While the NHL is still working to get a labor deal done so that there can actually be a season, the New York Islanders are making a move that will hopefully help them increase their revenue and exposure.
According to a report from David Seifman and Rich Calder of the New York Post, the Islanders will play their home games in the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the same arena that will be home to the NBA's Brooklyn Nets.
Developer Bruce Ratner has scored a major goal by landing the Islanders ice hockey team for his Barclays arena in downtown Brooklyn, sources said.
... Ratner had said earlier that he was "trying like hell" to lure the Islanders to Brooklyn from Long Island and called a planned exhibition game against the Devils, which was canceled due to the NHL lockout, an audition for the city's newest arena.
Islanders owner Charles Wang has confirmed (via Newsday Sports) that the Islanders are moving to Brooklyn, but will not begin playing at the Barclays Center for a few years.
Wang: "we have entered into a 25-year agreement beginning in the 2015-16 season in the new state of the art Barclays Center." #isles— Newsday Sports (@NewsdaySports) October 24, 2012
Wang also cleared up any fears that the team's name and logo would change with the move, like the Nets changing their name to Brooklyn, by stating that everything else will remain business as usual. (via Yahoo Sports)
For Islanders fans -- and hockey fans -- who were wonder whether or not the team's current name and logo will become vintage once they hit Brooklyn, fear not, as the press release included this sentence:
"In support of the illustrious history of the team, the New York Islanders name and logo will remain unchanged."
The Islanders, like the Nets in the NBA, tend to be the forgotten team in New York. It has been a long time since they were serious contenders for a Stanley Cup, and they have to fight for exposure with the New York Rangers during hockey season.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Islanders finished 29th in the NHL in home attendance last season. They haven't finished out of the bottom two since 2006-07, when they finished 28th.
This franchise desperately needed a change of scenery just to try and get people to come out to see it. Apparently, it will get its fresh start in a new city, leaving the confines of the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale for Brooklyn.