Potvin may indeed suck.....but not as badly as the economy on Long Island.
Despite being the 8th most affluent county in the United States, Nassau County is essentially broke (http://en.wikipedia.org/w...ties_in_the_United_States
). For people not familiar with Long Island, it is a collection of great contradictions. There is almost incomprehensible wealth saddled adjacently to (relatively) abject poverty. In the current economy, even the incomprehensible wealth is somewhat....less incomprehensible. So you can imagine the increased abjectivity of the poverty. The city of Uniondale is in one of these areas. The jobs that this project promises to create are desparately needed but can only be enabled through the use of funds that are equally desparately needed to keep the same jobless afloat. It is another contradication in a land built on them. For the record, I live in neighboring Suffolk county but still have an interest in the health of the Island as a whole.
As a Rangers fan, I want this project to succeed. This team will be moved if without the promise of a new arena. And that's the last thing I want. Hockey is game built on rivalries. New York vs. New York should be a national showcase event for the NHL. Instead it's irrelavent. It's even irrelavent locally where the Nassau Coliseum is packed with Rangers fans for these games. The argument has been made that it's important to have a strong team in key markets, such as New York (meaning Manhattan), to bring the sport prominence in the United States. I'd argue that it's more important to have heated rivalries. Of course, the heat in these rivalries comes from the histories and expectations for both teams. The Rangers have a built-in "hate-ability" around the country from their history, affluence and geography. It makes hockey fans want to witness them fail. The Islanders....are irrelavent on the national stage...unless they can compete at a high
level. How many U.S.-based hockey fans (outside of NY) can recall the glory days of the Islanders and how painful they were? They were to me....I have the hockey scars to prove it. Back then it didn't matter what the expectations for the Rangers were. It was the history of the Rangers and the impression of arrogance that their fan base had by supporting Manhattan's team that made those games so intense. For the most part, you inherit your team allegiance (there are occassional mutations...bad parenting, etc.) which means that the Rangers had fans regardless of how well they played. The Islanders needed to be spectacular for they didn't have quite as many genes in the pool. And now, although the franchise is closing in on 40 years there have been so many abominations (as opposed to the Rangers rich history of mediocrity) that the glory years have been all but obliterated on the national stage.
A return to prominence for the Islanders can only be faciliated through the Lighthouse Project. Sadly, what's good for the Islanders, the Rangers (in my opinion) and the NHL may not be what's best for the Long Island...at the moment.