We all know of the troubles hindering the New York Islanders, and to some it does not mean much. The Islanders have been a staple to the NHL since 1972, winning 4 Stanley Cups which is 6th best of all NHL teams, which is equal to the New York Rangers, and Ottawa Senators.
All hockey fans should now come together and help in the cause of owner and real estate developer Charles Wang. The cause is the Lighthouse project. This would not only replace the Nassau Coliseum, with a brand new state of the art arena, as well as help out in the community. While the price tag is a bit high at $3.74 billion, this will create over 75,000 jobs! Also 19,000 permanent jobs will also be created after completion of the project. Payrolls stemming from this will be around the $725 million dollar mark. The Islanders, New York Dragons of the AFL, and New York Majesty of the LFL (Womens Pro Football), and entertainment account for $250 million in revenue alone in that region.
While I realize the figures do not mean much in a sports related fashion, they should relate to each and everyone because this will help the economy in a very positive fashion and help springboard hockey, with the arena being the centerpiece to the proposed plan that will also add businesses and housing to that area. One that someday anyone may end up in.
The Islanders now have something to cheer about again in John Tavares, and this should also be something fans throughout the league should also be looking forward too. While they have lost players like Bill Guerin and Mike Comrie this season, they will return Rick Dipietro, and added Martin Biron, as well as Dwayne Roloson in goal.
So now we have a storied franchise in limbo and in the same situation as the Pittsburgh Penguins were just a short time ago. Let's all hope that the Tavaras, Wang, and the Isles can find a home in Long Island the forseeable future.
No matter who you claim your allegiance to be it the Rangers, Flyers, Devils, Ducks or any of the other teams let's all support the Lighthouse project and help keep the Islanders in New York. Let's not base decisions on their record, or that there is already two other successful teams in the area, but for the future of hockey fans in Nassau County and all of long Island. The picture above speaks for itself a kid Islanders fan pledging his allegiance to the Islanders, and enjoying the locker room of his beloved team.
If you need something to help sway you to supporting the cause it's a simple question to ask yourself: How would it be if your hometown team left you?
So everyone please support the Lighthouse!