In 1972, the New York Islanders were born. They played their home games at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale for more than 40 years. The 2014-15 NHL season was their last season on Long Island before the franchise moves to Brooklyn and the Barclays Center. This is the story of their final season.
After more than 40 years of playing their games at Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders moved to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the 2015-16. But “the old barn” rocked in its final season. Newsday followed Islanders employees, fans and players throughout the emotional ride during their last season at the Nassau Coliseum.
Past Islanders episodes
John Cirola discusses what goes into painting the ice at Nassau Coliseum in the premiere episode of Newsday's season-long series chronicling the Islanders' final season on Long Island.
The Islanders won their final home opener on Oct. 11, and in the first two weeks of the 2014-15 NHL season, they went 4-2 and introduced their new owners.
As the Islanders began a five-game road trip on the West, Syosset resident Bob Lehman shares his story about how he became a fan of the team since its inception in 1972.
The Islanders are off to their best start in 27 years. With almost a quarter of the season done, the Isles are right on the heels of the first place Penguins.
The Islanders are enjoying some early success this season with 18 wins in their first 25 games. They are hoping captain John Tavares can bring them back to the top of the NHL the way goaltender Billy Smith helped lead the the team to four straight Stanley Cups in the 1980s.
Even though the Islanders are on a record-setting run by winning 21 of their first 31 games, this season hasn’t been without some ups and downs.
Thomas Walters, of Terryville, explains the ins and outs of his icy job as the Islanders' Zamboni driver. The Isles finished the 2014 calendar year with a win against Winnipeg, putting them in a tie with Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan Division.
Islanders vs. Rangers has been one of the NHL’s most heated rivalries for more than 40 years. It never matters where each team is in the standings. These games always have a playoff feel not only for the players, but also for the fans as well.
As the Islanders head into the second half of the season leading the Metropolitan Division, they will have to overcome many obstacles off the ice such as an injury to Kyle Okposo and a blizzard that hit Long Island. On the ice, the Isles make sure to honor their history whether its good or bad.
Matt Carkner, an Islanders defenseman coming off back surgery, dedicates some of his off-ice time to working with the Long Island Blues, a special needs youth hockey team. He gives the kids tours of the Islanders’ locker room at Nassau Coliseum, organizes meet-and-greets with other Islanders and helps teach the fundamentals of the sport.
Bobby Nystrom played 14 seasons for th Islanders and scored arguably the biggest goal in the franchise's 43-year history. Newsday sat down with the former Islander great to reminisce about the team's glory days of the 1980s.
The Islanders have their share of fanatics. Add Patrick Dowd, aka 'The Sign Guy,' to that group. As the Isles take the ice at the Coliseum each game, you can see the Bay Shore resident standing by the rink entrance with a supportive sign.
The Junior Islanders are made up of elite Pee-Wee level players on Long Island selected through a tryout. They represent the New York Islanders at the prestigious Quebec Pee-Wee Tournament in Quebec held each February.
In North Babylon the Anastasio family, who are huge Islanders fans, can’t wait for the cold weather to come and freeze over their backyard pond so they can start playing ice hockey morning, noon and night.
As the Islanders start their playoff run, former Stanley Cup champion Clark Gillies talks about his great memories at Nassau Coliseum in the 1980s and how he would love to drink out of Lord Stanley's cup one more time.
Ice painter John Cirola and Zamboni drivers Thomas Walters and Kevin Capobianco participate in one final 'ice out' at Nassau Coliseum, where employees of the arena break apart and melt the rink's ice.
Workers at the Nassau Coliseum took down the banners, including the ones from the Islanders’ Stanley Cup seasons, from the rafters on May 8, 2015 as part of the process of renovating the arena.