No, I'm not kidding. The Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY -- more commonly known as the dump that the New York Islanders call home -- will host playoff games this spring. Despite the Islanders being the worst team in the NHL for most of the season, commissioner Gary Bettman has invoked a special clause in the CBA that allows the commissioner to replace one playoff-bound team with one from the scrap heap at his choosing.
OK, so that clause doesn't exist and the Islanders aren't going to the playoffs. However, I'm not joking when I say that that the Nassau Coliseum will play host to a few playoff games this spring.
American Hockey League playoff games, that is.
Unlike their major league counterpart the AHL affiliate of the the Islanders, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, is playoff-bound yet again and making a run at the Calder Cup. The Islanders announced plans yesterday to have the Sound Tigers play two first round games at the Coliseum instead of their home in Bridgeport, Connecticut. That won't be great news for Sound Tiger fans, but the trip between Bridgeport and Uniondale is only about 90 minutes, a short trip compared to the affiliates of other NHL teams.
All in all, this will still have an awfully funny feeling to it when the Sound Tigers take the ice at the Coliseum. For one, they changed their colors a few years ago from blue and yellow to match the Islanders' trademark orange and blue. To add to that, the Sound Tigers may have as many as 13 players on their playoff roster who have suited up for the Islanders this season. These games will have a distinctly Islander feel to them, and that's more than just a joke.