Hey, those rumors that the Islanders, our local soon to be stadium-less hockey team, might be coming to Brooklyn may have an ounce of truth to them. Now that the team won't have a new arena in Nassau to kick around people have been wondering if the Islanders would make a move to join the Nets at the opening-soon-enough Barclays Center over the Atlantic Yards. And it does seem that they are interested! Over the weekend Newsday confirmed that Bruce Ratner and Nets CEO Brett Yormark met with NHL officials at the league offices in Manhattan last week.
Spokespeople declined to discuss what exactly what was talked about, but it is safe to assume that bringing the Islanders to the Yards was at least mentioned in passing. The Barclays Center folk have not been shy about the fact that they think they could handle some ice hockey—even if the stadium's capacity would be on the smaller end for the sport. Though it will be able to handle more spectators for basketball, the capacity for NHL hockey in the arena is believed to be about 14,000. Which is 2,234 less than the capacity at the old Nassau Coliseum...but still well above the 11,059 average attendance the Islanders had last year (the worst in the league!). But worth noting? With a capacity of 14,000 even if the Islanders completely sold out here regularly, they would still have the 4th worst attendance in the NHL.
If the team does come Brooklyn's way—and they've got awhile since their deal with the Nassau Coliseum doesn't end until 2015—they've already got assurances from Brooklyn Beep that he'll test their Zamboni for them. And by then some of those Atlantic Yards rats will be so big they'll probably be able to join the team.