Ever since the residents of Nassau County overwhelmingly voted No against another plan to get the Islanders a new arena, the future of the franchise on Long Island has been in doubt.
It has seemed all along that the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn is the only suitable option -- and some would argue that it's not suitable. Despite officials saying the arena could host hockey -- and it will this preseason when the Islanders play a game there -- its seating capacity for hockey would be the lowest in the NHL, even below Winnipeg.
But is that really it? I mean, there's no way that the NHL would let a team leave the New York Metro area, would they? Well if that's your hope than these tweets from B.D. Gallof of WFAN/CBS New York won't give you the warm and fuzzies.
I have been told its either Brooklyn or gone. Final chapter playing out quietly. Brooklyn or outside bids the direction here for #isles— BDGallof (@BDGallof) June 15, 2012
Don't mean to be a drag, but the reality here, especially with news of Queens is that nobody attaching it to #isles for good reason.— BDGallof (@BDGallof) June 15, 2012
Situation can change, but hard to see it when so many counties broke. Brooklyn still ONLY local suitor for #isles— BDGallof (@BDGallof) June 15, 2012
This is not surprising yet it is all at the same time. It's not surprising because all along there haven't appeared to be any real options besides Brooklyn. From a black and white standpoint I thought it was always easy to see that it was Brooklyn or bust.
At the same juncture, though, it was tough to believe it really was that clear cut. The Islanders have four Stanley Cups to their name and reside in the shadow of America's biggest city. With how much the league has fought for the Coyotes in Phoenix, it seems impossible to fathom a similar fight not being waged for the Isles.
Then again, there is no place to play. That's a tougher issue to solve than Phoenix's no-owner situation -- although that's probably hard to tell based on how long they have been at it in the desert.
But the news is probably good for the fine folks of Quebec City. With a new arena scheduled to be built, the figure to be the top city if the Coyotes relocate. If they don't, then the talk might turn to the Islanders if this mess doesn't get turned around. Or, if Seattle gets an NBA team and an arena built, it would be in the conversation as well.
As Gallof notes, this could easily change and I'm sure there will be ebbs and flows. But the fact remains that after multiple attempts to get a new arena in Nassau and with the Coliseum just not getting it done any more for an NHL team, the options aren't plentiful, even in such a big area as NYC.