New York Islanders: First Impressions and What Would You Do?

Frank Trovato@@voiceislanderfnCorrespondent IOctober 7, 2009

UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 03:  Evgeni Malkin #71 of the Pittsburgh Penguins waits for a faceoff on the Islanders center ice logo with John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders during an NHL hockey game at Nassau Coliseum on October 3, 2009 in Uniondale, New York. The Penguins defeated the Islanders 4-3 in shootout overtime.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

The first real game played by the latest NHL first overall pick are in and most are in agreement that it was a smashing success despite the OT Loss to the Stanley Cup Champions.

I, for one, cannot wait to see what else John Tavares and the Islanders have up their sleeves and five days was to long to wait for game number two.

How about that.

I am excited to see the Islanders play. A lot of fans are excited to see the Islanders play.

When was the last time anyone heard a statement like that?

The New York Islanders went toe to toe with the "Gold Standard" in the NHL and had to come away feeling pretty good.

The Islanders had solid goaltending, team toughness, smart play, quick skating...and they were fun to watch.

When was the last time anyone heard a statement like that?

Hockey fans all over Canada and the US wanted to see what the Islanders new prospect could do in his first NHL game.

When was the last time anyone heard a statement like that?

The point I am trying to make is that the Islanders, for the first time in years, have a buzz around them. They have the foundation for something that could become really special if nurtured in the right way.

Garth Snow is trying to build a winner, much like the progress we have seen in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Buffalo (before the Briere/Drury/Campell defections), and Detroit.

The message is "build now, reap the benefits later."

Much like everything else in Islander land the shiny optimism is smudged by the prospect of the Islanders moving off Long Island to another destination.

Veiled threat? Maybe.

Can it happen? You bet.

What do we do then?

I have heard a lot of people talk on the side of the team will never move and I have heard arguments to the contrary.

The question is assuming the bottom falls out and the Islanders move what would you do?

There are a few options and not many of them are ideal if you are an Islander fan.

One: Follow the team wherever it goes. This is one option that sure they would not be the New York Islanders anymore. They would be the Islanders not in name, but in personnel and the closest thing to the Islanders we could possibly get.

With the advent of hockey packages and out of market games as well as the Internet being available to anyone we would be able to follow the team as if it were here with the exception of needing a plane ticket to actually go to a game. To me, this option makes the most sense but that is just my opinion.

Two: Root for the Devils or Rangers. Could an Islander fan so scorned by the teams departure be so scared and broken be convinced to pull the colors of the Devils or Rangers over their head? My guess is sure, but not many.

Did fans of the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants suddenly become fans of the hated Yankees? I'm sure some did but die hard fans would not be able to stomach chanting "Potvin Sucks."

Three: Give up hockey altogether. There are a lot of options for winter sports out there and a lot of competition for the entertainment dollars and time we have to spend on hockey.

Could hockey fans suddenly give up the sport? I'm sure there are some who would swear off the NHL for allowing the Islanders to leave.

Four: Move off Long Island and root for the local team where you land. Could fans so passionate about the Islanders actually uproot their families and move somewhere else?

Well to be honest most Long Islanders are already looking to see what lies beyond the shores of Long Island. Recent surveys have the population of Long Island in the majority range of up to 80 percent considering a move to greener pastures across the nation.

This is one of the reasons the Lighthouse Project is so important to the continued existence of Long Island as we know it. Drive around and see all the empty storefronts. Drive around and look at all of the houses for sale. Take a look at your last tax bill or electric bill and realize that you could be paying one quarter of what we are paying here somewhere else.

People that are here want to leave and people that aren't here would not consider Long Island as a place to relocate to.

Could the move of the Islanders be the straw that broke the camel's back and send thousands packing for real?

Let me know which option you would take if the unthinkable came true and the Islanders moved away.


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