New post at Lighthouse Hockey: Today’s Islanders to Brooklyn Forecast: Cloudy with Partial Danza.
True confession time: I used to be an intern for the Islanders while in college. I had a number of duties on both off days and game days, and one of them was to hand out free Islanders Game Time programs to fans as they entered the Coliseum before games.
This was during the 1998-99 season, a.k.a. the worst season the team had had since its inception (to that point). This was the year that saw Bryan Berard traded for the ghost of Felix Potvin and Ziggy Palffy start the season as a holdout and spend his summer vacation getting traded to Los Angeles. This was also the year of “pigs at the trough.”
One night, as I was handing out programs, a father not much older than me and with a young son thanked me for the magazine and asked if I thought the Islanders, “are going to last the season?” I remember at the time thinking the question was asinine. Professional teams generally don’t just pick up stakes and move in the middle of the season. And the idea of the Islanders moving, while certainly plausible, seemed highly, highly unlikely. With a set of rich, brash, loud owners in Steve Gluckstern and the Milstein Brothers, it seemed like just a matter of time before all the arena nonsense was straightened out and the team could get back to the business of hockey.
That was 14 years ago. And people are still asking me this damn question.