Fans on Long Island aren’t ready to let go of the New York Islanders, and it’s hard to blame them.
So, when piano-playing music icon Billy Joel came to Nassau Coliseum and began to talk about how there would be, “no hockey, no nothin’ (at Nassau Coliseum) for a while,” fans in attendance burst out into a thunderous, “Let’s go, Islanders!” chant. Something says they’re not ready to see the team leave Long Island.
It’s not often you hear boos as loud as Joel received when he mentioned there would be no hockey, but Islanders fans are serious about their dislike for the team heading to Brooklyn. Take a listen:
With the Islanders leaving Nassau Coliseum for the 2015-16 season and heading to Brooklyn for the foreseeable future, one of the NHL’s most storied teams is in the unique situation of relocating without really relocating all that much. Sure, they’re moving to Brooklyn where they’ll have a new building to play in, but it’s only about an hour away from their former home in Uniondale. Even still, it feels as though the team is losing part of its identity.
Nassau Coliseum carries with it a certain history — one of a legendary NHL dynasty, four Stanley Cups and greats such as Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier and Billy Smith — and Islanders fans aren’t ready to give the team up quite yet. Who could blame them?
Joel’s Tuesday show was the final event at Nassau Coliseum before it closes its doors for renovations that will take more than a year to complete.
He finally had the chant die down when he his piano, but that’s about the only thing that stopped it. And when the doors of Nassau Coliseum open up again in December 2016, a chorus of “Let’s go, Islanders!” is likely to ring out all over again.