Lamoriello Confident In Isles' Arena Project Despite Some Opposition
Islanders President of Hockey Operations & GM Lou Lamoriello is confident the team's new arena at Belmont Park "will be built" despite some "local opposition to the construction," according to Vin Cherwoo of the AP. Lamoriello said, "I don't have any question. I would not have come here if there wasn't going to be a new arena." Construction on the new site is "expected to begin soon." The Islanders just finished their first season of an "expected three-year arrangement to split home games between the Nassau Coliseum and Barclays Center" while the new arena is built. The Islanders' Stanley Cup Playoffs games this year were also "split between the venues" (AP, 5/6). NEWSDAY's Mark Herrmann writes what the Islanders "need most of all" is a "shovel in the ground and a certificate that says a permanent Long Island home is on the way." Everything for the Islanders "revolves around a new arena, and nothing comes close to being as important." Still, "chances are" Lamoriello "won’t persuade elite free agents to come (or convince all of his current players to stay) unless he can guarantee that they won’t be shuttling back and forth to Barclays Center for who knows how long" (NEWSDAY, 5/7).