We hate to say we told you so. But. We totally predicted this yesterday. That's right. The New York Islanders are going to call Brooklyn's Barclays Center their new home.
Today brought us the announcement that the New York Islanders—one of the NHL's most storied, if lately beleaguered franchises—will be leaving the Nassau Coliseum when their contract expires there in 2015. And where are they heading? Brooklyn, of course!
We already answered any questions that you might have regarding this move, so no need to be redundant. However, a few things that we were looking forward to (like a team name change to the "Brooklyn Dodjerz") will not be happening. The New York Times reports that the Islanders will be keeping their moniker and will not adapt "Brooklyn" into their team name. Which, fine. Because Brooklyn is still New York. The real coup here is that Brooklyn went from having no professional sports teams in decades, to having two! Two is better than one and it's certainly better than none.
The only potential downside of this development which, let's not forget, is still two years away from taking effect, is that there might be some added traffic congestion. The Times talked to "Peter Krashes, president of the Dean Street Block Association [who] predicted that the advent of the Islanders would mean more automobile traffic in the surrounding brownstone neighborhoods since the bulk of the team’s fans are from Long Island."
Krashes further "noted that the Barbra Streisand concert at the Barclays this month, which also drew heavily from the suburbs, resulted in far more cars in the neighborhood and in the arena parking lot than an earlier concert by Jay-Z."
I don't know about that reasoning though. Nobody is worried about old New Jersey Nets fans flooding into Brooklyn to follow their former team. And it's still really easy to get to the Barclays Center from Long Island via public transportation—the LIRR has a hub right there! So, no need to focus on the negative. Get happy, Brooklyn. Hockey has arrived. We told you so.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen