirt blueline. The one plus now is that free agents will more more willing to come to town, seeing as they can live in a real city and avoid the traffic on the Meadowbrook.

*But more mercenaries won't be the key - as we've seen with the Rangers. Growing those aforementioned kids into a competitive team is what will truly help the Islanders. They'd be able to fill the falling-apart Fort (UsedTo)NeverLose if the team wasn't such a failure. Hell, they wouldn't need to move to Brooklyn as it would be easier to attract fans, sponsors and voters to help buy Wang that new building he initially wanted.

*The new proximity to the Garden is meaningless for the rivalry - plenty of puckheads rate the Pens and Flyers as the Rangers biggest rivals nowadays over the Isles and Devils. Many times over the last decade it seemed like I was the only one left who still truly loathed the Isles with every fiber of my being.

*This is another slap in the face to Canada, for several reasons. If I recall, Bettman made True North guarantee that they would have 13,000 season tickets sold in Winnipeg before allowing Atlanta to relocate. There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that the Isles could pull that off now. Both Quebec and Toronto could sell 20k tix a night and Bettman would rather wait to rape them for expansion fees rather than give them a broken down, underperforming, mismanaged joke of a franchise.

*It is worth noting that the franchise goaltender Rick DiPietro will still be under contract for the first six seasons that the team is in Brooklyn. DiPietro is currently spending the lockout in the German second division - a league so simple that plugs Chris Stewart and Wayne Simmonds laughed and left to upgrade to the mediocrity that is the Czech Extraliga. And, while in that piss poor German league, DP has played two games and allowed eight goals. Yep. Wonder which will be more rusty in 2015, DP or the exterior of the arena he plays in.

*Bettman saying in the presser that things are coming full circle with the Isles coming into Brooklyn after the long folded Americans (who never played there) is hilarious. The NHL and the Rangers colluded to ensure the Amerks never came back after World War II. The terrific Third String Goalie did a great piece on the history of that franchise.

*This dashes my hopes of a return of the Rovers. The Rangers long-time minor league team used to share the Garden before going the way of the dodo. With the XL Center's lease and AEG's contract to run the building set to expire in August and Barclays sitting empty the elements were there to bring the baby Blueshirts back to the city. Sadly Barclays will instead host a bush league franchise in 2015, rather than a minor league one.


Scotty Hockey said...

A loving comment left by an old friend, which I hadta share:

Dear Scotty Hockey:

You remain such a complete tool! Only a tool would want any hockey team to leave the area we all live in. As a complete Ranger hater, I’d be furious if they ever left…I’d hate it if the Devils left Jersey.

And the following is soooo laughable as well:

• Vile fan base? Like the Garden is full of aristocrats…love how blind you are to the beyond vile, white trash assholes that attend Ranger games…all Ranger games…for years and years and years…..

• You win one Stanley Cup in 70+ years and act like there’s been something special going on in Manhattan. What are you 10? In 70 years the Rangers have sucked ass way more than they haven’t. Get off that high horse you dork. At least we DEFENDED our title.

• Suggesting the Isle/Ranger rivalry isn’t still hot because you spoke to a couple fat, drunk, high school drop outs at a Ranger game is hysterical as well. You bunch of blue-shirted s--theads are still chanting “Potvin Sucks” and it’s been over 30 years. Yeah, Isles are irrelevant…right.

• Slap in the face to Canada? Yes, just what the NHL needs, more teams in Canada! The only thing I want to see happen in Canada is you moving there….tomorrow.

• Rick DiPietro gave up 8 goals in a game in Germany? Wow!

Love “Vile Mike”

Pete said...

I know it would be a lot to ask of hockey players to play two games back-to-back, but it would be awesome if they could work out a subway-series double header type of thing like they do with baseball. Maybe do an alumni game followed by a regular season game, or a farm teams game followed by NHL play. Though, is it really inconceivable to have a game in the morning (say 11 or 12) and then a game in the evening (7:30 start)?