The Islanders made a stupid decision this week and did it for, apparently, stupid reasons. Chris Botta, their longtime employee and current SNY and AOL Fanhouse contributor and member of the Professional Hockey Writer's Association, had his credentials taken away by the team. The move was apparently in response to criticism Botta leveled at the team over their decision to fire coach Scott Gordon this week.

Attempted censorship in New York sports media is nothing new. MSG Networks parted ways with Marv Albert for his critical comments about the Knicks. Finding a critical voice on the YES Network is next to impossible. With the exception of Mets’ telecasts, New York fans are usually treated as if they should pretend that their teams are incapable of mediocre play.

So the Islanders didn’t exactly break ground with their decision to terminate Mr. Botta’s access. The problem is, the Islanders need every ounce of coverage they can get. It’s been 17 years since the Islanders won a playoff series. They last qualified for the playoffs after the 2006-07 season and that was also the last time they didn’t finish last or next-to-last in league attendance. Add in the fact that coverage of the franchise barely exists outside the pages/behind the paywall of Newsday and this is clearly a team in need of some press.

So while Botta’s comments about the Islanders rebuilding efforts paint the team in a less than flattering light, at least they bring the team some notice. Mr. Botta has proven time and again that he cares deeply about the Islanders and his work reflects that. Taking away his credentials is a petulant move by a franchise that can’t afford to further alienate their dwindling fanbase. Saturday night they lost their 12th-straight game. No matter what the Islanders do off the ice, they can’t escape that hideous fact.