With a little more than a quarter of the season gone, the Islanders have the fewest points in the N.H.L. and have fired their coach, Scott Gordon. Attendance at the Coliseum — one of the oldest arenas in the N.H.L. — has averaged 10,773, down 11 percent from last season, as fans react to the team’s poor play and management’s decision to raise ticket prices almost 20 percent this season. Only the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes have drawn fewer fans.
The Islanders continue to be weighed down by misguided draft picks and bloated contracts. Their highest-paid player, Rick DiPietro, has struggled with injuries since signing a 15-year deal in 2006. Josh Bailey, their first-round draft pick in 2008, who has scored just 26 goals in 159 N.H.L. games, was sent to the minors last week.
Off the ice, the Islanders have no president or chief of amateur scouting. They revoked the credentials of a popular blogger who covers the team, and their television announcer, Howie Rose, was inadvertently caught on a broadcast venting about the team’s poor play. This season, the team decided to have its games broadcast on a college radio station.
What an embarrassment. Read the whole Times article, there was no one excerpt I could choose to fully convey how damning it is. And I guess I shouldn’t rip the Islanders if I ever hope to get press credentials at the Nassau Coliseum, but the way it is now, I can’t imagine any situation in which I’d want to go watch the Islanders anyway.
It’s a shame because technically the Islanders are my favorite hockey team. And for a while I thought I might get into hockey. I do really appreciate the sport, I loved playing roller hockey on the street in high school, and the Islanders play about a ten-minute drive from where I grew up.
When I moved back home after college, my friends and I had almost nothing to do, so we would occasionally go to Islanders games. Problem was they sucked then, like they suck now, and yet the tickets were still way too expensive, even for the cheap seats. They had student discounts on Tuesday nights, but even then the Coliseum would be empty.
According to the article, the Islanders are keeping two former players on the payroll just to meet the league’s salary minimum. I hadn’t heard that. That’s crazy. You play in New York. Yes, your arena is a hole and the traffic sucks and there’s no way to get there on the LIRR, but it’s situated within walking distance of two colleges and there are 800,000 people in the Town of Hempstead alone.