It is Brooklyn on the horizon for the Islanders, and it can't come soon enough.
The once-proud franchise is officially done with the morbid Nassau Coliseum, and the Islanders are now in a three-year waiting period until their lease runs out before they can move to their new digs, the brand-new, $1 billion Barclays Center.
Since their inaugural season of 1972, the Islanders have known no other home than Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale, and it has given them more wonderful memories than most NHL franchises. But the four consecutive Stanley Cups they won to open the 1980s are far in the past, and the most recent postseason success came 20 years ago, 1993, the last time they won a playoff series.
So yes, it has been a long time coming since the franchise has had reason to be optimistic. But with their new home eager to embrace them, the Islanders can at least comfortably rest their hopes on a 22-year-old centerman who has developed into one of the league's best.
John Tavares signed a six-year, $33 million contract before last season, before it was set in stone the team would be moving. He has proven to be worth it, and now he's hoping the rest of the young core around him can do the same.
The Islanders are not delusional about the amount of talent they have, and know most of the responsibility to produce goals lies with the top line of Matt Moulson and John Tavares, who look to start the season with Kyle Okposo on the right side. Moulson is a net hound who has had three consecutive 30-goal seasons since coming over from the Kings, and Tavares will make sure he has ample opportunity. Okposo managed to finally break the 20-goal mark last season (24) and surely would be disappointed if he didn't surpass that total this season.
Tavares, move to Barclays in 2015 bright spots as rebuilding goes on
New York Post | Jan 19