The New York Islanders are poised for an interesting season. Not only do they have some exciting prospects and the continued development of a young team ready to compete now, but they are making a major move into Brooklyn to play at the Barclay’s Center.
A big piece of the move was maintaining the team’s identity as a New York team even though it’s going to be a little complicated for fans in Nassau County to head into Brooklyn to see games. So, it’s not surprising that the team aren’t altering their jerseys (though we may see a third jersey acknowledging the move).
Today, Newsday’s Arthur Staple revealed that there will be one change made to the jerseys: a patch honoring the recently deceased former Islanders coach Al Arbour.
Arbour passed away on August 28 and leaves behind an incredible legacy, bringing the New York Islanders their first ever Stanley Cup, and their second and third and fourth, all done in four years. Over that span and into the next season the team won 19 straight playoff series, a record that will likely never be broken in the NHL. He was also the second most winning coach in NHL history with 782 wins. (Joel Quenneville is knocking on his door with 722 wins.)
#Isles will wear commemorative patch honoring Al Arbour for this coming season, pending NHL approval.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) September 3, 2015
As Staple notes, the patch is pending league approval, but it’s hard to imagine the scenario in which the NHL doesn’t allow the Islanders to honor a name that should be on the league’s all time coaching Mount Rushmore.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.