The NHL is in the middle of a player lockout right not, but that doesn’t mean that NHL franchises are locked down. According to the New York Post, there’s one NHL franchise that is most definitely on the move: the New York Islanders.
The Post reports that the Islanders will move to Brooklyn as soon as the franchise’s current lease at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island expires in 2015. The Islanders will play their games in the Barclays Center, the new arena that currently serves as home to the Brooklyn Nets. The team is said to be preparing to make the announcement at 1 p.m. ET today.
This, of course, raises a few questions. First, will the New York Islanders continue to be called the New York Islanders? The New York part of the name will still make sense, and the Islanders part will also be technically correct (Brooklyn is part of Long Island), but it could be seen as a huge slap in the face for the fans of the team in Naussau County if the Islanders name is preserved. Even though the Islanders name has a lot of great history attached to it (including four straight Stanley Cups in the ’80s), it’s probably smart to expect a new name. The Brooklyn [Fill-In-The-Blanks].
Another question is how hockey will work in the Barclays Center. According to this seating chart for a planned Islanders-Devils pre-season game at the Barclays Center (which was canceled, due to the lockout), the arena doesn’t have seating around a third of the ice surface when it’s set up for hockey. No fans behind one of the nets (or even around the entire zone) is going to look awfully weird in person and on television.