Defenseman Calvin de Haan showed up at the last Islanders’ Trash Bag Day at the Coliseum sporting a brand new black Brooklyn Nets ballcap.
Less than 24 hours after the season crashed in Washington in Game 7, ending the franchise’s Long Island era, deHaan’s attire indicated a readiness to move on from Hempstead Turnpike to Atlantic Avenue site of the Islanders’ next game in the fall.
“It’s depressing,” said de Haan, who missed the final two games with a sprained shoulder. “It’s a second home, spent a lot of time in this building and learned to love it. It’s not the most glamorous building but it’s home and a lot of fun to play here.cheap jerseys It’s going to be sad to get out of this place.”
The Coliseum staged 31 sell outs more than in the prior four seasons combined.
“There’s a lot of New York Islander fans out here. It was good to see people caring,” deHaan said. “Was a great atmosphere in this building all season, even last year. It’s like nothing anywhere else. I’ll never forget it. They helped us win a lot of games here.”
Not the most glamorous building but located in the suburbs of their fan base. Asked expectations for Barclays Center, de Haan said he hopes the crowd will be as energetic.
“It’s a good question,” he said. “It’s a new building and stuff. I don’t know. I feel a lot of our fans are going to be there. Hopefully we can keep same kind of intensity in the crowd.”
That’s debatable. Scores of season ticket holders aren’t renewing. Others interviewed by The Post are awaiting partial plans. The Islanders say the first partial package will be half season. The franchise won’t release numbers on season ticket renewal rates.
So the Long Island obituary can now be written 42 seasons producing four Stanley Cups but failure to win a playoff series since 1993 NHL’s longest drought. The Islanders’ last Coliseum game was triumphant Saturday’s Game 6 3 1thriller. But in a disappointment from Montauk to Manhattan, the Islanders and Rangers (four Cups/87 seasons) won’t renew the blood war in Round 2.
The league’s scourge till midseason, the Islanders finished 47 28 7 but missed out on home ice in the first round with a late dip.
“We fell short of what we expected,” defenseman Thomas Hickey said. “I know people didn’t think much of us at the start of the year, but we don’t feel like we did everything. There’s stuff left on the table.”
And a bitter taste saying goodbye to the Coliseum.
“It’s a tough feeling in the stomach,” Hickey said. “Walking through the seats the first time, it was cool looking up at the banners. It’s going to be tough to say good bye to this rink.”
It will be a long goodbye exit meetings stretch three days. The hallways by the locker room were filled with tables of 100 white Islanders jerseys with the Long Island map crest on display for the players to sign for charity. The ice was still down with the Isles logo at center ice. Outside, about 25 fans milled for autographs in the parking lot.
“An empty feeling in stomach, a sad time,” said five year Islander Michael Grabner. “It will be a new chapter, new arena.”
The Islanders have a deep blueline corps additions of Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy turned magnificent and a star in his early prime in John Tavares. They will be projected for the playoffs in Brooklyn’s first season.
“It [stinks] obviously,” de Haan said. “We have a talented group of guys who can do damage in this league and we fell short of our goal.”
The Islanders plan to practice in Syosset and wear the same jersey in Brooklyn but its crest no longer carries the same meaning.
From the mouth of babes came this from 2012 first rounder, rookie Griffin Reinhart: “My father [Paul] played here during the four Cup run. He knows how hard it is to play here. It’s unfortunate, but it’s still so close.http://www.big49erssanfrancisco.com It’s not like it’s a different city.
Former Islanders goalie bust/radio host Rick DiPietro said at a charity event: “I kind of feel like at some point they’ll be back on Long Island.”.