by Patrick Hoffman on 11/08/12 at 08:00 AM ET
As everyone in the hockey world already knows, it was announced two weeks ago that the New York Islanders will be moving to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York beginning in the 2015-16 season.
While Islanders' fans more than likely have mixed views on the move, I was curious to see what a New York Rangers' fan felt about the move. As such, I reached out to Dave Shapiro of the great Rangers' fan blog Blue Seat Blogs to get his thoughts.
PH: What was your first reaction when you heard that the New York Islanders were going to be moving to Brooklyn? Why?
DS: I thought it was the inevitable move, and I'm happy that they found a new home. It keeps the Islanders in the division and gives their fans a much nicer arena to visit. This is one of the best rivalries in the game, and it needed to be preserved.
PH: In what ways could this move benefit New York Rangers’ fans? How
DS: It makes Islander games easier to get to, which does help for the three games the Rangers will play at Barclays. It's just a subway ride away for those in the city, or an LIRR trip for those on Long Island. It's really a win-win.
PH: How could a move like this negatively impact the Blueshirts and their fans?
DS: I honestly don't think this negatively impacts the Rangers and their fans. I've seen many people argue that the Isles will steal Ranger fans, but that's unlikely. It's a big rivalry, people aren't going to switch sides because the Isles moved closer to Manhattan.
PH: Is there any part of you that feels that what the Islanders’ are doing with this move is wrong? Why or why not?
DS: There's nothing wrong with their move. Nassau County (where I reside) made it very clear that they did not want the Islanders anymore. They rejected Wang's new arena when he proposed to fund it privately, which essentially killed the Isles in Nassau. Sure, the vote for a publicly funded arena may have saved them, but that was a long shot to begin with.
Truth be told, the area that NVMC sits on is worth a lot more money to the county in the form of apartment buildings, hotels, and/or shopping centers. Think about it: You have Hofstra University right next door. Apartments for college kids are worth a lot more than a struggling franchise that loses $25 million a year.
PH: Is there anything else you’d like to share with Kukla's Korner readers regarding this move and how you feel about it as a Rangers’ fan?
DS: From a hockey fan standpoint, this move opens up more hockey to those in the metropolitan area without alienating the Long Island fans. The Long Island fans can still get to the arena via train (much easier than driving/parking), and the subways make it easier for city fans to get to the games. I know a lot of Islander fans living in Manhattan who can't get to games because NVMC isn't accessible. This will help that problem.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.