New York Islanders to go black and white in Brooklyn

Jared Clinton
The New York Islanders celebrate Mikhail Grabovski's goal after a beautiful passing play. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

To go with their big move to Brooklyn, the New York Islanders are going to be unveiling a brand new third jersey and the threads might not feature any of the Islanders’ traditional colors.

In keeping with the color scheme of the other tenant of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, the Islanders will be sporting a black and white alternate sweater in 2015-16, doing away with the former silver, blue and orange alternate that was used this past season.

The new sweater is set to be revealed on Sept. 21, according to IslandersPointBlank’s Brian Erni. It will be the third alternate jersey the Islanders have used in the past three seasons. Read more

Islanders shelving Ice Girls a huge step forward

Ken Campbell
New York Islanders Ice Girls . (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

The New York Islanders were responsible for introducing a tawdry and unneeded element to the NHL 14 years ago. And, thankfully, they could be on the forefront of ushering the same one out. This is one time when we can only hope the NHL continues to be the copycat league it has always been.

According to, the Islanders will not be moving their Ice Girls squad to Barclays Center in Brooklyn in the fall, replacing it with a co-ed crew that we can only presume will wear more clothing. The Islanders were a pioneer(?) in the employment of Ice Girls, becoming the first team to use them back in 2001 and spawning copycats around the league. Read more

Steven Stamkos and the importance of playing other sports

Steven Stamkos (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Toronto Blue Jays are putting up enough offense to win the Rocket Richard Trophy (they have that in baseball too, right?), so it’s no surprise local boy Steven Stamkos – a two-time winner of that accolade himself – dropped by to shag a few pitches himself the other day.

Stamkos is a well-known baseball fan who plays the game in the summer, despite the fact he’s one of the best hockey players in the world. But he’s not the only elite iceman whose sporting pursuits go beyond the arena. And for young players (and their parents), Stamkos is a great role model.

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Remembering Al Arbour

Stan Fischler
Al Arbour (Denis Brodeur Collection/Getty Images)

My first chat with Al ‘Radar’ Arbour took place in Detroit’s old Leland Hotel in 1961, several hours after the defenseman’s Chicago Black Hawks had defeated the Red Wings for their first Stanley Cup since 1938. Al, myself and Toronto’s Hall of Fame goaltender Turk Broda were the last to occupy what passed for the press room. Al was one of the rare bespectacled players and he was wearing the specs that earned him the name ‘Radar.’

I’d seen Al play plenty before and always was impressed with his steady, savvy performances which — for that time — wasn’t easy since he usually was carried as a spare back liner plugged in for emergencies. At 3 a.m. in the Leland there didn’t seem to be much to talk about anymore but Al — Turk, too — was loquacious and funny. He never seemed to tire of telling hockey stories.

Little did I realize it at the time but those ingredients that blended amiability with perception and a healthy dose of toughness were the very same elements that would characterize Arbour as the greatest coach I ever observed and I started watching hockey at Madison Square Garden in 1939. Sure, Scotty Bowman won more games but being the ultimate in coaching also included a human quality that Al possessed over them all.

“It was Al’s personality that made him so terrific,” Glenn ‘Chico’ Resch once told me, “as much as his brains. Radar had a way with players that made you want to play for him. In a sense, he was like your favorite uncle.” The Maven learned that midway in my professional career that veered from writing to the electronic media. Read more

Legendary New York Islanders coach Al Arbour passes away at 82

Jared Clinton
Al Arbour passed away Friday at 82. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The hockey world is mourning the loss of one of the most successful coaches in NHL history.

The New York Islanders have announced that Al Arbour, the franchise’s most storied coach, passed away Friday at 82. Before his passing, Arbour was battling Parkinson’s disease and dementia at a hospice in Sarasota, Fla.

“Al will always be remembered as one of, if not, the greatest coaches ever to stand behind a bench in the history of the National Hockey League,” Islanders GM Garth Snow said in a statement. “The New York Islanders franchise has four Stanley Cups to its name, thanks in large part to Al’s incredible efforts. From his innovative coaching methods, to his humble way of life away from the game, Al is one of the reasons the New York Islanders are a historic franchise. On behalf of the entire organization, we send our deepest condolences to the entire Arbour family.” Read more

Futures mailbag: Marner vs. Nylander, one nasty Avs prospect and more

Mitch Marner (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Welcome back to the THN futures mailbag, where I answer all things prospect and draft related. I’m really getting a good crop of questions coming in, so keep that momentum going, folks (hit me up at @THNRyanKennedy with the hashtag #thnfutures). With the major junior season around the corner and the Traverse City prospects tournament also coming up, I may save some questions until the action begins, for accuracy’s sake. So hold tight if you don’t see your submission right away. Let’s get to it:

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Billy Joel met with rousing ‘Let’s go, Islanders!’ chant in Nassau Coliseum closing show

Jared Clinton
The New York Islanders celebrate a victory over the Detroit Red Wings (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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: Read more

Futures Mailbag: Michael Dal Colle, the realness of Auston Matthews and more

Michael Dal Colle (blue sweater) of the Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Welcome back to the Futures Mailbag, where I will answer any prospect and draft-related questions you the readers may have. If you have a query, hit me up on Twitter (@THNRyanKennedy) and use the hashtag #thnfutures to make sure I scoop it up. If you don’t see your question this week, stay tuned – there’s always some overflow. Let’s get to it:

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