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More To Long Island Than The Nassau Coliseum Parking Lot

from Travis Betts at the New York Islanders website,

For those fortunate enough to play on Long Island, there is no question as to the commitment between team management, the fans and the players. It’s also no secret that Long Island itself, with its beautiful beaches, gorgeous golf courses, superb school systems and proximity to New York City, is a great place to call home.

But those same attractions remain a secret kept from most visiting players. The majority of teams stay at the Marriott Hotel, just across the parking lot from 40-year-old Nassau Coliseum, the oldest building in the National Hockey League, and see little more than the walk to the arena and the visitors’ dressing room.

Islanders Assistant Coach and Senior Advisor to the General Manager Doug Weight, who came to the club as a player in 2008 after 18 NHL seasons with other teams, was admittedly naïve about the area he now calls home.

“You’d be surprised how little I knew,” Weight said. “When I played with the Rangers, I was just outside the city and most of my affairs were in the city. I knew what everyone else knew. I stayed in the hotel and I went and played the game, and generally we were right out after the game, so I didn’t know much about the Island.”

Not long after signing with the Islanders that summer, Weight, along with his wife and three kids, fell in love with the area.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

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These guys seriously need to watch some episodes of the Barefoot Contessa.

Posted by nosferatu from Albany, NY on 07/08/12 at 01:47 PM ET

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For those of you who think this article is a joke—I’ve talked to several NHL players, past and present. Their reaction is much the same as you read in this piece—that once they get beyond the Marriott and the Coliseum (BTS: The players’ areas are OK; it’s the fans who take a beating), Long Island is wonderful (especially if you’re making what an NHL player brings home). The North Shore (home to former Isles like Bob Nystrom) is gorgeous, the climate is nice, there’s great golf and beaches, and you can be s public or private as you like. If you like NYC, it’s an hour or less via train or car.

It’s especially nice if you have kids—there are good schools and plenty of nice spots to live.

The hard part for the Isles is the Coliseum (it’s actually nicer now than it was 10-15 years ago, but it’s still the worst building in the league) and the erratic ownership. I suspect if the Isles could ever get a new building, they might become a very popular destination—there really is some good young talent there.

Posted by DonK from Long Island on 07/08/12 at 05:29 PM ET

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That makes sense though. The worst way to see anyplace is to go there on a business trip or to a convention, unless you specifically plan for at least one off day to explore (which isn’t possible on a road trip for a hockey team). I had a boss who went to a medical conference in Prague and he saw the airport, the road to the hotel-convention center, and the cathedral across from the hotel-convention center. That was pretty much it.

I expect that traveling for a sport where the teams don’t stay multiple days in one place, as baseball teams do, is similar.

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 07/08/12 at 07:58 PM ET

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If you’re a millionaire the North Shore and it’s exclusive private schools is a nice place.  They also get to rub elbows with rich wannabes and make business deals.  Remember “The Great Gatsby”?

Posted by 13 user names on 07/08/12 at 10:54 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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