Don't bet on it. But in the last couple of weeks, some interesting rumors have circulated out of Long Island, including the Islanders relocating to Kansas City, Missouri. I was just wondering what you guys thought about it.
One of my favorite websites for tracking sports franchise news is Dan Krieger's Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report at OurSports Central. He posted the following report last Monday (July 19):
The town of Hempstead on Long Island (NY) has limited the scope of a proposed development around Nassau Coliseum, home to the NHL's New York Islanders. This could put an end to planned renovations for the arena, so there has been speculation the Islanders' owner will consider relocating to Kansas City, Las Vegas, Seattle, or a new arena planned for Brooklyn.
This "speculation" was actually backed up by a local TV station in Kansas City, who made the graphic above. They also spoke with NYI Point Blank blogger and former Isles media relations VP Chris Botta by phone. Without hesitation, he says it's not going to happen. Not even a little bit.
Despite a "70% hack of [Charles] Wang's county-approved vision for the property surrounded the [Nassau Veterans Memorial] Coliseum," Botta writes on his blog, the owners "want to keep the Islanders in Nassau."
Of course the Islanders haven't said anything publicly about it, nor will they, but I thought it was an interesting notion to see a 38-year-old, 4-time Stanley Cup champion team at the hands of such a rumor. I think it'd be nice to see hockey back in Kansas City. I'm sure even Las Vegas would be a great draw. But what still shocks me is the lack of pro hockey in the Pacific Northwest — namely, Portland and Seattle.
And if the Islanders were to move to Brooklyn, would it come with a name change — say, to Americans? All I know is it seems there's very little chance the Isles will actually leave Long Island. But it's always interesting to think about.