With training camp set to open soon with the start of the regular season just weeks behind, you would think fans would be gearing up and getting amped to watch Islanders hockey.
For some, that really isn't the case.
I have said it before and I will say it again, I am not one for politics. I am not well-versed in the matter (although I know I should be and have been learning more with this whole debacle) but I just found it necessary for me to say something at least in regards to my team possibly being moved. I had written a blog two nights ago about prospects that may make the line-up but lost it because my Internet crashed, so expect me to return to my usual angle soon...I just needed to let out a little rant.
The Long Island political battle for the approval of the Lighthouse Project continues to meet hurdles and bumps in the road that are causing many to lose optimism. It is still far from said and done, but the fact that these little political mind games continue to be displayed is just atrocious.
For example, Kate Murray decides to set the next meeting the same day as the Islanders are scheduled to play an exhibition game in Kansas City, a town that is salivating at the possibility of having an NHL franchise back in their state. Add to it that Kate Murray continued to battle with Tom Suozzi over every issue in the matter instead of professionally coming to a conjoined conclusion.
If the New York Islanders move, I as a fan will probably have lost all interest in watching hockey. Of course my love is for the game and I will always play and tune it from time to time, but the Islanders are my reason for where I am today. Since being taken to one Islander game I have become a die-hard fan, started playing hockey, coached hockey, officiate hockey, made some of my closest friends through hockey, improved my writing skills (no jokes allowed on that one), and have become a member of the NYI Blog Box; one of the best experiences I have ever had since I get to live a childhood dream of going to the Isles locker room after games and getting to talk to the players I've grown up watching.
All of that will be taken away if this team moves. It doesn't matter how bad they are at the moment or the fact that this team has been one of the biggest laughing stocks of sports over the past decade. This team means so much more to people like me.
And the fans of Long Island are not the only ones who are at stake of losing something. So is the entire NHL. Sure, I know that's a bold statement being that they may not bring in the type of revenue that other teams do...but when this building is rocking it is one of the loudest places to be. To this day I still get chills when I watch the Shawn Bates penalty shot and hear that collective "YEAH!" shouted at the top of every fans' lungs.
I read other blogs such as the one written today by Dee Karl where fans from around the league admit that Isles fans deserve better than this with even a few Ranger fans exclaiming that they hope this team is here to stay. This team has been here for decades and has a past that almost every player around the league respects. The worst part is that the Islanders are finally on a path to resurrect greatness, in time of course, but may never get to see the Islanders become the team that they used to be because of this stupid political nonsense.
The Islanders need to stay. They have to stay. And if you agree and feel the same way, do whatever you can to make your opinion heard.