After years of the poor play on the ice which led to a big drop in attendance, hockey in Long Island could possibly be gone by 2015 as the lease that the New York Islanders have at the Nassau Veterans Coliseum will expire. Here are the two main reasons why.
The main mistake was the front office. Once Pickett and Boe left the franchise as owners, the new management comittee was not as patient as they were which caused friction with GM Bill Torrey that caused him to leave after missing the playoffs in 1992. While his replacement who is the current GM of the Phoenix Coyotes Don Maloney made mistakes, they were not as bad as the ones that Mike Milbury did in the late 90's. Thoses ones were trading Ziggy Palffy as the ownership were not willing to pay his mulitimillion dollar salary. As well he had traded numerous young talent such as Eric Brewer, Roberto Luongo, Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Mccabe, Zdeno Chara and a proven veteran such as Darius Kasparaitis but the two worst mistake that he and his succesor Garth Snow made was when instead of selecting Marian Gaborik or Dany Heatley with the first overall pick in 2000, he decided to draft Rick DiPietro which made no sense because he had drafted Roberto Luongo third overall back in 1997 touting him as the goalie of the future and then later on Garth Snow signs him to a 15 year contract which he has been injured for the most part. The second big mistake was giving up Zdeno Chara as I mentioned earlier, Bill Muckalt and a draft pick that was Jason Spezza for disgruntled Alexei Yashin and yet signing him to a 10 year deal worth 87.5 million which made him virtually untradeable.
The second reason why it might all be over is the arena. Nassau Coliseum was once a top of the line building back when it was built in 1972, but over the years it has fallen into a huge state of disrepair with one reported story about a leak happening in the weight room. While they have a great idea in the Lighthouse project which will renovate the arena and surround it with an athletic complex and its first five star hotel. This would be a great idea but do people really think that Nassau County will approve it which costs 3.74 billion and will take 8 to 10 years to complete? Well as I said before only time will tell.