While ago I wrote a blog on saving the Preds, this is the part 2 of the Series on saving the NHL. Today's Story is on saving the Islanders in the NHL. Please excuse my writing skills by no means am I a good writer, I just say how I feel now on with the Blog. The Flames Blog will later in the Week.
First of all, let me apologize for taking so long to write this blog. I have been quite busy reporting the Flames blogs of late; as a result, it took a while for me to get back on board with this blog.
Someone asked me why should the NHL care about the keeping the Islanders in Long Island? Why do we need to have more than one team in the New York Metro area?
Why keep the Islanders in the NHL?
I could answer this question in so many ways. But I am going to try to keep this to a decent length. So with that in mind, I am going to give you two reasons. The first is the team’s proud history, and the second is the the financial benefit within the New York area.
The Islanders have an strong, epic heritage. They have four Stanley Cup banners to their credit: 79-80, 80-81, 81-82, and 82-83. Now, I thought I could have gone on explaining to you why this teams won the Stanley Cup. Instead, the angle I am going with is to let you know who my favorite players from those rosters are.
Clark has more heart than a badger in a fight for its survival. Anything Al asked Clark to do, Clark would eagerly go out and do it. Clark was the fan's man; he was the nitty gritty kind of player that Joe Smoe could relate to. He didn't mind getting his hands dirty for sake of the team. He was the perfect line mate to Bossy and Trots. How do you think Bossy and Trottier had the room they did? Simply put, Gillies would kick the crap out of everyone to give those two players the room to make their plays.
Bossy was one of the best pure shooters in the game. It was accurate, and his release was awesome. Mike's highlights are plenty, but if someone was to ask me what I remember most, it would be 50 goals in 50 games. He is a classy player who had his career cut short with an injury. I feel honoured being able to watch him play. There is no word to describe Bossy. You can't do it with one word. Under-appreciated in his defensive play, Mike had had his 50-goal streak end because of a back injury. The only season he did not score 50 was his last year. Mike Bossy holds the record for most 50-goal seasons tied with some player name Gretzky. They both had 9.
Brian was the one of the best pure playmakers in the game. He had even 100 point seasons. He was classy person who put the Islanders first in his career. I will never forget his years of service to the Islanders fans; if there was a Mr. Islander, Trottier was it. Whenever Bossy scored, Trottier was there feeding him the puck. How many 50-goal seasons did Bossy get without Trottier feeding him the puck?
So why am I telling you about the history of the Islanders players? Because I think the tradition and success of a franchise tell volumes of the importance of it's very existence. The Islanders are a proud franchise, with a wonderful history.
The Islanders have great fans who are loyal to the team. Why do you think their players stick close with those fans? I constantly hear those players speak of how proud they were to be associated with the Islanders. Now back to the history lesson, with more of my most memorable players in an Islander jersey.
Denis had 8 20-goal seasons as an Islander and was constantly their number one defenseman. He was the perfect defenseman for leading rushes or getting the puck up to his forwards. He was under-appreciated for his defensive game. Denis was out there killing the penalties too. He will be always be known for his classy behavior in and out of the rink. But most of all, he was known as an Islander.
How can the NHL lose the tradition and proud history of the Islanders? The NHL has to learn how to help the teams in this League. I know most of you are thinking "Why do you care so much about a team you don't support?" Hockey fans have to start being fans of the game, and not just the team.
Hockey fans must learn to honour (I am Canadian sorry about the spelling) our history and not to destroy it. What are we telling the players when we stand by and don't support the teams? It is time to take the high road and use your voice. I have seen this happen to Winnipeg and Quebec City. It is about time we started to defend our teams instead of sitting by idly looking on.
John could have been named the energizer bunny. Whenever the Isles needed a hit or some kind of spark, Tonelli would come to the rescue. John would manage to get under someone's skin and get them off their game. This would sure enough fire up the Isles to get the goal they needed. Every team needs a Tonelli in order to bring success.
The NHL cannot afford to lose the memory of these Isles greats. Now I can hear people say we will never lose those memories. That may be true, but aren't we losing some character in the League by moving the Isles out?.
THE RIVALRY BETWEEN THE RANGERS AND ISLES GONE?
The NYI are vital to the League with their history, and the New York rival Rangers would take a hit. You hit the owners where it counts - the money - or should I say, the profits. The owners are in it for the profits. Sure, they like having their toys, but everyone runs a business to make money.
Can you imagine the implications if the Islanders left to another city? The Islanders' rivalry with the Rangers is one of the best in the League. There is no way the NHL can afford to lose this. There is no way the League should let this happen. Well, they shouldn't let it happen, anyway. Rivalries don't come every day. They are great for the game. We must keep the ones we have. Between the two, the revenue for the League teams must be monstrous.
The Rangers' rivalry is not the only one; the Devils would have a stake in this too. The Islanders, Devils, and Rangers have a hummer challenge. The winner gets cash (moola - money - dollars - you get the idea) and donates it to their charity. The winner is determined by who gets the most points against the other. So you see, the Islanders do a lot of good for the world.
I asked a friend why he wanted the Islanders to stay. He said it with so much eloquence that he will have the final word. "The first game that I recall watching and cheering for a team to win as a kid (age 7) was the Islanders versus the Flyers; game six of the Stanley cup finals. Bob Nystrom scored the overtime winner. Since then, I have always been an Islander fan. To this day, it is still my fondest memory of watching the NHL. I will never forget the drive for five years era of the Islanders. It would be such a shame to lose a team that was once a powerhouse with so many NHL Hall of Famers."Kyle.
Okay, I lied, but I really want to let people know that the Islanders are a proud franchise. To lose the Islander would be a shame that I, for one, would be very upset about. What would things have been like if the Islanders had not been in the League in the first place; what would we have missed? Like Kyle, I think it would be a shame to lose a Stanley Cup Champion.