The New York Islanders’ move to Brooklyn has not gone so well. The ice is subpar. The sightlines in the basketball arena are awful. The Islanders rank 29th in NHL attendance, despite still being in the playoff mix. Barclay’s Center wants the team out by 2019.
One option is returning to a renovated Nassau Coliseum, though even expanded it would hold just 15,000. Another option would be building a new arena in Queens near Citi Field. Connecticut has stepped in to offer a third option, temporarily (or permanently) moving the team to Hartford.
The Governor of Connecticut and the Mayor of Hartford sent the letter below to Islanders ownership.
Hartford has not had an NHL franchise since the Whalers left in 1997 to become the Carolina Hurricanes. Carolina coincidentally ranks 30th in the NHL in attendance this season.
While there is a nostalgic Whalers fanbase, Hartford is still Hartford. It’s hard to see any way this could possibly work out.