The Associated Press reports that Quebec has gotten the approval to build a $400-million arena in Quebec City. The arena is expected to be comparable to the Pittsburgh Penguins' facility that was unveiled in 2010.
The arena is expected to be completed by September 2015. A date that is all too convenient. A date that Islander fans hope will never come.
The year 2015 sticks out to Isles faithful because that is the year the New York Islanders lease expires at Nassau Coliseum. When 2015 hits, the New York Islanders will be without a home. Quebec and their citizens would surely welcome a young team full of rising stars such as John Tavares, Kevin Poulin and Travis Hamonic.
One has to wonder if the NHL is preparing for this transition. There has not been a single year where I have seen so many blown calls that have cost the Islanders games. The blown call against the San Jose Sharks on the delay of game penalty, the diving penalty on John Tavares against the Toronto Maple Leafs which changed what would have been an Islander power play to a four-on-four game.
Both outcomes cost the Islanders a chance to win the game. If the calls are made correctly, do the Islanders win the game? It's not a given, they still may lose it. However, if they do happen to win both, they are five games out of a playoff spot with two weeks to play with the Columbus Blue Jackets still on the schedule. With the Isles red hot, winning five of their last six, a playoff spot in that scenario would not be out of the realm of possibility.
Thankfully for the province of Quebec and both the Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres, the NHL has put it out of the realm of possibility. It seems as if there has been a plan of moving the Isles out of Long Island for years. It seems like every game, the Islanders are forced to finish a game shorthanded. Coincidence?
When the idea of realignment was first presented, it was the Islanders' and Phoenix's divisions that had an extra team, just in case one of them needed to relocate. Coincidence? The Quebec Arena just another example of another coincidence that coincides with a possible move out of Long Island for the Islanders.
The Quebec City arena being finished in 2015, the same year the Islanders could move, is just all too convenient. I fully expect the 2014-2015 season to not only be the last season the Islanders play on Long Island, but on American soil.
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