Top All-Time Destinations for the Islanders

Sam Miller of ESPN wrote an article recently discussing his top baseball destinations of the future. As a huge science fiction nerd, and someone who, given the chance, would travel to the past, this article will be about the top destinations for Islander fans to go if they had a time machine.

But you don’t have the power to change anything, so the butterfly effect is off limits.

The Past

May 24, 1980:

As Islanders fans, seeing in-person Bobby Nystrom score the Stanley Cup-winning goal live would the top destination. Islander fans can recite from their hearts the classic, “Tonelli to Nystrom, he scores! Bob Nystrom scores the goal! The Islanders win the Stanley Cup!” To watch the start of the Islanders dynasty and to see such a historic moment at Nassau Coliseum in its prime would be a dream for many fans.

May 17, 1983:

On May 17, 1983 the Islanders defeated Wayne Gretzky and the Oilers to win their fourth straight Stanley Cup. The Islanders swept the Oilers, capping off their dynasty. To watch the machine that was the Islanders play against the next future dynasty that was the Edmonton Oilers would be a great event to see in the future.

April 18-19, 1987:

The Easter Epic was a great event in Islanders history. To play four overtimes in a Game 7, adrenaline must have been at an all-time high. When Pat Lafontaine scored on a spin shot at the point to win the game for the blue and orange, the Islanders reminded fans of their dominance in the earlier parts of the decade.

April 24, 2002:

Before John Tavares left the Islanders for the Maple Leafs, creating a rivalry between the two fanbases, the Islanders played the Maple Leafs in the playoffs. Shawn Bates was an unlikely hero, but when he was tripped by Bryan McCabe and scored on the penalty shot that ensured, the sold-out crowd at Nassau Coliseum erupted. Fans from the future would definitely have this date on their travel list. To watch Bates skate in and then shoot the puck pass Curtis Joseph would be a must-see.

Feb. 28, 2019:

This recent event in Islanders history was historic. To watch the sold-out crowd at the Nassau Coliseum and the Islanders dominate their ex-captain John Tavares and the Maple Leafs in Tavares’s first game back at the Coliseum since he left would be a once in a lifetime event. The chants that the crowd bearded on Tavares was something that will most likely never be replicated in hockey history.

Honorable Mentions:

Islanders win their second and third cup

Islanders first game ever

Lighthouse Project referendum vote

The Future

Belmont Arena’s Opening:

Many fans thought that the day wouldn’t come: the opening of a new arena on Long Island for the Islanders. Well, it will happen. For the 2021-22 season, the Islanders will be playing their games at their new arena at Belmont Park in Elmont. The new state-of-the-art arena will usher in a new area of Islanders hockey. No more relocation rumors, the Islanders will have a home on the island.

Josh Bailey’s Retirement:

You may be surprised that Mat Barzal’s last game isn’t on this list, and the reason is that we don’t know what his tenure with the Islanders will be. Could Barzal walk? Yes. Will he? I don’t think he will, and I sure as heck prays that he doesn’t, but it is a possibility. Josh Bailey has been a loyal Islander for his career. Bailey has played¬†797 games with the Islanders ranking his sixth on the Islanders all-time list.¬† If Bailey hits the 1,000 game mark, then he will be remembered as all-time Islanders great. Going to Bailey’s last game would be a must-see.

Islanders Win the Cup:

The Drive 4 Five is complete. Enough said. Let’s just hope that the Islanders do it within a few years.

Honorable Mentions:

Last game at Nassau Coliseum/Barclays Center before Belmont Arena

Noah Dobson’s final game

First game of the 2100s

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