Charles Wang

Isles win bid for bankrupt Twin Rinks

The Islanders have won the rights to Twin Rinks in Eisenhower Park.

According to Newsday, The Isles will turn Twin Rinks into their practice facility and office space, and the team will hold training camp their this season (Aug. 31)

“We love the place, the players love the place,” Wang said of the Twin Rinks center “It’s the premier facility for ice hockey in Nassau County, no question about it.”

Long Island Business News reports that the Islanders, led by current majority owner Charles Wang, entered an $8 million bid that had beat out two other entities that were bidding for the facility.

Wang’s $8 million bid, according to Newsday, was in upfront cash, while a competing bid from Syosset developer Ed Blumenfeld was for $9 million in installments.

Separate from the Twin Rinks acquisition, the Islanders had agreed to spend $5.1 million to build a new practice facility at Cantiague Park. The county will still spend $300,000 to upgrade the facility in Cantiague Park, but the Islanders are no long involved in the project. 

Wang had originally wanted to have his team use the facility in Eisenhower Park, but could not come to an agreement with the owners before they filled for bankruptcy. “Cantiague was only a second choice when we couldn’t get the deal done,” Wang said.

Brian Erni

The Islanders seem determined to keep a presence in Nassau County. With the team snatching up some prime hockey real estate in the county, it could really help keep some of the fans who are disillusioned with the Brooklyn move engaged with the team.

Look at the Jets, who still had such a strong footing on Long Island decades after they left Shea Stadium because they held training camp at Hofstra. Even though they played their home games in New Jersey, fans still came out in droves to see the team practice in Nassau. The Isles could do something similar, which would at least soften the blow for those determined not to take the train to Atlantic and Flatbush in Brooklyn.


Should the Isles get a new goal song for Brooklyn?

Brian Erni

There’s been “Hey Song,” “Song 2,” and now Joe Satriani’s “Crowd Chant.” The Islanders have certainly run the gamut of typical NHL arena goal songs over the last two decades (I’m purposely ignoring the “Live is Life” by Opus era, which can be blamed on Zenon Konopka). So as the team moves to Brooklyn, is it time for something new?
fans goal celebrate

Between the horn, the “WOOs,” and the “YES” chant, there’s a lot to love about the team’s post-goal celebration. And “Crowd Chant” gets the job done. But I always wished the Isles had thought a little harder when finding a new song prior to the 2011-12 season (the choices given to the fans to vote for were fairly brutal). The Wild use “Crowd Chant” too, and…it’s fine, I guess. I’m just ready for a change.

Which brings me to my nomination for 2015-16 and beyond: “Celtic Invasion” by CFO$ (aka Becky Lynch’s theme).

I know this is pretty inside baseball if you’re not a wrestling fan, but look at this simply from a standpoint of everything a goal song needs to be: up tempo, a blaring guitar line, and a sing along section. Check, check, and check. In fact, here’s a Vine (courtesy of TMI’s Stephen Totilo) of how it sounded from the nosebleeds when 16,000 people sang along to her entrance on Saturday night. I was in the house and it was awesome. The crowd was deafening. It would sound great after the Isles light the lamp.

UPDATE: Frank Angelone put the horn, song, and the full celebration together. Listen to how it sounds here.

Think “Crowd Chant” should stay? All in on my suggestion? Have one of your own? Sound off in the comments.


Al Arbour remembered for the lessons he taught during time behind the bench

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Former Islanders’ general manager Bill Torrey and former captain Denis Potvin were as heart broken as anyone over the news that Hall of Fame coach Al Arbour had passed away Friday morning.

“Al Arbour was a special person,” Torrey said during a conference call with reporters. “He was a special man in all of our lives. He was a great family man, he was a great hockey man. Outside of his family nothing was more important to him than his players and his team. Hockey was a major part of his life.”

Arbour spent 19 years behind the New York Islanders bench, joining the organization prior to the 1973-74 season. Originally, Arbour was hesitant about joining the young franchise, believing that the team played in an area too similar and chaotic to New York City. As the story has gone over the years, Arbour eventually visited Long Island and fell in love with the region.

During the conference call, Torrey also explained it was the team’s philosophy that also won over the future Hall of Famer. To read more of this story, click here


NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman issues a statement on the passing of Al Arbour

al-arbour-620Reactions continue to roll in about the death of Islanders’ Hall of Fame coach Al Arbour. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman joined the collection of people sending their condolences to the Arbour family.

“The National Hockey League deeply mourns the passing of Al Arbour, revered head coach of the dynastic New York Islanders,” Bettman said in a statement released by the league.

“A four-time Stanley Cup champion as a player and a brilliant motivator and tactician as a coach, Al Arbour directed the Islanders’ rapid transformation from expansion team to NHL powerhouse — guiding them to four straight Stanley Cup championships, five consecutive appearances in the Stanley Cup Final and an astounding 19 consecutive playoff series victories. As it grieves the loss of a profound influence on coaching and on the game itself, the NHL sends its heartfelt condolences to Al’s family and friends, to his former teammates and to all the players he mentored.”