Another evening on Long Island, another charming fall sunset. It was a bit too early for the banner photo to really do it justice, but there was a lovely mesh of blue, orange, cream, pink and purple guiding the players across the parking lot to the arena. The two people roughly 30 yards ahead in this photo are Justin Williams and Dwight King.
There is plenty of history within these aging concrete walls. Having witnessed four consecutive Stanley Cups between 1980 and 1983, Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum has been the Islanders’ home since 1972. An attribute that separates it from other NHL arenas is clearly the history hanging from the rafters. The jerseys of Denis Potvin, Clark Gillies, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy, Bob Nystrom and Billy Smith were all retired over a nine-year span between 1992 and 2001. Trottier, who played in Nassau County between 1975 and 1990, has appeared in more games (1,123) and recorded more points (1,353) than any other player in Islanders history.
Not to be outdone, there is also a banner commemorating Billy Joel’s nine sold out shows between January and May, 1998.
The Islanders’ days of playing 20 miles outside of New York City are numbered, as the team is scheduled to move into Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in time for the 2015-16 season. Whereas Nassau Coliseum does not offer rail options and is accessed nearly exclusively by car and bus, a variety of Long Island Railroad and New York City Subway lines snake out of the immediate area, which may actually ease the commute to Islanders game for the predominantly suburban fanbase.